Call (888) 338-0183 or click here for solar pricing


Electric Rates and the Benefits of Solar
Oct04

Electric Rates and the Benefits of Solar

Installing solar will save you money on your electric bill. There is no doubt about that. The question real question is – how much money will it save you? That can only be answered if you understand your electric bill. If you are on a simple electric rate where you get charged a certain dollar amount per kilowatt hour (kwh), then calculating the payback on your solar power system is easy. Figure out how many kilowatt hours the solar will produce, multiply that by how much you per kwh and there is your number.  But it is not that easy for everyone because there are more complicated electric rate structures. The math gets a little trickier if you are on a tiered billing rate or time of use (TOU) rate and things get really interesting if you have demand charges. Another factor to consider is how your electric company pays you back for the excess power you feed into the grid when your solar is generating more than you are using.   Sample tiered billing system where the electric company charges you more per kWh when you use more electricity. Tiered billing is a system where the electric company charges you more per kwh when you use more electricity. For example, they would charge $.19/kwh for the first 10 kwh you use in a day, then $.24/kwh for the next 40 kwh and then $.42/kwh for anything over that. If you are very conservative with your power usage and stay at the $.19/kwh – $.24/kwh range, the solar takes longer to pay for itself because you are paying less for your electricity than someone who is using a lot of power and is paying that $.42/kwh rate.  On a tiered billing rate, the solar is still worthwhile for the conservative user who is only in the lower pricing tiers, but it will have a little bit lower return on investment than it would have for the excessive electricity user. This is because the solar knocks out the higher priced electricity and the more you save per kwh, the faster the solar pays for itself.  Sample time of use billing system based on when you use your electricity. Time of use (TOU) rates are based on when you use your electricity. A typical time of use rate would be that energy used between 3pm – 8pm (peak time) costs $.25/kwh and energy used at any other time of day is only $.15/kwh. The electric companies do this so that the consumer will try to use less power during summer afternoons when the electric company is struggling to keep up with the...

Read More
Price increase expected for solar panels — but not for the reason you might think
Aug23

Price increase expected for solar panels — but not for the reason you might think

The cost of solar panels has steadily decreased over the years but now some analysts are predicting an increase for the first time in nearly two decades — but not for the reasons you might think. A sudden rush to buy solar panels has created a rare seller’s market for panel manufacturers as U.S. solar developers are stockpiling resources for future projects to lock in the 30% solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that starts phasing out next year.   Among those hoarding inventory to claim the full subsidy are big hitters in the utility world, such as Duke Energy, 8minute Solar Energy, and Shell-backed Silicon Ranch. The demand has caused module prices to spike more than 10% from earlier in the year, according to a U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie and SEIA.  Consumers who purchase residential solar before the end of 2019 will also be eligible for the full tax credit, however, unlike firms that only need to spend 5% of a project’s capital cost by the end of 2019 to lock in the subsidy, residential projects have to begin solar installation before the year ends. Current subsidies for residential solar will decrease to 26 percent in 2020, then to 22 percent in 2021, and finally, drop to 10 percent in 2022.  DIY home solar companies that sell directly to homeowners such as Go Green Solar are one of the few available resources for those not wishing to pay a premium for panels that have been marked up amid the blitz to beat the expiring ITC.  The U.S. solar industry has urged lawmakers to extend the solar tax credit, which has helped solar deployment grow by 10,000 percent since it was introduced by a Republican-controlled Congress in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Last week Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) sent Congress a letter signed by nearly 1,000 U.S. solar companies to extend the credit, however, the recent spike in solar panel purchasing suggests the outlook for the credit’s extension is not favorable. Luckily for homeowners, direct to consumer home solar companies such as Go Green Solar can help people lock in their 30 percent ITC before it expires while giving them some of the lowest rates for panels on the market.  Check out their website to get a free estimate on how much you will save making the switch or call (866)...

Read More
Solar helps you sell your home faster and for more money
Apr02

Solar helps you sell your home faster and for more money

If you’ve read pretty much any article on the benefits of converting your home to solar, you’re probably well aware of the great ROI it provides by paying itself off over the course of several years, decreasing energy bills to zero. But what if you’re thinking about selling your house and don’t have several years to wait for that return? Turns out, the benefits of owning solar panels don’t just pay dividends on energy bills, but can also significantly increase your property’s value and help it sell faster, too, A study by the Lawrence Berkely National Lab (LBL) titled “Selling into the sun: Price premium analysis of a multi-state dataset of solar homes” found that on average home buyers are willing to pay a premium of $15,000 more for homes with a standard 3.6-kW PV system. Surveying over 20,000 homes throughout California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania, the research shows that premium prices for PV homes are a national trend. The general breakdown for increasing a home’s value comes to about $4 per watt in California and $3 elsewhere. For example, homeowners in California installing a 5kW (5,000 watts) system could fetch up to $20,000 more on the market when selling their home. This chart shows the premium prices above market value that a home with a PV system will fetch Together with state incentives and a 30% Federal Tax Credit, the financial benefits of selling a home with solar could equal or outweigh the costs of the system itself. Companies such as Go Green Solar, which allow homeowners to install PV systems for less with DIY assistance and offer competitive professional installer pricing, help people looking to sell homes with PV systems recuperate higher profits when reselling their homes while paying lower energy bills in the interim. In terms of resale, John DiStefano, president of First Fidelity Appraisal Services of New England, said about PV panels, “They definitely add value to your home as long as they are purchased. If they are leased, the banks do not recognize a value.’’ One reason for increased home value is that buyers view solar panels as upgrades, such as a new kitchen or bathroom. Unlike the aforementioned living amenities, however, the government will actually give you money back for this PV home improvement, with some states even offering the bonus incentive of not calculating the value of the upgrades into additional property taxes. That means that going solar will increase the value of your home even though you won’t get charged extra taxes for it.   Even though going solar will increase the value of your...

Read More
Expiring Tax Incentive Spurs Blitz for Home Solar
Jan21

Expiring Tax Incentive Spurs Blitz for Home Solar

A popular federal tax incentive that saves homeowners thousands for installing a home solar system will significantly decrease at the end of this year. Known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), or the Federal Solar Tax Credit, the program has been in place since 2005 and allows people to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their taxes. On average the savings are about $6000 per a customer. After this year however all that is set to change. Following 2019, a rate decrease will reduce the deduction to 26 percent in 2020 and then 22 percent in 2021. After 2021 and onwards, people will not receive any tax credit for installing a residential solar system (just a 10% for installing a commercial solar system). Home solar suppliers and installation companies such as Go Green Solar are seeing an increased interest from people looking to secure the 30 percent ITC before it expires. A similar surge of interest occurred in 2015 before congress voted to extend the tax credit. With the current oil friendly executive administration in charge, a repeat of 2016’s ITC extension is considered highly unlikely, bringing an end to the 30 percent reimbursement rate that has lasted for 14 years. The ITC was first passed under the Bush administration’s Energy Policy Act in 2005. It was extended in 2008 to help stabilize a crashing economy, removing the $2000 residential rebate cap. Since its creation, the cost of solar equipment has declined by more than 73 percent. Once the 30 percent rebate begins its steep decline, it will be years until solar is this cheap again. This knowledge, coupled with significant electricity rate hikes expected from most electricity companies this year, has created a surge of homeowners rushing to seize the investment opportunity to switch to solar. Recent changes to the ITC in 2016 have made it so homeowners can claim the tax credit on their returns as soon construction of the system begins, as long as its operational by December 31, 2023. Additional amendments to the bill allow homeowners to roll over credits into the following years if they are due back more on their taxes from the ITC than they owe. For example, if a homeowner owes $4000 in taxes for 2019 and has a $6000 ITC, that means the homeowner doesn’t have to pay taxes for 2019, and will earn a $2000 tax discount to put towards the following year. If you’re thinking of switching to solar, companies like Go Green Solar can help you lock in your 30 percent ITC rate before it comes to an end. Call...

Read More
Flat Solar Rebates Stir Up Controversy
Jan07

Flat Solar Rebates Stir Up Controversy

A new method to calculate solar rebates in San Antonio, Texas has stirred controversy between home installers and CPS Energy, the region’s energy supplier. Until recently, CPS Energy has determined rebates according to a renewable system’s power-generating capacity. However all that has now changed as the energy company stated it will only be issuing rebates as a flat amount per renewable project, regardless of how much power that project produces. The changes are part of San Antonio’s 2009 Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP), which aims to “aggressively” reduce customer electricity use by 2020 by providing renewable incentives to residential and commercial structures.  A new $15 million pool of funding added to the $849 million plan allowed CPS Energy to update its rebate structure. Home solar advocates, such as executive director of the San Antonio Solar Alliance Ben Rodrigues, are concerned that the changes will slow residential adoption. Going forward, the amended STEP will offer a flat $2,500 rebate to eligible projects until it has exhausted $9 million in funding, whereupon the rebate offer will drop to $1,500. Rick Luna, the administrator in charge of CPS Energy’s rebate program pointed out that the gradual reduction in solar incentives is not out of the ordinary. Rebates in San Antonio used to be priced at $3 per watt, but as the cost of materials decreased and more people have outfitted their homes with solar, the incentives have also declined. Before the new STEP was initiated, residents in San Antonio could get up to $0.60 per watt, making a 10 kilowatt system eligible for a $6,000 rebate. Rick Luna, CPS Energy interim Director of Technology and Product Innovation, said the company’s new flat rebate structure allows it to stretch funding for more residents switching to solar While the new rebate plan cuts the incentives by more than half, CPS Energy says it will allow them to offer financial support to an additional 6,200 projects. While opponents of CPS might argue that the energy company acted unilaterally with San Antonio’s utility board and disagree with the latest STEP modifications, there’s little they can do. The flat rebate energy structure is already in effect and San Antonio’s City Council does not seem inclined to change it back, creating a time sensitive countdown for the $2,500 rebate to exist until it is reduced even further. To lock in the latest solar rebates before they’re cut again, home solar and DIY solar installation companies such as GoGreen Solar, which specialize in securing the best rebates for a home solar installation systems, continue to provide a valuable resource for homeowners looking to get the most bang for...

Read More
Solar as an investment
Oct01

Solar as an investment

By now everyone knows that solar can save you money on your electric bill, but let’s take a deeper look at solar as an investment. On average, a 6kW system that costs about $15,000 after the federal tax credit generates about 9,000 kWh in a year. If your current cost of electricity is $0.20/kWh, you would save about $1,800 per year on electricity and even if the electricity company never raises your rate, the system pays for itself in about 8 years. After the system has paid for itself you will continue to profit over the 25+ year lifespan of the system. With no electric rate increase, the system you bought for $15,000 will generate $45,000+ of electricity. But, electric rates aren’t going to stay the same and looking at the last two decades, they have risen an average of about 3% per year and as high as 7% per year in some areas. Just going with the average 3% annual increase in electric rates bumps up the return to $65,600 over the 25 year warrantied life of the solar panels. That results in a 14% Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Realistically, that IRR will be even higher because the solar won’t automatically turn off after 25 years. It will likely keep producing for quite a while after that. We are just being conservative and sticking with the length of the warranty. For the sake of argument, we should compare this to other investments like the stock market. The S&P 500 has an average IRR of about 7-8% over the last few decades. That means you can expect twice the return from solar. It is a shame that your investment in solar is capped by the amount of electricity you use. Still not convinced? Let’s look at it another way. How happy would you be right now if you had bought all the gasoline you have been using for the last 25 years back in 1993 when the average price was only $1.11/gallon? You’d be grinning from ear to ear every time you thought about all that money you saved. With solar, you have that opportunity right now. When you install solar on your home, you are purchasing the next 25 years of electricity at even lower price than the current rate. Going back to our 6kW system example, the cost of electricity comes out to just under $0.07/kWh. You would be locking in that low rate for the life of the system. Every time electricity rate hikes were mentioned in the news you could pat yourself on the back for making such a smart investment. This investment also...

Read More