D

espite having a decent 202 sunny days per year, which is just 3 days short of the national average, Rhode Island is only ranked 37th in solar adoption among US states. The per-watt price of solar panels in the state stands at $3.58/W, which is higher than most other states, leading many locals to believe that switching to solar in Rhode Island is not a financially viable option. Let's explore if this perception is accurate.

Viability of Going Solar in Rhode Island

So is going solar in Rhode Island really worth it for you? To find out, examine your past electricity bills to determine your usage. Typically, solar might not be cost-effective for those with an average monthly energy consumption under 500 kWh. However, most Rhode Islanders consume about 594 kWh per month – much less than the US average of 886 kWh but still within the range for solar benefits. With the state's high electricity rates (ranked 4th highest in the US at 22.01¢ per kWh), even those using slightly below 500 kWh per month could see substantial long-term savings by embracing solar in Rhode Island.

Costs and Savings of RI Solar Power

In terms of per capita energy consumption, Rhode Island is second-lowest, trailing only Hawaii. This means that a 6kW solar system is sufficient for covering the majority of electricity needs for an average home. Considering Rhode Island's average residential price-per-watt of $3.58/W, the initial cost of a 6kW system would be about $21,500 prior to any Rhode Island solar incentives.

Although the initial expense of transitioning to solar in Rhode Island may appear significant, the potential savings are even more striking. By installing an average-sized system and paying cash upfront, a homeowner can expect to save over $44,000 over a 20-year period.

Solar in Phoenix is thriving, with abundant sunlight and favorable incentives. Companies like SunPower and Sunrun offer installations to harness the city's solar potential.

Rhode Island Solar Incentives

If you're considering a switch to solar in Rhode Island, there are several incentives to make the transition more affordable and beneficial. These include tax breaks, financial support, and special rates for the energy generated by your panels. Here are five top incentives for solar in Rhode Island:

  • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): By installing solar energy equipment in your residence between now and the end of 2032, you can receive a nonrefundable credit off your federal income taxes equal to 30% of eligible expenses. There is no dollar limit on these expenses, so you can claim a 30% credit whether you spend $10,000 or $100,000 on your RI solar system.
  • Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF): The REF provides funding of up to $7,000 for eligible residential, small-scale solar in Rhode Island, helping to reduce the upfront costs of PV panel installation.
  • National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program: Residential customers participating in this program will receive 28.75 cents for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) their PV panel system generates for the first 15 years of their system. This rate is significantly higher than the regular retail rate of about 19 cents per kWh. Payments from Rhode Island Energy are received primarily via bill credits, and the remaining earnings as cash payments.
  • Solar Investment Property Tax Exemption: With this exemption, your property taxes won't increase as a result of the added value your new photovoltaic panels bring to your home.
  • Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemption: When you purchase a new PV energy system, you won't have to pay the 7% sales tax, further reducing the overall cost of your investment.

Summary

Although the rate of adopting solar in Rhode Island has not yet reached its peak, the state offers an array of incentives that make going solar a viable and financially rewarding choice for its residents. By taking advantage of Rhode Island solar incentives, homeowners can transform their homes into clean energy powerhouses, ultimately saving on their electricity bills and helping to reduce the state's carbon footprint.

Sources:

https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/rhode-island-solar

https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/ri/

https://electricityrates.com/rhode-island/

https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=RI

Posted 
May 28, 2023
 in 
Geo
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