he mention of solar photovoltaic (PV) power often brings to mind sunny states like California or Arizona, but what about New Hampshire? Known for its snowy winters and captivating foliage, you might not immediately consider this region as a hotbed for solar energy. However, it's time to rethink this assumption. In fact, solar panels New Hampshire can be a practical choice for homeowners. This article will explore the advantages and potential of solar power.
New Hampshire Solar Scene
As of 2023, the Granite State has proven to be more than just a land of stone and ice. It is slowly but steadily paving the way for renewable energy, with 201 MW of solar installed, which is enough to power 12,000 homes, as reported by the Solar Energy Industries Association. This might seem modest in comparison to sun-soaked states, but considering the geographical and climatic constraints, it's a milestone that stands tall. With each passing year, more residents are embracing this alternative energy source, contributing to the state's commitment to achieving 24.8% renewable energy use by 2025.
Unmasking Solar Potential: Benefits of Going Solar
The benefits of solar are broad and varied, encompassing environmental, economic, and even real estate considerations. Let's delve in a little deeper.
Clean Energy in Your Hands: Environmental Benefits of Solar
Solar energy is nature's gift that keeps on giving, and adopting it is one of the best decisions you could make for the environment. An average 400 W photovoltaic module, producing 1.5 kWh per watt per year, can offset around 510 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to driving a car for approximately 300,000 miles.
Solar energy not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also conserves water, as it requires significantly less water for operation compared to traditional energy sources. By going solar, New Hampshire residents are contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment for generations to come.
Solar Dividends: Exploring the Economical Gains
While the environmental benefits are impressive, the economic dividends that solar offers are equally enticing. With electricity prices rising by about 4% annually, harnessing the sun’s power allows homeowners to lock in low, predictable electricity costs for years to come. Moreover, solar adopters are also eligible for various incentives, such as the federal tax credit, which deducts 30% of the cost of installing a PV power system from your federal taxes.
Solar Radiance in Real Estate: A Bright Value Booster
Solar adoption not only saves money in the long run but also enhances property values. A study published by Zillow indicates that homes with photovoltaic systems sell for 4.1% more compared to homes without. This could translate into an additional $17,850 for an average-valued home in New Hampshire. Therefore, solar energy proves to be a worthy investment not just for your wallet and the environment but also for the potential future sale of your home.
Unraveling Solar Panel Economics in New Hampshire
The Initial Investment in Solar
Setting up a photovoltaic system does require an initial investment, but the cost of PV installations has been on a steady decline over the last decade. The average cost for a residential system in New Hampshire as of 2023 is around $3.14 to $4.24 per watt. For an average-sized home setup, this means a total cost between $15,682 to $21,218. This price includes everything you need - the PV modules themselves, inverters, wiring, and professional installation.
Long-term Savings with Solar
The real economic value of solar becomes evident when we look at the long-term savings. PV power-to-energy output rule of thumb in NH is roughly 1.2 kilowatt-hours of AC energy per year for every 1 watt of panel DC power rating. This means a 6kW system can generate around 7,200 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Considering the average electricity rate in the state of 23 cents per kWh, this translates into annual savings of over $1,656 on your electricity bill.
Within 6 to 10 years, depending on your usage and electricity rates, your PV system can pay for itself. This calculation doesn't even account for the increase in property value that a solar installation brings, which is another attractive financial upside.
Financial Aids: Incentives for Solar Panels New Hampshire
There are several incentives that make the financial case for investing in solar even stronger.
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The ITC allows homeowners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a PV energy system from their federal taxes, a substantial boost to the affordability of solar. For example, if you spend $20,000 on a system, you can reduce your federal tax bill by $14,000. However, this incentive is set to reduce after 2032. The reduction of this incentive is projected, however, with 26% slated for 2033, 22% for 2034, and it's expected to cease by 2035.
- Residential Renewable Electrical Generation Rebate Program: With this state-level rebate initiative, homeowners can receive a cash-back incentive of $200 for each kilowatt of photovoltaics they install. The total rebate can go up to $1,000 or 30% of the entire system expenses, depending on which amount is lower.
- Property Tax Exemption: In the Granite State, new solar energy systems are exempt from property tax assessments. This means that while the value of your home increases with a PV installation, your property tax bill won't.
- Net Metering: This tool allows homeowners to sell any excess electricity they generate, which can further offset the cost of the system. When your panels produce more energy than you use, that extra power goes back into the grid. The utility company tracks this and gives you credits. Later, if you use more energy than your modules produce, like at night, you can use these credits instead of buying electricity.
Finding a Perfect Solar Installer in New Hampshire
Switching to solar energy requires careful planning, and finding a reliable installer is a crucial part. In New Hampshire, numerous competent installers can get the job done. Follow these steps to find the perfect one for you.
- Do Your Homework: Research various installers and their credentials. Look for customer reviews and ratings.
- Get Multiple Quotes: This will help you find a reliable installer within your budget. Remember to compare the details of the services they offer.
- Check Certifications: A certified installer ensures quality and reliability. A reputable installer will have necessary certifications and licensing.
- Ask About Warranties: A good installer will provide warranties to protect your investment. Be sure to ask about what's covered in the warranty.
- Consider Local Installers: Local installers understand your area's unique weather and regulations. They can provide personalized solutions tailored to your needs.
Remember, the perfect installer isn't just about the cost. It's about the quality of service and their commitment to helping you make the most of solar energy.
Your NH Solar Partners: Top Solar Panel Installers in New Hampshire
When it comes to choosing the right partner for installing solar panels New Hampshire, there are several top-tier companies that deserve a closer look. Let's delve into the five of them.
Granite State Solar
Granite State Solar stands out as a leading choice for solar services in New Hampshire. Offering a wide array of solar panels and batteries, the company assures that all the panels come with a robust 25-year manufacturer’s warranty, complemented by a 12-year labor warranty. This surpasses the industry average by two years, providing a safety net for your system against the above-average rain and snowfall often experienced in New Hampshire.
The panel selection is impressive, with every brand boasting above-average efficiency ratings. Affordability is also a prime concern here, a crucial factor considering the above-average per-watt costs in New Hampshire.
However, it's worth noting that Granite State Solar only accepts cash payments and loans from third-party lenders. This limitation may deter some, but it's typically advised to opt for cash and financing anyway.
All Energy Solar
Next up on our list is All Energy Solar. This company's strength lies in its comprehensive services, including PV modules, batteries, electrical work, and system monitoring.
Their technicians, certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), have over a decade of local experience. This proficiency is a great asset for homeowners as they know the local requirements and can size systems accurately to minimize costs and maximize long-term energy savings.
Add to that the provider's glowing customer reviews and a reputation for best-in-class customer service and PV installation techniques, you have a trusted partner in your solar journey.
Admittedly, partnering with All Energy is expensive, but their investment guarantees a positive experience and lengthy system protection, making them a valuable choice for homeowners.
A seasoned player in the solar industry, ReVision Energy has nearly two decades of experience. Catering to both residential and commercial clients throughout New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, this certified B-Corp offers an array of services beyond traditional rooftop installation. These additional services encompass battery backups, solar water heating, and solar powered heat pumps.
ReVision Energy has an outstanding reputation, with an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau. A notable aspect of their service is the comprehensive warranty packages that offer up to 25 years for labor, equipment, and power production. This ensures your system's longevity and efficiency.
Venture Solar is another trusted name in the New Hampshire solar landscape. They provide high-efficiency panels, including the renowned SunPower/Maxeon, that compensate for a less sunny disposition of New Hampshire.
Venture offers reasonable pricing and a variety of payment options, from cash and loans to lease and PPA, thus making solar panels New Hampshire more accessible. While their warranty covers only the manufacturer’s defect, their seven years of experience and stellar customer service reviews speak volumes about their reliability.
Lastly, ACE Solar ensures a seamless experience for homeowners by managing the entire installation process. The company employs some of the most durable and energy-efficient panels and inverters available, primarily from LG and SolarEdge. Both these brands come with a 25-year equipment warranty, ensuring system longevity.
ACE stands out with its full suite of financing options, making solar power more attainable for New Hampshirites. Additionally, they operate a $250 referral program, rewarding customers who refer others to their services.
Conclusion: Is Solar Worth It? A Fresh Look at Solar Panels New Hampshire
It's clear that New Hampshire isn't letting a few clouds dim its solar potential. Even with its less-than-tropical climate, the state is showing it's possible to catch rays and convert them into an abundant source of energy, reaping a host of environmental, economic, and real estate benefits.
Sure, the initial investment can seem daunting, but with the cost of PV installations on a steady downswing, attractive incentives on offer, and the potential for significant long-term savings, solar is turning out to be a bright idea. Plus, with the right research and a reliable local installer, making the switch to solar becomes less of a chore and more of an adventure.