North Carolina Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives


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North Carolina solar panels

North Carolina is a national leader in solar power generation, ranking fourth in the nation as of January 2021. The state government has consistently taken steps to incentivize solar power infrastructure, making it easier and more attractive than ever for homeowners to install residential solar systems on their homes.

SaveOnEnergy makes it easy for North Carolina residents to learn about the benefits of solar energy. Keep reading to learn more about North Carolina solar power.

North Carolina solar panel cost

The cost of a solar system for your home depends on a variety of factors, including the size, configuration, and installation costs. On average, homeowners pay between $3 and $5 per watt for their residential systems, which comes to a total cost of anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. 

Remember that these numbers are the cost before any tax credits or rebates, which can reduce your upfront cost. Additionally, there are financing plans that can help you spread that cost out. The average payback period for a home solar system is between six and nine years.

Why choose North Carolina solar power?

Lower energy costs 

Installing solar panels on your property can lead to some serious cost savings. First, you can reduce your monthly energy bill by powering your home with solar energy instead. You’ll only have to pay for electricity when the sun isn’t shining.

A solar system can also increase the value of your home, providing a return on your investment when you sell your home. Data shows that solar panels can increase your home’s resale value by $15,000.

Establish energy independence 

Another perk of solar panels is that they can reduce your dependence on the electricity grid and help establish energy independence. As long as there’s sun, you won’t have to worry about power outages, or about paying too much for electricity during high demand times on the grid.

Go green

Investing in solar panels doesn’t just benefit your wallet — it also benefits the environment. Traditional electricity results in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, which are damaging to the environment. These emissions contribute to climate change and pollute the air and water.

By switching to green energy, at least part of the time, you’re reducing your home’s carbon footprint and doing your part to combat climate change.

North Carolina solar panel incentives or rebates

There’s no doubt that solar panels are a financial investment. Luckily, because of the positive environmental impact they have, the federal government and a variety of state and local governments have taken steps to incentivize green energy infrastructure.

First, the federal government offers a 22 percent tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels on their primary or secondary residence in 2021 or 2022. There’s no maximum amount you can claim, so you can take advantage of this tax credit regardless of the size of your home solar system.

There are also several incentives at the state level for solar panel installation. First, Duke Energy offers rebates to North Carolina customers who install solar systems on their property. Legislation enacted by the state government also allows cities and counties to offer low-interest loans for energy upgrades, including solar panels.

And you don’t have to worry about solar panels increasing your tax bill. North Carolina offers a property tax exemption to ensure that residential systems aren’t included in your property tax assessment.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

There are many financing options available when choosing a solar system for your home. You can choose to either purchase the solar panels outright or finance them over a number of years. But you can also choose to lease the panels, which requires a smaller upfront payment and monthly payments as long as you use the panels. Leasing can be tempting because it lowers your upfront cost and ensures you won’t be responsible for any maintenance issues that arise.

But there are some considerable downsides to leasing. First, leasing solar panels makes you ineligible for the 22 percent federal tax credit. Leasing also doesn’t allow you to recapture any of your investment in the future. Solar panels can increase the resale value by $15,000. But if you lease your system, they won’t increase its value, and may actually make your house more difficult to sell. You’ll have to find a buyer willing to take over the lease payments. Homeowners who buy their solar panels outright will save more over an extended period of time than those who lease them.

North Carolina solar panel companies

North Carolina offers a variety of solar panel companies that can help you harness the power of the sun. Many solar installers also provide customized options to ensure your solar system is optimized to meet your energy needs. If you’re ready to invest in solar panels in North Carolina, you can begin to research the available companies in your area. SaveOnEnergy is also here with guides, tips, and resources to help you navigate the solar industry.

The history of solar power in North Carolina

North Carolina’s journey to solar power began in 2003 with NC GreenPower, a statewide program designed to encourage the use of renewable energy. The program included payments for a variety of green energy forms, including solar, wind, and hydro. Over the next several years, the state passed a variety of initiatives aimed at increasing green energy use in the state.

Today, North Carolina is a leader in solar energy. As of January 2021, it ranks fourth in the nation, creating 563 thousand megawatt-hours, 6.6 percent of the nation’s solar energy. It falls behind only California, Texas, and Florida.

North Carolina has one of the highest rates of solar plants in the nation. Most of its solar energy comes from utilities, but it has a growing percentage coming from residential systems.

Important solar installation factors to consider

Investing in a solar system has many benefits, including potential cost savings and a positive environmental impact. But it’s important to consider all the factors before making your decision. Here are a few things to consider before installing your solar system:

  • The state and angle of your roof: Solar panels may not be a suitable investment for older roofs that will need to be replaced soon. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy says that south-facing roofs with slopes of 15 to 40 percent will have the best results.
  • The amount of sun you get: Solar systems can be an excellent investment in areas where the amount of sun will allow you to save a considerable amount on your electric bill. But for those in often cloud-covered areas may not see the same level of benefits.
  • Your neighborhood HOA rules: You may still be allowed to install solar panels if you have an HOA, but you should confirm whether they’re allowed and if you need approval before you can install them. 

North Carolina solar power FAQs

How much would solar cost in North Carolina?

The average cost for a residential solar system is about $3 – $5 per watt, which comes to between $15,000 and $25,000. Remember that amount is before any tax credits or rebates, so your actual cost could be lower.

Is solar power a good investment in North Carolina?

Investing in solar panels for your home can be a good investment for several reasons. First, solar panels can significantly reduce your electricity costs, so you immediately begin to see a return on your investment. A solar system can also increase the value of your home by roughly $15,000, which can fully cover your initial cost if you eventually sell your home.

How much could I save by investing in solar?

The amount you’ll save by using solar power will depend on a variety of factors, such as your current electricity rates and the amount of sunshine your home gets. The more sun you get, the more you’ll save. Additionally, those that pay higher electricity rates will save more when they’re using solar power. You can use a utility rate database to estimate how much you might save.

Where can I find a good solar panel installer in North Carolina? 

There are many good solar panel installers in North Carolina, so it’s important to do your research before signing a contract with one. Ask for references, read customer testimonials, and look into the company’s history ahead of time. SaveOnEnergy is also here with guides to help you understand the solar power industry.

How does solar power help the environment?

Solar power doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gasses like traditional energy sources do. By installing solar panels on your property, you’re reducing your home’s carbon footprint and helping to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

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