Here Comes the Sun!
Posted by VIBE Realty on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 at 12:20pm.
With Earth Day quickly approaching, we sat down with Becca Wingenbach, Regional Sales Manager at All Energy Solar to learn more about solar panels and how to create a more energy efficient home.
Q: For homeowners in Minneapolis and St. Paul, what is the average cost of solar panel installation?
A: It’s impossible to set a one-size-fits-all price on solar installation. Each property has its own energy needs and design configurations to consider. The only way to find out how much solar panels could cost for your property is to get a custom evaluation. With that being said, on average most residential projects run between $20,000-$40,000.
Q: What are the expected tax savings and/or income earned once solar panels are installed?
A: There are federal, state and local incentives available for those that install solar on their property. Currently, the federal income tax credit (ITC) is 30% of the total system cost. Net metering is a Minnesota-mandated policy that allows people with a solar power system on their property to receive a credit on their electric bill for the excess energy they produce. There can also be other local or utility incentives available as well, which contribute towards additional savings.
Q: How quickly could an interested homeowner have their solar panels installed?
A: Of course, it can depend on the complexity of the project, the time of year, and the utility servicing the home. However, for residential customers, the process usually takes about 4-6 months on average from the time we proceed with a project to the switch-on date of the new system. The actual installation on site usually only takes 2-4 days for an average-sized residential home, but this can vary by project.
Q: Is there anything specific a home must have (kind of roof, etc.) to be a good candidate for solar panels?
A: Yes, there are a few specific qualifications we are looking for in order for a home to be a good candidate for solar. If your roof gets a fair amount of sun and is not shaded by many trees or other surrounding homes or buildings, that's a great start! The more sun access the better, especially on east, south and west-facing rooftops. Solar can be installed on most roof types, but you'll also want to make sure your roof is in good condition before proceeding with a solar panel installation.
Q: How do solar panels positively impact the energy efficiency of a home?
A: With a solar power system installed at your property, you have essentially created your own personal power plant. You are able to generate the energy needed for your home, right from your rooftop! The sun shines down on the solar panels and creates direct current (DC) energy. A device connected to the solar panels called an inverter then transforms this DC power into the alternating current (AC) we use as electricity. From there, the electricity produced by solar panels enters our homes the same way electricity from the local power grid does.
Q: Do you have any other recommendations for how to make a home more energy efficient?
A: There are so many things you can do to make your home more energy efficient, with or without solar! Here is a short list to get you started:
1. Adjust your day-to-day behaviors
2. Replace your light bulbs
3. Use smart power strips
4. Install a programmable thermostat
5. Use energy-efficient appliances
6. Reduce water heating expenses
7. Install energy-efficient windows
8. Upgrade your HVAC system
9. Weatherize your home
10. Insulate your home
11. Wash your clothes in cold water when possible
12. Replace or clean your air filters
13. Use your toaster oven instead of your oven
14. Use natural light
15. Dress appropriately for the weather inside and outside
If you have questions about installing solar panels on your home, don't hesitate to reach out!