NV Solar Facts: What Reno Should Know in 2018

NV Solar Facts
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NV solar facts

The more informed Reno citizens are about NV solar power, the more they stand to benefit from it in 2018. In order to make a sound decision on solar, you need to be aware of where your state stands on the subject, and whether certain regulations will impede or promote your progress as a Reno resident interested in solar. Thankfully, Nevada has made some recent changes that have allowed solar to make a comeback. Knowing the facts about where Nevada stands with renewable energy will help you draw out the financial rewards and implications of purchasing solar.

State of Nevada Energy Rebates

Getting the most bang for your buck is always a plus. The best way to get the most out of your solar purchase is through your state and federal incentives, in addition to picking the best solar installer for your home. This will allow you to pay a fraction of the original cost of solar, making it an affordable option for many homeowners.

Nevada Solar Tax Credit

The most impressive solar incentive for homeowners right now is the federal tax credit. This is a tax credit that covers 30 percent of your system cost.

Getting this tax credit decreases your total cost for solar, and dramatically. Full-service companies like Go Solar Group will make sure all the paperwork behind this tax credit is complete so you can get the most out of your system with no hassle. So, don’t let the daunting concept of paperwork deter you from moving forward, as the best Reno solar installers will be able to handle that for you. 

NV Energy Solar Rebate

Nevada doesn’t have a state tax credit, but Reno, being a city in America, still can receive the federal tax credit. Despite this lacking of a state-based tax credit, Nevada does, however, have some energy rebates.

Nevada Energy Solar Incentive: Solar Generation’s Electric Incentive

This incentive program is based on your residential solar system size. If you have a system that generates below 25 kilowatts of electricity, you can qualify for their up-front incentives. They paid out $4.53 per watt in 2016, an impressive credit that we’d like to see increased this year. 

If your system produces between 25 and 500 kilowatts, then you qualify for the production-based incentive. In this program, you will get paid quarterly. In 2016, NV energy paid $2.83 per watt to qualifying customers.  

NV Energy Appliance Rebates

NV Energy has also put together a PowerShift rebate program. This program allows people that qualify to get free smart thermostats, air conditioner discounts, free energy assessments, energy saving tips, and various other commercial energy services.  

Nevada Solar Power Laws

Getting solar in Nevada is far easier than it was in recent years. This is largely due to one of three different solar power bills that were either passed or considered in 2017, which we enumerate upon below. 

Assembly Bill 405 Nevada

On June 15, 2017, the AB 405 was approved by the Governor, Brian Sandoval. This bill establishes protections for individuals using renewable energy. It also reversed past laws against net metering, which brought the solar spotlight back to its rightful place in Nevada. 

In essence, this bill has allowed what was once a flourishing industry to reenter the market. This change is largely due to Nevadans taking a stand against the policy, signaling that Sandoval and his state-based administration keep their ear to the street, and listen to consumers’ suggestions, even if they combat previous pieces of legislation. 

NV Energy Net Metering Agreement

Because of this new bill, Nevadans now have the option to opt into renewable energy and be credited for the electricity they send to the grid. Although not as good as their net metering system once was for solar customers, it is now wholly viable and worthwhile at both the residential and commercial level. 

2018 rates have been set, but as more solar arrays are installed these rates will change. It is important to note that 2018 rates are subject to change at NV Energy’s discretion. The good news is that NV Energy is now paying solar customers for the extra energy that they are putting onto the grid.  

2 Clean Energy Bills That Didn’t Make the Final Cut

Although Nevada made a big leap in terms of bringing two bills to the floor, neither passed, and the tide for these bills is yet to turn. However, amendments and new bills are always ready to be passed, and more are likely soon to come.

Assembly Bill 206

This Clean Energy bill proposed that Nevada increase its renewable energy goal to 40 percent by 2030. Although this bill was passed by the Senate, the governor vetoed it on June 16, 2017.

This bill would have increased the current state renewable portfolio standard by 15%. It also allowed qualified energy storage devices to count double toward their new goal. This would have increased Nevada’s use of energy storage devices and decreased the amount of energy being put onto the grid.

However, this bill may see a resurgence, hence it’s relevance for the year 2018.

Senate Bill 392

This bill would have established a 200-megawatt community solar program by 2023. This Bill was made in an effort to make solar credits for rooftop solar and community solar gardens equal in both practice and theory. 

In Governor Sandoval’s statement, he stated that although he sees AB 405 as a beneficial prospect for Nevada, he was unsure if SB 392 would be compatible. The Governor was also concerned about passing new energy legislation until after the Energy Choice Initiative is voted on for its second approval in 2018, signaling that the decision on the Energy Choice Initiative will play a large role in informing Governor Sandoval’s solar policy formation moving forward. 

Residential Solar in Nevada

When it comes to getting solar for your home, there are a couple of factors that you will want to keep in mind. These will help you make a sound decision that you will feel good about years down the road.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to Reno NV Solar

It has been proven that large solar firms don’t always have the lowest price point. More often than not, large companies charge more for their brand than the product is worth.

Although big brands may have commodities that are considered top-of-line, that doesn’t mean that smaller companies don’t have comparable products and lower prices with high-quality bells and whistles. If price matters more to you, then the brand you will want to consider looking into should have other comparable options. You might find an excellent deal that fits your needs that you wouldn’t have found otherwise without doing your research. 

Nevada Solar Panel Module Manufacturers

When you buy your solar array, the efficiency of your system starts with your panels or modules. If you don’t have a good set of solar panels with a strong efficiency rating, you will need more panels to meet your electricity consumption standards, which will take up more room and potentially wear down your wallet more quickly.   

Taking the time to ask what type and brand of solar panel the company you are considering uses will give you an advantage. Knowing the type and brand of panel gives you the information you need to find out the quality of panel that they use, even if your installer is relatively unfamiliar with the product.  

Most solar panels have a 10-year manufacturer warranty. This covers damages and product malfunctions.

Solar panel manufacturers also normally have a 25-year performance guarantee of 80% to 90% of the panels original production. In order to make a fair comparison of this guarantee, you will want to know what the original efficiency rating of the panel was.

Why Solar Installation Matters in Reno

When you talk to different solar companies you will want to know who completes their system installations. If they go through a contractor, it will be to your benefit to look up their contractor and find out what quality of work they do and how best to get a hold of them. However, we recommend that you go with a company who does their own installs, as it creates streamlined performance standards among those in the company and creates a better channel of communication from customer to solar company. 

Just getting your panels temporarily removed while you re-roof your home can be a big hassle if you don’t know beforehand who actually completed your installation. The easiest way to avoid this is to go with a company that does their own installs. Making sure that you go with a company that can help you every step of the way is key to having a good experience with solar. 

Solar and Battery Backup Compatibility

You may not be planning on getting battery backup for your home, but there are several key reasons it’s worth considering not just in the city of Reno, but in the state of Nevada as a whole:

Save Your Reno Home from Shifting Net Metering Returns

You will save more money if net metering rates are shaved off even further in the state of Nevada, although that will be unlikely. The reason for this is that you will get to store and use power absorbed by your solar array at a later date with more battery backup capacity, instead of having to shoot it off to the grid and share it with your neighbors at declining rates of return.

Some General Battery Backup Considerations

There are several reasons why this may be the case. One of these is that you could be waiting until the prices for batteries drops. Whether you get a SolarEdge inverter or a Sunny Boy SMA inverter, both are compatible with battery backup options from Go Solar Group. 

If you are waiting out the battery backup market, it is important to note that not all solar arrays are compatible with battery backup. The reason why not all systems are compatible is because most people can’t afford it, though financing is available for these devices. 

If you are planning to upgrade your system down the road, you will want to make sure that your current system will work for your future plans. Going with a company that already installs battery backup will ensure that you are getting a system that will comply with your goals and the solar module as a whole. 

It is also important to note that there are other battery backup options available. Go Solar Group offers a free emergency battery backup from Goal Zero with each system they install.  

 

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We were impressed with this company right off the bat. And it was a distinct pleasure to have Ralph in our home to make the sale. Installation was neat and efficient. Only wish projected savings could have been a little more realistic, as it looks like it will take about 20 years, not 10, for the system to pay for itself. We're OK with that, because we like feeling just a little less dependent on the power company for our electricity.
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