Extra Loudouners In search of Solar Energy for Houses – Loudoun Now

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Loudouners are more and more turning towards the solar to power their properties, and due to an area marketing campaign going solar is extra accessible than ever.

The nonprofit, Solarize Virginia, is holding a marketing campaign to supply free website assessments to find out if solar power is a viable choice for a home or enterprise, and facilitates set up at a fee 10% decrease than market worth.

And Solarize Program Director Katie VanLangen mentioned {that a} excessive quantity of inquiries is coming from Loudoun.

“It has been exponential. We have seen so much growth around the numbers in Northern Virginia since we launched in 2014. We’re really seeing a ton of interest from that area,” she mentioned, including that the group has accomplished over 700 installations.

The group is pushing for owners to put in solar tools earlier than the Solar Income Tax Credit drops from 26% to 22% on the finish of the 12 months. The Local Energy Alliance Program, or LEAP, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission are managing the marketing campaign, which offers Virginians with free training and website assessments to find out if solar power is a viable choice for a home or enterprise, and facilitates set up at a fee 10% decrease than market worth.

The program is utilizing two suppliers for the installations, Prospect Solar and Solar Energy World. Wyatt Thorpe, gross sales supervisor for Prospect Solar, mentioned the pandemic sparked an curiosity in solar power.

“I think there were a lot of people stuck at home and looking for different ways to spend their money and everyone was looking at what home improvements they could do,” he mentioned. 

And, he mentioned, with pure disasters enjoying out throughout the nation, persons are on the lookout for methods to be extra self-sufficient.

“Solar has really gotten into the zeitgeist of America with climate change being at the front of everyone’s minds. Not only that, but with the debacle that we saw in Texas with the power grid freezing,” he mentioned, referring to the 2021 disaster that left a lot of the state with out power for weeks. 

A Place within the Sun

VanLangen mentioned that viability for solar manufacturing is extremely variable attributable to orientation, shading, and roofing materials.

“We want to make sure they have southern facing roof exposure. So that could mean southeastern, southwestern, but really any kind of southern direction that their roof is facing, and minimal shading. We look for other objects like dormers that might decrease the production of the solar array. Not everyone has a home that’s good for solar,” VanLangen mentioned.

She mentioned that a few third of people that endure preliminary assessments don’t have a roof that might make going solar price efficient. 

VanLangen mentioned that she explored solarizing her trip home, however found it didn’t use sufficient power to make the funding worthwhile. 

She additionally mentioned that the influence of solar on a utility invoice is extremely variable.

“I know one person who spends about $500 a month powering a large home. They might see their bill go down to $200,” she mentioned. “I had one person email me last week excitedly though who said their bill was like $7.”

Nate McCallum put in solar panels on his Leesburg home a number of years in the past. He mentioned that the panels powered sufficient of the 5,000 sq. foot home to chop his month-to-month electrical invoice in half.

“There’s an app, so if you’re a techie geek, you can check how much power you’re making and using every month,” he mentioned.

If a home’s panels produce extra power than the home makes use of in a month, its meter will likely be credited the power for one more month. VanLangen gave the instance of a household vacationing for the month of August, forgoing use of air-con and home equipment. The worth of the unused solar power may very well be credited to the December electrical invoice, when the solar isn’t as robust and panels aren’t producing as a lot power.

The extra power produced is returned to the power grid to power neighboring properties.

“Some people want to go solar because they’re concerned about the environment and they’re not concerned about the cost at all. But for most folks, cost does play some role in the decision-making process,” she mentioned. 

While most home-owner’s associations have some tips for solar tools set up, Thorpe mentioned corporations usually deal with acquiring permits.

“While it’s not the quickest process to work through the bureaucratic red tape, we provide that white glove service,” Thorpe mentioned.

Federal Tax Credit to Expire

VanLangen mentioned folks really feel a way of urgency to go solar earlier than the top of the 12 months to comprehend the 26% federal tax credit score. The tax credit score has been in place since 2005 however will lower to 22% in 2023 earlier than ending in 2024. After that, solely companies can obtain a federal tax credit score, and just for 10% of prices.

She mentioned that installations organized by means of LEAP vary from $10,000 to $25,000 a home, which saves owners $2,600- $6,500 on their federal earnings taxes. 

McCallum mentioned that the tax profit was a large incentive for him in his choice to go solar. 

A research by Zillow in 2019 discovered that properties with solar panels promote for 4.1% greater than comparable properties with out solar power. That’s a development each McCallum and Thorpe can testify to after promoting their very own properties in Loudoun County.

Thorpe bought his Leesburg home in April 2022, and mentioned that of 11 individuals who toured the home, 10 of the possible consumers mentioned that the solar panels have been a fascinating amenity.

“That one person was just concerned about the loan,” Wyatt mentioned.

Wyatt mentioned that financing is a well-liked choice for a lot of clients. He financed his home’s $20,000 solar set up with a 20-year mortgage, and pays $75 a month.

“I was paying $120 a month in power before, so I’m still saving money even with the financing,” he mentioned. “Going solar is a mechanism that’s much more than environmentally motivated, to help people accomplish financial goals as well.”

The Solarize Virginia marketing campaign is accepting signups by means of June 30 for a free satellite tv for pc evaluation and entry to discounted costs. For extra info, go to solarizeva.org.

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