Solar Companies in Maryland-Costs and Recommendations
As heating and cooling costs rise, many people look to alternatives when it comes to keeping their home or business comfortable. Solar panels continue to increase in popularity for a variety of reasons. As a person goes to make the important decision regarding whether solar panels are right for their needs, several questions come to mind. The following guide provides answers to many of these questions along with some a person might not know they should ask.
What is the Cost of Solar Panels in Maryland?
As of December 2021, the average person pays between $10,941 and $13,372 for solar installation. This breaks down to between $2.46 and $3.01 per solar watt. The price varies by the owner’s location, roof, and power usage. Men and women should recognize these estimates don’t consider any credits or incentives available to help offset the cost. Furthermore, they may secure a loan to help offset the cost. The money saved on energy bills each month can help repay the loan.
The federal government offers a resident solar energy credit that a person may use on their federal income taxes. To qualify for this tax credit, the owner must place the system in service during the tax year in which they claim the credit. The IRS states the installation must be complete for the system to be placed in service.
Congress extended this credit in December 2020. Homeowners who place their system in service in 2022 receive a 26 percent tax credit. This percentage drops to 22 percent in 2023, and the credit expires in 2024 unless Congress extends it again. There is no limit on how much a homeowner can claim for the credit.
Why Go Solar?
Individuals need to know of incentives offered for those installing solar panels on their homes or businesses. In addition to the federal tax credit, Maryland offers additional benefits to those who choose to take this step. According to https://www.energybillcruncher.com/incentives/MD, homeowners and businesses benefit from the following programs.
- Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) remain stringent. They state 20 percent of all energy offered by public utilities in the state must come from sustainable sources, including solar. If the utilities fail to meet this deadline, the state penalizes them. To meet the standard, Maryland allows public utilities to purchase energy from their customers in addition to producing it. Homeowners with solar panels benefit from this, as the utilities offer solar incentives to those who help them avoid the penalty.
- Electric rates in Maryland place it in the top 25 percent in terms of how much consumers pay. Adding a solar collection system benefits the owner as they save on their energy bills and may sell excess energy to the utilities.
- Maryland rewards homeowners who switch to solar with a grant upon completion of the installation. Individuals find they can combine the grant with credits and incentives to lower the cost of the system and make it more affordable.
- State tax credits reduce the amount a person pays in taxes rather than coming off as a deduction from taxable income. The state allows homeowners to include this credit for their primary residence and a vacation home. The credit remains available whether the home in question is an existing structure or new construction.
- Property tax exemptions encourage many homeowners to install solar panels in Maryland. The system increases the value of the property, but the state doesn’t take the system into consideration when determining the value of the residence for property tax purposes.
- Performance-based incentives (PBIs) rely on the actual metered performance of a solar energy system. Maryland refers to these PBIs as solar power performance payments and determines the amount of the payments based on the number of kilowatt-hours or BTUs generated. They credit the homeowner in the form of solar renewable energy credits or SRECs.
Solar Panel Installation Options
More than 35 companies today provide solar panel installation services in Maryland.
Nova Solar (https://www.novasolarinc.com/) receives five stars from customers routinely. This company maintains offices throughout northern and central Virginia and carries out jobs in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The company strives to provide customers with energy solutions that are cost effective and sustainable while minimizing the financial and environmental burdens on communities. It brings over 15 years of experience in the industry to each installation, repair, or service it completes. Customers know they will get the best value when it comes to materials and top-quality service when working with this provider.
To ensure they do the job right, Nova Solar requires every job to have a NABCEP certified professional on site. The team refuses to cut corners, as they know a quality job will last 30 years or more. They build every system to last.
Customers rave about the outstanding work this company does and love the products it installs. The company handles all tasks associated with the process, including getting permits and cleaning up when they finish. As a result, customers find them a pleasure to work with on any job.
Solar Energy Services
Solar Energy Services (SolarSaves.com), located at 1514 Jabez Run, Millersville, Maryland, 21108, maintains an excellent reputation in and around Maryland. Roger Perry founded the company in 2006 and later brought on partner Rick Peters. Roger started in the solar field in 1978 and worked his way up, tackling different jobs in the process. Today, they not only design and install solar power systems, but they repair and maintain systems from companies no longer in the industry, something many of their competitors will not do.
In the past 15 years, Solar Energy Service has assisted over 18,000 residential customers and 2,450 commercial clients. They have installed over 12,000 solar panels and help clients maintain and repair them as needed. Customers know they can count on the team’s integrity and experience. The company’s goal is to provide every customer with innovative solar solutions that fit their budget.
Solar Energy Services’ mission continues to be to supply customers with thoughtful designs as well as safe and dependable installation of solar energy systems. They bring expertise to every customer interaction while providing effective ongoing system support. The company remains focused on maximizing the value of a customer’s or client’s solar energy assets at all times.
Jared Littman reached out to Solar Energy Services in 2012 to learn more about solar options for his business. The company installed solar panels on the roof of K&B True Value. For nine years, the business benefited from the free energy generated. In 2021, Littman approached the company to expand his solar contributions. Solar Energy Services replaced his system for much less than he paid for the original system, and the store not only supplies all of its own power but power for some of its neighbors as well.
This company receives high marks on Google and Yelp as well as sites dedicated to reviewing solar panel installation firms. Most reviews have nothing but complimentary things to say about the firm. One customer left a negative review, and the company responded in a polite and fair way to share their side of the story. Many organizations would not take the time to do so, and they do this with every review they receive. This helps Solar Energy Services stand out in the crowd.
American Sentry Solar
Consumers may want to see the solar panels they are investing in before they make a purchase. American Sentry Solar understands this and has a showroom located at 221 Gateway Drive, Bel Air, Maryland, 21014 for this purpose. A personal solar coach works with each client to find the products that are right for their needs and budget, and this coach remains with the client until all work is done and the customer is satisfied.
The company provides a 25-year warranty on all products it sells. Furthermore, it gives back to the community because the team knows they wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of the community. They have chosen six organizations to support and donate $500 from every installation project to one of the organizations, which include the Wounded Warrior Project and Tunnel to Towers.
Joseph A. Tunney started in the solar industry in 1986 before founding his own company American Design and Build, Ltd. American Sentry Solar serves as the solar component of this organization, which has been named one of the top 500 remodeling firms in the country.
Customers comment on the reliability and honesty of the company. They say staff members are courteous, professional, and friendly. Furthermore, they speak of the outstanding products and service they receive when they choose to work with this provider. Any person wanting to have solar panels installed should put this company on the list of providers to learn more about.
ez Run , Millersville, Maryland 21108
Net Metering and Solar Panels
Customers using solar energy often find they produce more than they need. Net metering allows them to benefit from this process. What is net metering, and who benefits from it?
When a customer produces more energy than they use, they sell the excess energy to a utility provider. This billing mechanism provides the customer with credit for the energy they provide to the grid. The electricity meter runs in reverse to provide this credit against energy used when the owner’s energy demands exceed the output of the solar panel system, such as at night or when it is raining. As a result, the customer’s bill reflects their “net” energy usage. Approximately 20 to 40 percent of a system’s output makes it to the grid, on average, and the utility provider uses this excess energy to meet the needs of nearby customers.
However, some states and companies don’t use this method. They choose to collect the energy and calculate how much the customer uses in terms of energy and send them a check for any excess energy distributed to the grid.
Maryland uses the first method to calculate a customer’s bill. Any excess credits generated in a month are stored and used to offset a customer’s bill when they go above the output of their solar energy system. At the end of the 12-month period which occurs in April, the customer receives compensation for any credits they have not used.
Customers may generate up to 200 percent of their annual usage. Nevertheless, they receive compensation for any amount above 100 percent at a lower rate. How much can customers save on their energy bills with the help of net metering?
According to the Public Service Commission of Maryland, excess generation credit payouts for the 12-month period ending April 30, 2019, came in at over $2.9 million for both residential and commercial customers. Residential customers accounted for approximately $1.48 million, while commercial customers recouped approximately $1.4 million. As of June 30, 2019, Maryland had a net metering capacity of 754,226 kWh with 749,650 kWh coming from solar installations.
Maryland does place a cap on net metering. In order to be eligible for net metering, the system must provide less than 200 percent of the owner’s baseline electricity usage or the system must be less than two megawatts (MW). Systems that don’t meet one of these requirements remain ineligible for net metering at this time. Electric cooperatives and utilities operating in the state must allow eligible customers to participate in net metering until the total capacity of these systems within the state reaches 1,500 MW.
Solar Power Needs
Numerous factors play a role in the amount of solar power needed. This includes the size of the home or business, the number of occupants, hot water requirements, insulation, heating source, desired temperature, appliances to be powered by solar, and more. Electricchoice.com reports the average home in Maryland uses 1,031 watts every month. However, each home differs based on the variables above. For this reason, it’s best to visit https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ and enter specific information about your residence to learn about your solar requirements.
The site asks for an address when the solar panel installation will take place. It then determines the latitude and longitude of the property. Modify any inputs to run the simulation and adjust the parameters if necessary. The system then provides information about solar output, AC energy, and value. This provides more information about what size solar installation will be needed to run the home.
Low-wattage panels provide approximately 150 watts. High-wattage panels provide roughly 370 watts. A home that requires 11,000 kWh per year would therefore need between 17 and 42 panels to benefit from the peak sunlight hours of the day.
One thing commonly seen when people read reviews of solar panels is how the panels have exceeded the owner’s expectations. Professional and knowledgeable serve as two terms frequently heard when people speak of individuals working in this field, and customers love the ease of installation. Customers appreciate that companies readily share information on how they can finance the installation with the help of tax credits, grants, and more. It eases their mind as they make this investment in their home or business.
Energy costs continue to climb, leaving many homeowners and businesses concerned about the impact on their budgets. Alternative energy sources serve as an excellent solution because they are practical and benefit the planet. When a solar panel activates with the help of sunlight, the solar cells produce electrical currents. The system converts these currents into electrical energy that can be used to power a home or business. Maryland homeowners find they save money and do so in an environmentally friendly way with the help of solar energy.
Owners seem to love their solar panels, and dissatisfied reviews typically revolve around service complaints rather than the products.
To learn more about Maryland’s progress in its move to solar energy, visit https://energy.maryland.gov/Pages/Info/renewable/solar.aspx. On this site, one can find a wealth of information and helpful sites in their quest to learn more about this energy option. Take time to view the helpful documents and websites section to gather more information.
Solar panels have come a long way in the past decade. Thanks to the commitment of government officials across the country, the move to solar is rapidly taking place. As a result, more people want to know the options available to them. With this information, countless individuals will quickly see solar is the future and now is the time to act.