Solar Panels Omaha
What is the cost of Solar panels in Omaha?
Solar panels in Omaha are currently going for about $2.69 to $2.89 per watt. A typical solar panel is 250 watts, making the average price of a solar panel in Omaha right at about $700. A typical home is going to require something between 20 and 28 solar panels to be completely self-sufficient, so your cost for just solar panels will fall somewhere between $14,000 and $19,600 on a typical installation. And that is a lot of money, but your upfront cost will be mitigated drastically by various incentives and rebates that are available to solar customers.
What are the benefits of going solar?
Nebraska does not have as many incentives in place for citizens to add solar power, but they do have a few things going for them:
- State Net Metering Laws: Nebraska does require all its utilities to offer some form of net metering, however, the rules and regulations surrounding it are left purposefully vague, so while your utility must offer net metering, the way they do it is up to them. More on what net metering is later in this article.
- State Rebates: The state of Nebraska does offer some small rebates to residents who choose to go solar.
- State Tax Credit: The state of Nebraska does offer a credit on your state income taxes when installing solar panels. Your installer can help you apply for this credit.
- Federal Tax Credit- As much as 26% of the total cost of your solar power system can be deducted from your federal income tax liability.
- REAP (Rural Energy for America Program): Solar loans and grants are available through REAP for rural agricultural producers, such as many of the farmers in Nebraska. For more information on the REAP program, see usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/ne
How much will solar panels increase the value of my home in Omaha?
There are a lot of “rules of thumb” for figuring out how much solar panels will increase the value of your home. Some people say it is a flat 4%, others say it is $1 in value for every $20 in savings a solar panel system produces. Either way, however you figure it, the fact is that somes with solar panels usually sell faster than similar homes without them, and you can probably expect an increase of $10,000 to $20,000 in value, depending on the age and size of your solar power system.
What are the Effects of Net Metering on a Solar System?
It is through net metering that your utility company can measure not only your own energy producing and usage, but it can also measure the amount of energy you draw from the grid vs. the energy that you put back into it. By measuring how much energy you put into the grid, your utility company can award you “credits” toward future energy usage, usually in months where you pull more power from the grid than you put in. In this way, your solar panels will eventually “pay” for themselves by not only saving you money on your electric bill but by giving you credits toward future electric bills.
How much solar power do I need to power my home?
Every home and user is going to be different, but on average you’re going to need something between 20 and 28 solar panels, or 5000 to 7000 watts of power. Your solar provider will be able to give you a better or more specific idea of how much you’ll need by looking at your past electric bills and your specific circumstances, IE: size of your home, number of residents, etc.
What is the “Payback” period for Solar Panels in Nebraska?
The “payback” period for solar panels is how long they take to “pay” for themselves through tax breaks, rebates, incentives, savings on bills, etc. Current estimates suggest that in Nebraska, solar panels will “pay” for themselves in as few as 10 years. This is a long time, but think about it like this- once they have “paid” for themselves, they are doing nothing but earning you money or credits for the duration of their lives, which could be a very long time.
How long do solar panels last?
Most commercial solar panels last for 25 to 30 years. Additionally, many solar panels have a warranty of 20-25 years, which means that they will last at least that long or the company should replace or repair them. That means that your investment will be with you for a very long time, usually 20 years at a minimum, which is far longer than the “payback” time in most places, so you can expect many years of “free” energy from your solar panels long after they’re paid for.
Things to look for in a solar company:
So you may be wondering what to look for in a solar company. It’s a huge investment, and you’d be wise to take your time considering which company to work with. Here’s a few key things to consider:
Time in industry: Obviously, the longer the better. Though there are certainly many great companies with limited experience, the longer a company has been in an industry the stronger your confidence is going to be that they know what they’re doing and have the wisdom to handle just about any problem that may arise.
Types of panels: Without going into a lot of detail right here, just know there are a lot of different kinds of solar panels. I’ll explain more about the different types later in the article, but just know that not all companies feel comfortable working with all types of panels, so make sure your company uses the kind of panels you want.
Payment options: Some companies don’t offer any payment options, while others do. Unless you’re prepared to go get a loan on your own or write a check for the full amount, make sure the company you’re using has some form of in-house financing before making a commitment to go ahead with the installation.
Warranties: Not all companies offer warranties, and some that do do not cover manufacturer defects or replacements. Always inquire about a company’s warranty policies before going forward with a solar installation, to make sure you don’t end up with any nasty surprises down the road.
Reviews: Maybe the most important evaluation tool that we have available today is internet reviews. Sure, some people are going to get mad over a misunderstanding and leave a bad review on the internet, but if you scan the majority of reviews, you can get a pretty good idea of how people feel about the work a company does.
Types of Solar Panels & inverters
So obviously solar panels are the heart of any solar power system. There are two basic kinds of solar panels that are generally used on home installations-
1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels- These are smaller and work with less direct sunlight, and they tend to use sunlight more efficiently, and they usually last longer. However, they also are the more expensive option.
2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels- These panels are bigger and a good option for consumers with more space available, whether on their roof or on the ground. They are cheaper but also don’t last as long.
Inverters are the devices that convert solar energy into usable electricity. There are three basic kinds of inverters usually used in home solar panel installations:
- String inverters- These are your standard inverters, they work well with direct sunlight and little shade. String inverters are standard in the industry and are the least expensive option.
- Micro-inverters- Perform well in shade, are able to be monitored individually, and make it easier and cheaper to increase power needs. They are more expensive, however.
- Power Optimizers- These are the medium option in terms of cost & efficiency
How does weather affect solar panels?
Before making a final decision on solar panels, you may want to consider the weather in your area. Some climates are more conducive to solar energy than others, though solar panels can work in most any environment to some degree. Here are a few things to consider about weather patterns and their effects on your solar energy system-
- Fog / cloud cover- Fog and clouds obviously blocks sunlight from reaching your solar panels, and though they are still producing, they may only produce 10 to 30% as much as they would on a sunny day.
- Rain- Besides the cloud cover, rain is actually good for solar panels as it helps wash off some of the grime and dirt that can accumulate over time.
- Snow- Snow presents an issue for solar panels as any accumulation of snow can block sunlight from reaching them.
- Temperature- Temperatures at or below 77 degrees are optimal for solar panels. For every degree above 77, efficiency drops an estimated 1%, while efficiency can rise below 77.
How do I get solar panels installed in Omaha?
There are several companies in the Omaha area that offer solar installation, though you shouldn’t limit your search to just local companies. Many companies are willing to travel hundreds of miles to perform installations, so be sure to look at companies not only in your immediate area but in any cities within a 2 or 3 hour radius, such as Sioux City, Lincoln or Des Moines. For the purposes of our article, however, we’re going to focus on the immediate Omaha area, so here’s a few you may want to look at:
Company: Solar Heat and electric
Address: 7342 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68114
Years in Business: 39
Reviews: 5 / 5 Birdseye (2 reviews), 5 / 5 Facebook (1 review)
Business Quote: “All across the great plains, there is a sunny change in attitude towards solar energy. “
The Good: 39 years in business! BBB accredited, A+ rating, no complaints with BBB
The Bad: Very limited web presence
Summary: Pretty standard looking solar company- nothing really super bad or positive to say here, they certainly are worthy of your consideration as your preferred solar company
Company : Sunpro Solar
Address: 11710 Stonegate Cir, Omaha, NE 68164
Years in Business: 11
Reviews: 1 / 5 Yelp (1 review),
Business Quote: “ When was the last time the old electric grid worked in your favor? Outages, rising costs, lack of control — electricity that relies on fossil fuels falls short every time.”
The Good: 11 years in business
The Bad: A- rating with BBB, LOTS of BBB complaints
Summary: Sunpro is a national company, which means you’re going to get a standardized product and price, but you also may not get the attention you might get from a local company. They have a LOT of complaints with the BBB, but they seem to have tried to respond to those complaints, and you have to expect complaints with a national company. With Sunpro, you at least know what you’re getting, so don’t be too scared by the complaints, at least give them a look.
Company: Great Plains Renewables
Address: 1209 Harney St Ste 200, Omaha, NE 68102
Years in Business: 5
Reviews: 3.8 / 5 Solar Reviews (1 review), 5 / 5 Facebook ( 1 review)
Business Quote: “Great Plains Renewables is the energy solution you need if you are interested in saving money while simultaneously cutting back on your carbon footprint. “
The Good: Offers a veteran discount
The Bad: Does have 1 complaint with the BBB
Summary: Great Plains appears to be a new company joining the growing solar industry in Nebraska, they seem to emphasize the possibilities in agricultural uses for solar power and they proudly point out their veteran discount. They do have one complaint against them with the BBB, but that’s something that may be able to be overlooked. Don’t miss out on this company, they seem to be on the right track and have a lot going for them.
Company: Solarcon Renewables
Address: 12111 Anne St, Omaha, NE 68137
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 / 5 Angi (1 review), 3.7 / 5 Facebook (3 reviews)
Business Quote: –
The Good: Pretty logo
The Bad: Not sure this company is still open
Summary: I cannot confirm that this company is actually still open. The only website I can find for them is their facebook page, and I don’t see where it has been updated since 2016. So either this company is severely slacking in their social media or they are defunct.
Company: GC Revolt
Address: 5653 S 186th Ave, Omaha, NE 68135
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 / 5 Google Reviews (1 review)
Business Quote:” The primary purpose of GC ReVOLT is to move forward alternative energy development at a more aggressive rate in the Heartland, in order to more quickly deal with increasing volatile climate conditions. “
The Good: Seems like a really “hip” company
The Bad: Can’t find a lot out there about them
Summary: This company has a really great website, one of the best I’ve seen with a solar company. There’s tons of information on the site and they seem like a very forward thinking company.
Nebraska isn’t well known for its sun, but it is actually on par with some of the sunnier states in the union. Couple that with the fact that the climate in Nebraska trends away from super hot temperatures and you’ll face very few overly shady areas on the wide open plains, and you have a good environment for solar energy. While Nebraska doesn’t have the greatest incentives available, solar there is more affordable than in many parts of the country and your payback period is among the shortest in the U.S. So if you’re on the fence, get off of it and go solar.