New Mexico Solar Panel Incentives
Why go solar in New Mexico?
The state of New Mexico has some of the coolest place names (Truth or Consequences? Cloudcroft? Silver City? Come on man) in the country, and some of the most progressive solar policies of any state. Let’s take a look at some of the many reasons you might consider going solar in the land of enchantment:
- Net Metering- The state of New Mexico has excellent net metering laws, which basically means that the state mandates the way utility companies must monitor the amount of energy your solar panels produce and feed back into the grid. This is what allows you to “sell” electricity back to the utility, thereby earning you credits toward future electric bills, or in some cases even cash payments for the electricity you produce.
- Interconnection Standards- The statewide standards for interconnections that New Mexico has make it easier for solar installers to connect your system to the grid, and therefore help your installation go faster and cheaper.
- State Tax Credit- 10% of your purchase & installation price of a solar panel system can be used as a credit on your state income tax liability, up to $9000. And it’s important to note, this is not just a “write off”- this is an actual credit toward the amount you have to pay in state income taxes. So if you owe $10,000, and your 10% is $2,000, then you only owe $8,000. This is especially good for businesses that will likely owe money at the end of the year. This is one of the best solar panel incentives in any state.
- PBIS- Performance Based Incentives are a way to reward solar customers who feed power back into the grid. These rewards usually come in the form of SRECs (solar renewable energy credits) that appear on your electric bill as credits toward future electric bills where you draw more power from the grid than you feed back in. Basically, we’re talking about free electricity.
- Sales Tax Exemption- You are exempt from all state income taxes when purchasing and installing solar panels and related equipment. State sales tax in New Mexico is 5% as of this writing, which means you could potentially save as much as $700 or more on your solar installation.
- Property Tax Exemption- Your property value cannot be reassessed for tax purposes due to the improvement of adding a solar panel system. In other words, by state law your property taxes cannot go up due to the addition of solar panels.
- Federal Tax Credit- Lest we forget, the federal government still offers a credit of 26% of your solar installation off of your federal income tax liability, which is a potential savings of thousands of dollars.
- The Future of Renewable Energy in New Mexico- It seems entirely likely that the state of New Mexico will pass more legislation slanted toward environmental causes in the very near future. The Climate Solutions Act, which stated that carbon emissions would need to be cut in half by 2030, will likely be reintroduced in 2022. This would of course lead to massive changes in how energy is produced, likely leading utilities (and the state) to offer even more incentives for customers to go solar.
- Increase in home value- Solar panels are universally recognized as something that increases the value of a home from anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000. And while some buyers aren’t concerned about whether or not a home has solar panels, some will be, and this can not only increase the value of the home, but can (and usually does) lead to the home selling faster than homes without solar panels.
- New Mexico Climate- Solar panels operate best when it is sunny and at or below 77 degrees fahrenheit. And while many parts of New Mexico may climb way above 77 degrees in the hot parts of the year, some parts don’t. And almost universally, New Mexico is sunny, averaging 278 sunny days a year in most parts of the state. So even though the heat may be a little more than you want with solar panels, you can’t beat the amount of sunlight you’re going to get there, and your solar panels will produce year-round.
How much do Solar Panels cost in New Mexico?
Solar panels in NM are maybe a little cheaper than in most parts of the country at $2.40 – $2.70 per watt. Solar panels are typically sold in 250 watt increments, so they cost something like $600-675, and a normal home needs somewhere between 20 and 28 panels to be fully self-sufficient from the grid. All in all, your panels are going to cost between $12,000 and $19,000, but there are numerous incentives and rebates in place that reduce this cost by potentially thousands of dollars.
What is the “payback” period in New Mexico for Solar Panels?
When we speak about “payback periods” we’re talking about how long it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves, via rebates, incentives, PBIS, SRECs and all those other fun programs. New Mexico has a pretty quick turnaround period of 10 to 10.5 years, which is faster than about half the other states in the country. And after those panels have paid for themselves? You’re essentially putting money in your pocket each month with the energy you generate for free and the power your put back into the grid to receive credits toward future bills.
Solar Companies in New Mexico
So for the purposes of this article, we’re just going to look at some of the top solar companies in the state of New Mexico, but by no means are we trying to provide a comprehensive list. Keep in mind when trying to find a solar installer that many companies will be willing to travel a long way, perhaps across the state.
Company: Affordable Solar
Address: 4840 Pan American, Albuquerque, NM 87109
Years in Business: 23
Reviews: 4.6 / 5 Solar reviews (79 reviews), 4 / 5 Yelp (14 reviews), 4.8 / 5 Angi (39 reviews), 4.6 / 5 Birdseye (182 reviews), 4.5 / 5 Facebook (61 reviews)
Business Quote: Affordable Solar currently employs more than 50 people and, based off of David’s entrepreneurial spirit, continues to be innovative and on the cutting-edge in the solar PV industry.
The Good: Great review and a whole lot of them to look at, no BBB complaints, great website
The Bad: I can find nothing bad to say about this business
Summary: This company looks to be on the ball in every way imaginable. I can’t find anything negative to say about them. They appear to be based in Albuquerque, but have a considerably large coverage area that seems to cover most of the state. So by all means, take a look at these people if you are considering a solar installation anywhere in the state.
Company: Solar Works Energy
Address: 500 Marquette Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Years in Business: 6
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (1 review), 4.5 / 5 Birdseye (84 reviews), 4 / 5 Facebook (10 reviews)
Business Quote: olar Works Energy is committed to offering the best product and the best experience to our customers in the industry. Please see our extensive customer reviews on Google and give us a call to see exactly what solar can do for you.
The Good: Great website, lots of FAQs and videos, positive reviews, no BBB complaints.
The Bad: 6 years in business, a handful of really bad reviews about them out there.
Summary: Solar works seems to be an up and coming company. They have a good web presence and a big coverage area that goes all the from way Texas to Utah, so if you’re anywhere in northern New Mexico they’ll likely come to you. There are a few really ugly reviews out there about them however, so it’s possible their aftercare isn’t all that good. But by all means, check them out and make your own decision.
Company: Poulin Solar Pro
Address: 8600 Pan American Fwy NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Years in Business: 38 (sort of)
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (1 review), 4.7 / 5 ChamberofCommerce.com (48 reviews), 4.8 / 5 Birdseye (48 reviews)
Business Quote: Poulin Solar Pro is the #1 Solar Installer in New Mexico*.Solar Pro at the Poulin Design Center is located in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, providing quality solar panel installation. * According to Solar Reviews, the nation’s leading, independent source for solar companies.
The Good: Lots of good reviews, 38 years in the business
The Bad: A few complaints with the BBB
Summary: A lot of years in business, Poulin appears to have started a solar division at some point. They have a lot of really good reviews and there’s virtually nothing negative out there about them.
Address: 3212 Richards Ln, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Years in Business: 12
Reviews: 2.6 / 5 Birdseye (5 reviews), 5 / 5 Facebook (2 reviews)
The Good: Very nice website
The Bad: Not a lot of reviews available out there, and half of them are aren’t good.
Summary: The majority of the big solar companies in New Mexico seem to be based in Albuquerque, but Amenergy seems to be based in Santa Fe. They have 12 years in the business, but hardly any web presence. Their reputation isn’t immaculate at this point but the company may be good. Just check them out thoroughly before taking the plunge.
New Mexico has some of the best and most incentives for going solar. The state itself is pushing hard for its residents to get into the solar business, and if you’re financially able to make a long term commitment, your panels can pay for themselves in a fairly short amount of time. So if you’re considering going solar, this is one place where you won’t regret it.