Maryland is ahead of the game in the solar industry. The state offers great incentives and net metering to homeowners that go solar. Maryland also gets more than enough sunlight to power the average home. There are many reasons why you may want to go solar as a Maryland homeowner.
Electricity rates are on the rise. In Maryland, rates have been increasing by 78% since 2002.* When you go solar you may avoid the rate volatility. You may avoid higher rates from the grid if you produce your own energy. If you have batteries, you may be able to save even more because you can avoid grid energy altogether.
Be prepared for outages
Many homeowners decide to go solar to protect themselves against power outages. Whether you want to have uninterrupted power or you are preparing for a worst case scenario, know solar has you covered. As long as you have a system with batteries you can keep your lights on, even when the grid is down. Your dealer can help you determine what batteries are the best fit for you.
Preserve Maryland’s outdoors
The mid-Atlantic oasis is filled with beautiful outdoor scenery. Maryland homeowners looking to preserve the outdoors usually turn to solar. Going solar helps reduce your home’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2. By going solar you are directly fighting the climate crisis and pollution levels.
Have predictable payments
You may have noticed that your utility bills vary each month, mostly because you do not use the same amount of energy every month. If you go solar, you can expect less volatility. If you offset your energy consumption, you will only have a minimum bill with your utility. Then you only have to worry about your monthly solar payment, which won’t change during the duration of your loan.
Invest in your home
One of the reasons many choose to go solar is to invest in their home and build equity. The average Maryland home is worth $341,148, that’s a 8.5% annual increase from last year.* Keep up with the rising market and put money into your home instead of your utility company.**
Solar incentives in Maryland*
Maryland’s Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program (“R-CERP”) offers $1,000 if you and your system fulfill the requirements. You can also take advantage of the property tax exemption and solar tax exemption to not pay property taxes on the added home value from solar or sales tax on your solar installation costs. Maryland net metering is offered by both Pepco and Semco. Net metering in Maryland pays you a one-to-one credit for the electricity your solar system supplies to the grid. This means that you get paid back at the same rate that you are charged when you pull power from the grid. Net metering is required by the state until 1,500 MW is reached. Maryland’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program allows you to sell excess energy back to participating utilities.
Maryland homeowners are also eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).*** The ITC allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
Going solar is a big decision, and although there are many factors you should consider, local weather shouldn’t be a deterrent. Solar panels are designed to work in almost any type of weather… even snow and clouds!
There are sunny days ahead for solar. The more sun you have access to, the longer your panels work during the day. Your panels work best at converting energy when sun rays shine directly at them. The more energy you produce, the more excess you may be able to send back to the grid. Take advantage of the excess through net metering and other incentive programs.
As the rain pours down, your panels will continue to be hard at work. Solar panels will work with reflected or partially blocked sun rays to keep your home powered. Your production is linked to the amount of clouds. Rain will have some effect on your production, but the rays will still penetrate through the rain. It may actually help keep your panels working efficiently as they wash away any dust or dirt.
It is a misconception that panels don’t work on cloudy days. The best way to know how much the clouds affect your system’s performance is to monitor your system on sunny days and compare. Your system may actually be more efficient without the excess heat. This is because solar systems prefer the cold! The sun’s rays are still able to penetrate through cloudy skies and keep your system running.
Amazingly enough, even when covered in snow a solar system can still produce power! Scattered light filters through snow and reaches solar panels even when the snow cover is fairly heavy. Your solar panels may actual be more efficient in light snow. Cold weather helps them perform better, and usually snow slides right off. Power production may be reduced with heavier snowfall, but your system can still produce.
Solar panels are highly reliable and sturdy, they hardly notice your average winds. In most cases, damage from wind will be due to weakened roofs, not solar panels. This is why we assess your roof condition and reccomend any repairs prior to installing your system. In the event that higher winds cause an outage in the grid, you will still have power if you have batteries with your system.
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*This information is current as of May 5, 2021 and figures are approximations. Customers are encouraged to check with their local utility providers for the most up to date and accurate information.
**We advise you to consult with the appropriate professionals (including, but not limited to, your solicitor or attorney, accountant, CPA, CGA, or any other financial or legal advisor) for the implications of any information contained in our website and in any link you access through our website.
***You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.