Rhode Island is a very suitable location for efficient solar power generation: the state averages 5 kWh of solar energy per square yard, which is more than Germany (a world leader for solar). Many Rhode Island homeowners go solar to reduce their energy bills and make a positive sustainability impact.
With solar, you can run on energy produced during the day, letting you avoid high peak rates. At night, you can avoid using energy from the grid if you have batteries that store excess energy produced by the solar system. By avoiding energy from the grid, you can help minimize your payment to your utility and even potentially earn through net metering.
Be prepared for outages
As the Rhode Island population increases, so do power outages. This can leave homeowners frustrated and out of options. By going solar and installing batteries, you can protect yourself from power outages. You can continue to power your home using any excess energy stored in the batteries on your system. Talk to your dealer about what batteries they recommend for your lifestyle and needs in case of an outage.
Preserve Rhode Island’s outdoors
The state is known for sandy shores and seaside towns. Help preserve its natural charm by acting sustainably. Solar systems help cut down on water over-consumption and pollution. They reduce hazardous gas emissions and preserve the environment. A solar system also decreases your dependency on fossil fuels.
Have predictable payments
If you are currently on a Time of Use (TOU) rate model, you may want to go solar. Electricity is more expensive at certain hours of the day or months of the year. If you use less energy than your system produces, this can help you lower how much you pay the utility. Then you can budget your monthly solar cost. This makes your monthly bills much more predictable.
Invest in your home
If you ask your neighbors, some of them may have already gone solar to build equity. Going solar may add value to your home and may help it become more attractive to potential buyers. The average Rhode Island home is currently valued at approximately $270,560, that is an 8.6% annual increase from last year. Keep up with the rising home values, especially if you want to sell in the future.**
Solar incentives in Rhode Island*
The Rhode Island sales tax exemption for renewable energy products includes all equipment and components in a solar energy installation, freeing you from paying solar sales tax. The Property tax exemption for renewable energy resources also prevents you from paying additional property taxes. Qualified homeowners can also take advantage of the Property Assessed clean Energy (PACE) program that allows you to repay your loan with property tax payments. Finally, the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) is a limited availability program that helps fund solar deployments, including for small scale projects that include single homes. The Renewable Energy Growth program by National Grid compensates solar owners for the electricity their system produces which is fed back into the grid. There are also be net metering available under certain utilities.***
Rhode Island 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 approximated.
**These figures are current as of May 5, 2021 and are only approximations.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.
***customers are encouraged to check with their local utility providers for the most up to date and accurate information on solar incentives and programs available
****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.