The U.S has witnessed remarkable solar growth over the past decade. New Mexico benefits from lots of sunshine and great solar incentives which make the state one of the best places in the U.S. for homeowners to go solar. Albuquerque, like much of New Mexico, has strong sunlight totals in addition to below state average prices for solar panel installation. In this article we’ll explain why Albuquerque, New Mexico is a great spot for solar power and how Albuquerque homeowners can maximize their solar savings.
How much do solar panels cost in Albuquerque?
As of mid-2017, the average price for solar panels in Albuquerque was $3.59 per watt. Thus, since the typical system size in the U.S. is 5 kilowatts (5,000 watts), the average cost of a solar panel system in Albuquerque is $17,950 before any rebates or incentives.
While this price is low, it is also very competitive for the overall state of New Mexico. Prices for solar panel systems have dropped by over 64% in New Mexico over the past 5 years and homeowners are taking notice. Check out this comparison table of Albuquerque and state pricing for various system sizes:
Solar pricing table: Albuquerque compared to New Mexico
|System size||State average cost
| albuquerque average cost
The above table, which uses pricing data from solar quotes received by homeowners on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace over the last 12 months, offers a comparison of prices in New Mexico and Albuquerque for solar energy systems. As the data illustrates, typical solar prices in Albuquerque, New Mexico are significantly lower than the rest of the state.
New Mexico is an affordable and pragmatic places to install solar. But when you zero in on Albuquerque’s market and compare it to the rest of the state, the advantage for homeowners is even clearer. The good news for Albuquerque homeowners is that these low costs do not even incorporate the added benefit of net metering, offered throughout the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico’s net metering and other incentives
Every solar homeowner in New Mexico is eligible to participate in their utility’s net metering program. Net metering offers retail-value credits in exchange for every kilowatt-hour of solar electricity that is sent back to the grid. Those credits can be used whenever a homeowner or business needs more electricity than their panels are generating at a given time.
Other incentives include a tax credit if a homeowners installs solar as a part of sustainable building efforts on a home. In order to qualify, the home needs to be certified sustainable by the U.S. Green Building Council, and the value of the credit is determined by certification level. Homeowners could earn as much as $6.50 per square foot for having a sustainable solar home!
The extra value added to a home with solar panels is also exempt from property taxes in the state of New Mexico, meaning that the financial benefits of generating your own power won’t result in a higher tax bill.
How Albuquerque homeowners can save big with solar
Though Albuquerque residents are already seeing low solar prices with continued cost declines expected over the next five years, low prices aren’t necessarily the biggest selling point. When it comes to going solar, the long term ROI and savings from avoided bill payments is often the biggest deciding factor – and the figures can be staggering even in states where utility rates are reasonable.
In 2017, solar quotes received by Albuquerque homeowners yielded 20-year savings estimates of over $54,309 on average. Checkout the breakdown of average net savings by solar system size:
Albuquerque net 20-year savings from solar
|System size||Average solar savings over 20 years|
Three tips for solar shoppers
Homeowners who get multiple quotes save 10% or more
As with any big ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offered by the large installers in the solar industry.
To find the smaller contractors that typically offer lower prices, you’ll need to use an installer network like EnergySage. You can receive free quotes from vetted installers local to you when you register your property on our Solar Marketplace – homeowners who get 3 or more quotes can save thousands on their solar panel installation.
The biggest installers typically don’t offer the best price
The bigger isn’t always better mantra is one of the main reasons we strongly encourage homeowners to consider all of their solar options, not just the brands large enough to pay for the most advertising. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the big installers in solar, make sure you compare those bids with quotes from local installers to ensure you don’t overpay for solar.
Comparing all your equipment options is just as important
National-scale installers don’t just offer higher prices – they also tend to have fewer solar equipment options, which can have a significant impact on your system’s electricity production. By collecting a diverse array of solar bids, you can compare costs and savings based on the different equipment packages available to you.
There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find the “sweet spot” for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.
For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers up front cost and long term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.