As the cost of solar continues to fall and the financial and environmental benefits of solar PV grow, more organizations are collaborating to provide reasonably priced solar options to homeowners. For example, National Grid recently announced that it is partnering with EnergySage to offer a solar marketplace option to its Rhode Island customers. Recently, Comcast also announced a partnership: the cable company will offer a discounted solar option to its customers through an exclusive partnership with Sunrun. Find out more about what the Comcast solar offer means for you.
With strong government incentives and falling equipment costs, going solar has never made more financial sense on such a broad scale. Testament to this is the tremendous increase of the number of American homes & businesses with solar panels on their roofs in recent years. But at the same time, not everyone has a roof of their own, and even those who do might have one that is shaded or otherwise unsuitable for solar. Community-owned solar projects – sometimes called community solar gardens, or shared solar farms – promise a way for the roofless and ‘roof-impaired’ to go solar. Continue reading
The U.S has witnessed remarkable solar growth over the past decade. New Hampshire benefits from the 78 solar companies in the state, who are working hard to make an impact on solar power in the Northeast. Manchester, like much of New Hampshire, benefits from the presence of numerous solar companies in addition to below state average prices for solar panel installation. In this article we’ll explain why Manchester, New Hampshire is a great spot for solar power and how Manchester homeowners can maximize their solar savings.
How much do solar panels cost in Manchester?
As of mid-2017, the average price for solar panels in Manchester was $3.43 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 Manchester is $17,150 before any rebates or incentives.
While this price is low, it is also very competitive for the overall state of New Hampshire. Prices for solar panel systems have dropped by over 64% in New Hampshire over the past 5 years and homeowners are taking notice. Check out this comparison table of Manchester and state pricing for various system sizes:
Solar pricing table: Manchester compared to New Hampshire
|System size||State average cost|
| Manchester 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 Hampshire and Manchester for solar energy systems. As the data illustrates, typical solar prices in Manchester, New Hampshire are significantly lower than the rest of the state.
New Hampshire is an affordable and pragmatic places to install solar. But when you zero in on Manchester’s market and compare it to the rest of the state, the advantage for homeowners is even clearer. The good news for Manchester homeowners is that these low costs do not even incorporate the added benefit of net metering, offered throughout the Granite State.
Sub-header: New Hampshire’s net metering and other incentives
Net metering in New Hampshire allows any homeowner with a solar energy installation less than 1 megawatt to receive solar bill credits equivalent to the retail cost of electricity for every kilowatt-hour they send back to the grid. In addition, homeowners in New Hampshire with solar panel systems sized less than 10 kilowatts qualify for the state’s incentive program for small residential solar. The program pays $0.75 per watt up to $3,750 or half the cost of the system, whichever comes first. (Note: New Hampshire’s solar incentive program is on hold until September 2017 due to high demand.)
Other incentives for solar in the state include homeowners being exempt from paying property taxes on the additional value solar adds to a home in the state of New Hampshire. This incentive also applies to the commercial sector, offering a great incentive for local businesses to consider solar.
New Hampshire also offers a low-income financing program which has some great offerings for homeowners who are struggling to afford energy costs. Pairing a solar lease or loan with financing support can be a smart and efficient way to go solar.
How Manchester homeowners can save big with solar
Though Manchester 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 Manchester homeowners yielded 20-year savings estimates of over $59,258 on average. Checkout the breakdown of average net savings by solar system size:
Manchester net 20-year savings from solar
|System size||Average solar savings over 20 years|
Three tips for solar shoppers in Manchester
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 Manchester 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.
In this week’s Solar News Report, New Hampshire removes their solar net-metering cap for consumers, Oregon approves new rules for large community solar undertakings, and a new way to generate power from the sun using solar windows.
A number of exciting developments this past week are keeping the solar momentum strong in what many experts are calling the #YearofSolar. The launch of Disney World’s solar farm, news of New Hampshire’s lifted net-metering cap and the development of solar cells that can generate power from raindrops are three of the headlines you need to know about from this past week’s solar energy news report.