Posts

Saving Money with Solar

Purchasing solar panels for your home is a valuable investment. We are all familiar with the costs, but what about the benefits? Here are three financial benefits to consider as you determine if a solar investment is right for you.

Generate your own energy

1. Generate your own energy, save money on your energy bill

The energy that you generate from solar panels means you will purchase less energy from your local utility. Each kilowatt hour generated is money that you save. An 8.5 kilowatt solar array will generate around 10,748 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. At a standard cost of electricity (around 11.5 cents), that’s around $1,236 saved in year one. And with energy costs continuing to rise, the value of your savings will increase over time.

30% Federal Tax Credit

2. 30% Federal Tax Credit

The federal government provides tax incentives for the purchase of solar and other renewable energy assets. Upon installation of a solar array on your home, you will be eligible for the federal Residential Energy Tax Credit which is equal to 30% of the cost of systems installed by December 31, 2019. If you install an 8.5 kilowatt system through the Solarize program (estimated price $21,675), then you are eligible for a tax credit of $6,500.

Ohio SREC Incentive

3. SRECs, a state based credit system

Most states provide some additional credit for solar investments. In Ohio, public utilities must purchase a small percentage of solar for each kW of energy they sell to customers. Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) represent one mega-watt hour of electricity (1,000 kWh). For each mega-watt hour (MWh) that your system creates, you can sell the renewable attribute of the energy on the market. Due to changes adopted by Ohio earlier this year, the value of SRECs has declined. However, the current market will pay around $12 per SREC. As in the above example, an 8.5 kilowatt system could generate 10 SRECs or $120 per year.

How much do Solar Panels REALLY cost?

Here is the example above in more detail:

  • We purchase an 8.5 kilowatt solar PV system ($25,000)
  • We leverage the Solarize discount of around 15% to bring down the purchase price ($21,675)
  • Plus, we receive the federal renewable energy tax credit ($6,500)
  • We spend less on energy because we created our own ($1,236 in the first year or $40,610 over 25 years)

So, in the above example, the system we purchased generates $40,610 in utility bill savings, $6,500 from federal tax credits, and $3,325 from the Solarize discount. That’s $50,435 in benefits which puts $25,435 back into your pocket.

Here are some more examples of how much you might save by installing Solar:

 

1. Pricing reflects a basic installation using a standard panel. Complex installations may require additional charges.
2. Based on an $0.11,5 per kWh base rate with a 2.99% annual escalation in the cost of electricity (US EIA projection).
3. Net savings does not include income received from SRECs due to the volatility of the market.

Solarize: What You Need to Know

Switching to clean energy is one of the world’s biggest challenges right now, as the impact of fossil fuels on our economy and our well-being becomes increasingly pronounced. But this kind of massive shift cannot occur overnight, and requires the participation of everyday consumers as well as large-scale enterprises and government-backed entities in order to succeed. Read more

Solarize Cincy Campaign

Jumpstarting Greater Cincinnati’s Solar Industry

Solar power is going mainstream. Our Solarize Cincy campaign is intended to help grow the demand for solar in Greater Cincinnati by getting residents, businesses, and local governments excited about the new, modern solar. Solar prices have dropped 73% in the past 10 years, so we believe now is a great time to help the region understand the benefits solar power can provide.

Our Short Term Goal: 50 Solar Installations

Our goal is to install 50 new solar projects by the end of June 2016. If each of these 50 projects only installed a very modest solar array of 3 kW, they would collectively:

  • create $14,100 of energy annually
  • create $352,500 of energy over the panels’ 25-year lifespan
  • save 2,920 tons of CO2 over 25 years

$1,500 City of Cincinnati Incentive

To make solar even more accessible, we’ve partnered with the city of Cincinnati to offer an incentive to Solarize Cincy participants who are also Cincinnati residents. Under the partnership, city of Cincinnati residents can receive $300 per kW, with a maximum incentive per home of $1,500. Funding is limited and available on a first come first served basis. (Click here to see how we’re doing.)

The Launch Event

We launched our campaign on October 1, 2015 in the Duke Energy Go Green Garden at the Cincinnati Zoo. City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Thayne Maynard of the Cincinnati Zoo, and Andy Holzhauser of the Energy Alliance all spoke about the benefits that solar power for homeowners and the region. In addition to a great response from our local media, the event was a great opportunity to bring together the region’s solar influencers, from installers to government leaders, to fellow nonprofit partners.

Below are some pictures from our launch event.

IMG_7313_corrected_web

Andy Holzhauser, Energy Alliance:
“We believe the time has come for solar to be an impactful, economically feasible and meaningful energy source for homes in our area. Solar is truly at the tipping point.”

 

IMG_7324_corrected_web

Mayor John Cranley:
“It’s good for the environment and it’s good for your pocketbook… …this is a win-win.”

 

IMG_7328_corrected_b_web

Thayne Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo:
“It is possible to thrive and live sustainably and solar is a big part of that for the Cincinnati Zoo.”

 

IMG_7347_corrected_web

Attendees at our launch – from left to right: Josh Brooks, Brewster Rhoads, Michael Forrester, Sue Magness, Andy Holzhauser, Dane Ervick, Chris Meyer, Jeremy Faust, Thayne Maynard, Beth Robeson, Josh Moore, Steve Schumacher, Mark Wiley, Mark Fisher, Larry Feist, Toni Winston, Chad Yelton, Yancy Deering, Larry Falkin, and Sophia Cifuentes.

Photos by Brad Robeson

 

In the News: Solarize Cincy Launch at the Cincinnati Zoo

We’ve been in the news lately due to our Solarize Cincy launch event at the Cincinnati Zoo on October 1st. A special thanks to our local news outlets for sharing our story with their viewers.

Our coverage:

  • A nuts-and-bolts report on our Solarize Cincy program by WKRC Local 12’s Scott Dimmich
  • Energy Alliance CEO Andy Holzhauser interviewed on the second half Dan Hurley’s Newsmakers segment
  • Campaign launch coverage from WLWT 5, Fox 19, and Local 12

WKRC Local 12: Solarize Cincy report by Scott Dimmich

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Scott-Dimmich

WKRC Local 12: Newsmakers: Andy Holzhauser Interview
(Our Segment starts at 16:44)

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Newsmakers

WLWT 5: Solarize Cincy Launch Event Coverage

WKRC 12: Launch Coverage

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Launch_12

FOX 19: Launch Coverage