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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. A 6 kilowatt solar array will generate around 7,674 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. At a standard cost of electricity (around 11 cents), that’s around $844 per year in money saved. 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 a 6 kilowatt system through Solarize Cincy (estimated price $15,000), then you are eligible for a tax credit of $4,500.

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 $10 per SREC. As in the above example, a 6 kilowatt system could generate 7 SRECs or $70 per year.

How much do Solar Panels REALLY cost?

Here is the example above in more detail:

  • We purchase a 6 kilowatt solar PV system ($15,000)
  • Of that cost, we spend less on energy because we created our own ($844 in the first year or $27,765 over 25 years)
  • Plus, we received the federal Residential Energy Tax Credit ($4,500)
  • Finally, we sold our solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) ($70 per year or $1,630 over the projected life of the system)

So, in the above example, the system we purchased generates $27,765 in utility bill savings, $4,500 from federal tax credits, and $1,630 from SRECs. That’s $33,895 in benefits which puts $18,895 back into your pocket.

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

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1. Pricing reflects a basic installation using a standard panel. Complex installations may require additional charges.
2. Based on an $0.11 per kWh base rate with a 2.99% annual escalation in the cost of electricity (US EIA projection).
3. Based on a SREC value of $10 per mWh over 25 years.

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.

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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.”

 

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

 

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

 

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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

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

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WLWT 5: Solarize Cincy Launch Event Coverage

WKRC 12: Launch Coverage

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FOX 19: Launch Coverage