Solar energy is showing some truly inspirational signs in Kansas City.
In fact, Google Sunroof, a project designed to calculate the current and future use of solar power all over the world, estimates that 85% of Kansas City rooftops are capable of holding solar panels. If all of those homes were to install solar panels, they could produce over 5.5 million kWh of energy. That’s one heck of a lot of light bulbs and cell phone charges.
If you have considered outfitting your home or business with a solar panel system, we have put together the Ultimate guide in going solar and what it entails.
Location and its Relationship to Energy
Kansas City is a well-suited location for solar panel installation given its nearly 230 days of sunshine per year. You will need plenty of sunshine to make solar energy a reality for your home but with stats like those, you are already situated well.
Kansas City has a comprehensive and long-term commitment to solar energy that has been growing since the 1980s. The city has been on this path to becoming solar friendly, both for homeowners and businesses, with the goal of adding 100 MW by the year 2020.
Standard energy in Kansas and Missouri (August of 2018) was 14¢ per kWh. In that same month, an average household was using 1,620 kWh. This made the average energy bill come in around $200. Energy Analysts estimate that a Kansas City home with solar power averages 2.35-2.725¢/kWh.
Quick Facts About Going Solar in Kansas City
- One Block Off the Grid estimates that solar panels can bring you thousands of dollars in energy savings over the lifetime (or longer) of your solar panels.
- You will begin saving money from the first month you install your solar panels, meaning you will not have to wait for a return to “kick in.”
- Installation of solar panels, especially in KC, is seen as a true home value add. Homes with solar have now been proven in various studies to fetch a premium sale price.
- Going solar is proven to be a good environmental choice with lasting sustainable impact. Not only will you personally save money, but you will be helping to lower your overall carbon footprint.
- Energy independence is the main goal for many people who chose to go solar. You will have peace of mind of being able to produce energy but that decision also impacts the greater energy industry. Your decision for solar also contributes to demanding less foreign oil.
- Solar energy is easy at its foundation. While the process can sound overwhelming, considering all the information you can find about solar energy, it is not complicated.
- Stay on the grid and sell your energy back. When you install solar panels you will still be connected to your city power.
How to Go Solar in Kansas City
There is a straightforward process for installing a solar panel system into your home. The process usually takes 30-60 days, depending on your time frame, and the actual installation will likely only take a day. Here is a breakdown of the solar panel installation process.
- Contact Barrett Solar and schedule a site visit. During this site visiting your professional installer will be measuring your home, evaluating your roof, learning about your energy use and much more. These steps will ensure you get the ideal system for your home.
- Choose the right solar panel system. After your installer has evaluated your home and what you will need, you will sit down together to determine the right system for your home and energy usage. You will learn more about the installation and equipment needed to go solar, and get a first look at how many panels you’ll be installing, and where they will be going.
- Regulatory approvals and paperwork. We will handle all of the regulatory paperwork required to get your home approved for a solar panel system.
- Wait for approvals and order materials. As you await the approvals of a solar panel system from the city and regulatory agencies, we will order your materials and ensure they arrive to site in mint condition.
- Installation day. Your installation day will be exciting and your home will be a flood of busy work. We will be installing your solar panels on your roof (or designated space) along with all the wiring and equipment.
Solar panels in Kansas City – Installation Costs
Solar panel installation costs in KC have been dropping over the past years. Combine this with the tax incentives offered to the homeowner for installing solar, and it all adds up to a great value. In 2017, the average cost of solar panels in KC was $4 per watt.
An average home will have a 7000 kW system installed which equates to a $28,000 solar panel system. Now before you let that number scare you away from living a solar-powered lifestyle, you should know that the tax incentives of installing solar power energy can significantly impact that price point. Solar panel installation is considered an investment, and therefore, subject to an investment tax credit. This tax credit is available to both residential and commercial property owners. In 2017 the average homeowner saved almost $5,000 on their solar panel system due to these tax incentives. This tax incentive won’t last forever however as Congress has placed a time limit on this as follows:
2016 – 2019: The Tax Incentive will be 30% of the total cost of the system.
2020: Those who install in the year 2020 will receive at 26% tax credit.
2021: Installation of a solar panel system in 2021 will see a 22% tax credit.
2022 – onwards: There will be no residential tax credit available and commercial business can take a 10% tax credit.
As you can see, for homeowners, the clock is ticking to see an Investment Tax Credit for their solar panel systems.
Solar Power in Kansas City – Cash? Or Solar Loan?
With an increase in popularity of going solar, the industry is seeing an emergence of financial options to help those who want to take the solar leap. There are a number of ways to pay for a solar panel system, here are a few financial options broken down to help you.
- Pay in Cash – Just as in most investments, what you can pay for in cash means a faster return on your investment.
- Pay with a Solar Loan – There are a number of financial institutions making solar a reality by offering solar panel specific loans. We work with the best solar lenders in the industry, and were happy to connect you with them.
Solar in Kansas City – The Equipment
Installing a solar panel system is actually not all that complicated. In fact, there are only four major pieces of equipment to make the project come to life. We have broken this down below so you can get familiar with the equipment.
- Solar Panels. No big surprise there but the number of panels will be totally determined based on your rooftop and energy requirements. Solar panels are made of six different types of materials and technologies. Silicone cells, a metal frame, glass, common 12-volt wiring, bus wire, and plexiglass.
- Solar Batteries. Solar batteries are different kind of deep cell battery designed to be charged, depleted, and recharged over and over again. Yes, you need batteries to use the energy you made at the times the sun isn’t shining like evening and heavy overcast days.
- Charge Controller. The charge controller is designed for the protection of your batteries. Solar energy is powerful stuff, and without the charge controller, you risk damaging your batteries.
- Inverter. You might know the basics of inverters as they have a place in larger RVs and Motor yachts. An inverter will help you turn lower volt DC power into higher volt AC power that you are likely most familiar with at home.
Here at Barrett Solar, we know that making a solar energy investment will require plenty of research and assurance. And that is why were here. If you have any questions about the information we have provided in this guide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to walk you through the process and help you go solar.