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Alabama solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 11.30.21

Alabama State 53 solar panels available

  • $1.99 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of January 2023
  • 8 years Average system payback period
  • $63 520 Average savings from going solar in Alabama
  • 6 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 7.17 kW Recommended system size

Benefit from a PV system
in Alabama

Solar panels in Alabama

Alabama #20 in the US
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What our happy customers say

I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
I was choosing between a1solar and another store, the prices finally convinced me,
and I contacted A1. Everything was processed, packed and delivered to Fresno, CA
in under a week. We kept in contact during the installation and I got a few additional
parts from them. A1SolarStore deserves a solid five stars!
Michael Grubb
Via Google
Sep 7, 2022
I ordered some solar panels. The top 4 ones were damaged during delivery (A1 had emailed me in advance what to check for before I took delivery which I followed even though the truck driver was pushing not to inspect them as thouroughly) and A1 replaced them in a timely manner and kept me informed. The price on the panels were some of the best on the internet (delivered). I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Google
Nov 27, 2021
Ordering online was easy.
Price was reasonable even with shipping added. Actually, it was the best I could find with the panels I wanted.
Customer service was beyond expectations. I received a phone call after the order to verify everything. The rep also went over receiving instructions. I got an email with recieving procedure. I got a follow up call the day before the panels were to be delivered. The day of delivery, the FedEx call also called. I got a follow call afterwards verifying everything was good.I had 8 350 watt panels shipped. They arrived via FedEx on a pallet. Recieving instructions said to not sign the recieving doc until I inspected everything. I am half paralyzed so I asked my neighbor ahead of time to help unpack the panels to inspect for physical damage. The FedEx guy dropped the pallet in my driveway and handed me the package list and then he very quickly left before I was able to inspect the panels. He said he did not need a signature. My mindset immidiately turned negative since fraud, burglary, murders, etc are now legal, encouraged, and even rewarded in the US. To my relief, the panels turned out to be in good shape.
I have had several different panels prior to ordering from A1 Solar. I am used to solar panels outputting 70% or less of the rated output.I hooked up one panel yesterday and I was getting over 85% at 9:30 AM in direct sun output which really suprised me. This number is what the charge controller reported while charging a 12 volt battery bank. My current project that these panels will be used for is my second offgrid system.
Next year after I have my house electrical panels rebuilt to allow for a whole house battery bank, I will be ordering another 7KWH in panels and I plan to order those from A1 Solar Store.
Junkyard Dog
Via Google
Aug 12, 2021
Solar panels are great quality at a good price! Pick up was very easy!
Quirino Passione
Via Google
Jul 27, 2021
Great price and AWESOME service.
Sam McCleary
Via Google
Jun 23, 2021

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Alabama you need to know

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Discuss the possibility of Net Metering with your electric supplier

Alabama is one of the three states in the USA without a net metering policy. You have to discuss the possibility and conditions of net metering with your electric supplier directly. For example, Alabama Power pays for excess energy if the customer is on Rate PAE (Purchase of Alternative Energy). However, its customers are subject to monthly Power’s fee. An owner of a solar system pays $5.41 for 1 kW of power. For a 5kW system, which is the average size of a solar installation in the USA, it amounts to $27 a month, $325 a year and over $8,000 in 25 years, which is the guaranteed lifespan of solar panels. Overall, it makes the payback period for solar in Alabama much longer. Everybody is unhappy about the fee and actively protests against it, as AP reports, so hopefully in the future solar laws in Alabama change and the Alabama Power fee will be cancelled.

Energy Efficient Mortgages can help you to go solar faster

The Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) program allows you to quickly get more money for energy upgrades for your home or for a new property with preinstalled upgrades. These loans are insured through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) programs.

If you qualify for an FHA loan, you do for the EEM program. Usually the energy package that can be added to a standard FHA loan amounts to:

– the cost of upgrades based on the home energy assessment; or

– the lesser of 5% of:

  • the Adjusted Value;
  • 115 percent of the median area price of a Single Family dwelling; or
  • 150 percent of the national conforming mortgage limit.

Solar systems, of course, qualify as energy-efficient upgrades, so your loan can be increased by the amount your system costs. Again, the cost of a PV system doesn’t amount to panels only, but includes accessories, shipment and installation as well. Read more about the FHA program and apply here.

EEMs through the Veterans Affairs program are available for military personnel, reservists and veterans. The exact loan amount depends on your status and credit history. Check the guide on how to apply for the VA loan here.

    Get a property tax abatement with a solar system in Alabama

    Property taxes for solar system owners in Alabama are lower. The abatement of tax is based on the value of the system. The property has to be assessed and evaluated every year. The abatement is granted by your local authorities (municipality, county) for 10 years and then can be extended for 10 years with an official approval. This program is to expire in 2023, but there is a chance the officials will prolong this Alabama solar incentive further. To get the abatement you have to apply to your county or municipality officials and they will schedule and perform cost/benefit analysis. Find the guidelines, forms and all the additional information about the program here – renewable energy projects fall into Chapter 9B type of abatement.

    Get a permit to install your solar panels in Alabama

    Generally, you would need a solar permit to build your own solar system in Alabama. The requirements may vary from city to city. Here’s, for example, the guide on permits in the Town of Alabama. Usually, it’s your installer who handles most of the work, including the steps of obtaining the permit, so you can rely on them to learn all the details about getting the papers. Don’t forget that your county or municipality can impose fees. After all papers are submitted, it is legal to install solar panels on your house in Alabama.

    Solar panels help Alabamans survive tornadoes

    Alabama ranks fifth in the list of states with the highest number of hurricanes. On average 82 tornadoes hit Alabama annually, according to the National Weather Service. Besides, some meteorologists say that hurricanes started hitting Alabama more and more often recently. On June 19, 2021, a tornado damaged at least 50 houses in the southern part of the state near the border with Florida, Guardian reports. It appears that the winds reached the 85 mph speed. Solar panels withstand natural disasters very well, and a tornado in Alabama wouldn’t scare them. Tornadoes usually have the speed of 40-100 mph, but all panels are tested to survive 140 mph winds. Some models from REC or Canadian Solar are especially durable and are made to work in harsh conditions. High resistance to all sorts of natural disasters make solar a good choice in Alabama.

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