Kansas solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
5.44 peak sun hours in a day
More than 225 clear days annually make solar energy a natural choice in Kansas
2 years payback time
With 25 years lifespan, a solar power system in Kansas is a smart long-term investment
Sell excess energy into the grid with Net Metering program
Gain credits from your utility company to cover your bills
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
The law is on your side
Kansas allows solar easements, which protect the landowner’s right to access sunlight
Kansas #12 in the US
- $54 789/year Average savings from going solar in Kansas
- 10 692 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 8 366 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Kansas
- 13 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Kansas
- 27 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.73/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Kansas you need to know
Save 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The main solar incentive that works across all United States is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program. By applying to this program all Americans can deduct 26% of the total cost of their installation from the income tax. The PV system cost doesn’t amount to only how much you’ve spent on your solar panels, but includes the shipping and installation as well. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes. It makes sense to hurry up: in 2023 the Tax credit decreases to 22% and after that it’s 10% for commercial systems only.
Make money off your solar system with Net Metering program
Like in any other state, in Kansas you can sell your electricity into the commercial grid and gain credits from your electric company. Since 2014, residential solar systems must be under 15 kW to be eligible for the Net Metering program. Commercial installations have a capacity limit of 100 kW. For those who joined net-metering after July 1, 2014, all the net excess generation (NEG) is credited at a 100% rate of the utility's monthly system average cost of energy per kWh at the end of each billing period. The rates differ from company to company, so contact your electric supplier for more information.
Increase your buying power with Energy Efficient Mortgages
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.
Pay no additional taxes for having a solar system in Kansas
According to Kansas solar laws, all renewable energy equipment that you add to your house is exempted from property taxes for 10 years after the installation. Thus your taxes don’t change after the installation of panels. However, your own solar system increases the value of your home on the market. After 10 years pass, your property tax is most likely to be reassessed.
Get a permit to install solar panels in Kansas
To build a solar system in Kansas, you need a permit for it. Generally, it’s your installer who takes care of this. First, you plan the installation and find a company that performs the installation. Then an inspector from your county or municipal agency comes and checks if your house is ready. You can check the general steps of getting a permit here. The exact process may differ from county to county and it’s important to figure out what papers you will need beforehand.
Solar easements help to settle shading issues with neighbors
Kansas state specifically notes that residents can voluntarily create solar easement contracts. A written paper should be recorded with the county register of deeds. The purpose of the contract is to ensure that the solar system receives enough sunlight and doesn’t get overshadowed by a tree on your neighbor’s land. If a branch casts a shade over your modules, you can ask your neighbor to trim the tree.
Solar panels help Kansas survive tornadoes
Across the United States, Kansas has the second highest average number of tornadoes annually – around 60 every year. Solar panels, however, can withstand harsh weather very well, and tornadoes in particular. Most PV modules are made to tolerate at least a 140 mph wind. The speed of a tornado is around 40–100 mph on average. There aren’t any specific requirements for minimum strength of solar panels at the state level. However, it naturally makes sense to go for especially resistant and durable modules in Kansas – the land of tornadoes.