Nevada solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
6.09 hours of peak sunlight
Nevada offers a decent amount of sunlight – enough to substantially offset your electricity bills
Send any excess power to the grid — the utilities are required by law to purchase it
2 years payback period
A solar power system in Nevada pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
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
Nevada allows solar easements, which protect the landowner’s right to access sunlight
Nevada #3 in the US
- $50 452/year Average savings from going solar in Nevada
- 10 680 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 8 817 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Nevada
- 12 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Nevada
- 25 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.81/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Nevada you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
Solar laws in Nevada oblige all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering. Net Metering allows residential solar owners to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries. When you sell your solar power to the grid, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. The value of the credits is equal to 75% of the retail rate. These conditions won’t change for 20 years after a customer joins the program.
- NV Energy serves more than 2.4 million customers in Nevada. It is the only company subject to regulation by the state’s Public Utilities Commision.
- Smaller local players may use different approaches to net metering. For example, the Harney Electric Cooperative credits its customers based on the wholesale rate, which is lower than the 75% offered by the largest utility.
Save additional $300 to $1,000 a year trading PECs
Portfolio Energy Credits are certificates granted to any person or entity upon generation of each kWh of clean electricity. Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. There are two web platforms to store and sell them: NVTREC and WREGIS. The value of PECs is always changing, which makes them similar to stock market assets. Based on the available data, selling PECs could mean anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually for a 10 kW solar system. To participate, register your system with the Public Utilities commission of Nevada.
Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements
A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure that your solar panels in Nevada will always have adequate sun exposure, protecting you from potential obstacles. It is voluntary, but can not be cancelled unless a specific clause is included in the document. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. It must include the following elements:
- A description of both properties
- Size, location and active hours of the solar equipment
- A list of obstacles allowed on the neighbouring property or complete prohibition of all structures that might cast shadow on the solar panels
Install your solar panels in Nevada with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Nevada. The state has several laws to protect its residents from unreasonable restrictions, including those implemented by homeowners associations (HOAs). Thus, any prohibition shall be considered unlawful. The legislation grants HOAs the right to place size or aesthetic requirements, but only if they are sensible, meaning they do not decrease performance by more than 10%.
Something you should remember:
- The state doesn’t allow HOAs to prohibit or significantly restrict installation of a solar system in Nevada.
- Aesthetic, placement and size requirements are legal as long as they do not decrease your system’s capacity by more than 10%.
- Individuals involved in the installation process must hold a licence. However, this rule does not apply to the owner of the property.
Solar panels help Nevada survive wildfires
Being one of the states with the highest wildfire exposure in the country, Nevada is a place where strong winds and power outages are a real issue. Solar panels can survive most hurricanes, and they can lend you a helping hand in case of a blackout. Several utilities in Nevada implement planned outages programs to mitigate wildfires. Thousands of homes may be left without electricity due to these measures or infrastructural damages. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the regularity and strength of natural disasters are growing – all the more reason to give solar panels a try.