Are solar panels worth it in North Carolina? Well, they’ll help preserve the state’s natural landscapes longer. And that’s an appealing benefit!
Whether it’s hiking the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, finding serenity in Pisgah National Forest or going flatwater paddling in the eastern part of the state, North Carolina offers many adventures in the great outdoors. From a lazy day spent unwinding on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, to a vigorous bicycle ride to a cascading waterfall, there’s something for everyone.
Rounding out these appealing characteristics is the steadily increasing presence of solar energy. North Carolina currently ranks 4th in the U.S. for solar. And it leaped four spots to number four in less than a year. Landing in the top five of the entire country is pretty impressive if we say so ourselves!
Top 6 reasons to go solar in North Carolina
This statewide support is one of the best reasons to go solar in North Carolina. But we know there’s a lot to consider. We’ve got you covered with details about why solar might be right for you as a North Carolina homeowner.
The top 6 reasons for going solar in North Carolina:
- Potential electric bill savings
- Power outage protection
- Federal tax credit
- Property tax abatement
- Abundance of sunshine
- Eco-friendly renewable energy
Here, we give you the skinny on why we feel solar panels are worth it in North Carolina.
1. Potential electric bill savings
As of September 2021, electricity in North Carolina cost 11.24 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh)(1). This is an increase of 1.5% from September 2020. And electricity rates are expected to continue rising, with a nationwide average increase of 8% to 14.9 cents kWh in 2022(2).
We won’t mince words: Continuing to use traditional electricity from utility companies has gotten downright expensive. It boils down to the rising wholesale cost of natural gas, which the U.S. uses to produce most of its electricity.
Going solar gives you the potential to reduce your electric bill* by using solar energy for part of the day or, if you have a battery backup, overnight as well. You might also be able to get credits on your electric bill if your utility provider offers a net metering program**.
2. Power outage protection
The thunderstorms that hit North Carolina can be strong. And if you live on the coast, hurricanes are a potential issue. Since the coastline extends out into the ocean, it’s vulnerable to a direct hurricane strike.
Power outages that can last anywhere from hours to days, occasionally even weeks, are a major consequence of thunderstorms and hurricanes. If your home loses power, you won’t have air conditioning or a way to keep your perishable food from spoiling.
However, if you have a solar panel system with a battery backup, you can use the energy saved in the backup system to power components of your home until electricity is restored to the grid. The duration of the solar panel battery depends on how much excess solar energy is stored in it.
3. Federal tax credit
You might be able to get a credit on your federal taxes for installing a solar panel system on your roof, if your system qualifies***. This tax incentive is courtesy of the solar investment tax credit. Homeowners with eligible solar panel systems may be able to take advantage of a tax credit valued at 30% of the cost of their system, when filing their taxes for the year it was installed.
Now, that’s a nice round number if we’ve ever seen one!
4. Property tax abatement
Going solar can increase the property value of your home under the right conditions. This might leave you wondering if your property taxes might go up along with it. Well, we have good news about that courtesy of legislation enacted by the state of North Carolina.
The Property Tax Abatement for Solar Systems exempts 100% of the appraised value of a residential “solar energy electric system” from property tax. This incentive includes all equipment that’s part of the system, not just the solar panels.
Incentives like the solar investment tax credit and property tax abatement could possibly decrease your buyback period. A Solar Energy Specialist can verify and calculate the potential decrease for you.
5. Abundance of sunshine
The climate in North Carolina is pretty darn pleasant overall, earning a comfort index score(3) of 7.5 out of 10 as a year-round average. And North Carolina, the Tar Heel State, is no slacker in the sunshine department, either. It logs an average of 213 sunny days(3) per year, topping the national average of 205 sunny days.
This plentitude of sunshine is good for more than just beach days (although we’d recommend those in North Carolina, too). Solar panels perform best when they receive direct sunlight. This means that homeowners in North Carolina could enjoy a bounty of surplus solar energy.
6. Eco-friendly renewable energy
Unlike the production of traditional electricity, a solar panel system doesn’t produce greenhouse gases when it’s generating energy. This quality makes going solar an eco-friendly move. It feels great to know that you’re doing your part to preserve North Carolina’s natural beauty!
Plus, solar energy is infinitely renewable. The sun is among the most renewable sources of energy that we have. It won’t run out. And when you use renewable energy, you ease the demand for nonrenewable resources.
Are solar panels worth it in North Carolina?
We’re inclined to say “yes!” Incentives like the property tax abatement, abundant sunshine and potential savings on your electric bill make impressive arguments. But are solar panels worth it in North Carolina for you?
A Solar Energy Specialist can sit down with you and go over the fine details of your individual situation, to help you answer that question definitively. All you need to do is contact us to schedule a free consultation.
*Savings vary depending on your energy consumption, system cost, home location and characteristics, and your utility’s policies.
**Net metering and similar excess or buyback programs vary by location and utility provider and are subject to change. Rates may go up or down and the money you may save, if any, may vary. For more information about rates, contact your power company.
***If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the solar federal investment tax credit. It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.