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Virginia currently has over 2500 MW of solar installed state-wide, which is enough solar energy to power over 280,993 homes and is only projected to increase according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Homeowners in Richmond can look forward to a variety of generous solar incentives that are offered to Virginia residents that make going solar more accessible and affordable.
You might be wondering if solar panels in Richmond are worth it. The governing body of the Commonwealth seems to think so, and they’ve passed legislation to incentivize clean energies like solar across the state.
The 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) created a first-of-its-kind Clean Energy Standard for the entire state that presents abundant opportunities for renewable energy. Richmond and your solar-powered home located there are no exceptions.
The VCEA makes it easier for homeowners and businesses in Richmond to save money by going solar, taking control of their energy and leading the way toward an advanced energy economy. The days of outages, rising electricity costs, and the dependency on pollution-heavy fossil fuels are nearing an end.
So rest assured, there are programs available in Richmond to install solar panels on your house and save money on your purchase.
We’ll discuss those solar power programs and incentives as well as helpful tips for going solar in Richmond in more detail below.
Much like the rest of Virginia, Richmond has taken great strides to bring solar energy to more homes and businesses. Maybe most significant of all is the fact that there is a state-sponsored incentive for solar for nearly any situation a homeowner faces.
At ADT Solar, we want to help you take advantage of the best solar power incentives in Richmond. Here are a few of those solar incentives explained:
If you’re going solar in Richmond, you won’t want to miss out on your chance to claim a substantial national tax credit that may be applied to your solar installation. Available to homeowners in Richmond, the 30% solar tax credit (ITC) is a generous national incentive to go solar. The ITC allows you to potentially claim 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system, including labor and equipment, as a federal tax credit. This tax credit includes solar batteries as well.
In a role reversal of sorts, net metering is when homeowners sell their excess, unused energy produced by their solar panels to the utility company in exchange for credits to be applied to other utility bills.
Net metering in Richmond is available on a first-come, first-served basis. What’s more, the recent VCEA bill ensures solar owners receive fair compensation for their solar and ensures that new solar energy customers will be able to participate in net metering.
Wherein the previous laws placed a participation cap at 1% of the electricity on the grid, the VCEA lifts the cap to 6%. Even better, 1% of this amount is reserved for low-income customers.
Right now, the amount of electricity on the grid produced from solar panels is a great deal under 1% in most of Virginia. But as more residents in Richmond go solar, you can expect that percentage to increase dramatically.
Wouldn’t you like to shorten the amount of time it takes to pay for your solar panels? Well, that’s where “Solar Renewable Energy Credits” (SRECs) come in.
In Richmond, solar owners can benefit by using their panels to create valuable energy for the utility companies. As a means to avoid paying fines, utilities purchase SRECs from solar owners.
The credits are based on how much energy your system produces, and are frequently used to shorten the time it takes to pay off the solar installation costs. Selling SRECs is a valuable option for solar homeowners in Richmond. For rooftop solar power, the VCEA set specific targets that utilities are required to meet.
Low-income households in Richmond are also qualified to participate in this solar benefit. VCEA laws also require utilities to purchase credits from low-income families with solar power.
A large part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act is the permitting of larger solar systems. That’s right. The bill increases the total size of a solar system that can be built and installed in Richmond.
The limit for residential systems is now at 25 kW as opposed to the previous limit of 20 kW. For commercial properties, the VCEA raised the limit 1 MW to 3 MW. The goal is that by raising the cap, more homeowners and businesses will be encouraged to go solar.
The VCEA also removes many fees associated with installing larger solar systems. Prior to the act’s passage, utility companies could add fines to solar owners whose systems were greater than 10 kW. No more.
The limit for fees was raised to 15 kW in Dominion territories. In Appalachian Power territories, the fees were removed altogether!
A solar benefit that’s unique to Virginia and, more specifically, Richmond is the performance-based incentive program from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating power distributors of TVA power.
Homeowners who install solar power as a renewable generation system affect the pricing of energy for customers who qualify. Which means even more savings, straight from the dominating power providers.
Virginia state law made effective in 2008 protects solar rights in Richmond and the entire state of Virginia. The law makes it so that neighborhood and community associations can’t keep a homeowner from installing or using solar energy on their property. Pretty terrific, right?
There is one condition, however. A community or neighborhood association can establish some restrictions regarding the size of the solar system and placement of the panels anywhere other than the roof. And of course, restrict solar installations in common or shared areas of the community.
Like solar easement laws in other states, Virginia’s law makes it so that property owners in cities and communities like Richmond can create solar easement agreements to protect and maintain panel access to sunlight.
Passed in 1978, the law states the following:
Easements must be executed in writing and must include:
Call (866) 450-1012 or complete the questions and an ADT specialist will contact you with a quote.
The passage of Virginia’s Clean Economy Act in 2020 by Gov. Ralph Northam makes for an even more promising future for solar energy and other renewables in Richmond.
Utilities in the state will be required to switch to 100% clean energy by 2050 and add 16 GW of solar and onshore wind, 3 GW of energy storage and close all coal power plants in Virginia by 2024.
As the state demonstrates an even greater commitment to solar energy, don’t be surprised to see less dependency on the electric company and more incentives for your solar panel system to light up in Richmond and beyond.
Solar Builder Magazine summarized the four key parts of the bill and identified the main pillars that guide it:
But wait, there are even more incentives for solar power in Richmond. Keep reading.
Now you’ve seen how installing solar panels on your home can save you money, as well as provide an investment for freedom from your utility company, what are you waiting for?
Now is never better to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, as well as increase your home value, and reduce your environmental footprint.
Choosing a solar installer for your area can be intimidating, which is why it’s helpful to remember the three most important tips when choosing a solar panel company:
Make sure the company you’re choosing has warranties in place. Not only on the labor, but products as well. That way you know you and your investment are protected in the years to come.
Read reviews about the company you’re choosing. While you’ll see a bad review here and there (just the nature of open reviews), make sure a large majority of the reviews aren’t negative and stating the same problems over and over. That’s a clear indicator of a company to stay clear of, no matter how well known their name is.
Choose a reputable company that’s been in the game for awhile. Again, this way you are sure to protect your investment with a company that will continue to be there for you in the years to come.
Since 2008, ADT Solar has a proven history and reputation for providing quality service, and was ranked #5 for 2020 Solar Power World’s Magazine Top Residential Solar Installer in the United States. We are proud to offer some of the best warranties you can find in the solar industry and only use products that offer the same.
If you’re ready to take the next step, or even if you’re considering what it would take to get you there, contact us to discover all your options.
We install solar and roofs in Richmond and surrounding areas. Contact us today to see if we service your area and get free solar quotes for your particular needs.
*Tax and credits or incentives including those provided by federal, state, or local governments may change or end. This can impact the amount of money you might save. Consult a tax professional to understand any tax liability or eligibility for any tax credits that may result from the purchase of your solar system.
**If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.