Understanding Modesto’s Solar IndustryEven with potentially reduced incentives from MID looming, Modesto consumers are still better off financially by installing a solar installation on their property than by remaining solely on the electrical grid. Here’s why:
- Potential $1,000 savings on electric bills: Our city sees higher than average electricity costs compared to other cities in our area. With the average utility bill in Modesto averaging about $3,792 annually, that is more than a 25% savings.
- Peak sunlight hours: Stanislaus County has more peak sunlight hours than any other county in the United States. This means that your solar array is working more hours than any other solar installation to produce green electricity for your home.
- Solar panel lease options: Modesto allows for solar panel leasing, making them affordable for almost any household. Solar installations can cost around $15,000 to install, but leasing allows your home to benefit from a solar array for a monthly payment that’s often less than the energy bill savings you receive.
The Benefits and Incentives of Installing Solar Panels in ModestoThere are state and local incentives for installing solar on your property, and neither should be ignored. Especially with ever-changing policies, it’s important to make sure that you’ve done your homework where incentives are concerned—just because there might not be a local incentive, doesn’t mean there aren’t other federal incentives you can receive. Currently in Modesto, the benefits of installing solar are:
- Solar equipment costs can be deducted from property taxes: This state exemption allows for any active solar system on your property to be 100% tax exempt. If you add a $15,000 solar installation to your home, whether mounted on a roof or freestanding, it cannot be included as added value, and, therefore, none of the total value will be included on your property tax.
- Excess electricity can be sold to the local utility: Called net metering, the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) allows for residents to sell back excesses of solar-generated electricity to the utility at a specified rate. This means that not only can Modesto residents end up owing $0 on their power bill, they can also earn money back from MID for the extra electricity generated by their panels.
- Reimbursement for cost of equipment and installation: The California Solar Initiative provides rebates to consumers based on estimated solar system performance, either in a lump sum or paid out over five years. To take advantage of these rebates, residents need to first have an energy audit conducted. Then they must find a solar installer registered with the California Energy Commission that can apply for the rebate on behalf of the resident.