St. Louis is an incredible city, bursting with opportunity! Nicknamed The Gateway to the West, this hub of sports, arts, and culture continues to thrive and grow. Maybe you know this city for the 11-time World Series champion Cardinals. Perhaps you have stood under the 650-ft tall Archway, walked the fields that held America’s first-ever Olympic games, enjoyed the comfort of its famous barbeque, or maybe you know it first-and-foremost as home. But did you know St. Louis is also an incredible city for residential solar panels?
Does St. Louis come to mind for you when you think of solar potential? Well, it should; with an average of over 200 sunny days a year, St. Louis has a solar resource potential that surpasses Germany — a world-leader in solar energy production (https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/planning/sustainability/solar-and-the-city.cfm).
This guide is here to help you fully understand the potential of St. Louis solar. We will show you the benefits of solar power, with information specifically tailored to the St. Louis area. We will walk through what costs you will be looking, the positive impact solar can have on our environment, we’ll explore incentives available to St. Louis homeowners, what kind of payoff time you’re looking at, and — what you’re probably most eager to hear — what your savings and profit could be. If you’re thinking about solar installation in St. Louis, Missouri, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’ve heard about some of the benefits of switching to solar, whether it be environmental, cost savings, reliability, etc. Let’s break down the big reasons why this switch could be perfect for you.
St. Louis is a great location for solar energy production, which means you won’t be struggling to generate power for yourself. Current estimates show that over a 20 year period, with all costs and incentives applied, you could save over $20,000: that’s potentially over $1000 per year you could save on your utilities (https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/mo/st-louis-county/saint-louis/)
Solar power and the environment are like two peas in a pod. The city of St. Louis is very passionate about providing information to its citizens on how solar energy could help them and the lives of those around them. It’s estimated that a 5kW system — this is the average system for residential homes in St. Louis — produces 150,000 kilowatt-hours of emission-free power over its lifetime, equivalent to just over 100 metric tons of CO2. An average passenger vehicle produces around 4 metric tons per year; which means, you’re reducing approximately 25 years of driving pollution, out of our atmosphere! (https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/planning/sustainability/documents/upload/Solar-the-City.pdf)
How many times have you or someone you known lost power for any numerous reasons: maybe a transformer blew on the other side of town, maybe torrential wind pulled a tree branch down onto your neighborhood line and you had to wait days for someone to come fix it, maybe one day it just went off and no one bothered to give you an explanation at all! When you’re power is in someone else’s hands, there’s not much you can do to avoid weather, freak accidents, or even the ever fluctuating prices imposed by your utility companies. Solar power returns the control to your own hands and St. Louis is the city to do it in.
You’ve heard about the money you can save, the environment you can help, and the control you can have, and now you’re wondering, “What’s the catch? How much is this going to cost me?” But don’t worry, we have the answers for you! First, check out our infographic below to understand the breakdown:
Do you consider yourself to have an average-sized home and use an average amount of power? If so, you’re most likely going to be looking at the 5 KW setup — this is the most common system in St. Louis. The estimated cost of this system in St. Louis has a market average of $14,700.
Now, this number is an average, so it’s important that you get a number of quotes from various contractors. Also, the number you see is the raw cost, it doesn’t even factor in all the potential incentives or rebates that you could receive. This brings us back to the favorite topic of saving money. So, let’s further discuss what those options might be for you!
There’s an age-old saying, “don’t put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” This couldn’t be more relevant for installing a solar panel system, because many of the tax credit and rebate options we will discuss here are set to expire after 2021.
Note: This article was written just before the Federal Solar Tax Credit of 26% was extended for 2 years! If you adjust the calculations you get even more savings!
The Federal Solar Tax Credit is going to be your biggest benefit opportunity this year, and as mentioned briefly above, 2021 will be its final year. At the end of 2019, this program had started at a 30% rebate; at the end of 2020, we saw this program drop to a 26% rebate; now in 2021, we will wrap it up with a 22% tax credit to the end of the year. We can see that the rebate benefit lessens every year, and furthermore, while it’s possible that the credit will be renewed, there are no guarantees. If you are serious about installing a solar panel system, we recommend you try and get it installed in 2021.
Receiving a 22% rebate in tax credits for your $14,700 solar panel setup would return $3,234 back to your pocket, lowering the total cost of the system down to $11,466. That is an opportunity you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
St. Louis homeowners who decide to upgrade their home with solar power are also exempt from any property tax increases due to installing solar panels on their homes. This is a great added benefit, potentially allowing your home to become more competitive in today’s home market while saving you the extra taxes you may find with other upgrades.
If you don’t have $11,466 just burning a hole in your pocket, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you’re looking to buy solar panels for your home, we here at Solar Action Alliance recommend that you look into financing options available to you. Another option people find upon researching solar energy is something called a Power Purchase Agreement; however, we don’t recommend these due to the fact that they won’t add to your home’s value, and ultimately reduce the cost-effectiveness of switching to solar.
You can apply for a loan through your trusted bank, or even through a solar company manufacturer — they often have agreements with installation companies. The two varying loans you could apply for are secured and unsecured. The former, secured loan, allows you to use an asset, commonly your home, as collateral. With a secured loan you will find it easier to get approval with a lower credit score, and also to find lower interest rates. The later, unsecured loans, won’t borrow against your home, but will often have higher rates and expect a higher credit score.
So once you have purchased your solar panel installation, upfront or through means of a loan, get ready to start enjoying the savings. Let’s look at an example to lay this out.
The average system size in St. Louis is 5kW, which will generate about 6,750 kWh (kiloWatt hours, which is the unit we usually measure electricity output by) per year. St. Louis currently has an electricity rate of 9.69 cents per kWh. If we multiply this price ($0.0969) by the 6,750 kWh — this is what it would take to be independent from the utility company in our example — then we reach a savings of $654.08 a year.
That $650 a year — not even taking into account the ever-rising price of electricity — is money that is saved off your energy bill, year over year. This means, with your incentives, you’re looking at paying off the complete installation of your solar panels in less than 18 years.
After it’s paid off, all the savings become pure profit. At today’s rate, you’re looking at $4,550 saved after paying off your system. But electricity prices fluctuate and rise, year-over-year, which means you’re savings rise with it. Add that to the peace of mind that comes with owning your own power, and the joy of helping the environment, and we’d say you’ve got a pretty sweet deal.
If the good news stopped with an estimated minimum of $4,550 back in your pocket, you’d probably be pretty happy. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t stop there. It’s important to remember that Solar Panels don’t just add value to you, but to your home.
On average, across the US, solar panel installation adds 4% to a home’s value. The average market price for a home in St. Louis is about $193,000 right now. This means, if you were to invest in a 5kW system, you’re looking at a bonus of $7,720 added to your home’s value. Keep in mind, that your St. Louis home’s property tax will not be affected by this addition, meaning no extra taxes will be chipping away at your profit!
Now, add that $7,720 to the $4,550 and you’re looking at $12,270 as a return on your investment. That is a risk-free 107% ROI over the life of your system or about 4.28% per year!
You’re ready to start saving your hard-earned money, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. People can become overwhelmed by this process, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the best product and price. That’s where we can help!
Here at Solar Action Alliance, we pride ourselves in assisting people all over the United States determine whether solar panels are a good choice for their home. We firmly believe that solar energy is not only a solution to our climate crisis but also an incredible, high-efficiency investment for homeowners to make.
Providing information is great, but we also want to help enable you, as a St. Louis homeowner, to make this transition. You are ready to make a great financial investment, to free yourself from reliance on outside energy services, and we’re here for you through the process.
We find the best solar installers in the St. Louis area by building strong relationships. This makes sure that you are getting a reasonable price, quality service, and the font of line tech for your systems. When you’re making an investment in solar, it’s important to find people you can trust as you make this purchase that could benefit and impact your life for decades to come.
If you’re interested in getting started today, or if you’re just looking to get a few quotes or numbers from some of the most trusted companies in the St. Louis area, just enter your zipcode below to get started:
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