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2017 Policy

D

Avg. Yearly Savings

$862

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Kansas

2016 Policy

D

Avg. Savings/yr

$862

At Solar Power Rocks, our dream is to turn your thoughts of solar power for your home into reality

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

Kansas used to be the floor of an inland sea. That means the state is home to a phenomenal wealth of natural history. Not only that, Kansas is the breadbasket of America. Guess what you need to grow food? You guessed it: sun. Much of Kansas gets as much sun as southern California. With all those wide open spaces on the plains, Kansas is the perfect place to take advantage of clean solar power. Using renewable energy would protect the valuable natural history of the state and preserve its farmland too.

Lately, though, the state has been taking 1 step forward and 15 or 20 steps backward on clean power. In 2015, the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio standard was repealed, and a voluntary system was put into place. This leaves the utility companies free to keep charging ever-increasing rates, while they shore up their own giant wind and solar farms, instead of helping homeowners take control of their energy future.

That's the bad news, but there's good news, too! Even if you don't have huge amounts of cash to lay down up front, you can get solar with just the equity in your home, and it will pay for itself and even make you thousands of dollars over the long term. Scroll down to discover the best ways to go solar in Kansas!

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Kansas solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Kansas

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Kansas. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Kansas. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Kansas. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Kansas is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Kansas

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Kansas can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Kansas

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan. Since Kansas no longer has an RPS, the state isn't quite financially right for leasing or Power-Purchase agreements yet, so we included two different sizes of solar loans—one for people with a lot of equity (or credit), and one for people with just a little.

As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment. A better option is to take a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). You'll put $0 down and end up with a big, big tax break at the end of the year.

Your loan payments over 10 or 15 years will be more than your electric bill savings, but you'll still come out thousands of dollars ahead by the end of your panels' 25-year warranty, with the potential to continue the savings long into the future.

Read on to find out more about each option.

 Buying Solar in Kansas

Paying up front used to be the only way to get panels on your roof, and it's still the option that allows you the most control. But it isn't the best option from a percentage return on investment standpoint—that award goes to the solar loan option.

Still, an outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. You get the 30% Federal solar tax credit and electricity savings to bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $21,250, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced about $14,000 in income.

Here’s how the numbers work for a Kansas solar purchase with a 5-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 5kW solar system should start at about $21,250. Don’t worry–with tax credits and energy savings, it'll be a lot cheaper after year 1.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no state rebate means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $6,375 (30% of $21,250) for a new price of $14,875. Note: you can take the credit over two years if you don't owe $6,375 this year.
  • Don't forget your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $862. That brings your cost after the first year to $14,013.
  • By the time your system pays itself back in year 15, you’ll be seeing over $1,200 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • When all is said and done, our 25-year estimate shows a total net profit of $13,928, with an internal rate of return of 5.8%. That's nearly as good as a 25-year investment in the stock market!
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by just about $21,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 110 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Kansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Solar Loans in Kansas

It's simple: taking a loan to pay for solar is a great idea. Someone else (your bank) puts down all the cash, while you get the big first-year tax credits—then your system produces electricity that helps offset the cost of loan payments. It's like investing in a business that's already successful.

As you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because even though you're not putting any money down, you get the Federal 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system. Then, over the 15-year repayment term of your loan, you'll be spending more than you're saving in electricity costs, essentially investing a total of about $6,700 until you pay the loan off.

But from there, it's up-up-up! After your loan is paid off, you'll be saving over $1,200 per year in electricity costs from your fully-owned solar panels. You'll end up $6,885 to the good after 25 years, which is great for an investment where you put nothing down!

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get approved for a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $21,250, with a fixed rate of 4% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You have an appetite for making money with a long-term investment, while also producing benefits for the environment.

Net Present Value: $1,431

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Kansas's $1,431 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing in solar over the next 25 years than in, say, stocks.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Kansas solar purchase with a solar loan:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $21,250. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $862, but your loan payments will total $1,886, for a difference of $1,224, or about $102 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $6,375! You'll come out more than $5,350 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $1,200 per year in savings until the end of your system’s 25-year warranty. If the panels last longer (and they probably will), your return will go up!
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll see some great profits, to the tune of $6,885, even after all the payments.
  • And the future is going to look a little brighter, since your system will mean green for the environment. It'll be like planting 110 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Kansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Small Rooftop Systems in Kansas

Let's say you don't have a ton of extra cash laying around, but you do have a bit of equity in your home. Can you get solar panels? YES! Is it a good idea in Kansas? Well...

Here's the thing: solar saves you money by cutting your energy bills. Trouble is, Kansans pay just $.13/kWh for electricity—right around the national average. So your loan payments will be higher than your electricity savings.

That means solar isn't the brilliant investment it can be in other states with high energy prices and cash-back incentives, but it is still a good idea if you look at the long term. That's because even the small solar panel system we're talking about here will save you $450 or more after the loan's paid off—and those savings should last for at least another 15 years!

Just like with a big system, you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get the big federal tax credit for buying solar. You'll get the 30% of your solar costs back as a tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. Your loan payments will be about $103 per month while your energy bill savings will be about $29—a difference of $74. Basically, for the cost of monthly cabel TV service, you do your part to save the planet from carbon pollution, and make a little money later in your life, too.

The 25-year return for a 2-kW system in Kansas is almost $2,873! Only trouble is, the Net Present Value is, uh... not positive.

Net Present Value: -$481

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Kansas's-$481 NPV on a small solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in stocks over 25 years than in solar. So only go solar in Kansas if the environmental benefits are worth at least that much to you.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Kansas solar purchase with a small rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 2-kW solar system should cost about $10,200. Your loan should be for this amount.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $345, while your loan payments will cost $1,239.
  • At the end of the year, the Federal government will give you a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your system. That's $3,060 that you won't owe this year. You can take that credit over as many years as you need if you don't owe that much in federal taxes this year.
  • When your loan’s paid off after year 10, you’ll see over $450 per year in savings until the end of your system’s 25-year warranty. It'll likely keep working for long after that, but we like to be conservative.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll end up with some nice profits! We're talking $2,873 after 25 years, which will help your old, wiser self appreciate your young, forward-thinking self.
  • Your system will remove as much carbon from the air as planting 44 trees per year, which is a pretty great thing, we'd say.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Kansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Kansas Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Kansas:

RPS

20% by 2020 (voluntary as of 5/2015)

Grade: D

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

In 2015, Kansas became the first (only) state in the nation to repeal a mandate for renewable energy production. Wow. Governor Sam Brownback led the charge to change the former law from a mandate into a voluntary goal, and it's a sorry shame he did.

The ironic thing, though, is that Kansas already produces more than 20% of its electricity from wind power—enough to meet the goal and then some, and the state's share of renewables will likely only increase into the future. By repealing its RPS, Kansas is squandering a perfect opportunity to create good-paying jobs in the clean-energy sector and help homeowners take control of part of the electricity generation for the state, which has numerous benefits beyond simple financial gains

Kansas’s RPS was critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it takes money out of their pockets when you use less of their electricity. The main reason the utilities would aid your transition to lower electric bills and offer you incentives to put solar on your roof is because an RPS forces them to. Without an RPS, Kansas utility companies have no reason to help homeowners go solar.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

None

Grade: F

If the RPS contained specific carve-outs for clean and efficient technologies like solar panels, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, you’d see even stronger incentives for residential solar power.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Kansas Electricity Prices

$0.13/kWh

Grade: C

Kansas pays an average of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour (“kwh”) of electricity. That’s almost exactly the national average. We know you like the cheap electricity, but the long term costs of those prices are through the roof. All that cheap electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Millions upon millions of tons of greenhouse gas-producing, ozone-killing fossil fuels. New regulations on carbon emissions and dwindling supplies will likely drive the cost up over the next few decades. But while everyone else is paying through the nose for the fuels of the past, you’ll be rocking that sweet, shiny solar power system on your roof, and making money! Just remember to thank us.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Kansas Net Metering

B

Grade: B

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus. Kansas requires all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering. All monthly surplus energy production is applied as a credit to your next bill at the full retail rate. Unfortunately the utility will not cut you a check for long-term surplus. At the end of every calendar year all unused surplus credits will be granted back to the utility without compensation. Net metering is available for residential systems up to 25kW in capacity on a first-come first-serve basis until net-metered systems reach a total of 1% of a utility’s peak electricity demand during the previous year.

That’s a pretty solid net metering program. Overall we gave Kansas a “B” in this category only because of the system limits that prevent all customers from meeting on-site generation needs, and because electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are currently exempt from the requirement to offer net metering at all. We’d like to see the net metering program expanded to cover all utility’s and every-sized customer. But all in all the regulations in place are a solid start.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Kansas Interconnection Rules

None

Legislators should use that solid foundation to expand interconnection procedures as well. Currently there are virtually no interconnection procedures in place here beyond basic safety requirements addressed in the net metering law. While lawmakers did set rules for additional liability insurance (prohibiting utilities from requiring it) and external disconnect switches (allowing utilities to require them, despite their redundancy), very little else is addressed. Interconnection could be vastly improved here by adopting the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s standard procedures.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Kansas

Kansas Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Unfortunately Kansas is a state without good rebates. And without an RPS, don't hold your breath, either. Voluntary renewable goals don't do much at all to push utility companies to help homeowners.

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Kansas Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

The Kansas legislature hasn’t been much help in picking up the slack on residential incentives; there are no tax credits available for installing a solar power system here either.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

None

Grade: F

Performance payments are another incentive for producers of distributed energy resources like solar. In states with strong RPS goals, utility companies pay a premium price for customer-generated energy from renewable sources, to meet the requirements of the law. Unfortunately, nothing has been done in Kansas to encourage utilities to provide extra payment, and so the best you’ll see in Kansas is net metering at your retail rate. Basically, that means that any energy your solar panels produce goes directly toward reducing your electric bill every month.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

Fortunately the legislature has passed a property tax exemption. While this won’t save you any money upfront, it will save you thousands over the long haul. Installing a solar power system adds value to your home (we’ll get to how much value in just a minute). With the property tax exemption in place, you won’t have to pay a single extra penny in property taxes for that home value increase. That saves you thousands over the three-decade life of your solar power system!

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Unfortunately lawmakers have yet to pass a matching sales tax exemption. While you may not think about it on smaller purchases, not paying that extra 6.3% would save you a pretty nice chunk of change on your new solar power system.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

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The consensus on Kansas solar power rebates and incentives

With all that sun and all that space in Kansas, solar energy could really make a difference in the future of the state. If only lawmakers could see beyond their own noses and take advantage of this abundant renewable resource. Some work has been done, and at least the legislature has considered the issue from time to time. Unfortunately, the bills that are passed often end up watering down or completely removing any progress on clean power generation. In short, Topeka needs to take solar energy much more seriously. The RPS and property tax incentive are a start, but they’re only enough to earn The Sunflower State one bump up to a “D” for now.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

34 thoughts on “Kansas Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Tim says:

    I want to put solar on my land and in Kansas I was told I could not do anymore then 15 kw witch is ok but when I checked into prices 5 years ago it was about 42,000 to 46,000 to put in the system and I know prices have down then the company I contacted to reprice it was 58000 and a 30 percent paid from taxes. How can companies think they can rape you like that when the system they were using only cost them 16,000 to 20,000 to buy?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I wonder if Solar City will start in Kansas as well any time soon? Or it isn’t that interesting area for them?

  3. Brian says:

    Bill who was looking for a system for his possible senior apartment buildings in Kansas…I have the solution for you it provides electricity, hot water, solar space heating and cooling on-demand 24/7 the system is the only company in the world that offers this capability. We have the worlds record for energy capture on a PV panel. We have systems installed all over the country and have 3 of the largest systems in the country soon to have the fourth.

  4. Bill says:

    I am considering purchasing 3 senior apartment buildings, they use almost 100% electricity to power their HVAC systems, water systems, lighting, etc… It would be a perfect fit for solar usage, large 7 story buildings with plenty of roof to put solar panels. Electric bills are nearly $100,000 a year per building. I have searched the web to see what is out there, contacted Westar Electric and not much is offered out there for Kansas. Do you know of a company that works in this arena?

  5. Jason says:

    very interested in installing solar energy on a house we just purchased…there is so much info on the internet but always leary of scams and junk…anyone near the hutchinson area that can help me out?

  6. Anonymous says:

    i am looking into starting a business manufacturing and installing my own style of solar panels. it seems like it may be more trouble and money then it is worth. do i have to report building small units and plugging them into the outlet in my house using grid tie inverters

    1. You seem to have 2 questions, I’ll take the easy one first, do you have to report plugging them into the outlet in your house? I’m going to advise you to always check with your local utility, because it’s hard to go wrong by checking. If it’s a commercial unit that you purchase that is UL listed, it’s completely safe. It will have an automatic shutoff that disables the unit when the grid goes down so that you don’t shock a line worker. If you build it yourself, just make sure you are using UL listed inverters or micro-inverters and you will probably be fine, although for your safety and the safety of every electrical device in your home you should have a master electrician look it over before you plug it in. The bigger question is, does it make sense to build your own style of solar panels, and the answer to that would depend on what the application is. You will never be able to compete on price with someone who is building panels by the megawatt. But if you have some niche application that you can’t find anyone serving, and you have potential customers lined up that are willing to pay relatively handsomely for the product and aren’t concerned about a warranty that is backed by a startup, then it may make sense.

  7. Laura Benitz says:

    Image taken by yours truly, Laura Benitz (Wathena KS) … http://www.laurabenitz.com

    Nice to see the image being used on an amazing site! We’re looking into solar power as well.

  8. JJ says:

    I have 160 acres of farm land in southwestern KS doing nothing. I currently live in Germany and watch neighbor by neighbor put solar panels on their houses and tie them into the grids. They pay no electricity bills and are refunded for the amount of energy they produce and put back in the grid. There is solar farms that go for miles along the autobahns and they still love their windmills. What would it take to fill my land with solar panels and who wants to help with it?
    Thanks
    JJ
    jj.johnx5@gmail.com

  9. Rick Mc says:

    Anyone that’s doing business in Wichita, KS please contact me. I’m heading up a green initiative in one of the business districts the members of which have an interest in getting bids for rooftop solar.
    thanks,
    Rick
    rikster61201@yahoo.com

  10. Darlene says:

    Davy, Im sorry your solar business diddnt survive in Wichita. The common thought is in this economy in Kansas is a solar company must have res wind and be willing to travel.
    & Patrick unless i am mistaken it is against the law for a HOA to deny a renewable energy installation. Take it to the city council first. BUT FIGHT! We need all the renewable energy we can get!

  11. Donna says:

    I am interested in solar energy and live in Kansas but how do you know how big of a system you need for your home, i.e. 3k, 7k, etc. and how much savings you will get versus the cost of the panels, etc.

  12. Davy Chan says:

    Hello,
    I started a solar business in Wichita Kansas early this year. Due to the lack of interests and out of capital, I moved. I am a license contractor, and solar trained by SEI. I have whole account with multiple suppliers, especially Lumos and Magnum energy. I am specialize in battery backup system. I can help build a 3KW system for as little as $5/watt or I can show you how to do it yourself as long as you buy your equipment from me. I will stay with you during the entire installation process and beyond 10+ yrs. Please let me know davyechan@gmail.com. Offgrid is the way to go.

  13. Roland in KS says:

    To Brenda – I had panels up and we had tennis ball sized hail or even bigger and the panels handled it ok, although almost every roof in the area didn’t and even my mailbox had holes in it. Previously we had over 90 mile per hour wind that managed to suck the panels out of their housing and they hit the ground, breaking the back of one. Upon reconnecting them they worked fine. I had mine insured, but I think they are probably covered under house insurance also, but check with insurance on that.

  14. Steve S. says:

    Can anyone recommend some solar PV installers who would bid a small 5 KW system in Rush County (Hays/Great Bend area)? My father is interested in installing a system for his farm and would like it completed by Dec. 31 if possible. Any recommendations for quality, reasonably priced installers would be appreciated. Thanks!

  15. Patrick says:

    We are building a home and the developer/HOA will not allow any type of solar installation. His reasoning is that it is unattractive and reduces property values/resales. This is in a development with average home prices of over $500k. Any ideas on how to make the right to solar power actionable? We had already broken ground when we informed that solar was out. Its hard to believe that Kansas is do backwards when it comes to renewable energy.

  16. L Mayden says:

    To b bird and D Clayton, we should start a complete do it yourself store for home solar power.bmaster59@hotmail.com

  17. John B C says:

    I’m from Illinois, planning to move to Kansas. Illinois has one of the best programs for Solar Power. I plan on installing Solar Panels in my new house in Kansas, I just wish Kansas had a program that would help the residents like many other states. Get With It Kansas!!

  18. Typo91 says:

    bbird contact me on face book if your in the Wichita area, we are just starting and have wholesale accounts already in place for all equipment needed. Solar shingles are the plan for specialization.

  19. bbird says:

    I am a business man. I.m looking for a new business and solar sounds promising. I’m a general contractor and I’m interested in selling and installing solar shingles or other solar products. any help will be appreciated

    1. Jason Streit says:

      I owned a solar business in Kentucky for 5 yrs I was the coo and owner so I have a lot of knowledge on design and sizeing of systems, proper instalation, return on investment, and many other aspects of the solar sales and installation business. Please contact me at (785) 630-0330 im interested in talking to you more and offering my help if interested. I currently live in Clay Center KS over by Manhattan KS and still have a passion for renewable energy.
      Thanks and hope to hear from you.
      Jason Streit

  20. GreenCity says:

    Clayton, a good solar installer should recognize there is a mistake in the example provided. I think there is a mistake on the example system. My guess is that it is talking about a 7 kW system.

  21. Bill Feleciano says:

    Can a Homeowner install the solar panels? Certainly a professional is needed to install a converter and hook it up to the grid. Is a permit required? Why is it so expensive? It seems that all of the natural resources(wind & sun)are in place. Seems we are being delayed by the quest for $$$$$$$$$ rather than saving energy costs.

  22. John B says:

    Bio-fuels are a waste of time. They are not sustainable and if considered at the global scale, really do much more harm than good.

  23. brenda says:

    Just one question since I’m just learning about solar panels and I live in Kansas. We do get a lot of sun and of course, wind.
    unfortunately, we have severe weather as you know. Does insurance cover these or I’m assumiung you have to pay for insurance and also, can they take tennis ball size hail a few times a year? what about 80-100 mile an hour winds and of course, what about the winds from tornados? In other words, how much beating can the solar panels take and are there systems to help hold them down in high winds?
    Is this possibly why many people do not purchase solar panels here in Kansas?
    I’m seriously asking this because again, I’m just learning about them. thank you.

    1. Solar rooftops are insured as part of the home or in some cases as an appliance.

  24. Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives, Inc.
    Non-profit Founded2005 Incorporated 4/2008
    Issued 1 Million N/P Shares $10 Each

    PhaseI Demonstration 10,000 SF @ KS County
    Phase II Foundation 1,000 MWp BI-PV Solar in KS by 2022 $3 Billion
    Phase III Manage+Maintain+Monitor 2010-72

    GOALS ARE TO INCREASE:
    Homeland Security
    Emergency Preparedness
    Environmental Integrity
    BI-PV Solar Expertise
    Provide Over 1,000 Green Energy Jobs 50Yrs

    Visit Website – Read Annual Report 2009
    http://www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Cooperatives

    Help Support K-SEC Intervention Before
    Kansas Corporation Commission [KCC]

    Have you seen KCC’s on-line oil well permit site: https://solar.kgs.ku.edu/

    Please help redirect misrepresentation and encourage KCC to change SOLAR acronym for coal business to SOAR. See K-SEC’s comments filed with KCC Oct 20, 2009.

    1. UPDATE: Notice new website: http://www.BI-PVSolarArchitecture.com

      K-SEC does not charge for our solar systems. Our motto is “1,000 MWp BI-PV Solar At A Time”! That translates to approximately 75 million SF of solar roofing. 75% of K-SEC’s projects will be commercial and 25% will be residential.

      Consider how little installed solar energy generation capacity there presently is in the United States being somewhere between the 2009 level of 500 MWp to around 750 MWp. That translates to one small coal plant. The German States have an installed solar energy capacity of 3.5 GWp with only 4 sun hours a day. That is seven times the installed solar energy capacity we have in the U.S..

      These facts amazed me and inspired me to research the forces suppressing solar energy in the United States. The culprit I found was momentum. Momentum is the problem and momentum is the solution. If we are to have a meaningful amount of solar energy capacity, we must plan for deployment of 1,000 MWp At A Time. We are organizing an effort to train enough installation techs in Kansas to assure that 735 installation techs are working to install 2,000 SF BI-PV Solar a week in every county of Kansas for ten years. Number crunching takes us to a new level.

      K-SEC leases consumer rooftops. Our goal is to produce, install, monitor, maintain and manage our solar systems for fifty years. They will then be renovated or recycled. The consumer continues to pay their monthly electric bill. K-SEC sells our solar energy wholesale. Approximately 70% of the electricity we produce is consumed at the generation site thereby avoiding the typical distribution loss that is generally around 35% of the electricity generated.

      Many consumers insist they want to own a solar system. For fifteen years I marketed solar systems and provided energy audits for consumers. The many regulatory hurdles, up-front payment of 20 to 50 years of electricity and the demands of monitoring and managing a solar system were more than most consumers realistically could or would tackle when it came to signing on the dotted line. When Clint Eastwood was not paid his solar incentives of 50% rebate and net metering, I asked myself, “Who will they pay?” Mr. Eastwood called a meeting with Governor Davis and was finally paid, but most people do not have the influence he has to call a meeting with the Governor of the state of California.

      The challenge of The K-SEC Model is that the program starts as a grassroots effort. People have to get involved, K-SEC is sort of like training wheels when you are leaning to ride a bike. Solyndra could not survive without an adequate industry infrastructure in place. The Kansas Corporation has instructed us to develop a database for our Phase I Demonstration and to form our business organization to qualify for bond financing with ratepayer revenue backing in place.

      Public education must be our first goal. K-SEC is presently building the K-SEC Mobil Solar Room Exhibit to visit each county in Kansas this year (2013). If you want to get involved, visit the K-SEC website, submit your home, business, school or church rooftop on our Submit A Roof form. K-SEC is a non-profit deployment acceleration program. Become a volunteer, purchase our non-profit stock for $10 a share and/or become a board member. K-SEC is building the infrastructure for major BI-PV Solar industry commerce in Kansas. Be a part of the future, today!

  25. D.Clayton says:

    In just about all the information I have read on renewable energy and indicators of potential, Kansas always pops in my head. Kansas is the perfect environment for wind, solar, bio-fuel production and food for human energy. Kansas seems like the epicenter for renewable energy production to me.

  26. D.Clayton says:

    “A 3KW in Kansas cost $49,500” This is pure insanity to propogate this type of misinformation. That equates to $16.50 a watt. No wonder they aren’t investing in solar. You can get systems installed for about $6-$8 a watt. 3KW system should cost $15,000-$22,000 depending on who installs it and what equipment you choose. I am a Georgia based solar company and we get competitive pricing. Maybe I should set up a branch in Kansas and provide the fine people of that state with the service they deserve. Solar power rocks please debunk this $49,500 for 3KW myth. Time to farm the sun like your sunflowers do. Good luck

  27. Alex says:

    Want to know information about Kansas energy… http://www.kansasenergy.org/wind_projects.htm
    This show the currnet in processed and proposed wind energy ongoing here in Kansas.

  28. Amanda Hayes says:

    i think this is the BEST website ever!!!! i get everything i need just by looking up stuff!!!!!!!!

  29. Jeremiah says:

    Net metering is bogus. The “new” Kansas law is outdated and an appeasement of Westar.
    There is a guy on ebay selling 3kw grid tie systems made in USA for 15K
    You will not get more than $500 a year in savings with a 3kw system on a house unless you can track the sun, that requires land.
    If you have land you will get 4x cost/watt benefit for installing a windmill.

  30. Nate says:

    I am writing a paper on solar energy in southeast kansas if anyone has any good information that could help it would be great

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