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Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

Welcome to the Las Vegas Solar Power Information Page

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These past few years, you can’t go anywhere in Las Vegas without seeing solar panels. Panels by the freeway; panels in the desert; even panels on you neighbor’s houses! After all, the city needs lots and lots of electricity, and solar makes great economic sense, what with all the ever-present, punishing sunshine you get in the desert.

Let’s be frank here: solar saves you lots of money, whether you pay up front or choose a low monthly loan or lease payment. You’ll save thousands of dollars on electricity bills with solar, offsetting your own usage and even helping to keep the lights and water pumps running all over the city with the electricity you produce.

The chart below shows comparisons between solar financing options for a 5-kW system. It clearly shows how putting $20,000 down on solar makes the most money over the long term. If you pay for your system up front, you can expect to save more than $25,000 over its 25-year life. The reason solar can save you so much money in Las Vegas is because electricity is expensive.

If you own a home in Las Vegas, you have several options when it comes to going solar:

Lifetime Return For 4 Different Methods of Going Solar in Las Vegas

If we were looking to get solar installed in Las Vegas, the first thing we’d do is get quotes from trusted local installers (obviously). Then we’d explore different ways of paying for it. As you can see above, there are several options, and each produces different results. Some cost money up front, and some don’t!

Not everyone has $20,000 lying around, ready to spend. If you do, don’t wait; get solar today! If you’re like us and your couch cushions hold about the same amount of money as your bank account, read on! Let’s explore the four possibilities:

 Option 1: Solar Loan @6.5% with Lump-Sum Payment

This might the best option whether or not you have the cash to pay up front. That’s because you start without putting any money down, then your loan payments end up being just a little bit more than the cost of the electricity you’re not paying for. That means instead of putting down $19,000 all at once, you’re paying little by little over time, and your total investment only end up being $5,203 over 10 years.

Here’s how it works: After you’ve gotten your quotes, shop around for loans. Look at Home-Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) and other financing option to find the best rates and terms. These days, you can even get an unsecured loan for solar (meaning you don’t have to put up collateral). Any loan with around 6.5% interest and a 20-year term is good. If you can get one with lower interest, do it!

Here’s the important part: By the end of the first year, put all the money from the federal solar tax credit ($5,633) into the loan, paying down the principle. It will shorten your payback time by 8 years and 7 months. With the low interest rate on our loan, our payments would be just a little bit more than our energy bill savings—at least for the first several years—but then we’d start making money, and that would continue for the next two decades, ultimately leaving us with over $20,000 in profit.

How the Numbers Work for a 5-kW Solar Loan in Las Vegas

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system in Las Vegas should start at about $20,000. Don’t worry – you’re getting a loan, and it will be for less than that amount.
  • NV Energy offers rebates of $245 per kilowatt. That means your 5-kW installation will get you $1,225 back right away, reducing your first-year cost to just 18,775.
  • Your loan from the bank should be for this amount. The payments on an $18,775 loan with 6.5% interest over 20 years will be just about $140 per month, but you’ll be saving $85 per month on electricity. Essentially, you’ll pay $55 per month for the privilege of one day owning those panels.
  • Here’s that important part again: The Feds will give you a 30% tax credit on the $18,775 cost of your system. Pay the loan down by that amount! You can take the credit over two years if you don’t owe $5,633 in taxes this year.
  • With a conservative estimate of 3.5% per year for the future rise of electricity prices, you’ll start making an annual profit on your solar panels in year 12, and every year after for the 25-year life of your system.
  • Your total profit in 25 years will be over $20,000! The rate of return on your investment will be 12.6% That’s much better than investing in an S&P 500 index fund.
  • And don’t forget… your home’s value just increased by more than $20,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years), and you won’t pay taxes on any of it!

Remember: these figures are estimates. Your home is unique, and how much money solar will save you depends on that uniqueness. Thankfully, we know some experts in Las Vegas. Just sign up for personalized savings estimates and one of them will be more than happy to go over all those details and help you craft a plan to get the maximum savings from a solar power system in your home. Your quote is 100% free, so go ahead and shop around… grab two or three, or five, and compare all your possible options.

 Option 2: Solar Loan @6.5%

So what if you don’t make the lump-sum payment of your whole tax credit into the loan? Well, you’ll pay lots of interest. So even though your total investment in the system only ends up around $5,400, you won’t start profiting from that investment until year 16. Ultimately, you’ll only end up with a net profit of $2,300. That’s not so good, Al.

If you’re going to take the loan, be ready to pay it off with your tax credit. If you won’t get a tax credit because you’re post-retirement, your best bet is a solar lease. You’ll put no money down and still save money!

 Option 3: Solar Purchase

This is the surest way to make money with solar. If you have some cash to drop on an investment that will pay you handsome dividends for years to come, step right up. Get quotes from trusted installers local to the Las Vegas area. Pick the best one and get started! You’ll get the NV Energy rebate, and that sweet 30% tax credit.

And your investment starts making you money back as soon as you flip that switch. You’ll save over $1,000 in electric bills in year 1, and your system will be paid off in just 11 years, making you nearly $27,000 in the long run.

How the Numbers Work for a 5-kW Solar Purchase in Las Vegas

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system in Las Vegas should start at about $20,000. Don’t worry – that number’s gonna drop fast.
  • NV Energy offers rebates of $245 per kilowatt. That means your 5-kW installation will get you $1,225 back right away, reducing your first-year cost to just 18,775.
  • The Feds love solar! They’ll give you a 30% tax credit on the $18,775 cost of your system. That means $5,633 in taxes this year.
  • Next, energy savings: A 5-kW installation in Las Vegas will save you $1,024 on your electric bill. That’s how solar makes you money!
  • After the first year rebate, tax credit, and energy savings, your system will only have cost you $12,119.
  • With a conservative estimate of 3.5% per year for the future rise of electricity prices, you’ll start making an annual profit on your solar panels in year 12, and every year after for the 25-year life of your system.
  • Your total profit in 25 years will be almost $27,000! The rate of return on your investment will be 10.4% That beats the S&P 500. Yeah!
  • And don’t forget… your home’s value just increased by more than $20,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years), and you won’t pay taxes on any of it!

Remember: these figures are estimates. Your home is unique, and how much money solar will save you depends on that uniqueness. Thankfully, we know some experts in Las Vegas. Just sign up for personalized savings estimates and one of them will be more than happy to go over all those details and help you craft a plan to get the maximum savings from a solar power system in your home. Your quote is 100% free, so go ahead and shop around… grab two or three, or five, and compare all your possible options.

 Option 4: Solar Lease

So you don’t have a lot of money for solar, and you might not be living in the same home in five or ten years. Sounds like you lead a pretty exciting life! Leases can be a great way to get solar now, and not worry about loan payments and debt. Keep in mind, you don’t really have any skin in the game, which means no tax credit and no rebates. Still, you’ll save thousands on your electric bill over the life of the lease. Check it out:

When you choose an installer in Las Vegas, you’ll probably have the option of leasing your solar panels. It’s a great way to put $0 down and save money with solar starting right away.

One great thing about a lease is it’s not complicated. All you have to do is put your John Hancock on the agreement, make a monthly payment for the panels on your house, and your electricity bill is reduced by more than the cost of the lease. It sounds almost too good to be true, and you may be wondering if a solar lease is a good deal…

If you can sign a long-term agreement with a low monthly payment, it is! As an example, a 25-year lease of a 5-kW system with a starting monthly payment of $63 ($751/year) will save you $1,024 on electricity this year, a net savings of $273, just for saying “yes” to solar! And as the price of electricity goes up, you’ll save more and more every year until the end, because your costs stay low! By the end of the 25-year lease, you’ll have saved over $14,000, all without putting down a dime!

Maybe it’s time for you to get free quotes from installers in your area to get the solar party started!

Additional Information about solar in Las Vegas

NV Energy Rebates

Rebates in Nevada ain’t what they used to be, but they’re still out there! NV Energy is winding down its rebate program, and as of this writing (Mid-2015), they’re on Step 8 of their 9-step program. That means homeowners can get $245 back for each kilowatt (kW) of solar panels they put up. For a typical 5-kW installation, that’s $1,125.

When Step 8 is over, homeowners will be able to get only $147.50 per kW. It’s not nothing, but it isn’t like the $1,000/kW rebates we were seeing a few years ago. Thankfully, prices have also come way down in the last few years, so the rebates have worked like they were designed to, and everyone wins. Doesn’t happen that often in Vegas, does it?

Property Tax Exemptions for Solar in Las Vegas

The state of Nevada exempts solar installations from property tax. That’s great news, since the value of your home will go up by thousands dollars when you add solar panels—if you reduce your electricity bill by about $1,000 per year, you can estimate that you’ve increased the value of your home by $20,000. And all of that new value won’t be taxed. What a wonderful world.

Solar Loans in Las Vegas

Many banks and credit unions now offer loans for installing solar. It can be a great way to get solar with very little money down, but make sure you’re getting a good interest rate! The thing about a loan for the whole cost of your system is that the initial payments are probably going to be higher than the electricity savings, for a few years. Utility companies raise rates by about 3.5% per year, but your loan payment stays the same, meaning you’ve got a built-in protection against cost increases.

Let’s say you agree to pay your system off over 20 years at 6.5%—you’ll end up paying more than your current energy bill for about 15 years, but you’ll still end up saving about $6,300 over the 25-year life of your system.

But! If you pay the loan down early with your big federal tax credit at the end of year one, you’ll actually come out ahead of the lease and do pretty well compared to the cash purchase option. You’ll still pay slightly more than your current energy bill for 11 years, and after that, it’s all profit, baby! More than 20,000 samoleans!

If you can get a lower interest rate, it becomes an even better deal. Anything under 4% will get you close to making the same profit as the people who buy outright, all without spending a cent up front. Take another look at how the different payment options stack up visually in the chart again:

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One thought on “Welcome to the Las Vegas Solar Power Information Page

  1. steve says:

    so you dont get a chk from the goverment at the end of the yr in the amount of the rebait ouch, but the comp that that i said yes to was saying that also at the end of the yr you can sell you PEC’s, ? how dose one do that or is that some marketing double talk ???

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