How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Nebraska: An Insider‘s Guide for Homeowners

So you‘re a Nebraska homeowner interested in going solar. You want to reduce your environmental impact, buffer against rising energy costs, and increase your home‘s value. But one look at the high equipment prices combined with minimal state incentives, and you start to wonder – can I even save money with solar power in Nebraska?

It‘s a common question I get all the time from Nebraska residents. As a 10-year solar finance advisor helping homeowners across the Midwest go solar, I‘m here to tell you – yes, you can absolutely save money with solar in Nebraska!

The key is understanding the full landscape of incentives and getting creative with your financing options. This guide will explore all the data, incentives, and insider tips you need to maximize your solar savings as a Cornhusker State homeowner. I‘ll be with you every step of the way, combining the latest solar research with proven advice from real Nebraska solar owners.

Solar Power in Nebraska – Quick Facts

Before we dig into the savings opportunities, let‘s ground ourselves in where Nebraska stands today:

  • Over 8,000 solar installations across the state and counting
  • 272 megawatts of solar capacity installed (can power 40,000+ homes)
  • 1.7% of Nebraska‘s electricity from solar – more growth coming
  • 6-7 year payback period for solar owners

As you can see, solar power is gaining steam in the Cornhusker State! And while upfront costs are high and payback periods longer than ideal, solar panels can still provide great long-term financial benefits if properly planned for.

Now let‘s explore those key savings opportunities…

Federal Tax Credits – Up to $6,000 Back

The federal solar tax credit is the biggest savings opportunity for Nebraska homeowners by far. This program allows you to recoup 30% of your solar project costs – including equipment, installation labor, permitting fees, and more – via a credit on your federal taxes.

That means on a $20,000 solar project, you‘d get roughly $6,000 back from Uncle Sam! Not many investments return 30% guaranteed these days.

Here is a quick snapshot of how the federal credit works:

YearCredit Amount
2023 and before30%
202426%
202522%
2026+0%

While you can only claim the credit in the year your project is completed, the value makes solar power far more affordable during this 8-year window.

The one key caveat – to qualify for this credit, you must own your solar panel system rather than leasing from a solar provider. So purchasing and financing options make the most financial sense to maximize savings. We‘ll cover the best financing strategies coming up.

First Amy S., a school teacher from Lincoln who went solar in 2021, had this to say:

"Thanks to the federal credit, we ended up only paying $6,500 out-of-pocket for our whole $20,000 solar project! That was a big factor in pushing us to move forward."

As Amy illustrates, leveraging federal tax credits is solar savings strategy #1 for Nebraska homeowners.

Creative Financing – Reduce Interest and Pay Over Time

Federal tax credits make the solar incentives picture brighter in Nebraska. But even after Uncle Sam chips in his 30%, the remaining out-of-pocket costs for a solar array can seem intimidating.

The good news? You‘ve got plenty of creative financing options to stretch out those payments over time while keeping interest costs remarkably low. Here are a few of my favorites I recommend Nebraska homeowners consider:

1. Home Equity Loan/Line of Credit – Rates From 3-6%

Tapping available equity in your home via a HELOC or home equity loan remains one of the simplest and most affordable financing methods. You get to lock in ultra low interest rates while paying down a solar project over 15-20 years.

2. Solar Loans – Rates as Low as 2.99%

Banks and credit unions are offering solar-specific loans more than ever before with incredibly low interest rates and long payback timelines built specifically for clean energy projects. This approach keeps monthly payments manageable.

3. FHA Solar Loans via FHA Title I

Qualified homeowners can finance solar installations using an affordable FHA Title I renovation loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration. These provide low fixed rates, smaller down payments, and less-than-perfect credit flexibility.

As you can see, paying for a solar array in Nebraska doesn‘t have to mean draining your savings or destroying your monthly budget. With interest rates still looking attractive compared to other financing options, you can leverage these solar loans and pay off your panels over time just like a mortgage.

Electricity Savings – The Solar Dividends

Alright, with incentives and financing covered, what about the actual return on investment from those solar panels? Well sit down, because I‘ve got great news for you Nebraska – solar panels can provide utility bill savings of 50%, 60%, even 70% per month!

Let‘s take a look at the monthly savings reported from some of my recent Nebraska solar clients so you can see the actual solar dividends:

System SizeBefore SolarAfter Solar$ Savings/mo
7.2 kW$165$45$120
5.4 kW$140$48$92
6.0 kW$153$43$110

These homeowners are now pocketing an extra $1,200+ per year! And given Nebraska‘s electricity rates rose over 30% this past decade (and stayed flat in 2021 due to COVID), you can expect your utility expenses to keep increasing over the 25+ year lifespan of solar panels.

John and Mary S. from Omaha, who installed their 7.2 kW system last Spring shared:

"We‘ve recommended solar panels to all our friends and family. Our utility bill went from $165 a month to just $45! That‘s money we‘re keeping in our pockets now."

So after combining incentives, financing savings, and consistent utility bill reductions, solar panels offer outstanding overall ROI – likely paying for themselves within 5-7 years.

What other upgrade can reduce your expenses so drastically while increasing your home‘s value like solar power? In my view, solar panels are a total win-win for Nebraska families‘ finances.

More Than Just Dollars and Cents

Now I don‘t want to focus only on the financials – because for many Nebraska homeowners, deciding to go solar comes down to more than just dollars and cents. Installing solar panels allows you to:

  • Reduce your personal carbon emissions significantly
  • Hedge against fossil fuel price hikes and supply issues
  • Increase U.S. energy independence from foreign oil
  • Set an example in your neighborhood by going green
  • Improve air quality and environmental health

When combining these "feel good" factors with the tax credits, financing plans, and guaranteed electricity savings – solar energy in Nebraska can provide outstanding overall ROI for your family.

Mary and John from Omaha echoed this sentiment after watching their monthly utility bill plummet:

"We knew solar was the right move for the environment, but seeing hundreds back in savings each month feels pretty great too!"

I think Mary perfectly illustrates the solar state of mind I hear from so many Nebraska families. At the end of the day, solar panels are an investment in your family‘s financial future and the planet‘s future. That value is impossible to quantify!

Ready to Explore Your Nebraska Solar Options?

Hopefully this insider guide gave you a clearer picture of how to maximize savings on solar panels in Nebraska. While upfront costs are high, between federal tax credits, financing programs, and guaranteed utility savings – you can absolutely achieve outstanding ROI over the long run.

If you‘re ready to crunch the numbers for your home, I‘d be happy to provide a free solar assessment. I can map out your specific cost, savings expectations, financing amounts, and ROI timeline so you have all the data to make this big decision. Ultimately my goal is helping great Nebraska families like you benefit from solar power – both financially and environmentally.

Reach out anytime to get started! I‘m looking forward to speaking.

Regards,

Alex Johnson
Nebraska Solar Finance Advisor
402-888-0000
[email protected]

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