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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels in Alabama

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Alabama home. Since there's a lot 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!

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** What's new for 2020 **

We wish we had a sunnier update to report, but the Alabama state legislature has done very little to encourage home solar power development, continuing to miss golden opportunities to harness natural solar resources and team with existing utility programs to create a strong statewide solar incentives.

In a faint glimmer of improvement, because of our addition of insolation as a ranking factor, Alabama is no longer the worst state in the nation for home solar. Now it’s 49th best! We’d really like to see some improvement here, but for solar lovers in Alabama, DIY might be your only choice for now. There are still ways to make solar work for you in Alabama, so read on to get our best advice!

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 $4,500/kW!

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Alabama, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Alabama. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Alabama.

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 Alabama

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Alabama 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:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Alabama

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. 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. If you take a home equity line of credit (HELOC), though, your payments over 15 years will be a little more than your savings, but you'll still come out ahead in the end.

The average homeowner in Alabama spends $1,774 on electricity bill every year, despite the state having some very low prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. With a 5.9-kW solar system, consisting of 26 325-watt panels, you can make enough electricity to save about $966 of that bill every year. You wouldn't want to go much bigger than that, because Alabama doesn't offer net metering.

Our calculations below assume this 5.9-kW solar system will cost $3.15 per watt, which isn't as cheap as it would be in a state with better policies that led to a more robust solar industry, but them's the breaks. Read on to find out more about each of the two options for payng for solar in Alabama.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

So you’ve got some cash and you’re ready to buy. An outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. That 30% Federal tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year cost way down.

In our example, your intial cost is $20,000, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will produce big returns. But also loook into the solar loan option below, because you'll end up ahead in year one from the solar tax credit, and taking a loan to buy an income-generating asset is just a really smart move.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Alabama solar purchase with average-sized 5.9-kW rooftop solar system:

  • The cost of solar in Alabama should be about $18,585 for an average-sized 5.9-kW system. Don’t worry – even without state incentives, you can still knock a big chunk off the price right off the bat.
  • Since the feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no state incentives means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $4,832 (26% of $18,585) for a new price of $13,753.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $966. That brings your cost after the first year to $12,786.
  • With a conservative estimate for the future rise of electricity prices (increasing at a rate of 3.5%), you can expect your new solar power system to pay for itself in about 12 years. Even with that slower (than other states) payback time frame, you can still expect to get about 13 years of profits (yes, profits) out of your solar power system. We estimate those profits to be in excess of $21,500 through 2044.
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by close to $13,750, too (your cost after the tax credit)!
  • 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 127 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Alabama. 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.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

This is without a doubt the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment. That’s because it relies on using someone else’s money for the purchase price, which is paid back over time. The cost is similar to a new car loan, but because solar makes you money, it's a tremendous investment. A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $18,585, with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You love making money without much risk

The reason this works so well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get all of the incentives that go along with buying solar. You'll get the 26% federal tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. The bad news is your loan payments will be higher than those energy bill savings, so you'll end up spending about $62/month for solar in the first year. That difference will come down each year as electricity prices rise, but your system will keep on producing about the same amount of electricity.

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

  • Installing a typical 5.9-kW solar system should start at about $18,585. That will be the amount of your HELOC.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $966. That's enough to pay for a family-sized pizza every week!
  • At the end of the year, the federal government will give you a 26% tax credit based on the cost of your system after the rebate. That's $13,750 you won't be paying in taxes. You can take the credit over as many years as you need if you don't owe that much in federal taxes this year.
  • Your loan payments will total a little over $1,706, which means even though you're paying for a loan, those savings and incentives mean you’ll actually come out way ahead after the first year. You’ll have solar on your roof and an extra $4,092 in your pocket.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $1,500 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll see a total savings of nearly $15,000 with a solar loan in Alabama.
  • And don't forget... your solar panels are offsetting so much dirty electricity, it's like planting 127 trees per year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Alabama. 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.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Alabama does not offer solar Power Purchase Agreements or leases. Perhaps it would be a good idea to contact a solar advocacy organization and ask them to fight for solar in your state!

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Alabama 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 Georgia—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 Alabama:

Alabama's Renewable Portfolio Standard

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) basically requires utilities in the state to source a percentage of energy from renewable sources by a given date. A strong RPS is important because it forces utility companies to promote conversion to renewable energy. That generally means free money for you in the form of solar power rebates and performance payments when you switch to solar.

Alabama currently has no state or local Renewable Portfolio Standards. As we’ve seen in other states, the lack of an RPS has translated to an unfortunate lack of incentives to support solar power.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Alabama's Solar carve-out and SRECs

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Carve-out grade

Unfortunately, no RPS means no solar carve out.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Alabama Electricity Prices

$0.12/kWh

Grade: C

Alabama's Electricity cost grade

Alabama pays an average of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity. That’s a bit below the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh. We know you hate that monthly electric bill, but here at SPR, we actually think that energy is too cheap right now. That’s right, too cheap. Most electricity is currently produced by burning fossil fuels. All that earth-killing oil and coal may be cheap, but the long-term costs associated with fossil fuels far outweigh those monthly bill savings. When all those long-term costs really start to kick in, monthly electricity bills are going to inevitably rise as well and you’ll be patting yourself on the back for having already switched over to clean, efficient solar energy.

Find out why electricity prices matter

Alabama Net Metering

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Net Metering grade

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 any surplus. Alabama is one of only six states in the nation without statewide net metering standards in place. Net metering remains completely at the discretion of the utility.

Learn more about net metering

Alabama Interconnection Rules

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Interconnection Standards grade

Likewise, Alabama is one of fifteen states lacking statewide standards for interconnection. Utility companies have full discretion not only on whether to offer net metering, but also over what is required for you to get your solar power system connected to the grid in the first place. That can spell a logistical nightmare for attempting to connect your solar panels to the grid.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Alabama Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Alabama measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

Alabama Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Rebates grade

2016 was the year the solar rebate died in Alabama. TVA used to have a nice program where they'd buy your solar electricity and even give you $1,000 up front, but sadly, it no longer exists. With no RPS in place, politicians and utility companies have no incentive to help promote solar power. They’re happy to leave all the costs to you … until they face stiff penalties for failing to satisfy an RPS, that is. Given all of Alabama’s sunshine, legislators have a great opportunity to secure cheap and plentiful energy, but they need to start pushing statewide incentives to make use of all those solar resources.

Learn more about solar rebates

Alabama Solar Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Tax Credits grade

While Alabama does not have any policies currently to provide renewable energy tax credits, due largely to the lack of a Renewable Portfolio Standard, you Alabamians will benefit from the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit nonetheless! There's no cap on the federal tax credit and you'll deduct that right off the bat. Sample calculations follow below -- keep scrolling!

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

There’s no property tax exemption for solar panels installations in Alabama, but there certainly should be. It’s a simple way to encourage solar growth, especially since solar homes appreciate by a multiple of twenty times annual electricity bill savings. That property value increase should be tax exempt, because you’re doing a lot of good for the community, economy, and environment.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

One of the simplest ways for the Alabama state legislature to encourage small scale clean energy adoption is to declare solar panel equipment exempt from state sales taxes as many other progressive states have done. Sadly, there is no such declaration. Luckily for you, however, Alabama has one of the lowest statewide sales tax rates, collecting only 4%.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Low-income Solar Programs

None

Grade: F

Alabama's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Alabama has no low-income solar programs.

Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The consensus on Alabama solar power rebates and incentives

Unfortunately the Alabama legislature is currently squandering the state’s solar power potential. Without any incentives in place, costs after year 1 remain higher than most other states, and the payback time frame here is a sub-par 12 years. That’s not the slowest time to payback we’ve seen, but given the total absence of state policy supporting solar power, we have no choice but to award Alabama with a big, ugly “F” for homeowners who want to go solar.

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Diedra
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Diedra

So, what it sounds like people are saying is this. I live in Andalusia, AL so I should
1. install my own system
2. Don’t tie it to the grid, don’t even tell them
3. Use it for specific applications like the water heater, fridge and AC/heater only
4. Don’t expect any monetary help from the state.
5. Take advantage of all the federal rebates because it is all I am going to get.

Do I have that about right?

Bill E.
Guest
Bill E.

I put in a 10 kw solar system in Northport. Much to my surprise there is a $5/kw/month capacity reserve fee (in my case, $50/mo). Since my system cost $19,600 (after federal tax credit) and produces about $147 worth of electricity per month (net savings of $97 per month after $50 fee taken out), I have a break-even point of about 16 years, with about a 6% ROI.

Ben Zientara
Admin

Thanks for telling your story, Bill. Those fees are sold to the public as a way to make solar owners pay their “fair share” of the transmission and distribution fees included on everyone’s electric bill, but the claims that solar owners are a burden on others are patently false. We like to get the word out when utility companies aren’t playing fair. Can you share the name of your electric company?

Billy
Guest
Billy

I’m sure its Alabama power co.
Selfish people. Our state dont care that we save money or energy

Diedra
Guest
Diedra

I’m not sure why solar owners should be oaying for distribution fees and transmission fees since most of the folks here don’t seem to be utilizong those functions. I don’t quite understand I suppose.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

yes you are right solar works real good ,if you go into your power provider and ask if solar works and they say it dose not (AND THAT IS WHAT THEY WILL SAY) they are good at lying to you ,if we could get the trash out of the capatol in montgomery we could have solar here in alabama,but good luck getting rid of the trash cause they are as sorry as the power companys ,but solar works and they know it dose that is why they say it dont from what I read alabama power is the big hold… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I have a 3700 Watt System.. I live in S.E. AL. I use my system conservatively. I have a Hot water heater timer set for 4 hrs. a day. 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I use all major appliances such as cloth dryers, electric stoves, and especially AC units during day time only. Most of the time We use crock pots and slow cookers such as electric roasters which may burn a whole 2Kwh a piece during a 8 to 10 hr. cook . It cooks while were at work. The key is to get a system that is big… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

the last time I posted here about you puting your on meter in to keep check on your power provider,s smart meter ,well once more the smartmeter stuck me again with 10 khw I did not use,the 1-8-2014 it was 11khw ,so if you want to know if you are getting what you pay for or not solar or no solar you need your own meter to track them smart meters ,even your povider calls them smart meters cause while you sleeping they are adding to your power bill , power you did not use it,s true they are smart… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

im a resident of alabama tue incentive are the worst in the country i do have my own solar array and back feeding to the grit with a 2.5 kwh system saving about 100. dollars a month

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

NBC has an article circulating on Utilities fighting back on solar.. They claim the rooftop install avg. in 2013 was on setup every 4 min.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

ok every one i posted down this page about putting your own meter in to keep check on your power providers smart meter,i am glad i did my power provider just stold (11) kill-o-watts from me last night that i did not use, youfolks on alabama power you better start checking on them and all other providers to ,i would not know that i got ripped off last night if i did not have my meter ,

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’ve purchased a 7kw solar grid tied system and Alabama Power is planning on charging me $35 per month Capacity Reservation Charge which will eat up half of the planned savings and double the time of return on investment. Is there a way around this?

energy-saving windows
Guest
energy-saving windows

All you need to bear in mind is that you can do that will have great effect on led bulbs
dimmable your water temperature. The circulation
of electrons within a electrical circuit is resistance which can be programmed to signal
various conditions. In so far as lighting during night time.

Jason
Guest
Jason

@Magdi… really it seems to me that Alabama Power has set the “value” of 1kwh at 12c and they feel like yours is somehow less valuble. If they need to make profit fine but they should provide you power at the same price they charge you for it or at least relatively close.

Magdi
Guest
Magdi

I live in Montgomery. Inhave nice 10kw solar system on my roof that is outstanding. I reduced my bill by 90% at least but i assert that Al power are crooks. Since installing my system and fought to getvthem to agree , they keep reducing the rate they initially agreed pay for each KW i dump back into the grid. I pay 12 c or so for usage but they pay back now about 3c. Every year they lower it. Don t know why but the next time they do, i shall sue them right and left.

Jason
Guest
Jason

I am interested in installing panels. Who installed your solar panels? Is AL power still paying you for your extra energy?

david
Guest
david

well I sure hope you do ,and power provider,s they are crook,s plain and simple ,but you all need to use the media ,news papers and t v stations and give them your story about how good solar is and what your power provider is doing to you ,your power provider don’t like to hear Bad news on them , tv wsfa has a county Road 12 call them and get on the news all you can ,and the federal web site says all power providers have to give you a buy and sell meter ,so if they don’t have… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Cindy, thet know what it is, they are Bullian you.. South Al. issues them, Covington issues them and they are all Touchtone Energy. Call them again and tell them your next call after you hang the phone up is too the Public Service Commission. Theyll get it worked out.

BILL
Guest
BILL

yes if you will do that they will start to get it,and every one out there that Reads this since they have put you in a smart meter ,you need to install a meter to track the smart meter for your self you just may learn a little more about your power supplier, then you can check to see if they are over charging you for your power you are getting from them ,they control there meter in there office so they can set it any way they want to ,so get you a meter of your own and track… Read more »

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Bill,
We are on Cherokee Electric as well and just installed solar panels. My question is how do you get Cherokee Electric pay the .04 cents a kilowatt to you and get a buy & sell meter? I requested a buy & sell meter from them and was told they do not have that. Any information you can provide would be great. Thanks for your valuable information you have provided.

BILL
Guest
BILL

hello Cindy first look up the public service comm, web sit get there phone number co-op,s are not under the public service comm rules But call them anyway tell them what you have done and ask them for help, if our co-op can do it Cherokee can do it to, and call the governor,s office ,and tell them to , you have got to fight Back , and dont let them Bullie you ,they will Bullie you if you let them ,let them know you are not going to sit down and take it with out a fight , and… Read more »

BILL
Guest
BILL

cindy one more thing you need to know ,,all co-op,s have 4 or 5 Board members in your county and one in your district represents you so he is the one you need to get in touch with call cherokee electric and find out who your represntitive is and he is the one you need to work on ,if you do not have a BUY SELL meter they are takeing your xtra power for for free to them ,you need to install a meter to keep check on there meter ,then you can tell if they are ripping you off… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Mr. W Lee, I couldnt agree with you more. Off grid Solar I take it since 1998 is a really really inspirational to say the least. I know the more people know about Solar the more they will see that Big Energy and alot of assorted media are feeding the people garbage that may hurt their portfolios if the people took matters in their own hands when it comes to energy independence. I myself I have a grid tie by day and a off grid by night and love power bills of 22.00 and less. I used to average 180.00… Read more »

Warren Lee
Guest
Warren Lee

We need power companies and they should make a profit. However they have been on a gravy train and don’t want to get off. We need them to function as the battery for the solar panels. During the day residential systems generate power back feeding the grid. At night they draw power from the power company instead of batteries. That is the best method right now until a new form of energy storage is developed. I have been off the grid and using battery banks since 1998. Solar works and is the solution. Unified pressure is needed to get true… Read more »

Kiltit
Guest
Kiltit

Whew! Read it all. All I’m interested in is an opportunity to look at a working solar panel setup and have someone explain and answer my million plus questions. I’ve seen some really great solar setups on youtube, but lack the skill set to jump into a project. If anyone is close to Dothan and is willing to share information and allow viewing of the system, let me know. I’ve went from CFL to LED lighting through the house and locked the thermostat down so the kids don’t turn it down. The wife is drying clothes on the line to… Read more »

David
Guest
David

grrbrown.. Who are the Stereotypes that you speak about? I hope its not me you are refering to for my investment was mine to make freely and on my own. I save alot of Money and it hurts alot of Investers for they cant invest in me. So for the Oregon thing, maybe some Green people are that way, but if me saving money makes me Green in that aspect, well then so be it. I wonder what your meaning on the work to be done in Alabama at the end of your comment. Tell us. We’d like to hear… Read more »

grrbrown
Guest
grrbrown

I am sitting in a college library with free wifi, surrounded by people of all colors, using macbooks and other high end electronics. I am in Huntsville, a city with more PhD’s per capita than Palo Alto. We put men into space here. For all the stereotypes, there is another Alabama, constantly fighting for the paradise that could be. Alabama with the progressive attitudes and laws of Oregon would truly be the best place on Earth to live. Stereotype all you want, it only makes you sound weak. I currently work in the defense industry, and our work on renewables,… Read more »

Bill
Guest
Bill

yes you are Right on david just change some of your habits around to when the sun is shineing and let the solar do it,s job and it dose a good job here to ,I have not had a power Bill Below 60.00 in 30years But thanks to my solar power my last Bill was 56.92 and this Bill(for this month) will Be less than that, your power provider dose not hold all the key,s if you want your power Bill down ,dont wait for alabama to move ,get your solar and Bring that Bill down I Belive you will… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Yea Alabama it seems is going to take it to the limit on Fighting Net-Metering. But I still wouldnt let Net-Metering stop me.. I didnt either.. And still have dropped my power bill by 80%. I changed a few habit with my hotwater heater to make sure it ran only when my Solar ran and 325.00 AVG went to the 60.00 dollar range. During the Spring and Fall its down as low as 20.00 to 25.00.. With net-metering is were it scares the Hell out of my power provider.. Because then Id get a check. ;)

bill
Guest
bill

michael we do not have net metering at this time ,But that dose not mean solar will not pay for itself ,according to the federal Renewable energy web site , they can not stop you from hooking up to there grid and you can Request a Buy & sell meter they do not have to pay you what you pay them ,but you are soppose get a little ,we get .04 cents a kill-o-watt for what gose to them ,but i dont give them any more than I have to I use all of my power I can that is… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

I live on Weiss Lake and use Cherokee Electric power. Its like banging your head on the wall to get net metering from them, they claim they dont have to go by the 2005 law. Has anyone else had any luck?

Gordon
Guest
Gordon

I am in Northern Alabama and I built my home to support Solar Panels in the future. I don’t see them as economical at this time. That Alabama is so poorly supporting the efforts of it people in this effort is sad. I know of programs to train students in installing solar in community colleges. But without financial incentives, it will be many years before they can find work in the field. That people are being actively discouraged is criminal.

Jim
Guest
Jim

I am an Auburn boy who moved out to California, and the contrast between AL and CA policies is stunning. CA passed a law 3 or 4 (?) years ago that said HOA’s could not restrict homeowners from installing solar on their home. Although there is no state tax credit, the power company provides a credit (was about 10 percent when I installed) for installation costs that is partially subsidized through the Air Quality District. I was thinking of getting a system for my retired dad in B’ham, but AL policy seems to discourage this. Finally, I wasn’t smart enough… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

I really wish Alabama would go Solar Power.It would really help in everything,from saving money to the trees.Our power Companies need to stop and think how it would help their customers out that is having a hard time paying for power cost.LIke our household,there is only one person working and it’s hard to pay it on time like they wont it to be.You would think they would do that,but i feel like they don’t care,all they care about it having that money in their pocket..yip!!!!

Tony
Guest
Tony

First let me start by declaring the pride I have living in Alabama. I’m not from here and nor have I been here but 18 months. My wife is from Panama and I’ve lived with her in Panama, Puerto Rico, Germany, and now here. In these months, us foreigners have been made to feel very welcome by our neighbors, our Church, and my co-workers. Although thankful, our time in Germany (7.5 yrs) is what is relevant to this conversation. In Germany, our next door neighbor, with his middle aged step-father, put in solar panels which covered nearly his entire south… Read more »

David
Guest
David

If anyone is interested, there will be on December 6th nd 7th a conference in Auburn,Al. Alabama Clean and Renewable Energy Conference @ Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. State political figures will be there as well as all aspects of energy for finding ways to improve Alabamas renewable energy policies. Contact info: Kathy Hornsby 334-242-5284 Hope to see you there.

david
Guest
david

Im sorry, I meant GE!! lol

tony hanners
Guest
tony hanners

i am from the dothan alabama area and i to am starting to check into solar as the power bill keeps just going up and i am now installing a wood burning fireplace for the tax break as this is a joke but doing it for us as alabama is broke and have our taxes on hold from 10 as i installed new windows and doors and the whole works and have all papers to prove and feds paid but not alabama waiting on a audit, what a joke.

David
Guest
David

After reading the last two post that are here on this site, I too beleive its all education and contacting of your States Gov. Officials to get the ball rolling. Corporations Like Wal-Mart and walgreens throughout the Country are getting on the Solar Bandwagon like Crazy… If you follow politics Republicans are now not so Green. But they need a cash Cow to now unseat Obama.. Im Concervative myself, but see through the BS… They need money, like Obama has GTE.. Poltics!! Dont let anyone try to convince you Solar doesnt work. So many states now enjoy relatively free energy… Read more »

Billy fuller
Guest
Billy fuller

to all those in alabama I am in solar it works Real good But for it to work the way it should we have got to get net-metering in alabama so every one Please call the governor,s office every week or so ,and get everyone that will call ,and let the governor know the people of alabama need net-metering in our state, I have Been calling it But I need more to call to , call this number (334-242-7978 this is johnny Blackman,s number of the governor,s office and let them know we need net -metering in alabama ,the more… Read more »

R. Draper
Guest
R. Draper

after reading many of the comments that have been posted, it boils down to educating the public in general, and contacting state legislators or even the governor himself with numerous letters if need be. I think the people should have the choice, and more of a say when it comes to utilities.

Roxann
Guest
Roxann

I’m stunned to have read all of the comments posted! Some helpful, some just ignorant! Let me just say, I ended up here on accident researching solar panels to help with our pockets as well as saving this planet. If we can harness the energy our earth supplies why haven’t we yet? Mostly because of the cost! Which ive found is incredible! I’m not looking for someone to put money in my pocket but my energy bills are going through the roof my taxes are going up and its getting harder to make ends meet.I was born in this beautiful… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

WATCHMAN, What loads are you running while on back up? you should be able to run a window unit that would keep a room cool during an outage.I would like to talk with you, email [email protected]

watchman
Guest
watchman

Well, I live in semi rural Alabama. The comments about running your meter backwards are mistaken. You can do it, and I have a system that does it. I have a 2500 watt grid tied battery backup system which I installed myself. I am an electrical engineer, now retired, but you don’t need to be to install one. My system and I made it just fine through the latest 8 day power outage caused by the May tornadoes. The system uses grid-tied inverters, which as the name implies passes excess power back into the power lines, and can also drow… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Bruce its a big time lie.. Go to Alabama Powers Internet site and search for solar.. Then call those liars back.. Good Luck.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Hello to all dose anyone out there still Read these comment,s here, or is there anyone trying to talk to there Rep.” out there to get something going up in montgomery,there are only 2 or 3 states left that dont have net-metering and no thanks to the power company,s around the state we are one of the states that dont have it ,here in coffee county we are trying to get our Rep.” to move if we can,But we need a lot of help,is there anyone out there Reading these post ,that is trying at this time to get something… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Heres a breakdown of the Investment on average. Lets say a 5200W system @ every possible positive factor you can use for the systems effeciency. Ok, 5200W X 4.98 = 25896.00. Minus 10% of the Fed. Tax credit you may qualify for which now leaves 23306.40. Now on avg, a 5200W say produces 29.9KWH daily, give or take 8KWH daily. 29.9 X 30 days = 897KWH monthly on avg. 897 X 12 months = 10764KWH a year. 10764KWH X 27 years = 290628 KWH for the avg. lifetime of the system. When you divide the cost of 23306.40 by 290628… Read more »

bruce
Guest
bruce

i live in tuscaloosa al i have a small pv sytem that charges batteries it cost me about 800.00 it lower my bill by havle i want to sell power back to the grid but they told me with the new smart meter it was not avable thats a lie but thats al power for you ps my sytem is only 300 watts

Billy fuller
Guest
Billy fuller

folks we need to get net-metering in our state,if we dont try to get it we never will ,Bill

David
Guest
David

Well Id be the first to say Al. sucks on Renewables. Im not saying anyone should be payed by another to get started.. Its just plain wrong and I dont do things like that because folks might take me for a Politician, but it would be nice if our State Politicians would atleast give us Net-Metering.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Thanks for stopping by Power Pete, obviously every one knows that brown power is also subsidized by tax payers. You’ll probable not get any response from your elected officials because they receive a tax revenue from every chunk of smoldering coal producing power. What aggravates me is how the power company writes articles about renewable energy and they all ways seem to inflate the cost of installing it, deflate the output that it will produce and fail to mention any thing about the environmental benefits (which another quick internet search will also provide). Also they try to discourage investment in… Read more »

Pete
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Pete

For all the state bashers I have two suggestions. Alabama has several interstate highways that lead to other other states, take one of them. Move to a state that charges higher utility rates and enjoy it. My second suggestion, quit asking tax payers to subsidize your green power endevors. Pay for it yourself and quit whining.

RTR
Guest
RTR

TVA has 3 Mark I Nuclear Reactors (the type that melted down in Japan) in Browns Ferry. The reactors are over 30 years old and at the end of their designed life.
However; The NRC gave the TVA a license to operate these plants for an additional 20 years. Seems strange that the plants are operated to recover cost and produce profit in the 30 years life. But the cost of power still goes up even though a paid for plant is producing the power.

Chris
Guest
Chris

FACE IT PEOPLE. When you enter Alabama turn your watch back 50 years. That is how far we are behind the western states in green energy.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Why can you not install a system that will provide 100% of your needs and write these power leaches off for good?

Tony
Guest
Tony

Do any Alabama Utility Companies offer energy rebates?

Magdi
Guest
Magdi

Why wait for incentives. Most of the text listed here is whining. Just do it. Worst case scenario, you will produce enough power not to pay electricity.
I am planning an 8 KW system to be done in December 2010. Why let the Saudis and the mullah laugh all the way to the bank. Consider this a patroitic matter. A good system of 8ww cost about 24K. Instead of buying a BMW with 45K. buy a chevy for 20K and pay for the 24K with the rest.

gail marshal
Guest
gail marshal

I had a plan for a solar & wind power home power project and would like to know how much this payback program payed back per____?… watt. can you give me the information? thamks

wba
Guest
wba

I read somewhere in the Ala. public service commission papers that a home power generation customer (gird tie) must provide a $1,000,000.00 insurance policy in order to get a net meter. Does anyone in Ala. know if that is in fact true? I think without the net meter, you actually pay for the power you introduce.

WBA
Guest
WBA

I live in Spanish Fort Alabama. I am installing (myself) a small 24 volt solar grid tie system with battery back up . This type of system will slow down the power meter and reduce the power bill. Also, I installed a ‘Power Saver’ or power factor corrector box to further slow the meter down. I am following standard electrical codes and my grid tie connection comes into my power panel on a double 220v 20 amp breaker. I hope to add a wind pma soon and as time goes on, I’ll add a panel and extra inverter over and… Read more »

S
Guest
S

Feb 2013 Also a Sp. Ft. resident==What is the development with your system and Riviera?

Kiwistyle
Guest
Kiwistyle

We decided to get on Budget pay for our electric. We have two meters at our house so each went on separate Budget pay. This is the month to “reconcile”, one of the bills ended up with a $400.00 credit and the other with a $300.00 deficit. Now here is the issue that has me upset. For the one that is under the payment they want us to catch it up with a $680.00 payment and the other one they just simply want to keep and neither credit to our other account or get a refund on it. Why would… Read more »

Kiwistyle
Guest
Kiwistyle

I am here looking at solar energy for a very good reason. We decided to get on Budget pay for our electric. We have two meters at our house so each went on Budget pay. This is the month to “reconcile”, one of the bills ended up with a $400.00 credit and the other with a $300.00 deficit. Now here is the issue that has me upset. For the one that is under the payment they want us to catch it up with a $680.00 payment and the other one they just simply want to keep and neither credit to… Read more »

roderick morrison
Guest
roderick morrison

right glad to hear that there are some hardy souls in Lower Alabama who are determined in the face of adversity to go GREEN, we also live close by that recycling plant on Govt St, lets join up and develop our own SOLAR Movement.
PS I migrated straight into Mobile from Scotland-its a great State its the right choice for me,,, however, I may speak funny- but at least I can spell,

Andolyn
Guest
Andolyn

I’m glad to read all of the input on solar incentives in Alabama or the lack thereof. I am building in Fairhope, AL (near Mobile) and we are earnestly trying to build with energy conservation in mind. We started by using structural insulated panels (SIPs) and now need to decide on roofing. I would love to use solar shingles and be net-zero for the year in terms of energy consumption. I have been discouraged to use solar shingles by my builder and the gentleman we chose to set up our solar water heating system (roof panels) It certainly sounds like… Read more »

Larry White
Guest
Larry White

Some very intersting disucssions, but I am still interested in installing solar power for my residence. Energy costs will just continue to rise and I believe home solar is the way to go. Currently we could pay for a system in 10-11 years and be generating “free” energy from that point. Any feedback?

bobby white
Guest
bobby white

I have just installed a 2100 watt PV system.I intened to install a grid tie system,however I was discoreged all alone the way by my electric co op {CAEC} I was told this is nota good solar area and that to conect to there system I would have to provid $100,000 worth of insurance.So I put in a 48v battary based unit with a 6kw inverter so ther will be room to grow.now i cut there power off at 6am till 5pm

Catfish
Guest
Catfish

There are several errors with postings above. 1) Alabama Power does not have a monopoly in Alabama. There are more than 30 electric municipalities in AL, who are served from multiple resources and providers. Other “power companies” are TVA, Powersouth, and AMEA. 2) Alabama may not have tax incentives, but we do have similar legislation as other states that allows for renewable energy buy-back from consumer owned generation. This became effective in May 2008. It is not specifically net-metering, because net-metering is not always the best solution, and does not always give the best payback to the consumer. 3) ALPower… Read more »

msg
Guest
msg

we have the technology to go green and save our environment and ourselves. yet we have no incentives from state government to do so. i don’t know about everyone else, but i can’
t seem to save a dime to put toward solar panels for trying to pay my electric bills. sad indeed.

wayne
Guest
wayne

Anyone ever really looked at the ROI for a PV system? It’s somewhere bordering on the outrageous. And NO – Bama does not give us any incentives to go green. Even buying a Smart car is Dumb – in Bama, you’ll get run over and crushed to death. Forget that.

Bottom line – unless the cost of PV comes down to where I can get ~ a 1-year ROI, then I’ll keep ignoring solar. Too bad – ’cause I think solar is cool (pardon any pun here).

TLogan
Guest
TLogan

I sat in an Economic Development Conference in Montgomery in early 2009 and listened in unbelief as one of the heads of Alabama Power said that the State of Alabama was not a good place to try to generate either solar or wind energy. The people at our table all groaned as he showed a “map” of Alabama with sun and wind ratings that in his words were too low for any benefit. Then he displayed a pie chart showing how by 2025 more than 20% of Alabama Power’s KWH would come from nuclear ? energy!! And he represents the… Read more »

Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"
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Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"

Why spend billions on a nuclear plant in Alabama when you have a natural nuclear plant: The Sun. And great solar technology to capture that power. It’s ready here and now and Alabamans have to elect and pressure officials to give subsidies toward solar projects, not costly, unreliable, unsafe, water intensive nuclear.

Leslie Muzingo
Guest
Leslie Muzingo

While I will agree that Alabama certainly should be more environmentally friendly and offer more incentives, Alabama can, on the other hand, be considered PROGRESSIVE for offering a tax incentive for burning wood before the Feds did as they are now – yes folks, you can now get a 30% tax credit for installing a fireplace insert. It could be that your fireplace was none functional or you didn’t even burn wood before, but thanks to the fed govt, now you burn wood. Why? Because wood, as Alabama knew long ago, (and as they know in Norway and Sweden) is… Read more »

Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"
Guest
Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"

Leslie, thanks for your perspective. The wood burning program you’re taking about is explained briefly here.

Nevertheless, this is SolarPowerRocks, not WoodPowerRocks, and we hope that Alabama natives will do all they can to encourage their legislators to pass programs that will use all that gorgeous Alabama sun for solar electric and solar hot water systems. I’m glad to hear that you’re recycling down there in Mobile. I have friends down there in smaller towns that don’t. It would be great if all could be more environmentally conscious as Mobile. Thanks for your thoughts.

Doug
Guest
Doug

It’s not up to the utilities.It’s up to the consumer to prove the demand is there to convert to alternate power sources. Solar wind and geothermal often appear to be blocked. If the public would move forward with out the help of the state and learn to go off grid the TVA and the state will have no choice but to get with the times. The loss of tax revenue usually gets the states panties in a bunch pretty quick.

ME
Guest
ME

Well Considering where I live in South Alabama does not even have a recycling program how can you expect them to have anything for solar.

MAD BRAD
Guest
MAD BRAD

Just joined in on trying to get something done by contacting our representatives and got ignored with no returned calls and lies that I would get returned emails. The one office that would respond started in on how education needs priority over solar and our education is in quote dire straits. They may be in bad shape but they were not so bad that two years ago that our state officials gave themselves a 60% raise. Also we hear how cheap our taxes are here. That may be the case for some but not for me. That figured a way… Read more »

Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"
Guest
Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"

Good for you, Brad! Sounds like the next step is to get more press for the cause. See if you can’t the attention of one of the large Alabama news papers or, even better, a television station. But don’t be mad brad to these reporters. Be polite, make your case that solar is important too and that it’s important to the health of those kids in terms of pollution and asthma related health costs. Point out that utilities all over the states are getting on board, including Florida and Georgia. Does Alabama want to be left behind on the bottom… Read more »

red
Guest
red

Want to know how evil alabama power is?
Look at this from their website.
http://www.alabamapower.com/renewableenergy/solar_costs.asp

red
Guest
red

First dont think tha Alabamas government is the only one getting their pockets stuffed, the only difference is who is doing the stuffing. Here in Alabama it is mostly Alabama power, where in other states it is the green energy companies. Second I am not at all embarrassed to be from Alabama and if you are you have the right to leave. I have sent many letters to the state reps on this very subject. NOT e-mails. Letters. They get a huge amount of e-mails every day. If you want to get your point across to them send letters. Send… Read more »

Larry
Guest
Larry

Priorities
#1 Learn to spell or use spell check.
#2 Save the environment

Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"
Guest
Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"

Honestly, Larry, Our priorities are 1) Save the environment, 2) drink celebratory beer, 3) spell check, 4) more beer. 5) See #1. In any case, the only spelling mistake that our system caught that wasn’t intentional (“gotta” is just how write) was “bigwhigs.” Should have been bigwigs. Gotta change that. But thanks for pointing that out. If bad copy editing is all that prevents you from going solar, well….real bummer for the planet and I guess bad on us. We’ve probably got a zillion more typos on our 3 years worth of our great solar info here, so please forgive… Read more »

JACKSON CANUP
Guest
JACKSON CANUP

start with you local goverment , and work your we up the line ,and vote. get in the local town halls make noise it will take time but look at the savings for all, look at the new jobs, sheffield alabama I am coming your way and we are going to get green! alabama goverment is going to help or alabama goverment is going to change! alabama could be looked at as one of the best states in America to retire.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

How do we get this changed in Alabama? Alabama needs incentives for solar panels!

Mark McMullen
Guest
Mark McMullen

I will also share this. I have worked on government facilities as an inspector and as a construction superintendent and I have seen the govt. waste alot of our tax money. And to this day I cannot figure out why they will not utilize the power supply systems available on there own structures. I think we should also pressure them “contact your local Rep.” to do the right thing and set the example. They all preach how we ” the rodents in the maze” need to do the right thing for our country. Its time we make them do the… Read more »

Mark McMullen
Guest
Mark McMullen

I see that most of you agree to a certain degree that the federal and overall individual states are not as GUNG HO to give big incentives. I agree with Monty’s idea, Let the meter go in reverse if you make more than you use, and or at least pay you the same rate that they charge you per kwH. When you install the PV system it comes with a secondary meter that shows you how many kwH you have produced produced. Although there is no incentives in Al. to speak of, if you install a system and use the… Read more »

Judy
Guest
Judy

I am not ashamed of living in Alabama, nor do I particularly care about the stereotypes commonly associated with it. I do think that the Alabama should assist, and in some cases, provide “green living” for its residents. It would save the government a fortune in low income supplement. Also, considering the years of toxic abuse heaped upon our land, Alabama could really use the opportunity to make amends to the earth.

Monty
Guest
Monty

Alabam is a great place to implement a PV system, all you have to do is pay for it yourself. Obama’s plans and incentives work only for commercial investments geared towards “savings” for the tax payers. What a joke. There is a huge political mokery running this state when a man can get payed to burn wood and gets laghed at when he wants to sell the extra juice generated fron a PV system. Here’s an idea: Make it a “federal” mandate that anyone who generates more power than they need, gets to run the meeter in reverse. Set a… Read more »

JOHN
Guest
JOHN

I am very disappointed in my state government and their lack of interest in promoting solar energy. To add insult to injury our local cooperative, Baldwin EMC actually charges you a higher rate for electricity if you have any alternative energy source supplementing energy to your home or business.

Chris
Guest
Chris

One would think that with energy prices as high as they are that each state could come up with a nice plan to help the individual who wants to go solar. Doesn’t surprise me that Alabama which is also one of the lowest ranked states in everything else would not have a plan to help people.

Paris Vega
Guest
Paris Vega

I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Our city offers Recycling, emissions testing, and hazardous waste collection. Here is a good article about what Tuscaloosa and other Alabama cities are doing: http://www.nbc13.com/vtm/news/local/article/tuscaloosa_experiments_with_going_green_at_waste_water_treatment_plant/59631/

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

If I am not mistaken, the TVA program requires the homeowner to carry huge amounts of very expensive insurance to cover TVA’s equipment — insurance costs which overwhelm the savings of any benefits they offer.

M. H. Henry
Guest
M. H. Henry

Question #1 (calculation of savings)
I am interestd in this calculation.
Green Power Switch Producer credit (3,500 Kwh/year * $0.15 * 10 years)
Is the 3,500 an average or a maximum?

Question # 2 (Best installers)
Who if anyone here has had a contractor install a system? What are the best contractors in Alabama at the best cost.

M. H. Henry
Guest
M. H. Henry

I think we should focus on how to save money as Alabama residents and write our congressman with any complaints. It will not do any good here. We should be interested in sharing information here that will lead us to a decision to buy green power or not based on the current benefits and or tax cuts. Leave the emotions out of it and stick to the facts. This will help us and others be more productive in our decision making.

Sumpter
Guest
Sumpter

Im all about green power. The real tradgedy is a southern company also owns georgia power allows residents to sell power back to ga power where as alabama residents cannot! What should be done is all deposit money collected should be made to be used in construction of pv and wind generation plants. This money is never taxed and is hidden to public disclosure. The person who pays this money almost never sees it again. Politicians who protect monopolys such as this god will spew from gods mouth, no matter how godly they veiw thierself. What pathetic blight.

michael
Guest
michael

I have lived in Alabama for most of my life and I am ashamed at the way our state is lacking on renewable power that will help not only our state but the country as a whole by not providing more in the way of grants and insentives to help anyone go green if they want. Alabama Power should not hold a monopoly on Power nor should any other.

Jean
Guest
Jean

A power plant near Birmingham holds the record for airborne mercury production from coal.

henry
Guest
henry

jon, you got me. (embarrassed), public schooled. need i say more. we are not on the same page with alternative fuels. do you work with the gov.?

Jon Ingram
Guest
Jon Ingram

“imbarased” is embarrassing me! Believe it or not, there are plenty of literate people who live in Alabama! Not all of us are rednecks either. My state has been stereotyped since the ’60s. Alabama is not as nearly backwards and unrefined as national public perception would have one believe.

Anyway, our Governor IS doing something in the area of alternative fuels. Is it enough? NO. But, at least it is a start. To see one important step he is undertaking check out this press release from his office:
http://governorpress.alabama.gov/pr/pr-2008-09-26-01-clean_corridor.asp

Michael Alpers
Guest
Michael Alpers

The local power producers Including TVA and Huntsville Utilities in northern Alabama do not care or have a clue. If you read the TVA write-up completely they will not allow reverse power generation to offset the cost of making green power. It is only a marketing scam. If they were truly serious they would allow reverse generation at the rates charged to the consumer as most other states do. There is nothing green about the state of Alabama and from what I can see never will be. They won’t even recycle for that matter.

henry
Guest
henry

Alabama state legislators have been investing our money in “clean coal” and nuke. clean coal is misleading: “There is no such thing as ‘clean coal’ and there never will be. It’s an oxymoron.” i am proud to be an american but imbarased to be from alabama where the lobbyers own the the goverment from the governor down. may the ones who sells us out burn in hell.
imbarased

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