Solar News

You probably remember the beginnings of solar panels—gigantic black panels taking up space in the desert, only to generate a fraction of the energy that small panels produce today. Now, nothing is stopping the average homeowner from putting a small solar array on their roof and nearly eliminating their monthly energy bill! However, solar panels have evolved in more ways than technology.

Net metering has been around for a while now, but most people don’t have a full grasp of what this service is or why it makes solar panels more desirable than ever. Read on to learn what to know about New Mexico’s net metering laws.

How Does Net Metering Work?

“Net metering” refers to the energy flow surrounding your home. On some days with a lot of sunlight when you’re at work all day, your panels may produce more energy than you need. On other days when the sun is behind the clouds and you’re working with power tools for hours, your solar panels may not produce all the energy required to power your home.

However, you won’t run out of energy or waste energy thanks to net metering. You’ll have a meter attached to your solar panel system that can track both excess and lack of energy, so it knows whether you’re providing energy to your local electric grid or taking from the grid.

When the month ends, your bill from the electric company is based on the net power used—the power you take from the grid minus the electricity you sent to the grid. This way, your home is never without power, but extra energy doesn’t go to waste.

Requirements

New Mexico has a few requirements for homes with net metering setups. First, your utility system must have a way to disconnect your system from the grid via a “visible means of disconnection.” You must also have a net meter installed with your system (don’t worry, net meters cost around $20 or less).

Finally, your system requires an inverter that ceases connection with the grid in the event of a power outage. We know what you’re thinking—does that mean you’ll lose power in a blackout? Unfortunately, yes. Systems connected to the grid via net metering will lose power in a blackout even though your panels may be producing energy.

Benefits of Net Metering

What makes net metering so great? There are actually a few benefits you should know about. First, net metering increases the value of your solar panels. Solar panel systems already come with incredible savings, but net metering helps you capitalize on those savings without spending money on accessories like solar batteries.

Net metering means that you can pay even less for your electricity from the grid than you would with solar panels alone. Additionally, net metering is also a great way to help your local grid. You’ve probably seen news stories lately about power grids struggling to keep up with increased demand—giving a bit of excess energy to the grid helps the utility and it also helps ensure your neighbors get the power they need.

You also don’t need to worry about wasting your power. Some people install solar batteries to capture excess power to save it for a rainy day, but batteries have maximum capacities. Once a battery is full, any excess energy goes to waste. With net metering, there’s no limit to the electricity you can send to the grid.

Finally, net metering helps keep homeowners aware of the energy they use on a monthly basis. The net meter provides a record of the power produced and used, so you can notice where energy is being wasted and correct those issues for the following month.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit

Net metering isn’t the only benefit that can save you money when you install solar panels. Another massive advantage to consider is the federal solar investment tax credit. So long as you install your solar panel system before 2032, you can claim a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the total cost of the solar panel system you install. This includes the equipment, permits, and labor.

Solar Rebates

There is no state rebate for solar panels in New Mexico, but certain manufacturers provide rebates, such as LG. Since rebates are time-sensitive, talk with your solar installer to learn whether you’re eligible (and to find out the time frame for applicable solar rebates).

Property Tax Exemption

Solar panel systems increase the value of your home, but higher property value usually equates to higher property taxes. Not in the case of solar panels! New Mexico has a tax exemption for solar panels, so you don’t need to worry about property taxes skyrocketing when you install a solar panel system.

The Value of Solar Panels

When you take all these benefits into account, the value of solar panels skyrockets. Even though the initial cost of your system may be high, once you subtract the tax credits, rebates, and ongoing net metering, the price of solar panels is slashed to a fraction of the starting price.

On top of all these benefits, you would do well to remember that the average American household pays off its solar panels in a decade or less. Solar panel systems come with a warranty of around 25 years, so that leaves you with more than a decade of pure profit! Solar panels are an investment, but they’re an investment that is as close to a “sure thing” as you can get.

If you’re interested in learning more about solar power in Albuquerque, feel free to reach out to the team at NM Solar Group. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and get working on your free quote!

Now that you understand what to know about New Mexico’s net metering laws, start your journey toward renewable, affordable energy today! We work quickly to get your solar panel system up and running, so contact us and get started on the biggest home upgrade you’ll ever make. The savings begin as soon as we fire up your solar panel system, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

What To Know About New Mexico’s Net Metering Laws