Calculate how much you can save on your Blue Ridge bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a Blue Ridge customer: $35,306

Average solar panel cost: $20,274 - $24,779*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative electric bill

Updated: October 22, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your Blue Ridge bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. Blue Ridge doesn't offer time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, but there may be other options for you .

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customers?

Probably. With the Federal solar tax credit, and available North Carolina solar property tax exemption, home solar panels are an investment worthy of your careful consideration as a Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customer. Blue Ridge’s solar generation rate rider also allows you to at least get some credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits, while at a lower rate than you pay for electricity, roll over to the next month’s bill.

Does Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

No, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative does not offer full 1 for 1 net metering. This means that when you export surplus power from your solar panels, you will be paid less by the utility than what you are charged to buy the equivalent amount of power from the grid.

The amount you are paid by the utility is known as a feed-in tariff. In the case of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, this feed-in rate is $0.05 per kWh.

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to Blue Ridge customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a Blue Ridge customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$7,915
Net Metering (State)

Receive full retail rate for excess kWh produced. Credits not used by the end of the billing cycle gets surrendered to utility with no compensation.

Varies
Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems (State)

100% of appraised value of residential solar system is exempt from property taxes.

Varies
TOTAL -$7,915

*Based on 12.26 kW system, average installation cost $30,442

How much does installing solar panels save the average Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative residential customer?

If you input the details for a Blue Ridge customer with a power bill of $150 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 12.26 kW solar system that will produce 15,599 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $35,306 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as a Blue Ridge customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical Blue Ridge customer with a $150 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 12.26 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for Blue Ridge customers?

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$20,397-$24,930

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$33,019-$40,356

Payback period

10.7-13.1 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

11.6kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

12.26 kW

Annual Power Generation

15,599 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

12.1 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

1.5%

Gross cost

$30,442

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$7,915

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$22,529

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$57,835

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customer installing a 12.26 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 15,599 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$1,412

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

7.72

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

54 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

17,081 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.48 per watt or $22,529 for a standard 12.26 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

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