Your Relationship With PNM Post-Installation

Why Should I Get Solar Panels?

Because it will put money back in your pocket! Solar panels save you money each month on your electric bill. When you begin to generate energy–right from your very own roof–you can export that energy to the power grid and earn financial credits on your electric bill through a program known as net metering. [1]

Solar energy is great for many reasons. How often are you able to save money while helping the environment and bolstering New Mexico’s economy–all at the same time? Probably not very often, and that’s why solar energy is so great. Solar energy is green and renewable. It allows us to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet.

Solar energy is attractive to many people because it’s an environmentally conscious and money-saving choice. It’s easy to see why solar energy is increasing in popularity. In fact, New Mexico ranks 8th in the nation in per capita solar capacity. [2] From installation to the manufacturing of solar components, the solar industry provides jobs for New Mexicans and bolsters our local economy.

Solar Energy in New Mexico

In March, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reinstated the New Mexico Solar Tax Credit after it had expired in 2016. [3] This program provides 10% off the total cost of solar panel installation in the form of income tax credits. If the tax credit exceeds your total taxes owed for the year, it can even be carried over for up to five years! In addition, the New Mexico Solar Tax Credit can be combined with a substantial federal tax credit which provides an additional 30% off the cost of installation. [4]

In addition to all the money you can save on tax credits and incentives, New Mexico law has been very favorable to the solar industry in allowing net-metering–an awesome benefit of solar energy that allows you to “sell” your excess energy that would otherwise go unused back to PNM at the going rate–currently $0.14 per kilowatt hour. [5]

Net Metering with PNM

Once your solar panels are installed, you’ll be producing energy at different rates throughout the day. Net metering ensures that no energy is wasted. If your home produces more energy than you need, that money is put right back into your pocket through credits on your electric bill.

Here’s it works. During the middle of the day, your solar panels will often generate more energy than your home is using. The sun is directly beaming on your panels, and often, family members are out of the house at work or school so energy consumption is low. And here in New Mexico, we are lucky to have a lot of beautiful sunny days!

During the afternoon, the extra energy that your panels produce will be exported to the power grid. It will travel to neighboring areas and provide needed energy. And the best part–your meter will be spinning backward whenever this happens. You’ll be “banking” energy . . . and money!

Usually, you’ll need to use some energy from the power grid at night. When the sun has set and the whole family is home, electricity usage will go up while solar energy is no longer being produced. At this time, your home will pull energy from the grid. But the good news is that your solar panels have already offset a large portion of that cost by soaking up the sun all day long!

PNM Connectivity Fee

In order to obtain the benefits of net metering, your home must be connected to the power grid. You will sign a Utility Interconnection Agreement with PNM, and there is a monthly, flat connectivity fee of around $7.00 to keep your home’s solar panels tied into the power grid. This fee is paid directly to PNM and it’s separate from any payments to Solar Works

After that, the magic of net metering can begin! Any time you add energy to the power grid by producing more than you use, you will be credited by PNM at the going rate which is currently $0.14 per kilowatt-hour. [5] If your home produces more energy than you use in any given month, the money you earn will roll over onto next month’s electricity bill.

Solar Panel Savings

It’s difficult to determine exactly how your electricity bill will change once you are net metering your solar energy. It’s dependent on your own energy usage, the number of solar panels installed, the cost of electricity, and even the weather.

But one thing’s for sure–you will save money. PNM’s energy rates have been gradually rising. Over the past six years, they rose 12%. Without solar, your electricity bill is only going in one direction–and that’s up. The average monthly utility bill nationwide is $110. With Solar Works, customers paid an average of $10.51 per month!

How Can I Afford the Cost of Installation?

Many customers worry about the up-front cost of installing solar panels. They are right, it’s a big investment, but the many state and federal tax credits and incentives make it a lot more affordable than many people would assume.

Let’s use an example. The cost of solar panel installation for an average home in New Mexico is around $17,000 [2]. But the NM Solar Tax Credit saves you 10% of that cost ($1,700) [3]. The Federal Tax credit can be used as well, and it saves you 30% of the total cost ($4,420) [4]. This decreases the out-of-pocket amount to $10,880. There are often other state and federal incentives that will lower the price even more.

And there are other financing options as well! You can finance your solar panels with no money upfront. Solar Works will walk you through your options and help you pick the best option for you. The average monthly payment for solar panels ranges from $60-100. This is substantially lower than most monthly electricity bills, so you’ll begin saving money right away.

Savings Over the Lifespan of Your Home

When considering solar, remember that the savings pile up over months and years. Based on national averages, let’s assume that you save $100 a month on your electricity bill [6]. In a year, you’d save $1,200. And over the course of 25 years (which is the length of time many people live in their family home), you would save $30,000! This offsets your installation costs and leaves you with massive savings.

Many solar calculators estimate savings in the $20,000 to $30,000 range over the 25 years–and that’s even after you subtract the cost of your solar panel installation. [7] A pretty great deal, especially when you’ve helped the planet at the same time. It saves you money, helps the environment, and strengthens New Mexico’s economy–there’s a long list of reasons to love solar.


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Ready to find out how much you can save?