PEOPLE Gage Mueller Solar energy specialist, ADT Solar BY LAURA ROBB
2022 REAL ESTATE EDITION
Gage Mueller, a solar energy specialist at ADT Solar, has experience in the solar industry as both a customer and a service provider. After installing solar panels on his own house in 2017, Mueller’s interest in solar grew until he decided to pursue a career in the industry in 2020 with SunPro—now known as ADT Solar, a residential and commercial solar panel company. In 2020, ADT Solar installed panels which produced more than 43,600 kilowatts of solar energy in Texas, according to Solar Power World. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD PEOPLE ASK WHEN CONSIDERING SOLAR? Homeowners should ask: ‘Do I qual- ify for the tax credit?’ They should call their [certied public accountant], because the solar sales guy will say, ‘The government will give you 26%.’ But it’s not true—you have to qualify. The other question that I tell people to get answered is: How will this aect your homeowner’s insurance? The panels are attached to your dwelling. Per the law, anything attached to the dwelling is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Your premium may go up—but you need to know that ahead of time to make an informed decision. Once solar is up, there’s nothing you can do. DOES SOLAR AFFECT APPRAIS ALS AND PROPERTY TAXES? Most of the time, solar increases the value of your house—which is good, but you don’t pay a higher property tax. If your house appraises for $200,000 today and you put $20,000 worth of solar on it, then it appraised for $220,000. Your tax liability is still $200,000—because $20,000 is solar renewable energy and qualies for an exemption. So
you gain the value in the appraisal, but not in property taxes. WHAT CREDITS AND REBATES ARE AVAILABLE? It’s a federal tax credit. There is a dierence between the words ‘credit’ and ‘rebate.’ It’s a credit, so you do have to qualify. Currently, it’s 26% of the cost of the solar or the contract. That can mean installation costs, panels, inverters, bolts, railing, all of it. The credit is good through the end of 2022. Next year, it drops to 22%. In 2023, on the residential side, it goes away. WHAT VARIABLES CAN AFFECT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SOLAR PANELS? It can depend on a lot of things. You need to ask yourself: How does your house sit? Do you have a good, southern-facing roof? It doesn’t have to face south, but it helps. Are there obstructions causing shading? The sun has to be able to hit those panels in order for it to do its job. Is the roof less than 5 years old? Does it have roof penetrations? Those elements can complicate installations. ... People like fancy roof lines, but they aren’t very conducive for solar.
Gage Mueller said solar panels can increase a home’s value without increasing property taxes. (George Wiebe/Community Impact Newspaper)
“PEOPLE LIKE FANCY ROOF LINES, BUT THEY AREN’T VERY CONDUCIVE FOR SOLAR. “ GAGE MUELLER, SOLAR ENERGY SPECIALIST AT ADT SOLAR
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for the solar industry, Texas was ranked number one in the nation for solar panel use in the rst quarter of 2022. SEIA data predicts Texas will lead the nation in growth in the solar industry over the next ve years.
10,088 jobs in the
of the state’s electricity is solar
506 solar companies 202 installers and developers
invested by the solar industry statewide as of Q1 of 2022
more megawatts projected to be produced from solar in the next ve years
SOURCE: SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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