Solar Guide For New Mexico Homeowners

Solar is a newer source of renewable energy that has recently exploded in the US, due to it becoming more affordable for homeowners. With this proven source of power, the policies have progressed surrounding the tax incentives for consumers.

Recently, the rules have changed for the solar industry. At the end of 2020, congress passed a COVID relief bill in which many policies were amended. Buried in the 5,593 page bill, the federal tax credit for solar was extended for 2 more years.

Below we will review the current rules for going solar in 2021, what this means for New Mexico homeowners.

The New Rules

With the 2-year extension of the federal tax credits, this means homeowners will have the ability to save 26% percent on their system for 2 more years. Prior, they would have till the end of 2021 to go solar with a lower 22% tax credit.

Below are the OLD rules, slated to end by 2022:

  • 30% federal tax credit through 12/31/2019
  • 26% federal tax credit through 12/31/2020
  • 22% federal tax credit through 12/31/2021
  • 10% federal tax credit moving onward—commercial jobs only

Here are the new rules with the 2-year extension:

  • 26% federal tax credit through 12/31/2022
  • 22% federal tax credit through 12/31/2023
  • 10% federal tax credit moving onward—commercial jobs only

What does this mean for New Mexico homeowners?

This is great news for homeowners in New Mexico. Alongside the federal tax credit, the state is also offering tax breaks for going solar:

  • 10% State Tax Credit
  • $0 State Sales Tax
  • $0 Property Tax added to system’s value

If you decide to go solar in the next 2 years, you would save 36% on federal and state tax credits, plus pay ZERO sales tax.

It must be noted that in order to qualify for these savings, you must be the homeowner that buys the system. If you’re leasing solar from a company, you won’t receive the tax benefits listed above.

How much money does this actually save you?

The average solar system in New Mexico costs $18,000. So, if you factor in your federal and state tax credits of 36%, then you’ll be paying $11,520, saving you $6,480. Plus, you’ll save $1,417.50 in sales tax (7.875% for Bernalillo county), as well as in property taxes.

The total savings for this example is $7,897.50.

Besides savings on the upfront costs of solar, you will also save money in the long run. Once your solar loan is paid off, you can start saving that money and enjoy controlling your energy costs. You will also save on the future rate increases from your electricity bill if you did not go solar.

Additionally, by going solar, you have increased the resale value of your home. To read more on this topic click here.

Overall, going solar will get you a good return on your investments in the long-run.

How to get the tax credits

Solar savings will be reflected on your tax return. We recommend that you work with your tax professional to properly file for your tax credits to ensure you receive your savings. At this point, you can use the tax credit money towards your solar loan to reduce the cost, or use it in other ways.

Here are the forms you’ll need:

Key Takeaways

  • The solar tax credits have been extended for 2 years
  • Homeowners can save 26% in federal tax credits through 2022,then 22% in 2023. After this the tax credit goes away for residential solar.
  • New Mexico homeowners can save 10% in state tax credits through 2027
  • To receive your tax credits, file with a tax professional.

Ready to go solar?

If you’re ready to go solar, get started with a FREE, no-obligation solar consultation with one of our professionals.

Securing Energy For Your Future

In light of the year we’ve faced in 2020, many of our customers have new reasons to convert to solar energy for their homes. The number one reason our customers go solar is to save money, followed by helping the environment and increasing their property value. A new reason to go solar has emerged: to secure energy for the future.

In this blog, we will explore this idea and see how solar plays a role in securing energy for you and your family.

Supply and demand chain impacted

The pandemic has greatly impacted the supply and demand chain for consumer goods. Toilet paper, disinfectants, and meat were wiped out on grocery shelves for weeks. Most stores even had a limit to how many packages of TP you could purchase.

We have also seen the impact of this in the home improvement industry—appliances can take up to 3-6 months to be shipped after you have purchased them. At Poulin Design Center, we’re encouraging our customers to purchase their appliances as soon as possible once their design is finalized.

While lead times for certain goods and services are being reduced, the domino effect of a broken supply and demand chain can be felt for months.

Residential electricity has increased

According to the International Energy Agency, “Residential electricity demand has increased in most economies as a result of lockdown measures.” Since many people are staying home more and working remotely, this is perfectly plausible.

Has this had an impact on your energy bill yet? While managing work, schooling, and “normal” life at home, has your bill increased?

For many of our customers, their bills have.

Owning solar creates energy independence

When one of our customers converts to solar energy for their home, they are creating their own power generating station. Instead of relying on the utility company for electricity, they become self-reliant for their energy production. This is a game-changer when it comes to controlling your energy costs and demand for electricity.

When you work with one of our solar advisors, they will design a system based on your actual energy needs. You will also work with them on creating a system that is grid-tied or with a battery storage system—blog coming soon.

Energy for your future

The technology for solar has exploded so much over the last few years and has become more affordable for homeowners now than ever before. Instead of paying more for electricity, you have the option to pay fixed monthly payments till your system is paid off—then you own it, have energy independence, and benefit from the many tax incentives include with solar—click here to learn more.

Are you ready to go solar?

If you’d like to learn more about going solar for your home, schedule your Free Solar Consultation today.

Top 3 Reasons Our Customers Go Solar

The solar industry is growing at a rapid rate. It is projected to grow to 48% of total U.S. renewable generation by 2050¹!

Our customers see the many benefits of solar, but the top 3 reasons our customers go solar are to save money, help the environment and to increase their property value. Let’s take a deeper look at why these are the top reasons to go solar.

#1 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Save Money by Eliminating Their Power Bill

We hear our customers say over and over again that they want to control their energy costs. Your electricity bill is one of the few bills that you don’t control, with monthly costs varying throughout the year and subject to rate increases year after year.

When you go solar, you basically trade your power bill for a solar loan payment. The loan is set at a fixed interest rate and doesn’t fluctuate every month-plus the bill is typically the same or lower than your normal bill. Once you pay off the loan, you OWN the system and eliminate your power bill.

No more renting electricity! For the life of your home, you won’t have a power bill anymore, except for a small fee to stay on the grid.

#2 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Help the Environment

As we see more and more natural disasters and plastics polluting the oceans, it’s natural to want to do something to help the environment. One great way to decrease greenhouse gases is to convert to clean, green energy.

By harnessing the power of the sun, you eliminate the use of finite resources such as coal, and draw from the consistency of the sun to “Power Your Lifestyle”.

Here is an example of what a 16kW system is doing for the environment in 1 year:

#3 Reason Our Customers Go Solar Is…

Increase Their Property Value

Not only will you SAVE money by eliminating your power bill, but you’ll also MAKE money by increasing your property’s value without paying extra on your property taxes. Isn’t that nice?

On average, a home with solar will sell for 4.1% more than a similar home without solar. This translates to about $8,200 added to a home valued at $200,000².

To go more in-depth about increasing your property value with solar, click here.

Bonus #1- Current Tax Incentives are AMAZING right now

One of the many reasons our customers are going solar right now is because of the current tax benefits being provided by the federal and state:

  • 26% Federal Tax Credit on solar systems installed by 12/31/20
    • In 2021 the Federal Tax Credit will lower to 22% and be gone after 12/31/21 for residential systems
  • 10% State Tax Credit on solar systems installed through 12/31/27
  • $0 State Sales Tax added to solar systems purchased in New Mexico
  • $0 State Property Taxes added to solar systems, even though they increase your property’s value.

To maximize your savings, consider going solar before 2021 is over. Just remember, your solar system will need to be installed before the end of the year to qualify for tax credits of the year you’re applying it towards.

Bonus #2- Industry Warranties Are Top-Notch

The warranties for solar are the best the industry has ever seen. The LG panels that we recommend will give customers a triple 25-year warranty:

  • 25-Year Product Warranty: this protects the actual solar panel and any defects that may be present. However, LG tests every panel to ensure it will perform well in real-world circumstances.
  • 25-Year Performance Warranty: this protects the rate of degradation of the module, which is about .3% each year. So after 25 years, your LG panels will work at minimum of 90.8% efficiency! Compare that to a study done on the lifespan of solar panels, that says after 15-20 years solar will work at 80% efficiency³.
  • 25-Year Labor Warranty: If you have panels that repair or replacement, LG will cover the cost of labor for up to $450.

Bonus #3- Protection Against Rising Rates

Now that solar is installed for your home, you’re able to enjoy NO rate increases, which would have cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your home’s lifespan. Check out how rates have increased over time, and are still on the rise.

Learn More

Are you considering going solar? What reason to go solar stands out to you?

If you would like to talk with one of our Solar Advisors, click below to get started.

Last Chance To Go Solar In 2020

Last year my family and I decided to officially go solar. Although I’ve worked in the industry for 5 years, we weren’t in a home that we wanted to stay in. After we moved and settled into our new home, I did the math for what solar would cost us compared to what we were already paying the utility company and it was a no-brainer to go solar. Earlier this year, we received our 30% federal tax credit for our solar purchase in 2019!

This year the tax credit went down to 26%, however, the state of New Mexico added a 10% state tax credit. That means you’ll have a 36% savings on going solar, if you act now. In 2021 it will go down to 22% then in 2022, there won’t be a federal tax credit available.

So if going solar is on your list, you might want to move it to the top of your list so you can maximize your savings.

Below we explore how long it actually takes to go solar in New Mexico. Remember, to qualify for the current tax credit, your system must be installed on or before December 31, 2020.

Going solar takes time

Going solar is a process. It’s an investment with a timeline, and to meet your “deadlines” you need to know how long it actually takes to go solar and what’s involved.

The quickest I’ve seen a customer go from signed to solar is 45 days. But typically the process is about 3 months. Shocked?

Well, let me share with you just what’s needed when you go solar.

Before you sign, find a trusted company to work with

The first step to going solar is finding the right company. We suggest going solar with a company that’s established in the community and has a good reputation. In the solar industry, we have seen many “quick and ditch” solar companies that disappear overnight, along with any warranties they had.

Once you find the right company to work with, you’ll need to look at your options for financing. If you don’t have the cash, find a banker you trust. Now is a great time to lock in your loan due to the low rates because of the coronavirus. If you need help finding one, we have our preferred bankers that we work with often.

Now you have a trusted company, and a bank to lend you money. You’re ready to sign the contract you’ve approved with the solar team.

The Timeline to Getting Solar Installed

Week 1-2. Solar agreement is signed. Financing is approved. Drawings are completed. HOA application.

Now the process of going solar begins. You’ve signed your agreement, financing is approved and you’re ready to move forward. Most companies will require a deposit to start the rest of the process.

You will also need to talk with your Homeowners Association (if applicable) to find out what stipulations they may have for installing solar. Our team works with your HOA to submit any paperwork needed throughout the entire process.

Week 3-6. Site visit with sign-off of design. Electric company application completed. Permits submitted.

Now is the time that the design of your solar system is finalized and approved. The solar advisor will visit your home and show you the design for your approval. Once completed, the application will be submitted to the electric company provider to review, about 3 weeks.

Why does the electric company need to approve your application? Well, they look at the demand of energy on the grid and see if the excess energy that your system will produce can be sustained by the current transformer in your neighborhood. If there’s already solar installed on your block, there’s a chance the transformer will need an upgrade. However, 98% of applications will be approved without any issues.

Lastly, your permit will be submitted for approval with the county.

Week 5-8. Electric company application approved. Permit approved. Schedule installation date.

So your solar system got approved, and it’s time to get drawings and a permit to do the actual work. This process takes 2-4 weeks, depending on what county you live in. Bernalillo County is the fastest in the approval process, averaging 2 weeks. Rio Rancho and Santa Fe typically take 3-4 weeks. Fortunately, the timelines have not been affected by the virus.

We will set a tentative install date and confirm when permits and HOA approvals are finalized.

Week 7-11. System installed in 1-2 days. Final building and electrical inspection. Receive the green tag from the inspector.

This is where most customers get anxious! You’re so close to getting your installation done, but there’s a few more steps. The final building and electrical inspection will need to be done to receive the green tag from the inspector. Now your solar system can be installed on your rooftop in 1-2 days, or about 3 days for a ground mount.

Your system will be installed but will need to be inspected further before going live.

Week 11-14. Electric meter set. Final email. Monitoring system goes live.

Your new solar meter will be set alongside your existing electric meter. Once you receive your final email, your system will go live!


Be sure that your monitoring app is installed on your phone so you can easily see the energy your system is producing!

 Other Factors to Consider for Your Timeline.

While you can plan ahead for your solar system to be installed by the end of the year, keep in mind that the weather could play a factor. No one can predict if we will have a huge snowstorm that could throw off the ideal timeline. So planning with a few extra weeks “just to be safe” would be wise.

Cost of Doing Nothing

If you wait to go solar, you could potentially lose thousands of dollars. You would lose 4% of the federal tax credit for 2020, as well as all the months of paying “rent” for your electricity bill to the utility company—lost money that could be going into the investment of owning your own power station!

You’ll also want to make sure your roof is “solar ready” before installing a system.


If going solar in 2020 is part of your goal, take action now! Don’t get left behind on maximizing the savings for your home.

Get started on the process with a Free Solar Consultation and see what your savings could be!

Why Poulin Solar Pro Uses LG Solar Panels

When it comes to choosing solar equipment to offer our customers, we want to make sure we select brands that are established in the community and share our high standards of quality. With thousands of brands to choose from, we want to ensure our customers that the products we’re using for their remodel or solar installation will LAST the test of time and be a good investment for their home.

Today we want to highlight the solar brand we have selected to work with: LG. You may be more familiar with them regarding your appliances or home electronics, but LG has been involved in the solar industry for over 30 years. Solar Pro at the Poulin Design Center is your local LG Pro, supplying you with the latest innovations of solar technology that the industry has to offer.

Before we dive deep into why we chose LG, we would like to give a very brief history of solar being available for homeowners.

Brief History of Solar

Solar has been developing since the 1800s and was recently introduced to consumers in the 1970s. When solar first came out, it was very expensive, starting at $76.00 per watt! For comparison, solar now costs about $2-4 per watt, depending on the quality and brand used.

As a company that has been in business almost as long as solar has been around for consumers, we want to make sure we partner with companies that we trust and are established in the industry.

LG is Established in Solar

One of the biggest reasons we have chosen to partner with LG, over other brands is their longevity. LG is a multi-billion-dollar worldwide company with a good reputation. In solar, there are many emerging brands, some that stay for a while and others that disappear almost as fast as they appeared.

We have even sold a few of these disappearing brands to our customers and quickly realized that we don’t want to affiliate with a brand that could be here today and gone tomorrow, plus lose the warranty they promised. This is why we have chosen to use panels by LG—an established and diversified brand with 30+ years’ experience in solar. Even if their solar division dissipates (which we don’t foresee), the brand won’t be leaving, and they will honor their warranties.

Innovative Technology

LG has been innovating in the solar industry and has award-winning panels.

A few of their awards include the Intersolar Awards for their Cello Technology™ and BiFacial technology; Judges’ Choice Award from Energy Manager Today in 2018 for the NeON® R modules;  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized LG with the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award the same year.

The technology developments not only make their panels a smarter choice but help push the entire industry to have more efficient panels. The panels from LG are top-quality and retain 90.8% of their efficiency after 25 years! Additionally, they are designed to give more power, which in turn minimizes the number of panels installed on your roof—saving you more money on your power bill.

Just one of the many reasons we stand behind this product, as well as the warranty they have on their panels.

Industry Warranty

Part of the decision of which panels to buy for your home should include the warranty. LG leads the industry with a triple 25-year warranty:

  • 25-year Product
  • 25-year Performance
  • 25-year Labor

In the rare case of needing a repair on a panel, LG will pay up to $450 for labor, so you don’t have to spend money out of your pocket.

LG’s roots date back to 1947, so you’ve got a company with a LONG track record of success backing your warranty.

LG Uses Their Own Solar

North American Head Quarters in New Jersey

In addition to all of the above, it is important to note that LG actually uses solar for its business—they believe in the power of solar for you personally and on a corporate level they demonstrate their belief by using it! In 2014 LG installed 3.2MW of solar power in South Korea and have installed over 18MW in their other manufacturing facilities. LG also has a US manufacturing plant in Huntsville, AL, creating 400 jobs for the US in 2019. See video here.

Additionally, LG recently completed and moved into its new North American HQ in New Jersey, a 15-acre LEED Platinum certified facility that includes 1.3Mw of LG NeON®2 solar panels on its roof and parking structure.

We love that they believe in using solar, just like our company, which made the decision to install solar power for our business in 2019 at the Poulin Design Center. Both owners of Poulin Solar Pro, Tom and Steve Poulin have installed solar for their own homes and truly believe in the innovation that solar provides for their customers.

LG and Solar Pro both believe in solar, but “practice what they preach.”


It matters to us what companies we stand behind since we have a reputation to uphold in New Mexico. We have been locally owned and trusted since 1982, and want to make sure we serve our community the right way with the right products.

To read more about the benefits of LG Panels, click below to download their full list of innovations.