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Solar Panels in Georgia: Cost and Savings

Cost of solar panels in Georgia

The average residential solar system in Georgia costs between $3 and $5 per watt, equating to a total average price tag of $15,000 to $25,000. The wide price range is due to factors such as the size of your solar system, the components included, the configuration of your system, and labor and permitting costs.

Solar panel setup

The cost of your solar setup is heavily determined by the components included. Some of the core components of a residential solar system include:

  • Solar panels: Your solar panels are an essential part of your system and the piece that captures the sunlight.
  • Solar cell: The solar cell is the part of the panel that takes the sun’s energy and turns it into electricity.
  • Inverter: A solar panel inverter converts direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC) power, which your household appliances and outlets use.
  • Battery: Batteries allow you to store your excess energy, so you have backup power for your home or to sell back to the electricity grid.

Solar incentives and rebates in Georgia

Yes, solar panels are expensive. But, federal solar tax credits and other programs are available to help people save on their green energy investments. Here are solar incentives for Georgia residents:

  • Federal solar tax credit (ITC): The federal government offers a 26% solar panel tax credit when investing in solar panels for your home. The credit is scheduled to decrease in 2022 and eventually disappear if Congress doesn’t renew it. So be sure to buy your panels before the credit is gone.
  • Net metering in Georgia: The state allows net metering, enabling homeowners to sell their unused electricity back to the grid. Your utility company sets the rate that you can earn for excess energy.

Solar energy in Georgia may help lower your electric bills

Are you searching for a way to save money on your energy bill? Solar panels on your home are an excellent long-term solution. Here’s how: You aren’t paying to use traditional electricity when solar energy is powering your home. Plus, solar panels increase the value of your home, which can help you recover your investment in the future.

For example, if you spend $15,000 on your residential solar system, you’ll be eligible for a $3,900 tax credit from the federal government. The average monthly electricity bill in Georgia (as of May 2021) was $148.53, which would equal approximately $1,782 per year. If you divide your average yearly electricity bill into the total cost of your solar system (after the tax credit), you can see it will take just over six years to get a full return on your original investment (ROI). 

Example of return on investment period based on an initial investment of $15,000 and a $148/month energy bill:

Energy independence in Georgia can help you

Solar power in Georgia gives you the opportunity to reach energy independence. With energy independence, you don’t depend on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. 

With energy independence:

  • You don’t worry about power outages. If your neighborhood loses power because of a storm or a downed power line, you can keep powering your home with solar energy.
  • You save money. When energy demand increases, so do the rates. Unfortunately, that means homeowners often see their energy rates spike. But when you’re energy independent, you don’t have to worry about those price hikes. 
  • You have the added benefit of selling your electricity back to the grid to make money through Georgia’s net-metering program.

How to buy solar panels in Georgia 

Because solar panels are a significant financial investment, we recommend doing plenty of research about solar panels and providers before deciding whether solar panels are the right choice for you. Investment and development in solar energy generation can vary from state to state. We have plenty of information here at Choose Energy about the pros and cons of solar energy to help you decide if it’s right for you.

There are plenty of things you need to consider when buying solar panels. 

  • First, be sure to look into what your HOA says about solar panels. Some homeowners’ associations may require approval before installation or may even limit the size of your solar system.
  • Ensure that your roof and home are well-suited for solar panels. First, solar panels are best for homes that get lots of sunshine. They’re also most effective on south-facing roofs with slopes of 15 to 40 degrees. 
  • Finally, it’s best to install solar panels on roofs in good condition so you won’t have to replace them soon.

The future of energy is solar in Georgia 

Georgia began implementing solar policies decades ago but didn’t see significant progress until the 2000s. Since the turn of the century, Georgia has become a leader in solar energy.

Today, Georgia ranks 9th in the country for solar energy generation, making it one of the best states for solar industry growth. The state gets 3.49% of its electricity from solar power, which is enough to power 359,160 homes. Not only that, but 192 solar companies in Georgia create nearly 4,500 jobs for Georgia workers. Solar installations in Georgia are expected to continue at high rates over the next few years.

Solar energy FAQs

Do solar panels save you money in Georgia?

Yes. Depending on your electricity rate and how much sun your house gets, you could save more than $100 per month with solar panels in Georgia.

Are there disadvantages to using solar energy in Georgia?

Disadvantages to solar in Georgia can include the overall cost and access to enough sunshine. The federal solar tax credit and Georgia’s net metering program helps reduce the expense. Secondly, solar panels are most effective on homes with lots of sunshine. Georgia gets plenty of sunlight, but some homes may have issues with shade from trees or taller buildings. 

How does solar power help the environment?

Yes. Solar power is a form of green energy. Solar panels help reduce your home’s carbon footprint because solar doesn’t emit carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases. 

Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?

It’s most cost-effective to buy solar panels. Owning (or financing) your solar panels will save the most money in the long run, and it increases the value of your home. But buying isn’t the right choice for everyone. Leasing solar panels is an excellent option if you rent your home or don’t want to incur the upfront cost to buy panels.

What percent of Georgia energy production is solar?

Georgia currently gets nearly 3.5% of its electricity from solar panels, which is enough to power more than 359,000 homes.

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