Maryland has seen incredible solar growth over the past decade. And while it didn’t get as early of a start as some states at investing in solar power, it’s making up for lost time and increasing its solar investments at an impressive rate.
Residential solar power is also becoming more popular in Maryland. If you’re wondering if solar is a worthwhile investment, keep reading to learn about how solar power can lower your energy costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and help you achieve energy independence.
Cost of solar panels in Maryland
The cost of a residential solar system in Maryland depends on several factors, including the size and configuration of your system, the components included, and labor and permitting costs you incur.
In general, the cost of a residential solar system runs from $3 to $5 per watt, with an average system price tag of $15,000 to $25,000. Keep in mind that rate is before tax credits and rebates that bring down the total cost and make solar more affordable.
Solar panel setup
The components in your solar setup help determine the exact amount that you will pay. Some common equipment you’ll find in residential solar systems include:
- Solar panels: The solar panels are the most important feature of your home solar system. Panels can be either monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film, and each type of panel has its own price tag and advantages.
- Solar cell: Once your solar panels capture energy from sunlight, a solar cell converts the energy into electricity.
- Inverter: A solar panel inverter is needed to convert the electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is the type of electricity that powers your home appliances.
- Battery: Once you’ve converted sunlight into electricity, you can store it in solar batteries to use to power your home or sell back to the electricity grid. While solar batteries are not a mandatory part of a solar system, they help to improve the reliability of home solar panels during times of lower energy production.
Solar incentives and rebates in Maryland
Solar panels are certainly a large financial investment, but there are financial incentives in place to help lessen the burden on homeowners. First, the federal government offers a 26 percent solar panel tax credit for homeowners who invest in green energy infrastructure.
There are also many state incentives to help solar investors. Maryland offers a solar rebate program, which simply gives $1,000 back to anyone who installs a solar system on their home.
Next, the state of Maryland provides both a sales and use tax exemption and a property tax exemption so you won’t have to pay sales taxes on your solar panel purchase and won’t pay property taxes on the increase to your home’s value when you install the solar panels.
Finally, Maryland has a net metering policy that allows homeowners to receive full credit on their electricity bills for the excess solar power they generate.
Solar energy in Maryland may help lower your electric bills
Not only can you save money when you buy your solar panels, but you’ll also save on energy costs each and every month on electricity. Depending on the traditional electricity rate you pay, you could save upwards of $100 per month.
Let’s say you buy a residential solar system for $15,000. First, you get $3,900 back from the federal government’s 26 percent tax credit. Next, you’ll get $1,000 back for Maryland’s rebate program. Finally, you might save about $1,200 per year on electricity. With these savings, you would make a return on your investment after just 8.41 years.
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Energy independence in Maryland can help you
One of the biggest selling points for investing in solar panels is that you can reach energy independence, meaning you don’t have to rely solely on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. And there are plenty of benefits to being energy independent.
First, when you’re energy independent, you don’t have to worry about price hikes. In general, as demand for electricity increases, prices also go up. But because you power your home with solar energy, you aren’t paying extra for your electricity.
Additionally, your neighborhood may experience power outages during bad storms, when there are downed power lines, or there is a problem with the local utility company. But when you own a solar system for your home, you can continue to power your home during outages.
Finally, thanks to Maryland’s net metering policy, energy independence means you can sell your excess energy back to the electrical grid and can make your investment back quicker or even turn a profit from your solar panels.
How to buy solar panels in Maryland
Buying solar panels for your home is a big decision. They can be quite expensive, and there’s a lot to consider to ensure they’re right for your home.
First, before you buy solar panels, ask yourself whether they are a good fit for your home. Does your home get a lot of sunlight? Does your roof face the right direction? What is the condition of your roof?
Next, find out if your neighborhood has any restrictions on the use of solar panels. Some homeowners’ associations may have rules about solar panel use or require approval before you can install them.
Additionally, before you buy your panels, be sure to research the various solar providers available near you to ensure you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Choose Energy has plenty of resources to help you learn the pros and cons of solar power and decide whether it’s right for you.
The future of energy is solar in Maryland
Solar power has a bright future in Maryland. While the state didn’t start implementing solar policies as early as some other states, it’s experienced an impressive number of solar installations over the past decade. Residential, commercial, utility, and community solar programs are thriving.
Maryland currently ranks in the top half of states for solar energy generation. The state gets about 4.31 percent of its electricity from solar energy, which is enough to power 153,463 homes. There are also 177 solar companies in the state that are responsible for more than 4,500 jobs. The state is expected to see more than 1,300 MW of new solar installations over the next five years.
Solar energy FAQs
Do solar panels save you money in Maryland?
Solar panels can help reduce your monthly electricity cost by hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars per year. They can also increase the resale value of your home and can allow you to sell excess energy back to the grid through net metering programs.
Are there disadvantages to using solar energy in Maryland?
Solar panels can be a great investment, but it’s important to consider the downsides. First, solar panels are very expensive. Luckily, there are tax incentives in place to help you save. Solar panels also aren’t appropriate for all homes, since they rely on sunlight to power your home. If you don’t get a lot of sunlight at your home, solar panels may not be right for you. Consider all of the pros and cons of solar before making your decision.
How does solar power help the environment?
Traditional electricity generation emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. As a green energy source, solar power doesn’t have the same harmful environmental effects and therefore reduces your home’s carbon footprint, making solar much better for the environment.
Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?
While there are advantages to buying and leasing solar panels, buying them is most cost-effective in the long run. You’ll increase the value of your home while saving more over time. However, solar leases can be an alternative if the upfront cost of solar is not possible.