Georgia solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
5.26 hours of peak sunlight
Georgia offers a decent amount of sunlight – enough to substantially offset your electricity bills
The utility company will buy the excess electricity your PV modules generate, reducing the bills by more than 60%
2 years payback period
A solar power system in Georgia pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
The law is on your side
Georgia allows solar easements, which protect the landowner’s right to access sunlight
Georgia #15 in the US
- $64 312/year Average savings from going solar in Georgia
- 13 452 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 668 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Georgia
- 12 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Georgia
- 25 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.56/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Georgia you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
In Georgia participation in Net Metering programs is not obligatory for all utilities and electric cooperatives. However, in 2019 the state’s Public Service Commission forced Georgia’s largest utility to offer Net Metering, allowing residential solar owners to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries. The program is limited to 5,000 customers or 32 MW of connected solar capacity, whichever comes first. As of June 2021, there were about 2,100 participants and 1,900 pending applications. After reaching the cap, Georgia Power will switch to Net Billing.
The main difference of Net Billing lies in different rates that are applied to the energy you buy and the energy you sell. The utility pays less for your energy then they charge for theirs. When you sell your solar power to the grid, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bill. The value of the credits is determined by utility companies based on avoided cost rates.
Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements
A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure that your PV system will always have adequate sun exposure, protecting you from potential obstacles. It is voluntary, but can not be cancelled unless a specific clause is included in the document. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. Any such agreement must be created in written form and must meet the general requirements for legal contracts.
Install your solar panels in Georgia with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Georgia. However, the state doesn’t have any specific laws to protect its residents from restrictions imposed by homeowners associations (HOAs). Thus, you may be required to submit your project for approval before changing the exterior of your house. The board may ask you to hide the system from view, reduce the number of panels or just reject your proposal. Contact your HOA or study its declaration and rules to find more information.
Solar panels help Georgia survive hurricanes
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Georgia is one of the ten states with the highest risk of a hurricane. Severe storms bring damage and devastation, cutting people off the utility grid for days. Solar panels are able to withstand most hurricanes, and they are very useful in case of a blackout. Year 2020 brought hurricane Zeta, which left more than 800,000 Georgians in the dark. The Environmental Protection Agency says extreme weather events are occurring more often and gaining in intensity – yet one more reason to consider going solar.