In 2022, the Peach State had enough solar power to provide electricity to 525,000 homes. While this seems great, there’s really only been one state-sponsored incentive in the last 8 years. This means more benefits for commercial ventures and less for homeowners. However, this doesn’t mean people should avoid solar panels in Georgia.
It might seem costly without many incentives available, but some do exist. Even so, the cost of solar in the Peach State is so low that it’s worth considering anyway. But if you want to drop the rate of an array even further, there are still opportunities available. Keep reading to learn more about where to start.
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Georgia: Overview
When looking at the facts, it would seem that solar panels in Georgia make sense; the state has great rates on equipment and high electricity costs to offset. However, that’s practically where the benefits end. When it comes to state-level support, Georgia has made no moves in the last several years.
Still, homeowners in the Peach State should not give up hope. Those that want to make the switch can still find incentives in the form of federal credits, municipal rebates, and other regulations. Let’s dive into these further.
Federal Solar Incentive
The one saving grace for Georgians is that the federal solar tax return is still available. Even without state-sponsored benefits, homeowners making purchases of solar panels in 2023 can receive 30% back in the form of a credit on federal taxes. This could lower installation costs by as much as $4,000 or more.
It’s recommended to take advantage of the program while it still lasts. Although the timeframe was extended, this credit expires in 2035.
To qualify for the incentive, Georgians must meet a few prerequisites. Among these are:
- Owning the solar panel system,
- Living at the residence in which the system was installed,
- Installing new equipment.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Credits and Rebates
In several states, a direct incentive comes in the form of a tax credit. This can reduce the amount owed at the end of the year on state taxes. Georgia has yet to approve an incentive like this.
Additionally, some areas grant rebates for installing a solar panel system and connecting it to the grid. However, Georgia does not have benefits like this, either.
The only glimpse of the direct financial benefit comes through net metering. The Peach State allows but does not require utility companies to pay for renewable energy, and many don’t.
The only regulation requiring this was approved in 2019 when Georgia Power was required to offer net metering to 5,000 customers. However, the program met its capacity in 2021, and no extension has followed.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Government Regulations
A lot of Georgia’s lacking support is the result of an absent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This is a set of mandates established by the state requiring municipalities to promote renewables. The status of a state’s RPS tells us where it intends to go with solar energy.
Because Georgia does not have an RPS, there’s no current intention to fund renewable infrastructure. However, this should not dissuade people from installing an array.
With such good rates on solar, supplemented with high electricity rates and ideal sunshine, homeowners that switch now could take advantage of any benefits that may come in the future.
Should Georgians Lease Solar?
It’s important to know that, in Georgia, leasing options don’t help lower the cost of electricity until many years into the array’s lifetime. This means you won’t see any returns for switching, along with missing out on the benefits of owning it.
You’ll have to pay the full amount (no federal return) and your home value won’t increase. However, it does mean you won’t have to cover maintenance fees.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Incentive Summary
|Federal Tax Incentive
|Georgia Tax Credits / Rebates
|Allowed but not required
|Renewable Portfolio Standard
|Property Tax Exemption
|Sales Tax Exemption
|Performance Payment Program
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Georgia: Further Reading
Unfortunately, the only substantial way to save money on solar panels in Georgia is through the federal solar tax credit. Until the state changes its stance on renewable energy, homeowners will be stuck with the full cost of an array if they choose to switch. For updates on how Georgia supports other emerging technology, check out these articles.
- Owning an EV in Georgia: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – With high electricity rates, is it worth it for Georgians to buy an electric vehicle?
- Can You Recharge an EV With Solar Power? – Those thinking about buying an EV in Georgia will want to read this.
- The 10 Largest Solar Panel Companies in the World, and What They Do – These manufacturers want to build the infrastructure for the world’s solar production.
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