In 2020, the installation of solar panels in Georgia more than tripled compared to three years earlier. Still, it seems to be a well-kept secret that renewable energy in the Peach State can save residents a substantial amount of money. So, why aren’t more people doing it?
If you’re interested in lowering the cost of your electric bill, solar is the way to go. In this article, we break down the average cost of solar in Georgia, how to figure out the right panel size for your house, and how much you could earn back in the long run. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia
We’ll not beat around the bush: there’s no state that can beat the upfront cost of solar panels in Georgia. Homeowners in the Peach State can expect to spend, on average, $2.33/W, which equals about $13,980 for a 6kW system. This beats out big solar states like California and Arizona by thousands of dollars.
But what makes this price even more valuable is the rate of electricity Georgians typically pay. The state has the 8th highest power bill in the country, with homeowners paying, on average, $140.21 a month. This means that a solar panel system could result in massive net savings over its lifetime.
If this already sounds good, the news is about to get better. Georgians that decide to install a solar panel system can qualify for a 30% federal tax return. This comes in the form of a credit during tax season for any purchases made toward an array. Homeowners that take advantage of the incentive could see the price of a 6kW system drop from $13,980 to $9,786.
How Much Solar Do Georgians Need?
Okay, let’s bring it back to reality; Georgians typically use a lot of power, which means they might need more solar than usual to offset their usage. For a more accurate idea of how much your household needs, you’ll have to know your peak sun hours and average daily power requirements. Let’s use Georgia’s numbers as an example.
According to data, the Peach State’s typical daily power usage is 36.0kWh (1,081kWh/mo). When we divide that by Georgia’s average peak sun of 4.74 hours (the amount of time per day when the sun is most direct), we discover that our solar panel system should produce 7.6kW an hour. At $2.33/W, this system would cost $17,708 before incentives.
Because of Georgia’s high utility usage, solar arrays might be larger than usual. However, using your personal electric usage and peak sun (you can discover that using this Georgia sun chart), you might find that you need a different amount.
Georgia Solar Cost Factors
As shown above, one of the most important factors in pricing an array are peak sun hours. This typically changes depending on geographic location. Due to the Peach State’s proximity to the equator, the amount of sunlight stays relatively consistent. To see how location can affect the price of solar, check out the cost of Georgia’s neighboring states:
Especially because solar panel systems tend to run larger in Georgia, it’s important to consider the type of equipment. Generally, monocrystalline panels are more efficient but have a higher cost point.
Some may recommend polycrystalline panels in Georgia because of their high amount of sunlight, but their inefficiency means you would need more of them. For those with limited roof space, monocrystalline panels are the right call.
Finally, you’ll want to carefully choose a quality installer. While some companies will undercut others, they may provide mediocre installation and poor warranties. Fortunately, the Peach State has a good variety of installers to choose from. This means you don’t have to skimp on a company that won’t support your system for its entire lifetime.
Best Solar Installers in Georgia
With endorsements from the SEIA and the US Department of Energy, EnergySage is one of the most trusted platforms for solar installer reviews. They use a strict screening process to recommend the best companies in Georgia, which include:
- Several years in the solar industry,
- Proper certifications and licenses,
- Top-tier equipment and warranties.
Solar SME, Inc, one of the largest installation companies in the country, has a location in Fayetteville, Georgia. The company has 12 years of experience and handles solar installation in various geographic locations. While their warranty is standard, Solar SME has industry-leading certifications, including Pearl, and has access to some of the widest ranges of solar panel types.
However, if you prefer a more personal experience, Creative Solar USA is local to Kenesaw. The small-business installer has 15 years of experience and carries an important NABCEP certification. While they may cost a little more than Solar SME, you can expect the best customer service from a company that knows the area better than most.
Can Solar Energy Save Georgians Money?
Now that you know how to determine the amount of solar you need, you may be wondering if it’s worth it in the long run. Considering Georgia’s incredibly low cost of solar and high electricity bills, homeowners can see large net gains over the course of a system’s lifetime.
To understand how much you can earn with solar panels, you’ll first need to know how long it will take to cover their costs. If homeowners in Georgia used an average annual electric bill of $1,682.52 ($140.21/mo) to offset the price of a 6kW system, they could pay it off in 8.3 years. This is nearly a year earlier than most states, including Florida.
After paying off the solar array, Georgians can start to see net returns. With a lifetime of around 20 to 25 years, homeowners could earn back $19,686 to $28,098 from their system. It’s hard to find earnings like that anywhere else in the United States.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
Now here’s where the good news practically ends for Georgians; despite low solar costs, high electricity bills, and ideal conditions, the Peach State has some of the weakest solar initiatives in the country. So, if you’re hoping to take advantage of auxiliary benefits, you’ll have to search for them.
Fortunately, homeowners in Georgia can still take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. With 30% returns for arrays built in 2023, Georgians can cut the cost of installation by over $4,000. For even more benefits in the Peach State, we cover more detail in this incentives list.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Further Reading
The Peach State has a great mixture of aspects that make it ideal for renewable energy. Homeowners considering solar panels in Georgia have an opportunity to see huge returns through utility offsets. For more on how the Peach State supports evolving technology, check out these articles.
- Owning an EV in Georgia: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – These incentives might make owning an electric vehicle more affordable in Georgia.
- Largest Tech Companies in Georgia – From health IT to digital entertainment, the Peach State is home to some of the country’s most prominent tech companies.
- Solar Panels in Connecticut: Cost, Savings, and Rebates – See how the Empire State of the South compares to one of the Northeast’s leading states in solar energy.
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