- Tennessee built over 400MW of solar energy in 2022, despite lack of support from state lawmakers.
- Solar panels in Tennessee are more affordable than in most states, with an average cost of $2.49 per watt.
- Homeowners in Tennessee need larger solar arrays to power their homes due to high electricity usage.
- The federal government offers a 30% tax credit for those who purchase a solar panel system in Tennessee.
- Homeowners in Tennessee can save thousands on utilities over the lifespan of their solar panels.
- Tennessee offers incentives such as the federal solar tax credit and rebates to help offset the cost of solar panel installations.
In 2022 Tennessee built over 400MW of solar energy, one of the largest pushes in the country. That’s interesting considering the lack of support by state lawmakers. Still, the build suggests that solar panels in Tennessee can work.
If you’re thinking of installing one for your own home, we’ve got the information you need to get started. From average cost to potential savings, we show you how to cover your power usage while saving money on electricity. Let’s get started.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Tennessee
When we look at the direct cost of solar panels in Tennessee, they may seem affordable. At a price of $2.49 per watt, they’re more affordable than in most states. If you were to purchase a standard 6kW array, you could expect to budget about $14,940. However, the upfront cost only reveals a portion of the total value; when compared to electricity rates in the Volunteer State, you might pay more over the long term.
Because of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s incredible efforts, homeowners in Tennessee benefit from some of the lowest power costs in the United States. However, they also use the second-most of every state, resulting in monthly electricity bills of over $130 per month. This means Tennesseeans need a larger solar array to power their homes than others.
Still, there’s value in making the switch, and the federal government believes in that. Those that purchase a solar panel system can take advantage of a massive tax credit, receiving a 30% return. This means a 6kW array can drop from $14,940 to $10,458.
How Much Solar Do Tennesseeans Need?
While the above example might seem affordable, it might not match the power requirements of your home. To find your ideal solar panel size, you’ll need to take your typical daily electricity usage and divide it by the peak sun hours in your area.
Let’s show an example of how this works using Tennessee’s averages.
Homeowners in the Volunteer State use about 38.9kWh a day (or 1,168kWh a month). When we divide that by Tennessee’s typical peak sun of 4.45 hours, we learn that a solar panel system needs to produce 8.7kW an hour. Much larger than the typical residential array, homeowners might expect to pay over $21,500 before incentives.
Now that you understand how to find the wattage for your home, you can create a budget that matches your needs. Because peak sun changes depending on where you live, use this Tennessee sun chart to find the average for your nearest city.
Tennessee Solar Cost Factors
As mentioned earlier, sunlight can have a profound effect on the cost of solar panels in Tennessee. With its borders spanning across the Midwest, those living in the plains can expect more sun. In fact, homeowners purchasing solar in Memphis may receive around 5 hours of sunlight a day, over 30 minutes more than the state average.
To see how peak sun geography can affect prices of solar, compare Tennessee to the states surrounding it:
Another factor that affects the price of solar panels in Tennessee is the type of equipment used. For residential arrays, you’ll typically see monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. Mono is more efficient, but poly is more affordable. In Tennessee, homeowners can save money in the long run with more efficient panels.
Finally, you want to consider your solar installer carefully. While the cost of installation might seem high, it’s worth working with a company that doesn’t skimp on aspects such as equipment, labor, and warranty quality. The Volunteer State has over 60 installers, meaning you can choose the right option for your needs.
Can Solar Energy Save Tennesseeans Money?
With great rates on panels and decent sunlight, homeowners in Tennessee can make a solar array work. However, to match large power requirements, they may need to install bigger arrays than usual. Still, those that switch to solar can save thousands on utilities over the lifespan of their panels.
To find out how much you can earn back, we’ll first have to pay off the array. If Tennesseeans used an average annual electricity bill of $1,576.80 to cover the price of a 6kW system, they could pay for it in about 9.5 years. While this is lower than in most states, remember that some residents in Tennessee may need a larger wattage system.
With the system paid off, you’ll start to see net returns. When we consider the average lifespan of solar panels in Tennessee of 20-25 years, there’s a potential earning of around $16,556 to $24,440.
Solar Panels in Tennessee: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
When it comes to cost, homeowners in the Volunteer State can make the switch without breaking the bank. However, the lawmakers in Tennessee offer little support. Therefore, residents have to front most of the cost.
Fortunately, other incentives exist to help with an installation. For example, the federal solar tax credit can lower the cost by providing a 30% credit on solar purchases. Alongside a decent rebate offered by the TVA, homeowners could save as much as $5,500 or more. To learn about Tennessee’s state solar incentives, check out our guide.
|Average Cost of Solar Panels in Tennessee||$2.49 per watt, $14,940 for a standard 6kW array. After a 30% federal tax credit, the cost can drop to $10,458.|
|Solar Requirement for Tennesseeans||Based on average usage, a solar panel system needs to produce 8.7kW an hour. The cost before incentives can be over $21,500.|
|Tennessee Solar Cost Factors||Factors include sunlight, type of equipment used, and the choice of solar installer. More sunlight and efficient panels can save money in the long run.|
|Savings from Solar Energy||Homeowners can save thousands on utilities over the lifespan of their panels. The average payback period for a 6kW system is about 9.5 years, with potential earnings of around $16,556 to $24,440.|
|Solar Panels Rebates, Credits, and Incentives in Tennessee||The federal solar tax credit can lower the cost by providing a 30% credit on solar purchases. Alongside a decent rebate offered by the TVA, homeowners could save as much as $5,500 or more.|
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