How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Georgia? (2024) – MarketWatch

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The installed cost of a solar energy system depends on factors like system capacity or size, local labor costs and the availability of incentives. Upfront costs increase if you add components such as a solar battery or electric vehicle (EV) charger.

Solar System Size and Home Energy Needs

Homeowners with a higher electricity consumption will require a larger solar system to cover their energy needs. Alternatively, you can opt for a smaller system if you have lower energy usage.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey, Georgia is part of the South Atlantic census region, where the average home consumption is 13,100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. To generate 7,500 kWh for a home in Atlanta, you would need a solar system capacity of about 5 kW. Generating 12,000 kWh of electricity per year requires a capacity of about 8 kW.

You can work with your solar installer to determine the right system size for your home.

Solar Panel Type and Brand

The type of solar panel you use will impact the price of your system. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient option, but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels have an intermediate cost and efficiency rating, while thin-film panels are the least efficient and most affordable. Most solar companies offer monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels because thin-film panels require more space to compensate for their lower efficiency.

Costs may also vary depending on the brand of solar panel you choose to install. For example, highly efficient solar panels, like those produced by SunPower, are known to cost more than those produced by Canadian Solar.

Local Solar Incentives

Solar incentives like tax credits and rebates can reduce the upfront cost of a solar PV system. Solar financial incentives can include tax exemptions, tax credits or cash rebates. Based on our research, Georgia has no incentive programs for solar power. However, you can claim a substantial tax deduction with the federal solar tax credit, available nationwide.

State Net Metering Policy

Net metering consists of sending excess solar energy generated by your solar system back to the grid in exchange for power bill credits. You can then draw from your billing credits to pay for grid power when needed, like at night.

Georgia has a net metering policy, but the compensation per kilowatt-hour of energy is much lower than the electricity rates charged by utility companies. For this reason, you may achieve better results with a home solar system sized for your daytime energy usage to keep excess production as low as possible. Alternatively, you can install a solar and battery system to store excess energy for later use.

Georgia Power is the largest utility company in the state. Read more about Georgia Power’s net metering program.

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