Below you’ll find the top solar companies in Georgia as ranked by us and reviewed by verified solar customers. To learn more about what goes into our “Best Rank” score for each company, visit our How We Rank page. For our full Georgia Solar Overview, keep reading:
Despite having a record year in 2016 for solar installations (more than 1 megawatt of solar energy), Georgia has somewhat cooled in recent years in terms of solar output and solar-friendly policies. Georgia is one of the sunniest states in the nation; however, the Peach State recently discontinued its state solar tax credit. This decision, along with other factors, has made going solar in Georgia much more difficult than it used to be.
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of going solar in Georgia.
Here's an at-a-glance description of the current benefits and drawbacks of switching to solar in Georgia:
If you plan on purchasing your solar panel system in Georgia with cash, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 for a 4 kW system, to upwards of $33,000 for an 11 kW system. Granted, the federal solar tax credit will help subsidize 30 percent of the system cost.
Assuming electricity rates climb by 3.5 percent per year for the next 25 years, homeowners will end up paying much less for solar at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour than they would for traditional electricity at about 28 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Georgia only offers two main financing options for interested parties: cash purchase and solar loans. As of 2020, the state has not authorized third-party installers to lease solar energy systems, or sign homeowners to power purchase agreements (PPA). The lack of these latter two options greatly inhibits the rate of solar adoption in the state as they are often so popular among solar enthusiasts who can’t afford the significant upfront or long-term costs of a full solar array.
Outright purchase of a solar PV system in Georgia remains the most time-effective and cost-effective way to see profitable returns on solar energy. Through the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit and state-level rebates, customers can experience massive savings after their system’s first year of operation. For an 11 kW system (a typical capacity for Georgia), customers will need to pay around $33,000 upfront. That price is reduced to around $23,000 following the tax credit, and to about $22,000 after solar rebates have been applied.
Homeowners can expect their system to turn a profit after 15 to 18 years of successful operation, meaning their solar installations will turn a net profit of about $12,000 after 25 years, or the life of the system.
Unfortunately, financing a solar installation through a solar loan is a much different case in Georgia. While initial savings are high for the first few years, they are quickly erased as loan payments monthly utilities. After 12 years or so, customers could find themselves at a net loss of $17,000 or greater. That deficit will gradually decrease as utility rates rise, but customers may not see a net profit on their systems for 25 years or more.
Georgia’s solar incentives are limited in scope: no state-level tax credits, tax exemptions, or programs for low-income families or individuals are in place; but the state is still doing a bit more for solar energy than several of its neighbors:
While Georgia does not currently support a state-wide solar rebate program, certain utility providers in the state have taken it upon themselves to reward customers who make the switch, all at $450 per kilowatt produced, with a rebate cap at $4,500.
Similarly, the Peach State does not have a renewable portfolio standard (RPs) in place, which would require utility companies to dedicate a predetermined allotment of their energy output to clean energy sources by a specified date, or face stiff fines and penalties. Meanwhile its interconnection rules are limited only to Georgia Power, and are not robust enough to make going solar any easier.
One of the few bright spots in Georgia’s solar policy revolves around net metering. The policy is scant at best, with Georgia utility companies doing the bare minimum to purchase solar power from residents; companies have enforced strict limits on the number of households that can take advantage of net metering, meaning few solar households will actually be rewarded for contributing to the power grid.
With all that said, Georgia is steadily implementing solar energy into its portfolio primarily through utility companies. Residential installations, however, remain low. Because of this utility-driven effort, more than 310,000 households have access, albeit indirect, to solar energy.
Interested in a solar quote? Check out the top-ranked solar companies in Georgia and read reviews from verified solar customers.