Solar Panel Cost in Virginia (2022 Local Savings Guide)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Virginia:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.75
  • Cost of Average System: $22,385*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $51,942
  • Payback Period: 13 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $21,692

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/19/2022

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Jump to Section:

  1. Cost of Solar Panels in Virginia
  2. Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Virginia
  3. What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Virginia?
  4. Virginia Solar Incentives
  5. The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Virginia
  6. FAQs: Virginia Solar Panel Cost

If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

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SunPower

  • Pros icon Most efficient panels on the market
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  • Pros icon Great warranty coverage
  • Con icon Expensive
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Blue Raven Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading in-house financing
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  • Con icon Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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ADT Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading warranty coverage
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The figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Virginia homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may look different based on factors unique to you.

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Cost of Solar Panels in Virginia

A roughly 11-KW solar system is needed to meet the average monthly energy consumption of Virginia residents. With an average cost of $2.75 per watt for solar in Virginia, you’d pay a total of about $30,250 for an 11-kW home solar system. This is reduced to $21,175 after applying the 30% federal solar tax credit.

If your household uses more or less energy than the state average, you’ll need a bigger or smaller system size. Most residents see pre-tax-credit solar costs between $22,000 and $38,500 in Virginia.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Virginia

The cost to install a solar energy system in VA depends mainly on the size of the system you need. Most solar equipment is installed based on wattage. At an average per-watt cost of $2.75 in VA, every kilowatt increment will cause your total cost to jump by $2,750. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sizing your solar electric system, so your best bet is to contact a reputable solar company in Virginia to get a quote customized for your home.

Just as an example, if you have a monthly electric bill of $130 — which is about the average in Virginia — you’ll likely need an 11-kW system to offset your utility bill entirely. This number can vary even further based on your home size, the energy efficiency of your appliances and more.

Below are the average costs of different sizes of solar installations in Virginia before and after you take advantage of the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

Size of Solar Panel System Virginia Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
8 kW $22,000 $15,400
9 kW $24,750 $17,325
10 kW $27,500 $19,250
11 kW $30,250 $21,175
12 kW $33,000 $23,100
13 kW $35,750 $25,025
14 kW $38,500 $26,950

Want to see our review of the best solar companies in Virginia that offer affordable, high-efficiency solar panel systems? Click below.

See also: See how much you can save by going solar with the EcoWatch Solar Calculator

See Top Virginia Solar Installers

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Virginia?

dark solar panels installed on a house roof

The average solar panel system in Virginia costs around $21,175 after the federal tax credit is applied, but prices range from $15,400 all the way up to $26,950. The range of possible prices you’ll pay in Virginia is so wide because several factors can swing your price by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. 

We’ll discuss the factors that influence your costs below.

Solar Equipment

Equipment brands make a big difference in terms of pricing and your power production. Most homeowners don’t need to pay more for highly efficient solar equipment because there is ample sun in Virginia — around 205 sunny days per year, which is right in line with the national average. 

On the other hand, the state is prone to extreme weather, including intense thunderstorms, hurricanes and tropical storms, so some homeowners opt to pay more for high-quality panels that can stand up to abuse and come with above-average warranty coverage.

The type of equipment you choose will also play a role in your pricing. All solar systems include solar panels, but add-on equipment — like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries — can drive up your price. 

Solar batteries are particularly useful, as they can provide power through the frequent outages caused by extreme weather. However, these add-ons can raise your price by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

Solar Financing in Virginia

The type of financing you use to acquire your solar panels can also raise or lower your total system price by thousands. 

Paying with cash, for example, comes with the highest up-front cash outlay, but you’ll save quite a lot on interest. Paying with a solar loan requires far less money — or none at all — up front, but your all-in price will be higher because of the interest.

Virginia offers homeowners financing via the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE financing can cover 100% of your equipment costs and helps homeowners get a low APR to make solar more affordable overall. C-PACE is Virginia’s commercial PACE program, which helps businesses convert to solar affordably.

Virginia also offers the Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Fund and Program.1 The Virginia Clean Economy Act, which was passed in 2020, also helps low-income households by requiring energy companies to purchase Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) from low-income homes with solar panels installed.

Virginia Solar Installation Company

No matter where you live, the installation company you choose to handle your solar conversion will play a role in your overall pricing. This is true for two primary reasons.

First, each solar installer sets its own prices for equipment and labor. You could end up getting the exact same service and equipment for a lower price from a national company, for example, as you would from a local company. 

On average, the national solar companies in Virginia — like SunPower and Blue Raven Solar — will have lower prices than local companies which in Virginia include Nova Solar and Virtue Solar. However, local companies often provide discounts and superior customer service to compete with the larger providers.

Second, each solar installer carries certain panel and battery brands that vary in price. For example, SunPower only offers Maxeon solar panels, which are some of the most expensive options on the market but come with high efficiency and excellent warranty coverage. 

Given the price and quality of these panels, SunPower will tend to be a more expensive option than Nova Solar, for example, which offers less costly panels from REC, LG, Tesla, and Solar Edge. The quality and performance will be lower, but so will the overall price.

Additional Considerations and Costs in Virginia

The primary cost factors above will play the biggest roles in your solar system pricing, but there are some other considerations to think about before committing to a particular company. We’ll briefly explain these other factors below.

  • Permits: Each municipal building department in Virginia will require you to get a permit to install solar equipment. You’ll seldom need to do the work of filing for the permit yourself as your installer will typically do this, but you will need to pass inspection and pay the fee.
  • Licenses: The State of Virginia requires that all solar contractors have an Alternative Energy System (AES) license in addition to a general contractor license. You should check to ensure that the company you’re hiring has both.
  • Warranties: Solar equipment is expensive in Virginia, so it’s important to confirm what type of warranty coverage your panels include. Solar warranties usually cover the equipment, the installation, the performance or all three. The more coverage you have, the better, but the higher the system price will tend to be.
  • HOAs: Virginia has legislation in place that prevents homeowners’ associations from stopping you from installing solar panels. As such, you’re guaranteed to be able to install panels no matter where you live and take advantage of the sun that hits your property.
  • Environmental zoning: Some states have zoning codes that might prevent solar installation. Luckily, Virginia’s laws are pro-solar, so you shouldn’t have any issues going solar in the Old Dominion.

Virginia Solar Incentives

Going solar has never been easier or more affordable, thanks to a number of solar incentives offered to Virginia residents. Taking advantage of some or all of these can reduce your installation costs by more than $10,000 in some cases. Below, we’ll discuss the incentives available to VA homeowners from federal and state governments.

Federal Solar Tax Credit For Virginia Homeowners

The federal solar tax credit is a massive incentive to go solar offered by the federal government and available to all Virginia homeowners. Currently, taking advantage of this incentive will leave you with a credit come tax season worth 30% of your total photovoltaic installation costs. With the average price of an 11-kW system in Virginia totaling $30,250, that means savings of $9,075.

U.S. homeowners can take advantage of the full 30% tax credit through 2032. After that, the credit will fall to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.

Net Metering Policies in Virginia

Net metering programs are offered by many utility companies throughout the country to benefit customers who go solar. The specifics of net metering policies can vary, but the general idea is that homeowners can be credited for producing more energy than they consume.

If your solar energy system produces more power than your home needs, the excess can be fed back into the local electricity grid in exchange for a credit from your utility company. These credits can be used to pay for future electricity bills, and in some cases, your power company could even write you a check for the value of the credits. The exact benefits will depend on your provider.

For most Virginia homeowners, Dominion Energy will supply electricity. Luckily, Dominion is quite solar-friendly and has a great net metering policy. Dominion buys back excess kilowatt-hours of energy your system produces at the full retail rate for up to 20 kW for residential solar systems.

Local Solar Rebates and Grants in Virginia

solar panels on a sunny day There is also a solar tax exemption that the State of Virginia offers to incentivize the move to solar energy.

Installing solar will almost always increase your property value, provided you buy or finance rather than lease your panels and equipment.

In most cases, property tax increases when your property value goes up. To keep the indirect cost of solar down, Virginia offers a property tax exemption that ensures your tax rate won’t increase due to the addition of your solar panels.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Virginia

The best solar panel brand for you is the one that fits into your budget and provides the efficiency you need to cover your home’s energy consumption. The table below includes a quick look at the relative pricing of the top solar brands available in Virginia to give you an idea of which ones might be affordable.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

Ready to see what going solar will cost for your specific Virginia home? Select one of our recommended solar providers below to get a free, no-obligation quote based on your energy needs and expectations.

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Read More About Going Solar

FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Virginia

The EcoWatch team gets tons of questions from Virginia homeowners about going solar and the costs associated with the conversion. Below are some of the more common questions we see, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.