Georgia Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to Georgia solar panels:

  • What the process of converting to clean energy looks like in GA
  • The average cost of a solar power system in the area
  • Factors that can influence your panel production
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How to Get Solar Panels in Georgia

The process of going solar in GA is very straightforward. You can get started by reaching out to a local solar installer to get a free quote. You’ll need to provide a recent electric bill and schedule an exterior home inspection you usually won’t need to be present for this.

The installer will then design a system to meet your energy consumption needs and will help guide you toward a suitable financing option. You might need to look at cash purchases, loans, leases, or power purchase agreements (PPAs). You’ll then sign off on the system design, permits will be pulled and the system will be installed.

Installing a solar energy system in GA is massively beneficial for most homeowners. Not only does solar reduce your carbon footprint and boost your home value, but most residents also see substantial energy savings. On average, these savings will pay for your system and then save an additional $23,000.

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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation

Cons

  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Georgia?

When you’re pricing out your home solar system, you’ll usually see costs based on the number of watts installed. The average per-watt price in GA is around $2.55, which is below average. Most systems in the Peach State are around 11 kilowatts (kW), putting the total cost around $19,500 after the federal investment tax credit (ITC) is taken.

As mentioned above, the typical solar array in GA pays for itself over time a metric called the solar panel payback period. In Georgia, the payback period is around 12 years, which is right in line with the U.S. average.

You can get more information on system pricing and the factors that affect photovoltaic (PV) equipment costs by checking out our solar system cost guide for GA residents.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Georgia

Data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) place GA at 7th in the nation for solar adoption.1 With such a strong local solar industry, it’s no surprise that there is a wide range of options for Georgians when it comes to equipment brands.

GA receives plenty of sunshine, so most customers don’t base their brand choice on efficiency. Instead, the driving force for most property owners is warranty coverage, as GA is prone to severe weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical cyclones and extreme thunderstorms.

Below are some of the most popular equipment brands used in GA. These all come with great manufacturer warranties that provide peace of mind even in Georgia’s worst weather.

  • Maxeon (formerly SunPower brand)
  • Panasonic
  • REC
  • Qcells
  • Tesla
  • LG (coming off the market soon)
  • Canadian Solar
  • Trina Solar
  • Mission Solar

Is Georgia a Good State for Solar Panels?

Despite the lack of state incentives — which we’ll discuss later — Georgia is largely considered an excellent place to convert to solar. There are quite a few things the state has going for it that make solar energy so widely beneficial. These include:

  • Abundant sunlight: Solar cells only generate electricity when they absorb sunlight. This means areas that experience more sunny weather will see higher rates of production, which lead to greater savings potential. GA residents enjoy an average of 218 sunny days annually, which is above the national average.2 abundant sunlight translates to more energy production, which provides more energy savings.
  • Below-average equipment costs: GA residents pay an average of $2.55 per watt for equipment, which is $0.11 cheaper than residents of most other states. This might seem insignificant, but for the 11 kW system typically required in GA, it translates to savings of over $1,200. Lower equipment costs mean you get more value for your money, which is always a good thing.
  • Above-average energy consumption: Finally, GA homeowners pay around the national average for electricity rates, but they consume far more energy than most U.S. residents. The typical monthly consumption per household in GA is 1,081 kilowatt-hours (kWh), compared to the national average of 893 kWh.3 Property owners with above-average energy needs will see more value from their panels because they have higher charges on each utility bill to offset. This translates to a greater savings potential in the long run.
  • Southern location: As we’ll explain in the next section, sunlight intensity plays a role in the amount of energy your solar panel system produces. States like Georgia and Florida are located in the southern United States, which means sunlight will be more intense than in other states further north. Higher sun intensity levels mean more energy production capability, which translates to a higher savings potential.
  • Frequent power outages: Installing panels and solar batteries can provide electricity for your home even through blackout conditions. This is very helpful in an area like GA, where the harsh weather can lead to frequent power outages throughout the state. 

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Georgia?

The amount of electricity your panels can produce is an important metric to consider. Ultimately, it determines the size of the system you need to offset energy bills, which dictates your total system cost.

Without having a professional solar installer come assess your home, it’s not always possible to get an accurate estimate for system production. The reason for this is that there are a number of factors that affect your energy generation rates that can be all but impossible to calculate on your own. Some of these factors include:

  • The intensity of the sunlight hitting your panels: All solar panels will move closer to peak efficiency as the sunlight hitting them gets more intense. That’s why panels near the equator tend to generate more energy. The best-case scenario in any location is for your panels to be angled toward the path of the sun in the sky. In the U.S., that means southern-facing roofs will be the best for panel installation. Therefore, the orientation of your home and even the pitch of your roof can affect how much electricity your panels produce.
  • The volume of sunlight hitting your panels: Similarly, the amount of sunlight that is absorbed by your panels will directly affect your energy production. This is why the number of sunny days per year is an important factor for determining solar viability the more sun availability, the more energy your panels will produce, and the more savings you’ll enjoy. While sunny days per year in your area is a crucial thing to consider, so is shading on your roof during daylight hours. Trees, buildings, and utility poles near your home casting shadows on your roof can all disrupt the available sunlight and cause a dip in your production. This is especially true if the shading occurs in the early afternoon when the sunlight is most intense.
  • How many panels you have installed: Each solar panel you install will provide additional electricity for your home. As such, larger solar arrays will always lead to greater production and a better opportunity to save on electricity bills. However, bigger systems aren’t always better. Your system should be sized to match your energy needs rather than to exceed them.
  • The energy efficiency of the panels you install: The type of panels you install will also make a difference in your total production. Each panel brand has a metric on its spec sheet called “efficiency rating.” This is a measurement of the percentage of sunlight hitting your solar cells that can be utilized for energy production. Higher solar capacity ratings will always lead to greater production, as long as other factors don’t come into play.
  • The weather: Finally, weather conditions can cause variations in your system’s energy generation from day to day. Days with clear skies will yield the most solar electricity, while heavy cloud coverage can drop efficiency by up to 90%.

Since so many factors go into estimating what your panels will generate, it’s not really possible to say with any certainty the size of the system you need or what it will produce without an installer visiting your property. However, you can use the chart below to get a general idea of your production capability.

Solar Power System Size Expected Daily Energy Produced Expected Monthly Energy Produced Expected Annual Energy Produced
8 kW 26.6 kWh 800 kWh 9,600 kWh
9 kW 30 kWh 900 kWh 10,800 kWh
10 kW 33.3 kWh 1,000 kWh 12,000 kWh
11 kW 36.6 kWh 1,100 kWh 13,200 kWh
12 kW 40 kWh 1,200 kWh 14,400 kWh
13 kW 43.3 kWh 1,300 kWh 15,600 kWh
14 kW 46.6 kWh 1,400 kWh 16,800 kWh

You can also use our solar calculator for a more accurate estimate. This tool takes your specific location and average roof shading into consideration to estimate how much electricity panels on your roof will produce.

Solar Panel Policy History in Georgia

Unfortunately, GA is one of the least solar-friendly states in terms of current solar policy and legislation. The Peach State does have a history of providing some perks, rebates, and benefit programs to solar customers, though.

The policies that have been instituted date back to 1978, when the state’s solar easements and rights laws were created. These made it unlawful for homeowners associations (HOAs) and municipalities to prohibit solar installation. This didn’t make solar more affordable, but it did make it more accessible.

It was over two decades before the next pro-solar policy the Congregation and Distribution Act of 2001 was initiated. This piece of legislation made net metering programs possible. Net metering still isn’t mandated in the state, but many utility companies still offer it.

In 2008, GA began offering its state tax credit, which provided credit to income taxes for 35% of the total system cost installed. This was a massive benefit to Georgians and made going solar much more affordable. Unfortunately, this solar program was cut off in 2014 and has yet to be reinstated.

In the following years, several of the state’s electric companies began offering solar rebates. These included smaller companies like Central Georgia EMC, Greystone Power, and Jackson EMC. Larger providers like Georgia Power mostly just offer a solar buyback program, if anything.

Although not an incentive or change to solar policy, 2015 marked the completion of the Butler Solar Farm. This remains the largest community solar location in GA.

Large-scale solar farm collecting sunlight
Credit: Andreas Gucklhorn / Unsplash

The Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015 allows for PPAs and solar leases to be offered in GA, which helped make renewable energy more accessible. 

GA has yet to pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal, which would help push solar power adoption forward. However, Atlanta set its own RPS goal to generate 100% of its electricity via clean energy sources by 2035. Hopefully, the state as a whole will soon follow suit.

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Georgia?

Currently, there are no solar incentives provided by the State of Georgia. However, all residents will have access to one or more of the following perks:

  • Federal solar tax credit: This is offered to all U.S. solar customers by the federal government. The ITC is for 30% of the total cost of solar panels for your home — an average of nearly $8,500 in GA when you consider panels, inverters and solar batteries — which gets credited to your income tax burden.
  • Utility company perks and benefits: As mentioned above, some specific utility companies offer solar incentives to their customers. These include small rebate programs and net metering, usually at the avoided-cost electricity rate.

For more information on these benefits or to see if you qualify for any utility company perks, you can check out our guide to solar incentives in the Peach State.

Find a Local Installer in Georgia

According to the SEIA, GA residents have over 50 installers to choose from, plus regional and national solar panel installation companies.5 Choosing one for your solar project can be intimidating, especially since your system cost, warranty coverage, and customer service experience all hinge on this decision.

We’ll include some links to local installer recommendations below to help narrow down your options.

Street view in downtown Albany, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Albany

City Hall in Athens, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Athens

Beautiful shot of Augusta from beyond the Savannah River
Credit: C_live_lee / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Augusta

Canton City Hall
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Canton

Aerial via of Savannah, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Savannah

Street view of downtown Alpharetta
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Alpharetta

Atlanta, GA skyline
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Atlanta

Skyline view in Columbus, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Columbus

Decatur Square in Decatur, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Decatur

City Hall in Duluth, GA
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Duluth

For more company recommendations outside of these cities, you can read through our guide on choosing a solar company in Georgia.

Blog author image
Dan Simms
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.

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