Nevada Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

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

  • How to begin the process of solar conversion in NV
  • What factors affect how much electricity your panels will generate
  • Solar perks and benefit programs available to all NV residents
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How Can You Get Solar Panels in Nevada?

The first step to converting to solar energy in NV is to request a quote from a local installer for a solar system suited to your home.

A representative from the company will assess your home, check for shading as it affects your roof throughout the day and determine your energy consumption based on a recent electric bill. The installer’s team will then design a customized system plan.

Once you approve the design, you’ll need to figure out which financing option works for you. After you make payment, permits will be pulled, your home solar system will be installed and inspections will be set up with your local building department to close out the building permits.

Converting to solar energy in Nevada is often an outstanding investment. Solar panels let you reduce your emissions and your reliance on fossil fuels, and they also almost always save you money. The average system in NV will pay for itself and then provide over $18,000 in additional energy savings.

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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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Momentum Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication

Cons

  • Slightly limited service offerings
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Elevation Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Full-service home energy solutions

Cons

  • Quality of installation may vary by location
  • Relatively young company

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What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Nevada?

Most NV homeowners pay around $2.52 per watt installed, which is significantly less than the average throughout the U.S. Most homes have energy consumption rates that demand a 10 kilowatt (kW) system in The Silver State. That means the typical system total is around $17,500 after the federal solar tax credit is taken into consideration.

After installation, your panels should begin providing you with energy savings. A good metric for solar viability in an area is the length of the panel payback period, which is the time it takes for energy savings to exceed the cost of the system. In NV, the average payback period is 12 years.

For more information on average costs and expected savings in your area, you can check out our solar cost guide for Nevadans.

What Are the Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Nevada?

Nevada is ranked 6th in the nation for solar adoption by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).1 That means NV homeowners have lots of options for solar equipment brands. Since the state receives tons of intense sunlight, most residents don’t have to choose the highest-efficiency panels to offset electric bills.

Plus, NV isn’t prone to much extreme weather, so while solar warranties are great, it’s not usually necessary to choose panels with the longest and most extensive coverage.

Below is a list of some of the most widely installed panel brands in NV. These offer a good balance of cost, warranty and efficiency.

  • SunPower (now Maxeon brand)
  • Panasonic
  • Silfab
  • Qcells
  • LG (solar panels by this brand are being discontinued this year)
  • Tesla
  • Canadian Solar
  • Mission Solar
  • JA Solar

EcoWatch Preferred Partners

Here is a list of preferred partners in this area.

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Is Nevada a Good State for Solar Panels?

Nevada is an outstanding place to convert to solar energy. There are a few key things that NV has going for it that make solar such a great option in the area. These include:

  • Tons of available sunlight: Since photovoltaic (PV) equipment relies on sunlight to generate electricity, it stands to reason that areas receiving above-average amounts of sun are better for solar conversion. NV residents enjoy an incredible 252 sunny days per year, which is far above the national average of 205.2 More sunlight means greater opportunity to produce power, which means more opportunities to save money on electric bills.
solar panels nevada
Credit: Brittany Eliason / Unsplash
  • Above-average energy needs: NV homeowners pay around average electricity rates, but they consume more energy than most Americans around 973 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month.3 Solar customers get more value from their panels when they have high energy needs, as there’s more money to save on utility bills.
  • Below-average equipment costs: Solar equipment averages around $2.52 per watt in NV, which means each kilowatt (kW) installed is roughly $140 cheaper than it would be elsewhere in America. With an average system size in NV of 10 kW, that means residents pay $1,400 less on average for rooftop solar systems getting more bang for their buck.
  • Numerous appealing solar incentives: Finally, NV has been a pro-solar state for some time now, and residents have several solar benefit programs available to them. These help keep installation costs down and long-term savings up. We’ll discuss the specific incentives available in a later section.

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

The kWh you can produce with your panels will vary by month, day and even by the hour. There are quite a few factors that can influence solar panel production, so it’s a very challenging metric to nail down. The best way to estimate production for your panels is to have a local installer provide an estimate for you.

Below are just some of the factors that your solar company will likely consider when estimating production rates for your solar project:

  • How many panels you have installed: The more panels you install, the more energy your system will generate, provided all other factors remain equal. Your energy consumption will play the most significant role in determining how many panels your home requires. More panels mean more energy produced, but that also translates to higher up-front costs.
  • The type of panels you choose: Different panel brands come with different efficiency ratings, which tell you how much of the sunlight that hits the face of the panel can be absorbed and used to produce electricity. Panels with higher efficiency ratings tend to be more costly, but they’ll always produce more energy per square foot on your roof than lower-efficiency panels.
  • The direction your roof faces: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, south-facing roofs in the U.S. tend to lead to the highest energy production rates.4 This is because they’re angled toward the path of the sun in the sky, and they receive the most direct sunlight. Roofs that face other directions can be viable options for solar as well, but they won’t yield as much electricity.
  • Shading on your property: Trees, buildings, utility poles and electrical lines casting shadows on your panels during the day will cause a downturn in solar energy production. This is because your panels require unimpeded sunlight to generate maximum energy. Your installer should assess your home for shading and account for it as part of sizing your system.
  • Local weather conditions: Just like trees, buildings and other permanent obstructions, clouds in the sky can reduce available sunlight and cause your solar production to drop. Cloudy days can diminish your production by up to around 90%. Your installer should consider local weather conditions before installation. This is less of a concern for NV residents, though, as sunny days abound in the area.

You can use the chart below to get a broad estimate of how much electricity your panels will produce. However, it’s always best to defer to a professional for an estimate.

Solar Power System Size Expected Daily Energy Produced Expected Monthly Energy Produced Expected Annual Energy Produced
7 kW 23.3 kWh 700 kWh 8,400 kWh
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

You can also use our solar calculator to estimate how much energy panels on your specific roof will produce. This tool considers your precise location and uses satellite imagery to determine shading on your roof for an accurate estimate.

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Solar Panel Policy History in Nevada

Pro-solar legislation in NV kicked off back in 1983 when the state began offering the renewable energy systems property tax exemption. Installing solar equipment raises your home value, and this exemption prevents your property taxes from going up as a result.5

In 1995, NV passed solar easements and rights laws, which make it unlawful for governing bodies to prohibit solar installations. These provisions were focused mainly on homeowners associations (HOAs), but they guarantee solar access to all residents.

In 1997, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUCN) began its net metering program, which lets customers with solar energy systems overproduce electricity with their panels and receive credits for the excess to be put toward future utility bills.

The net metering policy has changed numerous times in NV and was made less advantageous to customers in 2015 when a charge was added for net metering, and the credit rate declined. 

nevada solar panels
Credit: Robert Linder / Unsplash

Now, the state mandates a minimum credit of 75% of the retail value. The credit value will decline toward that limit as more people convert to solar energy.

There are also special requirements for customers of NV Energy, the largest utility company in the area. These include a credit rate of at least 95% of the retail rate for systems up to 25 kW.

In 1997, NV established its first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. These goals are set to push clean energy solutions within the state.

The goal has since been updated many times, including a change in 2009 to mandate a minimum of 20% of the state’s electricity coming from clean energy sources by 2025. This was later changed to 50% by 2030 and, finally, 100% by 2050.

In 2003, NV started its Renewable Generations Rebate Program, which provides cashback perks to customers for each watt they install. Currently, the rebate is for $0.20 per watt up to 25 kW.

Finally, in 2006, NV began its Portfolio Energy Credits (PEC) program. This is similar to the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) program in other states. It provides credits for every kilowatt you produce with your panels. Those credits can then be sold for a profit.

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Nevada?

There are currently quite a few solar benefit programs available in NV that help make solar more affordable and appealing. We’ll provide brief explanations of the available perks below.

  • Net metering: Net metering is mandated for all utility companies in NV. The policy guarantees that solar customers who produce more electricity than they consume will be credited for the excess. Those credits can then be used to reduce future energy bills.
  • Federal solar investment tax credit (ITC): The federal tax credit is for 30% of your total solar panel system price. It gets applied to your income tax burden for the year your home solar system is commissioned. In NV, the typical ITC is around $7,500.
  • Nevada Energy Storage Incentive Program: This policy is only for NV Energy customers. It’s similar to net metering, but you earn credits if you allow the company to access your solar storage system when it needs excess electricity. Solar batteries are also great to have to provide electricity through power outages, so this policy makes solar batteries an even more popular option in NV.
  • Renewable energy systems property tax exemption: This is a property tax exemption that prevents your taxes from increasing just because you go solar.
  • Local solar perks: There are also some local rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, like installing a solar hot water heater. These are available from specific utility providers, like NV Energy and Southwest Gas.

For more information on benefits that you might be able to take advantage of, you can check out our guide to Nevada solar incentives.

Find a Local Installer in Nevada

Choosing a solar installer is a time-consuming process. You’ll want to do your research to confirm you’re getting the best value for your money, with consideration for your warranty coverage and the quality of the equipment being installed.

Below, we’ll include some links to the top solar companies in major cities in NV to help get you started.

For company recommendations outside of these major cities, you can check out our guide to choosing a solar installer in NV.

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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.