If you live in the Peach State and are looking to switch to renewable energy, you may be wondering about the cost of solar panels in Georgia. In this article, we’ll break down average prices of solar panel installations in the state to help you decide whether this type of clean energy is worth it for your home.
The numbers you’ll see below are averages, but solar energy system costs can fluctuate greatly depending on things like the type of equipment you choose to install and your household energy use. If you want a better idea of how much it would cost to install solar panels on your home, you can use this tool or fill out the form below for a more detailed quote.
All EcoWatch solar companies are pre-vetted for your convenience.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Georgia?
Using market research and data from top solar companies, we’ve determined that the average cost of solar panels in Georgia is $2.55 per watt. This is below the U.S. average of $2.66 per watt.
Based on that average cost, you can expect to pay $9,423 for a 5-kilowatt home solar system in Georgia. The actual price for a system of this size is around $12,733, but the net cost becomes much lower after subtracting the 26% federal tax credit. The following table summarizes the average prices of home solar systems in Georgia ranging from 5 to 10 kilowatts (the most common residential system sizes):
|Size of Solar Panel System||Georgia Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Keep in mind these are average costs, based on general data from Georgia’s solar industry. However, these prices can vary based on factors like the complexity of your roof and the solar brands available near you. To get an accurate solar quote, you’ll need to book a free professional assessment that accounts for your annual energy bills and roof conditions.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia?
As mentioned, average solar prices in Georgia are useful as a starting point, but the actual cost of your system can vary. The energy consumption profile of your home is a key factor that determines how many solar panels you need, as homes with high electricity demands will need larger systems, which are more expensive.
The cost of going solar also depends on the equipment brands used, the company providing the installation service, and how you decide to pay for the system. Additional features like solar batteries and energy management systems also increase the total cost of your solar installation. For example, you can expect to pay an additional $10,000 to $15,000 if you add a home battery to your solar panel system.
Naturally, if you want the best solar panels, you’ll pay a premium for them. There are plenty of solar panel brands to choose from, however. Some brands focus on developing the most efficient solar panels on the market, which makes them a premium product. Conversely, there are solar brands that focus on making more affordable solar panels, but this often means you get a lower efficiency or a shorter warranty.
As a general rule, monocrystalline solar panels have a higher efficiency and a higher cost than polycrystalline panels. If you choose monocrystalline panels with a 25-year warranty, you can expect a higher price than another homeowner using polycrystalline panels with a 10-year warranty.
The same principle applies to the inverter, the device that converts the direct current (DC) power from your solar panels into alternating current (AC) power that can be used by your home appliances. For example, a solar inverter that only accomplishes its basic function will be less expensive than a more complex unit with energy management features.
There are three main ways to pay for a solar panel system: a single cash payment, getting a solar loan and paying over time, and signing a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). Your total out-of-pocket cost will change depending on the payment option you choose. Here is a brief cost comparison:
|Solar Financing Method||Pros||Cons|
|Cash purchase||+ Fully covers the cost of your system, so there are no interest payments or fees+ Will give you the highest return on investment||– You’ll need to cover a large sum upfront (over $12,000 for a 5-kW solar system in Maryland)|
|Solar loan||+ Divides the upfront cost of the system into smaller payments over time+ You get power bill savings right away, and they can be used to pay off the loan+ You’re still eligible to claim the federal solar tax credit||– Your overall cost will be higher due to interest|
|Solar lease or PPA||+ The solar company you choose will cover all installation costs, as well as maintenance||– You’ll still need to pay to access the energy that’s produced by the panels- The solar panels installed on your roof remain under the ownership of the solar company, so you’re not eligible for the tax credit or other incentives|
You’ll want to choose a solar company you can trust, as installations are complex and can damage your roof structure if not done correctly. If your panels are installed with shoddy workmanship, a panel could go flying during a storm or you might have frequent electrical faults. In a worst-case scenario, a low-quality solar installation can start a fire and cause major property damage. Also, if the installation isn’t done properly, it can void your solar panels’ warranty.
The cost of installing solar also depends on the installation company you choose. Ideally, you should look for a provider with technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Skilled labor has a higher price, but it ensures a safe installation.
Before deciding on a provider, we recommend getting free quotes from a few companies. This way you can make sure you’re getting the best deal available in your area. To start connecting with certified installers near you, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.
All EcoWatch solar companies are pre-vetted for your convenience.
Georgia Solar Incentives
Unfortunately, there are no local incentive programs active in Georgia as of January 2022. However, some electricity providers have solar buyback programs, which are similar to net metering. In these programs, your utility company will purchase the surplus generation from your solar panels, subtracting it as a credit on your power bills.
Additionally, all home solar systems in the U.S. benefit from the federal solar tax credit. This credit is worth 26% of your system cost, but it is set to be reduced to 23% in 2023. Unless Congress extends the credit, it will not be available for residential solar from 2024 on.
FAQ: Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia
Is it worth going solar in Georgia?
The cost of solar panels in Georgia is below the U.S. average, and the state gets plenty of sunshine during the year, as you can see in the World Bank Global Solar Atlas. This means you pay less for each kilowatt of generation capacity, and your solar panels will be very productive. Assuming you have favorable site conditions, these factors make it worth going solar in Georgia.
Is there a tax credit for solar panels in 2022?
Yes, there is a tax credit for solar panels in 2022. Owners of both residential and commercial solar systems are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit. This means you can get a tax credit of $260 for every $1,000 invested in a solar power system. Georgia does not have a state tax credit, but the 26% federal tax credit is available everywhere in the U.S.
What is the average lifespan of a solar panel?
The best solar panels come with a 25-year product warranty, but they can typically outlast that period with minimal reductions in efficiency. For context, the typical payback period of a home solar system is between eight and 12 years, but some homeowners can see a full payback in as little as five years. From your break-even point to the end of your solar panels’ lifetime, you’re essentially powering your home for free.
Does solar increase home value?
Yes, solar panels increase home value. Studies have concluded that home values increase by around $6,000 per kilowatt of solar capacity. This means the average 5-kW system could add around $30,000 to your home value, and a 10-kW system could add around $60,000.
Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, fast food, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.