arnessing solar power is a modern marvel that provides a sustainable energy solution. In this regard, the state of Georgia has emerged as a leader in the Southeast. This article will examine solar panels in Georgia, from installation considerations to our top picks for solar companies in the state.
Solar Power in Georgia: Current State
As of 2023, Georgia's solar energy sector is in full swing, boasting over 5,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity. This impressive figure puts the state in the 7th spot in the U.S. for solar energy, thanks primarily to its strategic location and plentiful sunshine. With an average of 5 hours of peak sunlight per day and about 218 sunny days per year, the potential for solar power in Georgia is substantial, indicating a promising future for solar GA.
Solar Panels in Georgia: Factors to Consider
Viability of Solar Panel Installation Georgia
Solar power in Georgia is more than just a feasible choice; it's an excellent one. The state's geography and climate offer an ideal environment for solar energy generation. In addition, Georgia’s high electricity rates can make the return on investment of a solar system attractive when compared with traditional energy sources.
Electricity Prices and Potential Savings
On average, the residential electricity rate in the state is approximately 13.50 cents per kWh. By acquiring solar panels in Georgia, homeowners can expect to offset a significant portion of their electricity bill. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household uses around 1,000 kWh monthly. With a PV panel system size of 6 kW producing an average of 30 kWh per day, homeowners could cover all of their electricity needs, potentially saving up to $1,400 annually.
Sizing Considerations for PV Panels
Solar panel sizing is critical and depends on your energy consumption and the size of your roof. Professionals can assess these factors to ensure you install a system that best meets your energy needs.
Average Costs of Solar Panels in Georgia
As of 2023, the average cost of solar panel installation Georgia ranges from $13,000 to $17,000 for a 5 kW system. However, prices can vary significantly depending on the system size, panel type, and mounting-related complexities.
Financing Options for Solar Panel Installation Available in Georgia
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and Their Benefits
A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the solar system and a customer agrees to site the system on their roof or land and purchase the system's electric output for a predetermined period. This can enable customers to receive stable and often low-cost electricity.
Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to deduct 30% of the cost of a solar energy system from their federal taxes in 2023. For a $15,000 system, that’s a savings of $4,500. This substantial incentive makes solar energy much more affordable for many homeowners.
Local Incentives and Financing Programs
Georgia Power compensates solar customers at the "avoided energy" rate, rather than the full retail rate, for excess solar energy sent back to the grid. This means customers are paid what the utility would spend buying the energy on the open market. The best strategy to maximize solar savings is to use as much solar at home as possible, thus sending minimal excess back to the grid. The utility's Solar Buy Back program offers credits for unused solar electricity, which can be used on bills or sold back to Georgia Power at the avoided-energy cost rate. Different residential rate plans are available, each suited to specific consumption patterns.
Top Solar Companies: Tips on Choosing the Best
What is Important When Choosing a PV Company
While seeking solar panel installation Georgia, consider factors such as the company's experience, services offered, pricing, and customer reviews. Equally essential are warranties, solar panel quality, and installation practices.
A family-owned business IntegrateSun, LLC prides itself on providing cost-effective, high-quality solar solutions. They offer a 25-year maintenance and warranty period and an array of services, from installation and financing to energy auditing and solar repair.
Creative Solar USA
Established in 2008, Creative Solar USA is a Georgia-based company with a deep understanding of local utility policies and product functionality. Recognized as a top solar installer in the state, they provide services ranging from financing to solar repair and community solar. Moreover, their solar panels are assembled locally in Georgia, underscoring their commitment to supporting local businesses.
Better Tomorrow Solar, Inc
Better Tomorrow Solar, Inc emphasizes customer service and transparency. This company handles everything from site evaluation to installation, inspection, interconnection, and even education on their system software/App. Their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint makes them a strong player in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions about PV Panels
Q: How long does the installation process typically take?
A: Solar panel installation Georgia typically takes between 1-3 days, depending on the complexity and size of the system.
Q: Can I take my solar panels with me if I move to a new home?
A: While technically possible, it is generally not advisable due to the complexity of the system
Q: Can I still get solar panels if my roof is not south-facing?
A: Although south-facing roofs are ideal for maximum sun exposure, panels can still be mounted on an east- or west-facing roofs.
Q: What happens to solar panel performance during cloudy or overcast days?
A: Solar panels can still produce electricity on overcast days, although the output may be reduced.
Q: Are solar panels waterproof?
A: Yes, solar panels are designed to be weather-resistant and can withstand rain and other common weather conditions.
Final Thoughts on Solar in Georgia
Solar panels in Georgia represent a promising opportunity for homeowners to reduce their energy bills and contribute to a sustainable future. From abundant sunshine to a growing industry and favorable incentives, the state is a frontrunner when it comes to solar energy adoption. As we navigate the landscape of renewable energy, installing solar panels might just be a bright idea.