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2017 Policy Grade

D

Avg. Yearly Savings

$350

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Georgia

2017 Policy Grade

D

Avg. Savings/yr

$350

Welcome to the 2017 Georgia solar power information page!

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

The peaches may be sweet in Georgia, but solar power policy and incentives are starting to turn a bit sour after a strong start in 2008. In fact, Georgia legislators have only done one thing to help encourage solar power since they passed a strong tax credit nearly five years ago—but it's a good thing: The Georgia legislature passed the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015, which opens up the state to solar leasing and power-purchase agreements, bringing cheap solar to homeowners all across the state.

Other than that, Georgia lacks many of the sensible solar policies that are steadily becoming the norm across the nation, including a strong Renewables Portfolio Standard, tax exemptions for renewable energy sources like residential solar power systems, and strong net metering and interconnection laws that lay out sufficient standards to protect consumers like you.

The end of Georgia’s decent-if-not-spectacular tax credits for solar installations was the last nail in the ROI coffin for solar purchases here. With no statewide incentives for installing solar panels, The Peach State ain’t so peachy for solar power. There is still hope, depending on where you live and how much your power company is willing to pay for the electricity from your panels. Read on to find out all about the ins and outs of solar policy in Georgia.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Georgia solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Georgia

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Georgia. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Georgia. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Georgia. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Georgia is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Georgia

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Georgia can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Georgia

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment.

If you take a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), though, you'll have to make payments over 15 years, but you'll still come out thousands of dollars ahead in the end.

The best option here might be the solar lease or PPA, which means you put $0 down on a rooftop solar system and pay monthly while you accumulate electricity bill savings over time. Leases and PPAs are an excellent option if you don't have any equity or cash to put down.

Read on to find out more about each option.

  Solar Power-Purchase Agreements in Georgia

Georgia residents are just beginning to enjoy the ability to get solar from a third-party company and pay monthly, and leasing is now probably the best way to go in the state. The third-party solar thing might be new, but it's a time-tested formula in other states.

Wiht a PPA, your initial payments will start out just a little cheaper than electricity from the utility company, and over time, the rate of increase in the per-kWh cost of the PPA will rise by a smaller amount—usually 2% per year—than the cost of electricity rises, which is about 3.5% per year. Our current esitmate shows an initial savings of about $29 per month, and a 20-year savings of $10,105.

Net Present Value: $5,409

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Georgia's $5,409 NPV on a solar PPA means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. That number is pretty huge for a $0-down investment, so you can rest easy with a PPA in Georgia knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

Here's how a solar PPA works:

Example savings in Georgia

Annual Electric Bill Before Solar

$2,349

Annual Electric Bill After Solar

$1,288

Est. Annual Solar Payments

$711

Average Annual Savings

$350

Power-Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are the most popular form of what's called "third-party solar." A PPA just means your solar company owns the panels on your roof, and you pay for the electricity they produce. The numbers above show the savings with a solar PPA for an average home in Georgia. The typical electric bill before solar power is super expensive, but with a PPA, your monthly expenses will be lower. You'll be saving money and saving the planet all at the same time!

Here's an estimate of the monthly savings for a solar PPA in Georgia:

With a PPA, your solar company essentially becomes a second utility provider, only the solar electricity is sold to you at a lower rate than the fossil fuel electricity you've been buying from the electric company! Note: your PPA won't eliminate your power bill from your regular electric provider, because you'll still need energy from the grid when the sun isn't shining. But it will save you money!

The less-popular cousin of the third-party solar family is the solar lease. It's basically like renting your panels for a set monthly payment, and getting all the energy they produce—however much it is. Don't get spooked by that language, though. A typical solar lease comes with energy production guarantees that will make sure you're getting what you paid for. In fact, if you're not offered a production guarantee with a solar lease, walk away.

Here's the best part of third-party solar: whether you end up with a lease or a PPA, the installation company owns the panels and will do all the maintenance for you. Usually that means just a good cleaning every year, but if any part of that system fails, you're off the hook! That can be a great benefit to homeowners who are risk averse.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Georgia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar lease or PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Home Solar Power: PPA vs. Purchasing

To PPA, or not to PPA? Willsolar Shakespanels would be proud we're discussing this. Here's the basic deal. If you choose to lease your panels, you benefit from no out of pocket costs and an immediately reduced total electricity payment. Because of this, many regard this option as a no-brainer, since there isn't any downside to think of. The only hiccup you'll start to experience is when you consider the long term financial benefit of owning the solar panel system yourself.

In many situations, if you can afford the outlay or can easily secure financing, the cost of the install becomes an investment with a return outpacing even the strongest performing mutual funds. In addition, there's significantly less principal risk, since the energy credits you will be producing are tied to the sun coming up in the morning instead of our financial markets!

Additionally, if you go the PPA route, you must forfeit all the credits and performance payments you would receive by owning the system yourself to the solar PPA company (after all, that's how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place).

 Solar Loans in Georgia

This is without a doubt the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment. That’s because it relies on using someone else’s money for the purchase price, which is paid back over time. The cost is similar to a new car loan, but because solar makes you money, it's a tremendous investment. One way to finance solar like this is a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), but solar loans at great rates are being offered by installers around the country. The chart above is our estimate for the average homeowner, so get a custom quote for a $0-down solar loan to get an accurate picture of how much solar can save you.

The reason a solar loan works so well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get all of the incentives that go along with buying solar. You'll get the 30% federal tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. The bad news is your loan payments will be higher than those energy bill savings, so you'll end up spending about $35/month for solar in the first year. That difference will come down each year as electricity prices rise, but your system will keep on producing about the same amount of electricity.

Net Present Value: $8,059

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Georgia's $8,059 NPV on a solar loan means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. That's a huge number, and it shows how getting a loan for solar is so much better than the alternatives. You can rest easy with a Georgia solar loan knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Florida solar purchase with a solar loan or HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $16,650. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • You'll sell all the electricity generated by your system to Georgia Power for $.17/kWh, which means $1,061 in payments to you this year. But your loan payments will be $1,478, for a difference of $417 this year, or about $35 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $4,995! You'll come out $4,558 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $1,600 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll end up with $20,000 in profits.
  • And the future is going to look a little brighter, since your system will mean green for the environment. It'll be like planting 104 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Georgia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Buying Solar in Georgia

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the best dollar-for-dollar returns. The reason it's so great is that you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. The Federal tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $16,650 up front, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $25,000 in income.

Net Present Value: $6,706

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Georgia's $6,706 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar in Georgia over 25 years than in, say, stocks. With investment return like that, you'll be padding your wallet while you save the planet. Good job! But check out what happens to NPV if you buy the same system with a loan that you can pay back over time.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out when you pay up front for a 5-kW rooftop solar system in Georgia:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $16,650. Don’t worry – even without rebates, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, the lack of rebates means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $4,995 (30% of $16,650) for a new price of $11,655.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy payments from Georgia Power, which we estimate to be about $1,061. That reduces your cost to only $10,594.
  • Your system will pay itself back in 10 years, and over its 25-year life, you'll see a total net profit of $25,901, after the system pays for itself. That's an internal rate of return of 11.7%. Pretty solid!
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by close to $27,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 104 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Georgia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Georgia Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Georgia:

RPS

None

Grade: F

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels. Unfortunately Georgia is one of a minority of states that has yet to pass any RPS. The legislature is missing a big opportunity to help safeguard your environment and save citizens money.

We see the same pattern all across the country. In states with renewable energy targets written into the law (and penalties for failing to meet those targets), the state and the utilities come together to offer strong incentives for residential solar power. In states that lack an RPS the landscape is far more murky. There might be the occasional tax credit or utility-specific performance incentive, but states that lack an RPS generally lack a cohesive policy to encourage renewable energy.

Bottom line: If we want a strong future for renewable energy here, we need a strong RPS—ASAP. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also naturally don’t want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities in other states are the transition to lower electric bills and offering incentives to put solar on homeowners’ roofs is because the states force them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the states. Not so in Georgia.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

None

Grade: F

The best states for solar mandate that a certain percentage of the RPS comes directly from solar energy. Without an RPS in Georgia, this is another area that falls short.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Georgia Electricity Prices

$0.12/kWh

Grade: C

Electricity runs about 12 cents per kilowatt hour (“kWh”) here. That’s pretty low. In fact electricity here is nearly even with the national average.

Why do we pay so little for energy? Sadly it’s because our energy is backed by lots of earth-killing, non-renewable fossil fuels. The effects of all those fossil fuels are already starting to rear their ugly ozone-destroying heads. Not to mention the fact that the price of all those fossil fuels has been steadily climbing higher and higher. The price is only going to keep rising, and rising… and rising, and those shiny solar panels on your roof are going to look better, and better, and better.

Whatever you think of the environmental side of things, solar power will save you money. The price of electricity rises about 3.5% per year, meaning that solar will save you more every year. New government regulations and supply shortages will cause price increases going forward. People who switch to solar now will inevitably reap the benefits of that good decision-making for decades to come.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Georgia Net Metering

C

Grade: B

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Unfortunately that’s about all Georgia’s net metering law says. There are no safeguards to stop the utilities from springing unanticipated fees on you, a cap on residential systems that may not allow all customers to produce all of their energy needs and still take advantage of net metering, and a woefully small aggregate capacity limit.

The aggregate capacity limit is essentially a limit on the number of people that can hook up to one grid to take advantage of net metering. Georgia’s aggregate capacity limit for net metering is currently only 0.2% of the total circuit load. We won’t bore you with the technical details; sufficed to say, that’s low. Real low. If many of your neighbors are already producing their own power, you may find yourself waiting for space on the grid because of the draconian standards the state has set.

We still give Georgia a B in this area, because the current climate for net metering is good. Even without state regulations, the utility companies are buying solar power from homeowners, sometimes at a premium. For example, Georgia power has what they call a solar buyback program that pays (at the time of this writing, $0.17/kWh for solar power connected to the grid. That’s more than $0.04/kWh above the average retail rate. They’re not obligated to do it, but with people all over the state interested in buying it, your solar roof is an asset in this way, too.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Georgia Interconnection Rules

None

Georgia sadly also lacks any regulations preventing utilities from requiring redundant external disconnect switches or separate liability insurance that can unnecessarily cost residential customers money. Nor do the net metering and interconnection laws contain any safe harbor language to protect customers from unexpected fees sprung on them by the utilities.

The state gets a "D" in this area, because of Georgia Power's current interconnection policies, but without some action from the state to solidify some good poilcies going forward, we can't give a better grade here.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Georgia

Georgia Solar Power Rebates

Varies

Grade: D

Georgia lacks any statewide solar power rebate program. A few small utilities offer rebates, but the payments are fairly meager compared to some that we’ve seen. Let’s take a look at the rebates available:

Utility Name Rebate Amount Rebate Cap
Central Georgia EMC $450/kW $4,500
GreyStone Power $450/kW $4,500
Greystone Power $450/kW $4,500
Jackson EMC $450/kW $4,500
TVA $1,000 at installation and price premium for net metering 10 years

Sadly, for the many Georgia residents who use Georgia Power, there isn’t any rebate available. The numbers above are current as of 2014, but are subject to change. Our qualified local installer partners can help you navigate the process, including applying for rebates for you. Why not sign up for personalized assistance and see what kinds of incentives are available to you?

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Georgia Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Georgia used to have a good solar tax credit for homeowners switching to clean solar power. The program offered a credit of up to 35% of the total installation cost, up to a maximum of $10,500. That was on par with a number of states with a strong RPS. Unfortunately, however, the program ran out of funding. Now, the only solar tax credit Georgia residents can take is the Federal Solar Tax Credit. Here’s hoping that for 2017, Georgia can come through with a new tax credit.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

None

Grade: F

Performance payments in Georgia used to come from the municipal and cooperative electric utilities that purchase power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”), but as of 2015, those incentives are no longer offered to new solar owners.

The good news is Georgia Power, the state's largest utility company, offers a performance payment scheme (of sorts). The company currently pays solar owners a rate of $0.17/kWh for all energy—more than 4 cents higher than the retail electric rate. It isn’t a traditional performance payment, and it’s not guaranteed to stay that way forever, but it is a way for those solar system owners who got in early to make back a little extra in their utility bill. See more information here.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Even worse is the missing property tax exemption. When you install a solar power system you save money on your monthly electric bill. The savings in electricity costs translates into a boost in your home’s value. Sadly that still means an increase in property taxes here. Georgia needs to get on board with so many other states that have already done away with that albatross on residential solar power.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Georgia also lacks solar sales tax exemptions. Tax exemptions are a simple and effective way to incentivize solar power. Sales tax is 4% here, meaning a sales tax exemption would save you 4% on the purchase of your solar power system.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

Switch to solar and save $36.44/mo on avg ($0 installations available) - Click Here

The consensus on Georgia solar power rebates and incentives

So, what’s the bottom line? We said at the outset that Georgia is lacking in a number of important areas. In particular we really want to see a strong RPS here to keep the utilities and the politicians from continuing to get free passes while we burn more and more fossil fuels.

Sadly, Georgia no longer has the 35% state tax credit, which we’d love to see come back. With the state tax credit, the payback time was significantly shorter. The Peach State is only worthy of a failing grade for now, but with a statewide rebate program and better tax incentive package, sunny Georgia could take its rightful place among the best states for solar.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

87 thoughts on “Georgia Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Esther Dickinson Jones says:

    The local utility in Camilla, GA charge us a monthly fee of $93 over & above the normal usage because they say they can & as far as I can see they are charging an ILLEGAL FEE.

  2. Tim says:

    I think you should revise this very useful article, it’s one of the first Google hits when researching solar energy in Georgia. The key number in this article is the initial cost of the system of a 5Kw system and you assume that such a system will cost 20K. I think that number is highly inflated. A pallet of 20 Solar Panels at 300 watts each costs around $5670. An SMA string inverter with 6200 watts capacity costs around $2500, the inverter has an integrated fuse box and DC disconnect. An AC disconnect is less $100. The mounting hardware is less $1000. We can allow another $500 for cables. That’s $9770; we can round it to $10000. Two roofers can install the panel in less than a day, roofers are very affordable and efficient in Georgia, or it can be a DIY project. Some mounting hardware solutions are very easy to work with. You might need an Electrician for the connection to the grid or it could be a DIY project (6000 watts is 25 amps at 240 volts AC). So the 6000 watt system comes to around $ 11 000, less the federal tax rebate and in some cases the sate and utility rebate, and the system is around $8K or less depending on the local utility’s incentives. The KwH in Georgia and especially in the Georgia Power territory is not 0.015 the KwH but it could go up to 18 cents / KwH or more, especially with summer pricing. Georgoa Power adds almost 20% with an Environmental Compliance Cost, a Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery Fee, Municipal Franchise Fee and a Sales Tax. So the system cost almost half of what the article assumes, we can expect to double the returns to 14%.

  3. Philip says:

    Let me get this right. Georgia ONLY has the federal tax credit if Im on Georgia Power? No state tax incentives?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Very informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just installed a 6.9KW system on my home this last week. Applied to get on the waiting list for the “Georgia Clean Energy Tax Credit”. I suspect it is a long shot and I will never see that money. Sad because I wrote to Representative Mark Hamilton which lives by me and also sits on the state energy committee for Solar energy and never received a response. Our elected officials in Georgia do not seem to be interested in generating clean energy jobs here in the state.

  6. Jim says:

    I live in Towns County, GA, served by TVA through Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. Please run out a payback example for someone in a TVA service area.

    What do you know about local restrictions in Towns County on PV panels, such as “must not be visible to the public”, etc. Thanks!

  7. CT says:

    Great article. Can you tell me how to figure the valve an installed system adds to ones home value?

  8. CT says:

    Great article. Couple of questions. Where did you get the Home Value figure from? I’d like to know how to valve the system I have installed at my home here in Savannah. Next, who can we contact to start pushing for reinstatement of the Georgia tax credits?

  9. I installed a 10 Kilowatt (10KW), grid-tied, Solar PV system atop my Gillis Springs, GA home at the end of September, 2010. I copped 65% in tax credits (30% federal, 35% state), though it took me 30 hours of time and two years to fully collect Georgia’s credit — due to the state’s mismanagement of that program.

    A 10KW system in Central Georgia will produce about the amount of power that a family of four consumes in a year: 10,000-12,000 Kilowatt-Hours (KWH).

    I “barn-raised” my array in a no-permit (no codes at all, not even zoning) county but met if not exceeded all state and federal codes. I got nearby MAGE Solar to give me a great price and got it up for $35,000, net $14,000 after credits (hence, $1.40/watt). That’s roughly a 14-year payback cycle, then pure profit on the remaining 16 years of the system’s guaranteed life span.

    I could do it today (December, 2012) for about $.90/watt with the same tax credits, and that includes paying $3000 for electrician and inverter-mounting labor (a little tricky in my home, and I have only “socket-changing” skills).

    In the past 25 months the system’s produced over 32,000 KWH of power, exceeding MAGE’s projections. It makes/saves me about $1,000/year at an $.08/KWH reverse-meter credit rate (what my utility pays me for excess power that I feed into its grid), with the utility charging me $.13/KWH for the power that I use.

    I learned a lot in the process, and have since studied whether subsidies and government fiats (like the Renewable Portfolio Standards this group urges) make sense in the first place. I also collected my experiences and thoughts on how to tie a grid-tied, residential Solar PV system to the grid. My findings and conclusions are here: JamesChristopherDesmond.com

    If you read my site you’ll reach my bottom line: Let the Chinese “donate” their labor and tax dollars to us. Let them flood our market with cheap panels because we’ll create more jobs and prosperity in the long run AND substantially advance solar power — than by trade-warring with them (American invented VCR tech and ceded it to the Japanese in the 1980s; they reduced VCR prices from $400 to $40 and availed “VHS happiness” to us at the mass-consumer level; the Chinese will do the same with solar).

    Further, we can spread solar to tens of millions of rooftops and back yards (and unused farm lands) by (a) ditching all subsidies (no longer needed because prices have fallen far enough); (b) ditching all permitting (Do It Yourselfers can look out for themselves, and many “inspectors” are incompetent time/money wasters unwittingly propping up anti-competitive, prima-donna installers who price-rape and thus hurt solar power’s growth by making solar too costly); and (c) clearing the decks for 1BOG-type buyers cooperatives so more folks like me can “barn-raise” and get to “the power of 10.”

    The power of 10: A 10KW class array like mine for $10,000 produces at least 10KWH of electricity a year, which is about what a family of four needs. That’s $1/watt up-front cost. In my neck of the woods, it makes/saves $1000/year, which is a 10-year payback not counting the increase value that such an array adds to one’s home. Pay for 10 years, profit on 20. Tax Free. People will line up like they do at Apple stores to buy that product.

    Note how “10″ makes it easier for the average Joe to think about Solar PV for his home. He can simply cut it in half if he has only $5000. But he can now think in commodity terms ($1/watt, 10,000 KWH/year, etc.). Because we want Joe to think about solar like any other commodity (how much per pound, per gallon, etc.). Because we want to commoditize solar PV and thus drive its costs down like the Japanese did for VCRs.

    THAT is how to commoditize solar and foment a “Solar Aisle” at Home Depot. More on the “Power of 10″ here: https://sites.google.com/site/freemarketsolarpower/home/the-first-wave

    Finally, groups like this one often overlook ten-figure grid modification costs required for massive upticks in solar-PV based electricity. California’s paying that price now. This is a critical issue because it drives policy — as in, whether to favor large solar farms or small, individually owned installations like mine. Georgia is poised to make a big decision on that score, and I cover that in my “Georgia Watch” subpage here: https://sites.google.com/site/freemarketsolarpower/home/georgia-watch

  10. Michael J. Tempco says:

    Hi,
    I have been in the Solar/Wind/Conservation Industry for 8 years now. I have just came across this website and VERY much impressed with our worldwide interest in Renewable Energy. Folks it’s the future, Our company has so many products I couldn’t even them all, from Solar PV Attic fans to Solar PV hot water heaters to going to Net Metering to large wind turbines. Please do your family, environment and our children a great service by at least checking my company or any other reputable renewable energy company out.

  11. mike dion says:

    Hello Solar power rocks….why hasnt anyone spoken about a company that has the patent on increasing the efficiency of a solar panel by 40%. We all know that even a 2% increase is considered outstanding. This company’s device allows for solar panels to track the sun all day and when you compare this to 99.9% of all solar panels that are stationary and only enjoy 30 minutes at most of direct sunlight, its amazing that this hasnt been talked about before….i know that the announcement says dont make it spammy or to tout our own business…..but every installer and homeowner can beenefit.if interestest go the url or email me for additional information……thanks Mike

  12. Hi,
    I have just come across your website and find it interesting re solar panels in Georgia (AMERICA)…we live in Australia …Queensland..we installed in July 2011 a 10KW 52 panel system…German SMA inverter and 220 watt panels..(total cost was $32,500 Australia dollars)..our electric company charges us 22.5cents per Kilowatt….we have back to grid….our bills used to be $1,200 Australia dollars per 3 months and now we are getting a credit of $1,300 per 3 months…..so all electric is now free…(we have a large 4,500 square foot house)…total product is 5 year warranty for the inverter….25 year warranty for the panels.
    Just thought your website was quite interesting.
    Kind regards,
    Roger

  13. AJ says:

    My name is Ja8#%@ Bor*%. I want TO HELP GA FOLKS LIKE ME AND MY WIFE KNOW WHATS HAPPENING HERE AS OF THIS WEEK, AWESOME STUFF , I am a telemarketer for a GA owned SOLAR PV Panel manufacturer/installer.I sell “homegrown power lol” Im saying this upfront(to:webmaster friend) because I love THIS SITE I absolute LOVE SOLAR and I want to ROCK MY TAKE on the PRESENT GA SOLAR SITUATION, SO don’t Block me cause I work for the type of company that you promote just because you don’t know who I work for, no names. OK AWESOME . So please “SOLAR POWER ROCKS” let me rock on no names, you know of them though they are in your network & I used them to install a 7kw system on my home,got in contact via this site too !?
    I want to pump up ATLANTA Homeowners& business owners even more so on the idea of NOT HAVING A POWER BILL & on HOW EZ it is to SWITCH and get paid to do the GREEn THING AND SAVE MONEY. KINDA like a bank paying you to help push the mobile banking trailer around to different offices for a day, but you get paid on every friday TILL you DIE. CRAZY ? Nope. EX. Homeowner bob&susie have a baby, almost two. they are making it but have been a few hundred $$ short on their needs for a while. I called them and told them how if their electric bill is over 250$ a month on average and I could show them how to meet BILL_Eliminator and get Paid to save would they consider looking at the process? WEll DUH(common reaction)
    HOW:
    YEARLY ELECTRIC $2117
    Enough panels to cover production 230 watt
    HIgh EFF. PANELs to cover112% 60 Panels(14.2kw)
    , Installation and electric and best $$ can buy warranty 90% output warranty 10 years 80% 15 (25 yr warranty)
    Total Project cost 88,200=700 permit. 88,700 TOTAL WOOOOOW BUT WAIT THERES HELP BILL ELIMINATOR to the rescue…

    ga rebate check 10,500
    FEDERAL GRANT 17,520
    Manufactur cash 13,000
    Utility company 4,500
    Model home/ Holiday SEASON “Give Green Program” 7,000 Visa DEBIT (CASH )
    CASH REBATE VISA debit

    Total out of ocket is only 34,430

    Power bill is gone , so you save and make even more with the srecs you sell back. The bill you were paying for “Im not interested ” was a 2,173 add this to your extra power generated monthly and sold back thru the grid to help the planet, which is equal to 3,060 a year add your savings , now you get paid 5,480 yearly for harnessing sunshine. But you still have to pay for the balance of 34,430
    Use your CASH GRANT (60 days for federal to arrive after install Pluss the CASH REBATE from the PAnel Manufacturer Thats 24,500 towards the balance Now you owe10K
    Its only been 1year and since the SOLAR DEALER LET YOU USE A SAME AS CASH PROGRAM, YOur ROI is under a year1/2 should be 41/2.

    NOW whats the catch, you have to UNDERSTAND SOLAR. Email me and Ill get your questions answered and finish the best part of this HOLIDAY SALE , you might see around. Its REAL. Its GREEN!

    “If you want to know where your headed look at where your at…..

    Be GREEN & GROWING Not BROWN and ADAPTING TO DIE ….unknown

  14. Todd says:

    do diy project qualify?

  15. Glena Bailey says:

    I live in the south Georgia area, is it possible to get solar panels installed on something as small as a mobile home? Can you direct me to a certified installer.
    Thanks

  16. Anthony says:

    I installed Solar Panels on my home in November of 2010. When we completed the install process, we were advised, to submit our application for the GA Tax Credit in 2010, knowing that we would be denied, and then resubmit on Jan. 3, 2011. We followed all the steps necessary to receive the tax credit.
    I received a letter from the GA Department of Revenue stating that a portion of my requested costs have been denied because the credit cap has been reached for 2011, and that I cannot reapply for these denied costs in 2012.

    When I contacted the GA-DOR, they told me that I was prorated due to the cap being reached, and by GA State Law, I am only allowed to apply 2 times.

    Of the $10,347.54, only $7822.13 was approved. What can I do to received that rest of the $2,525.41 of this tax credit?

    I don’t think this is fair, and as far as I am concerned, this is false advertising for the entire Solar Industry

  17. Sophia says:

    Many people have asked where they can learn solar installation. I do not see any answers to this. Is this site allowed to say. If not, could you kindly refer us to another site where we can find out where there is teaching and training in this field. I’d so appreciate it. Thank you.

    1. Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Sophia,

      You might also want to sign up for some courses at The Solar Living Institute and/or Solar Energy International. These are the two best places to get hands on experience with solar, as well as some sales and marketing classes.

  18. Lonnie says:

    I am a homeowner looking to connect with a proven installer in the Columbus, GA area. Is there such a company? I saw a 20+ year old system work in Michigan, and was impressed.

  19. j neal says:

    i’m looking for training and certification in solar installations where do i find it in georgia..help

  20. SPF4YOURHOME says:

    I own Us Power Solutions here in Atlanata! I found your site and am so stoked aboit it!! Check out my website
    HelpMeSaveGreen.com We are trying every day to help atlantans GO Solar afterall it was called the HOTLANTA for awhile its so much potential here !We install 1k to 10 k systems as well as insyall Silver sheild insu;lation (radiant barrier and foam) top lower bills ! Please contact me so we Can be listed on your site as an installer ! Thanks Andy Moore

  21. On October 2nd, Georgia Solar Energy Association is hosting the National Solar Tour in Georgia, and we would like for your to be a part of it! Sites all around the state will host the open house designed to educate our state about solar energy and solar solutions. We hope for your participation this year. Please sign up a site by visiting: http://www.gasolar.org/sign_up_my_site.php

    Solar listings are free, we only ask that you be a GA Solar member.
    Attendance on the tour is also free, but this year we are offering a $25 guided tour in metro Atlanta, if you so desire. We hope that you can participate!

    Please email with any questions at solartour@gasolar.org

  22. Patty says:

    I’m so pleased that I found this blog about Enviro/Sustaining Our World. We used a really good company outside of Atlanta. Here is that link to their site. I do wish more and more people would turn to green. I also wish the government would make it mandatory.. instead of just giving incentives. Maybe then we could really sustain our world.EcoMech Geothermal & Solar I added your blog to my favorites!! Thanks for being so informative on the net!

  23. J Barnes says:

    I live in Oglethorpe County and receive power from Rayle EMC. I am looking at a grid-tie system with net metering. I built our home with the back facing south for future solar applications. I did not see that Rayle EMC participated in net metering or the buy back program? Are all power companies in GA reqrired to, or am I out of luck? Thanks JB

  24. Russ says:

    Interesting article – what is being done in Georgia to remove the blocking of PPA’s? PPA’s are great at reducing or removing the up-front costs and allowing a nice steady cost structure that can meet or beat the current utility prices…but an old law in Georgia makes them impossible. Any movement?

  25. Ronald Monty says:

    I was contemplating a solar electric system on my house in Stockbridge, GA.

    Nothing is being said about what the annual maintenance of these systems would be or what needs to be done.

    1. Ronald,

      There is very little maintenance to solar PV (electric) systems because there are no moving parts. Rain should keep the panels nice and clean, although if you live in a dusty area or one with a lot of birds, you should take an extended window squeegee and mop with warm water and wipe them off once every couple of months.

      The only thing that can go wrong after 10 to 15 years is the Inverter. More about that here. Otherwise, it really is a safe and reliable system if properly installed.

  26. I just wanted to thank you for providing this website and the great resources it provides. As a solar installer in Georgia, I have received a tremendous amount of information from this site that I’m able to pass along to my clients.

    One of the best resources I’ve seen is the DSIRE website…for whatever reason, I can no longer access the site. Does anyone know what the problem is?

    1. Thanks for the shout out.

      http://www.dsireusa.org/solar is a tremendous resource for rebate information for every state and utility. I think it was down for some reason yesterday, but it seems to be working now.

      Thanks for commenting.

  27. Dave,

    Great idea! The short answer is: it depends on quite a few variables.

    We would have to discuss your particular situation more deeply. If you would like to send me an email, you can click on my name above and fill out the form at the bottom of my webpage. I will post relevant answers to the blog as a follow-up.

    Oh! And we just commissioned the largest commercial array in the state! Check it out! http://u-renew.com/news/?p=99

  28. Dave says:

    Shana – I want to try and get my local school to install a large rooftop system. Would it qualify for fed and state credits? What would the school be credited for each kW of power it created? Could it be set up so the school saves money on a monthly basis while paying off the loan for the panels? Finally, if the whole school district did it, could they qualify as a carbon offset and get some polluting company to pay off their loans? Thanks Dave

  29. d baker says:

    i have 11 solar panels and other equiptment
    but not yet installed, equal to 1800 watts and a small wind jenny that is 24 volts at 30 amps max,720 watts, but its only useful in fall winter and spring.
    what kind of rebate could i expect?
    both also divert to heat hot water as well?

  30. Rich says:

    Shana,
    I would like to know if there are any employment opportunities in North Georgia in this emerging field. I am a Professional Commercial Driver looking for a change and would like to get into this field. Any information or direction would be appreciated.
    Thanks.

  31. Daniel Nelson says:

    I am a Licensed contractor here in Ga. we are in the process of starting a solar installation and consulting company starting in January of 2010. I was looking to see what steps we would need to take to become a partner with your orginization or to be on your referral list. Thanks again for all your information.

    Daniel N
    Suntek Solar Solutions

  32. Patrick says:

    Hi – I’m a little confused by business install option you presented above. If I install say a 1 Megawatt solar farm with the intention of selling all the power to GA power – they will pay a nego rate per KWH? Do they pay for this in the form of a check each month based on prior moths meter readings? If so, how much with GA power currently pay per KWH? Can you give me specific details to something like this or a resource I can review. Thanks!!

  33. Cindy, You can visit the following url: https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ and scroll down to “News & Press Releases”. There, you will find a link to “HB670 Clean Energy Property and Wood Residuals Tax Credit”. Please click on that link for the current report of pre-approved and available funds. Please keep in mind that this information is subject to a minor delay, as it is not an actual reflection of the applications received to date, only the funds that have been pre-approved at time of publication.

  34. Cindy Hamlin says:

    Shana –
    I am interested in how much of the annual 2.5 million Georgia tax incentive has been used to date. Where do you find the information?

  35. Now is the time to start planning for the National Solar Tour & Festival, sponsored by your local ASES chapter. On October 3rd, solar sites all across Georgia and the nation will be opening their doors to speak to visitors about the solar on their roof. Please visit http://www.gasolar.org/georgiasolartour.html for more details. This is your chance to learn firsthand about solar from actual owners. Maps, ASES memberships and virtual tours will be available online with the purchase of a ticket. Come out to learn, explore and have some fun!

  36. Steve says:

    Hi,

    We are a reputable solar company (or so we try) here in Georgia and want to get the word out about our business and become a listed solar professional with your site. Let me know what we can do to get on the list, or how we can help your subscribers.

    I’ll keep an eye on your posts and try to be a resource for people inquiring.

    Thanks,
    Steve Chiariello
    Inman Solar
    404 502 1915

  37. NABCEP certification training coming to Georgia. Starting January, 2010 Lanier Technical College in Alpharetta will be offering an 8 week PV Installation class preparing students for the NABCEP BASIC PV certification exam. Long-time solar pro Will Silva is on the faculty.
    More info at http://laniertech.edu

  38. J.G. depending on the size of the solar array: an licensed electrician is required at minimum. Every city differs in their requirements, so please check with your local authority. NABCEP certification is what we recommend when choosing an installer. It is a voluntary certification that ensures your installer has the requisite experience, standards and skill to properly install solar PV. http://www.nabcep.org/

  39. J.G. says:

    Does anyone know what the licensing and permitting requirements are for GA? I called the licensing board and they referred me here.

  40. Many people are curious about the news that the PSC has raised the GA Power (17.74 cent) feed-in tariff cap to 1.5MW. This is true, the PSC has given GA Power permission to increase their cap, but GA Power has not yet released the actual numbers. Please sign the petition below to encourage GA Power to keep with their support of renewable energy in the South!
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/gge-tariff-wattage-increase

  41. Mr. Clayton,
    Typically, most solar installations in Georiga are for existing utility customers who wish to cover a portion of their own power bill. In order to install a power producing farm with GA Power, you would be required to negotiate with them directly. GA Power does not have an established rate for individuals interested in supplying their grid with renewable energy. However, we can assist you with a strategy for your project.

  42. D.Clayton says:

    I am wanting to set up a 500kw solar farm. What can I expect as far as incentives for this type of system? What would Ga Power pay me per KW. Many solar panels in a field tied directly to the grid.

  43. The rate for the GA Power feed-in tariff is 17.74 cents. They have reached their statewide limit of 500 kW for this program, but are accepting applications to receive this rate when more funding is available. http://www.u-renew.com/pdf/GA_Power_Waiting_List.pdf

    This program is presently set at a net metering rate. This means that up to your power bill total dollars for the year, they will credit you whatever you pay them per kWh: which is 9+ cents for most residences. Net metering is the standard minimum in the state of Georgia. Several states do not even offer this.

    The 4-5 cents is the rate for their offset costs, which kicks in when your solar production goes over your net power bill for the year. Most houses can’t fit that much solar on their roof anyway!

    It is important to note that when accepting the feed in tariff rate of 17.74 cents, Georgia Power is also purchasing your RECs.

    Every utility differs in how they handle interconnection.

    Hope this helps clarify!

    1. Dan Hahn says:

      Shana,

      Thank you again for your continued presence on our comment threads. We’re sure all our readers have gleaned a lot from you.

      Cheers,

      – Dan

  44. Jeff says:

    What GA Power doesn’t tell you is that they have a cutoff for their buyback program. Once they reach a certain kW limit on systems enrolled in the buyback program, they stop buying back the FREE ELECTRICITY THEY GET from you. I think you get about $.04 for every kWh you produce as opposed to $.18 when enrolled in the buyback program.

    GA Power is the greediest, most antiquated power company in the country. Your providing free electricity to the grid i.e. increasing their profits, yet they are unwilling to compensate you for that. Just another backwards policy in GA I guess.

  45. We have received several inquiries about the availability of Suniva solar panels. Suniva, Inc. is a Norcross GA based cell manufacturer. United Renewable Energy now offers URE brand panels “Powered by Suniva.” These panels are over 95% Georgia content. Georgia is certainly a wonderful state for solar these days!

  46. Ron, We are Georgia’s leading Photovoltaic Installation and Integration company. We do everything PV from consulting to installs. Please visit our website, and feel free to send us an email as I try to reserve this forum for information sharing. We are here to help. Thank you!

  47. Ron Lucas says:

    I’m a builder here in Columbus GA and have an upcoming residential project coming up. Shana is your company a service type company who sells and installs solar or are you more of a consulting and info company?

  48. In response to TR’s inquiry: you are correct, the $2000 federal cap has been lifted for residential solar installations. Generally, it is the state based policies that have the greater impact on payback. The state of Georgia retains the $10,500 cap on their 35% credit, and few utilities offer any production based incentives. GA Power offers an excellent feed-in tariff, as do some smaller EMC’s (but not many). Please keep in mind that accepting these tariffs generally means that you do not keep the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This varies by utility, and is important to businesses/individuals who are interested in being able to say that they use their clean energy on-site.
    New policies are emerging in our state every day, so check back for announcements on legislative developments! On the federal side, we are seeing some hope for change as well.

  49. K. W. says:

    what school teaches solar installation in atlanta area or ga or fl? does florida
    solar energy center course qualify a
    electrical contractor to do solar installations in ga?

  50. T R says:

    I don’t think this is being publicized well enough, or I’m misunderstanding. I believe the Federal Credit $2,000 cap was removed in October 2008 under the Economic Stabilization Bill. Economic Stabilization Bill Includes Clean Energy Tax Incentives
    . Does anyone have new information an what this translates to in payback period and installation costs.

  51. Mr. Moreno, many people who are presently refinancing their homes are finding that they can work the cost of a solar array into the refinance, and then get a large portion of that money back in a tax credit! It is an excellent way to make solar accessible to everyone. You are correct, though: the current incentives favor commercial installations.

  52. Pedro Moreno says:

    Great blog, I’m very interested in solar energy the only problem is that is not yet affordable for the middle income family, I’m looking for an investor to start up a solar module assembly line here in Atlanta GA to bring down the pW per panel.

  53. Mr Stubbs, you may wish to inquire about what other States are doing with Renewable Portfolio Standards at http://www.dsireusa.org in their maps section. Once Georgia adopts a standard for renewables, you will see an increase in utility participation. Please become involved with Georgia Solar Energy Association at http://www.gasolar.us/ to assist in encouraging our wonderful state to continue in its development of sustainable policy.

  54. Ms. Ferguson says:

    I want to work in the solar power industry so I can learn the basics and get more informed about utilizing solar energy. If there is anyone who is interested in hiring a ready to learn, adaptable to any environment, skillful, full of energy and ready to inform people about the benefits of solar power. Please contact me at ccfbusiness@gmail.com

  55. In relation to Georgia. Walton EMC only pays 3 cents per KWH. This is the problem with Georgia from energy provider to provider. We need regulation that ensures that the electrical company is fair where the extra power going back into the grid is concerned. I pay 17 cents per KWH and they pay me 3 cents for the extra power I generate which goes back into the grid for resale at the higher rate I’m sure. where’s the fairness in this?

  56. Our GEFA contact has published the final tax credit allotment for 2008. Credits in the amount of approximately $950,218 were issued for all renewables in the state. This is fantastic news! It seems that Georgia has demonstrated not only an interest, but huge support for the renewable energy community.

    Applications are coming in to GEFA slower than anticipated in 2009, so there are still excellent opportunities for the tax credits. Please visit our site for more details. http://www.u-renew.com

    I am happy to answer any questions you may have!

  57. The remaining $2 Million will not roll over into next year. On January 1, 2009 it will reset to another $2.5M.

    http://www.u-renew.com

  58. C.A. says:

    So, what does that mean for the other $2 Million left on the table?

  59. Just an update on the tax credits: The GA State Tax Credit has approved $500,000 out of the $2.5M available for this year. Businesses that are interested in taking advantage of the 2008 accelerated MACRS depreciation are encouraged to install this year. Residential customers are best served to order their arrays this year, but to install in early Q1 2009. This will take best advantage of the expanded federal credit, and give you the best chance at the state credit.
    Contact us for details! We are always happy to answer questions.

  60. sam dilworth says:

    looking to start a sloar panel sales and service business in ga please give me some good info on getting started also some do’s and don’t and any info you can give will be used to help me get in the door

  61. Phil, are you referring to the federal investment tax credit? You can email me directly, dave at solarpowerrocks.com

  62. PHIL ALDRIDGE says:

    DOES ANYONE KNOW IF SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS INSTALLED PRIOR TO JULY 2008 WILL BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR THE RESIDENTIAL TAX CREDIT ?
    WILL IT BE NECESSARY TO ADD TO MY SYSTEM TO RECEIVE THE TAX CREDIT. BY THE WAY, I HAVE AN OFF GRID SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN PERFORMING BEAUTIFULLY FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS NOW.

  63. Sean Hackett says:

    Regarding the tax credits, If you plan on taking the federal credit (deadline: Dec.’08)and the state credit, you must apply the federal credit first. Then you apply the state credit to the adjusted cost. You cannot just add the 30% fed and the 35% state and assume you will get a 65% credit. I think it ends up being a total credit of ~52%.

    Also, for solar thermal (water/space heating) systems, make sure the solar panels are SRCC or FSEC rated. These are rating agencies that certify solar thermal collectors. You can also visit the SRCC website to view different manufacturers’ panel characteristics and efficiencies to make comparisons.

  64. We at United Renewable Energy are proud to announce that one of our residential installations was the FIRST to be approved for the state tax credit by the Department of Revenue! As of this week, they have only approved $30,000 of the $2.5M slated for this year. Since there is the potential for a great deal of uncertainty surrounding what needs to be done to set up solar, we offer assistance in navigating the tax credits and utility interconnection agreements, as well as offering an excellent and dependable service. While we specialize in commercial installations of 20 kW or more, we can also give homeowners what they need to make an ROI based decision. Check out our website: http://www.u-renew.com
    Please write our Georgia Senators and ask them to support HR6049.
    Thanks solarpowerrocks for putting together such a great forum!

  65. Tommy Bruce says:

    I am a General contractor.I want to become a solar instaler. I want to find a way to make it afordable for everyone,and go into mass production with it. can you help me.

    1. Anonymous says:

      email me bro xzitzero@hotmail.com. i’m looking for the same info

  66. Dick Ryser says:

    power is good

  67. Mike Lambertson says:

    Atlantic-Pacific Railroad owned the terminal and the tracks, that is where the name originated.

  68. Nicholas says:

    Any one know where i can find a list of power company’s who do the buyback program here in ga. Trying to do some research.

  69. Marc Karasek says:

    Yes, I was curious too how out west a system can be put in for $22K while here the quotes I have seen are for 2x that. Even with the Tax incentive this still does not make it affordable. A 60+ year payback, ($500 year savings x 60 = $30K). The numbers Carson quoted for Colorado of sub 10K would make it a lot better. (Payback is less than 20 Years at $500 per).

  70. I was just in Colorado for the EcoBroker Conference and a solar provider broke it down like this:
    $22,000 for system install
    $13,500 rebate from Xcel Energy
    $2,000 Federal incentive

    That brings it down to just over $7,000 for the system which is so affordable. What’s the disconnect here? In Colorado it’s not a state incentive, it’s a requirement of the energy company to provide energy from alternative sources which comes in the way of rebates to customers supplying the energy from their homes. Is there anything like this going on in Georgia?

    Thanks, Carson Matthews
    http://www.TheBuckheadBlog.com

  71. T Foor says:

    i’m looking for a solar energy trade show in the north ga area…know of any good ones?

  72. butch deb logan says:

    butch and deb logan, to james wolfe.
    we live in ga not too far from jesup we are interested in some solar power info.
    any type of appliance or realistic info. really it is there for the use, why not take advantage of it.

  73. Max David Rogers says:

    Check out Southface.org for more Ga solar installations

  74. james wolfe says:

    hello my name is james wolfe and i live in jesup ga. the reason for my comment is to say that i have a few ideas that might work for making energy, i have plenty of ideas but dont have the funds to put them together, i thought maybe you could send me some sources that maybe would point me in the right direction. sometimes i set up all night thinking about what i have out in the barn that i can use to make energy without having to use fuel, ive even blueprinted some of these ideas, i just need the materials to put them together, its killing me to know that ive got the thing worked out but cant seem to get it put together, can yall help me out.. thanks j.k. wolfe

  75. Eric Brock says:

    When did you last update Georgia’s rating?

    1. Couple weeks ago. Did something happen? I’ll check it out

      1. GeorgiaBoy says:

        The Georgia Public Service Commission required GA Power to add 525MW of solar energy to its portfolio by 2016. Big first steps

  76. Hiromi Tsuboi says:

    The name of “Atlanta” is a short form of “Atlantica-pacifica”, your article says.
    Why the name “Atlantica-Pacifica” is suggested for this city ?
    What is the meaning of “Atlantica-Pacifica” in this case ?

    I appreciate it very much if you can explain it to me.

    Thank you

    Hiromi Tsuboi

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta,_Georgia

      “After a few renames, the Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, J. Edgar Thomson, suggested that the area be renamed “Atlantica-Pacifica”, which was quickly shortened to “Atlanta””

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