Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia
How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Georgia?
The average cost of solar panels in Georgia is around $2.33 per watt, which is one of the cheapest rates in the U.S. A standard solar panel is about 250 watts, which means you are looking at about $582.50 for a 250 watt solar panel. You will need something like 20-28 solar panels to operate your home independent of the grid, meaning your total cost for solar panels is going to be something like $12,000- $16,000, which again is one of the cheapest rates you’re going to find anywhere in the U.S., and this is before we apply any incentives, bonuses, rebates or other extras that might apply to you.
What are the benefits of going solar?
The state of Georgia is not a super-progressive state when it comes to encouraging citizens to install solar panels. There are a few things to consider however-
- Georgia’s Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015: This law makes it possible for residents of Georgia to enter into so-called “power purchase” agreements, which can often make solar installations more affordable for both private citizens as well as businesses. A power purchase agreement is simply a contract between two parties in which one side agrees to buy electricity from the other based on a pre-established rate.
- Solar Power Performance Payments: Otherwise known as PBIs (performance based incentives), the state of Georgia does offer small cash payments based on the performance of your solar panel system.
- Federal Tax Credit: The federal government offers anyone making a solar installation a credit on their federal income tax liability of up to 26% of the entire cost of their solar purchase and installation, which could be a value of $5,000 or more dollars.
How much will the addition of solar panels increase my home’s value?
There are lots of different ways of calculating how much your home’s value may increase based on the addition of solar panels, but as a general rule of thumb you can expect it to go up by about $10,000 to $20,000. It is also well established among realtors that homes with solar panels tend to sell faster than homes without them.
How much solar power do I need to power my home?
Most homes will require something between 20 and 28 solar panels to fully power them. The amount of energy your home will require will depend on a number of factors, including size, number of residents, the climate of your area, etc. In a place like Georgia with a sub-tropical climate, chances are your air conditioner is going to run most of the year, so your power usage will be higher than that of someone in a milder climate. Your solar installer should be able to look at your past electric bills and give you a clearer picture of your energy usage and how many solar panels you may need to be completely energy-independent.
What is the “Payback” period for Solar Panels in Georgia?
Currently, based on rebates, incentives, tax credits and energy prices in Georgia, you can expect for your solar panels to pay for themselves in around 12 and ½ years. This is far faster than in some states, though not the fastest in the country. However, the good news is that your solar panels will last long enough to not only pay for themselves once, but possibly two or more times, meaning essentially you will get twice as much out of them as the money you put in, with a possible savings of as much as $30,000 or more in the lifetime of your panels.
How long do solar panels last?
Average solar panel life expectancy is somewhere between 20 and 30 years, with an average of around 25. Almost all solar panels come with some variety of warranty, and most solar installers also offer a warranty of some kind, usually for around 20-25 years. So you can reasonably expect your solar panels to function and be maintained by your solar installer for at least 20 years, possibly longer, which means you will have free electricity for a long time after your panels have paid for themselves.
Things to look for in a solar company:
Like in anything else, it is best to thoroughly vet your prospective solar installer before committing to such a big money project. Here’s a few things to look at when checking your companies out-
Time in industry: Many solar companies have popped up in the last decade, and while new companies are often just as good as older ones, you know and I know that you’re going to feel more comfortable with the experienced company with installers who have been through every possible scenario and come out the other side unscathed. By no means should you ignore new companies, but just be aware that older companies are going to have the edge in experience.
Types of panels: There are a number of different kinds of solar panels available for home installations, and you may have a preference for which kind you want to use. If you do, make sure your installer is on board, or you may be wasting your time talking to them, as not every installer is comfortable installing every kind of panel.
Payment options: Some companies have payment plans available while others do not. Some are going to want all their money up front, and they’re not going to help you secure a loan to pay for it. So before you get too far into this, make sure you know what your solar installer is going to expect from you and what options are available. It may not be a problem for you, but for many people paying for a solar installation out of pocket is simply not an option.
Warranties: As previously mentioned in this article, almost every solar installer offers a warranty of some kind, but not all warranties are as helpful as you’d like to think. For some companies, a warranty simply means they’ll come work on your panels when something isn’t working, but you’re still going to pay for the service call, the parts, the labor, and everything else. Other companies guarantee you free service calls for anything and everything that may happen to your solar panels during the course of their lifetime.
Reviews: Perhaps your most valuable tool for evaluating a potential solar installer is their online reviews. Lots of websites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau can give you insight into how consumers really feel about the companies you’re looking at, and they also give companies the opportunity to respond to any complaints or accusations lodged at them. Make sure to research your prospective company thoroughly on sites like these.
Types of Solar Panels & inverters
We all know what solar panels are, but what are inverters? Inverters are the devices that actually convert solar energy into usable electricity for your home. There are a few different types of panels and solar inverters available, so here’s a quick primer on what they’re called and how they work, in case it makes a difference for you-
Types of Panels:
1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels- These are the smaller panels you often find on rooftops. They are the most efficient panels and work with less direct sunlight than other panels, and they tend to last the longest. Unfortunately they are also the most expensive.
2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels- These are the bigger panels, often installed on the ground. They are less efficient and need direct sunlight to work properly (meaning they cannot be in shade). They don’t last as long as monocrystalline panels, but they are the cheaper option and therefore the ones you see most commonly.
Types of Inverters:
String Inverters- These are the most common inverters and they’re the cheapest option on the market currently. They don’t work well in shade and all of your panels need to be facing the same direction for them to work right, but otherwise they work well.
Micro-inverters- Microinverters work fine in shade and allow you to monitor the performance of individual panels, which is great for making sure your solar panels are functioning properly. Microinverters, however, are your more expensive option.
Power Optimizer- More efficient than string inverters, less expensive than microinverters, you are still able to monitor individual panels as well.
How does weather affect solar panels?
Georgia has plenty of sunny days to make solar panels a very viable option, averaging over 200 a year in most of the state. Also consider the following factors, and you will see that Georgia has a fine climate for solar panels-
* Fog / Cloud cover- Foggy or cloudy days can result in your solar panels only producing 10 to 30% as much power as on sunny days. Luckily, Georgia has plenty of sunny days and is not known for its fog.
* Rain- Cloud cover notwithstanding, rain can actually be good for solar panels as it cleans off some of the accumulated dirt and dust that will naturally build up over time.
* Snow- Hardly a concern in most of Georgia, snow can accumulate on solar panels and block production of electricity even on sunny days.
* Temperature- One place where Georgia may struggle, at temperatures above 78 degrees fahrenheit, solar panels tend to become somewhat less efficient, generally considered to be by about 1% per degree.
How do I get solar panels installed in Georgia?
Though Georgia may not have the most incentives for installing solar panels, that hasn’t stopped a number of good companies from springing up in the Peach state. Keep in mind, if you’re looking for a company to do your installation, do not limit yourself to looking at companies in your immediate area, as some companies are very willing to drive long distances and across state lines to get your business. Here’s a quick snapshot of a few companies from Georgia:
Company: Solar Sun World
Address: 779 Harmony Rd, Eatonton, GA 31024
Years in Business: 5
Reviews: 5 / 5 Home Advisor (5 reviews),
Business Quote: “Solar Sun World is leading the way in providing custom solar energy solutions for commercial and residential applications. Specializing in both solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, we have the right solution to meet your energy need. Combining the newest and best solar technologies with solar experts ensures your solution exceeds expectations.”
Company: OCI Solar Power
Address: 5 Concourse Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30328
Years in Business: 73
Business Quote: MISSION STATEMENT:
Providing safe, reliable, and sustainable energy to empower communities.
Company: Suncatcher of Atlanta
Address: 612 Cobb Pkwy N, Marietta, GA 30062
Years in Business: 39
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (3 reviews)
Business Quote: “SUNCATCHER OF ATLANTA did not invent solar electric, solar hot water, solar pool heating and screen enclosures however, we did introduce an engineered approach to all types of solar .”
Company: Solar Sale USA
Address: 3116 Marjan Dr, Atlanta, GA 30340
Years in Business: Unclear
Business Quote: With solar power, you can stop spending all your money on paying electricity bills and start spending some on yourself. Make sure the power consumption of your home is sustainable and responsible by opting for solar energy!
Company: Global Solar Energy
Address: 260 Peachtree St NW Ste 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (3 reviews)
Business Quote: As we continue to grow and expand our client base and operations, our mission is to continue to offer affordable, quality service to all customers. We serve our clients by providing sound technical information and installations.
Company: Velo Solar
Address: 154 Krog St NE Ste 140, Atlanta, GA 30307
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 4 / 5 Tuugo (2 reviews), 5 / 5 Facebook (1 review)
Business Quote: Our design-build approach means that our goals are your goals in defining and developing effective commercial renewable energy solutions that align with your business’ financial and strategic objectives. From collaboration and conception, through production, installation, and maintenance, the Velo Solar experts are your renewable energy partners.
So the state of Georgia may not have the most solar-friendly laws or incentives, but ultimately what it comes down to is that the state is primed and ready for solar power whether the legislators want it or not. The climate is good, there’s plenty of solar companies, and the price is right. In the end, the only thing holding you back is your own personal finances- if you have the money to make the initial investment, it’s going to pay off for you big time in the long run. So if you’ve got the time and the money, by all means take the next step and start exploring the possibilities of going solar in Georgia.