Solar Panels in Georgia: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

With over 2,740 hours of peak sunlight per year, Georgia ranks among the sunniest states in the country. This makes the Peach State an ideal location to install residential solar panels and generate clean energy from the sun‘s rays. But how much do solar panels really cost in Georgia, and can they provide decent cost savings for homeowners over time?

In this comprehensive guide, we analyze solar panel costs, electricity bill offsets, payback periods, and more to help Georgia residents decide if solar is right for their home.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia

According to the most recent data from EnergySage, homeowners in Georgia pay an average solar panel cost of $2.33 per watt. This translates to about $13,980 for a typical 6 kilowatt solar array before accounting for any financial incentives.

Compared to the national median price of $2.77 per watt, Georgia‘s solar panel costs rank among the most affordable in the U.S. The state even beats out leading solar markets like California and Arizona in upfront pricing.

When the 26% federal solar tax credit is factored in, costs can be reduced by around $3,635, bringing the post-incentive price for a 6 kW Georgia solar array down to approximately $10,345. That makes going solar even more compelling from a price perspective.

So in short, installing solar panels in Georgia costs about $2.33 per watt or $13,980 for a 6 kW system pre-incentive. With the federal ITC, out-of-pocket costs fall to around $10,345.

Solar panels on a house

How Much Solar Do Georgians Need?

To determine the optimal solar panel system size for your home in Georgia, there are two key specifications to consider:

1. Average Daily Electricity Usage

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average Georgia home uses around 36 kWh of electricity per day. This equals about 1,081 kWh monthly.

Knowing your household‘s average daily and monthly power consumption is crucial for properly sizing your solar array. Analyze your latest electric bills to find your usage totals in kWh.

2. Peak Sun Hours

Georgia averages between 4 and 5 peak sun hours per day depending on location. This metric refers to the maximum number of hours when solar panels can produce energy at their rated capacity.

Using Atlanta as an example, the city sees around 4.74 peak sun hours daily. To calculate the solar array size needed to offset the average Georgia home‘s entire electrical load, we can divide the 36 kWh daily usage by the 4.74 peak hours:

Daily Usage ÷ Peak Hours 
36 kWh ÷ 4.74 hours = 7.6 kW solar panel system

With roughly 7.6 kW of solar panels operating at peak production for 4.74 hours per day, the system would generate 36 kWh to match the average household‘s consumption.

For a more precise system sizing estimate, repeat these calculations using your specific home‘s electricity requirements and peak sun hours for your city. Roof space may also dictate panel capacity.

Georgia Solar Cost Factors

In a sun-drenched state like Georgia, there are a few key variables that influence overall solar panel system pricing:

Installation Location

Georgia‘s position in the Southeast means it receives more consistent sunlight exposure than some Midwestern and Northeastern states. More peak sun hours translate to higher solar production potential throughout the year.

Solar arrays in South Georgia tend to be more productive thanks to additional sun exposure. North Georgia sees lower peak hours on average.

Equipment Efficiency

With ample irradiation levels across the Peach State, polycrystalline solar panels may seem like an affordable option compared to pricier monocrystalline models. However, polycrystalline panels are generally less space-efficient, achieving lower outputs per square footage.

In Georgia, springing for high-efficiency monocrystalline systems can pay off in the long run, especially if roof area is limited. Just be sure to account for their higher $/Watt cost when budgeting.

Installer Pricing & Reputation

Reputable solar companies with years of experience, top-notch equipment, and strong warranties may charge slightly higher rates. However, the long-term performance and savings offered can outweigh upfront pricing differentials.

Vet each potential installer thoroughly and read customer reviews before choosing solar partners. Don‘t sacrifice quality just to save a few bucks.

Best Solar Installers in Georgia

Some of the highest rated solar panel installers in Georgia include:

SolarME

  • Overview: Local Georgia company serving Atlanta and surrounding areas
  • Services: Installation, equipment sales, financing guidance
  • Key Stats: A+ Better Business Bureau rating, hundreds of 5-star Google reviews
  • Solar Approach: Custom designs focused on maximum energy offset

Creative Solar USA

  • Overview: Family-owned installer operating statewide since 2007
  • Services: Complete installation, repairs, system monitoring
  • Key Stats: A+ BBB rating, Angie‘s List Super Service Award 6 straight years
  • Solar Approach: Start-to-finish project management with quality equipment

Sparks Energy

  • Overview: Women-owned solar provider for both homes and businesses
  • Services: Consultation, design, permitting, installation, maintenance
  • Key Stats: Hundreds of successful Georgia installations over 10+ years
  • Solar Approach: Personalized plans to best suit each property‘s needs

Be sure to get multiple quotes and consult consumer review sites like the Better Business Bureau before selecting your installer. Credible solar partners will also pull permits, procure grid approvals, and handle most paperwork.

Analyzing Georgia Solar Savings & Payback

The ability for solar panels to pay for themselves over time depends directly on how much household electricity they offset. With the Peach State boasting some of the highest residential electricity rates nationwide at an average $0.13/kWh, the bill savings potential of solar here is immense.

Let‘s break down the cost recovery projections and eventual profits based on current utility pricing:

  • Average Georgia home electric bill: $140.21 per month or $1,682.52 per year
  • Pre-incentive cost of 6 kW solar panel system: $13,980
  • Years to pay off system via utility bill savings: 8.3 years

Over the 25-30 year lifespan of a solar array in Georgia, homeowners could pocket between $19,686 – $28,098 in excess energy savings after breaking even on their initial investment.

And for residents struggling with skyrocketing electricity costs, installing solar in Georgia is one of the fastest ways to lock in affordable rates for decades. By offsetting power draws from the grid, you largely immunize yourself from volatile utility price swings.

So in Georgia‘s pricey electricity market, going solar serves the dual purpose of saving money over time while providing long-term rate stability.

Available Georgia Solar Incentives

Unfortunately Georgia lags behind leading solar states in terms of rebates, tax exemptions, REC sales programs and other additional incentives.

For now, the main financial boost comes from the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC allows both home and business owners to deduct 26% of their solar project costs from federal taxes in 2023, dropping to 22% in 2024.

The credit applies to any solar energy system including installation, wiring, inverters and other hardware. There are no annual caps on the amounts that can be claimed.

A few Georgia cities and counties do offer modest solar incentives as well:

  • Atlanta: Expedited solar permitting and 50% discount on building fees
  • Athens-Clarke County: $500 rebate for residential solar
  • Roswell: $500 rebate for homes powered over 50% by solar

So while the economic case for installing solar panels in Georgia is already strong, added local and federal perks make the decision that much more appealing.

Every little bit helps offset costs further!

The Verdict: Are Solar Panels Worth It in Georgia?

In weighing all the numbers and projections, installing residential solar panels in Georgia is an extremely wise investment:

✅ Low upfront equipment and installation costs
✅ Quick cost recovery period
✅ Decades of long-term utility bill savings
✅ Rate stability protection from market shifts
✅ Federal tax credit plus sporadic local rebates

With the right solar company partnership to handle permitting, grid approvals and seamless installation, eligble homeowners can start benefiting immediately.

Georgia‘s sunshine wealth makes going solar a financial no-brainer. Take control over your household energy production today!

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