Georgia solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Resources to make solar panels more affordable in 2024

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tech checking solar panels on the roof of a house in georgia

There’s no way around it: Installing solar panels is expensive. On the bright side, Georgia residents can benefit from federal incentives and solar-friendly state policies. Here’s everything you need to know about how state and federal solar incentives can make installing panels more affordable in the Peach State.


Key insights

In Georgia, a typical residential solar panel system costs $10,110 to $28,887, depending on the size of your system and what financial incentives you qualify for.

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Georgia doesn’t have many local tax breaks and rebates to incentivize residents to go solar, but the federal tax credit can take a substantial amount off your system’s overall cost.

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Georgia residents can get the wholesale rate when they sell excess solar power to the local grid.

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Residential solar panel incentives in Georgia

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant financial incentive for most homeowners buying solar panels in Georgia. It reduces your federal tax liability by 30% of how much it costs to install solar panels. The ITC is a credit, meaning it directly decreases the amount of taxes you owe.

The ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

For example, if you spend $10,000 installing a solar panel system, the ITC is worth $3,000. If in the year your system becomes operational you owe $15,000 in taxes, the ITC reduces what you owe to $12,000. The credit is nonrefundable but rolls over to the next tax year if you can’t use it all at once.

Georgia solar loan programs

Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation and Walton Electric Membership Corporation have financial incentives for solar panels or solar water heaters. Check DSIRE for the most comprehensive source of information about solar incentives and policies in Georgia.

What to know about net metering in Georgia

Georgia homeowners with solar panels can get credit for the extra electricity they generate and send back to the power grid. This is called net metering.

In Georgia, state regulations limit how many electricity customers with rooftop solar systems can take advantage of net metering. The 5,000-customer limit was reached in 2021 and has not been expanded since.

It’s a great way to offset your power bill, but your power company may not participate in this type of program. For example, Georgia Power doesn’t offer net metering, but it does offer a buyback program that uses the same concept: Your excess power is credited to your next month’s bill. The alternative to net metering is storing excess energy in a solar battery to use later. The biggest downside is that solar storage battery costs can be almost as high as the panels — $7,000 to $18,000.

How much are solar panels in Georgia?

After considering the federal solar tax credit, solar panel costs in Georgia typically range from $10,110 to $20,221. Leasing or entering a power purchase agreement (PPA) is often cheaper upfront, but you won’t be eligible for the federal solar tax credit and other financial incentives.

Your system size greatly affects how much you pay overall. The typical system size for solar systems in Georgia is 11.17 kW (kilowatts). You might need a larger or smaller system, depending on your average household energy use.

Average solar cost by system size in Georgia

Solar resources in Georgia

The Georgia attorney general's Consumer Protection Division has helpful information on its “Solar Power for Your Home” page. Here are some additional resources.

Find solar companies in Georgia

A good solar company helps you navigate local incentives, permitting and net metering policies. Compare our picks for Georgia’s top solar companies to learn more.

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FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in Georgia?

Georgia doesn’t have a free solar panel program that we’re aware of. You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no upfront costs. Still, neither is totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee; PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How much can I save with solar panels in Georgia?

On average, Georgia homeowners with solar panels avoid $57,429 in utility costs over 25 years. Even if you don’t generate 100% of your energy needs, you can still save a lot of money compared with paying traditional utility bills.

» EXPLORE: Where solar savings go the furthest

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can pay cash, but most people finance solar panels with a solar loan. It works a lot like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time (with interest). You also have the option of getting a lease or power purchase agreement.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How do I know if my house is a good candidate for solar?

It’s best to have plenty of unshaded roof space that faces south or west for optimal sun exposure. It’s also smart to upgrade any old, inefficient appliances first. Reducing your electrical loads now means you can get a smaller system, which will be cheaper.

The condition of your roof matters too — if it needs replacement soon, do that before installing solar panels. Installing solar panels on an old roof might mean you have to remove the panels, replace your roof and then reinstall the panels. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, more commonly known as solar panels, absorb sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. If you have a lot of shading around your house, they might not get enough sun to power your home.

Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

Many states have laws that prevent homeowners associations (HOAs) from making rules against solar panels, but Georgia does not. There’s no active solar rights law in the state, so your HOA may try to prevent you from putting up panels.

What has Georgia’s investment in solar been so far?

Total solar investments in the state amount to $6.5 billion, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Bottom line

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the average costs of going solar and incentives in other states. Turns out, it’s worth it for many homeowners, particularly ones in Georgia.

Solar costs vs. savings: Georgia and nearby states

*For 100% usage offset; **Over 25 years

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. DSIRE, "Georgia Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Georgia.” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  3. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), "Georgia Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Georgia, 2024?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  5. Fast Company, “A new Georgia program could slash the cost of rooftop solar—and it’s likely to expand.” Accessed June 21, 2024.
  6. Solar Power World, “Georgia net-metering program reaches cap, jeopardizing rooftop solar growth.” Accessed June 21, 2024.
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