How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Virginia?
Virginia’s electricity rates are the sixth highest in the nation. That means you could be paying more for electricity than 86% of the country.
But you can do something about it. By installing solar, you’ll own the means of producing your own electricity, freeing you from the expensive and ever-increasing electricity rates.
That said, solar energy costs money to install. And Virginia is a big state. Installing solar panels in the Shenandoah Valley will be a little different from installing solar in Virginia Beach.
The Average Cost of Solar Panels in Virginia
One of the best ways to estimate how much solar will cost you is to relate it to your energy bill. That will give you a rough idea of your system’s size.
Below, we’ve broken this information down into costs for homes and businesses. But for a general rule of thumb, a homeowner in Virginia can expect to pay between 20,000 and 45,000 before incentives. Businesses and farmers can expect to pay 100,000 to 500,000 for a solar panel system in Virginia.
Cost to Install Solar Panels in Virginia for Homeowners
This chart shows what solar costs, on average, are for Virginia homeowners. The cost after incentives includes the 30% solar tax credit.
|Average MonthlyElectric Bill
|Solar System Size
|Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives)
|Cost After Incentives
Cost to Install Solar Panels in Virginia for Businesses
Below are the average costs for roof-top solar systems for businesses and farms. The cost after incentives column includes the 30% tax credit and the 100% bonus depreciation savings.
|Average MonthlyElectric Bill
|Solar System Size
|Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives)
|Cost After Incentives
Cost of Solar Power in Different Areas of Virginia
Charlottesville and its surrounding communities have some of the sunniest weather in the state. With an average of 217 sunny days a year, your solar panels are going to churn out plenty of cost-free electricity.
On top of that, the local government is there to support homes and businesses looking to go green. The city of Charlottesville offers a tax credit for qualifying solar systems. They also have some great resources on their website, including a map that shows how much sunshine each roof receives.
Home to Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and more, the Hampton Roads region in Virginia is great for solar. With so many tourists flocking to these coastal cities for gorgeous beaches and bright sunshine, local homes and businesses alike can stand to benefit a great deal from solar. Doing so will also help reduce air pollution, keeping those famous ocean views clear and sunrises vibrant.
Local governments are very supportive of installing solar as well. The County of Norfolk launched an initiative with SolSmart to make the solar permitting and planning process even easier. Newport News also has an online solar hub with tons of useful resources for learning about solar.
Tucked away in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is a solar hotspot in Virginia. The emissions-free electricity helps keep those sweeping mountain views clear and saves homeowners and businesses plenty of money.
In April 2022, Harrisonburg partnered with Solarize Virginia. a non-profit committed to making the installation process easier and more affordable. This program provides a solar inspection and connects you with experienced, trusted experts in the area.
The Lynchburg area gets some serious sunshine. With 222 sunny days on average, Madison Heights is tied for the state’s sunniest city. Timberlake is close behind, with an average of 221 annual days of sunshine. Pamplin City, Concord, and Brookneal all make the top 15.
Your solar system in Lynchburg will have plenty of bright days to churn out free energy. Whether you’re looking to offset your business’s or farm’s operating costs or you’re looking to lower your home’s energy rates, solar may be a good option.
Northern Virginia (NOVA)
With cities like Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park, NOVA has one of the highest costs of living in the country. One way to keep monthly costs under control is to install solar.
Depending on your electricity needs and your system’s size, you could offset a huge portion of your monthly energy expenditure.
Fairfax County allows residents to install systems up to 20 kW, and businesses to install systems up to 500 kW. They also offer some local incentives, including waived permitting fees and tax exemptions on top of the national incentives.
For more information on installing solar in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, check out the county’s solar information web page.
Businesses and homes in the Greater Richmond region can gain quite a bit by installing a solar panel system. And through the region’s Solarize RVA campaign, getting the ball rolling on a project is even easier.
They’re out to increase the speed at which Virginians adopt renewables and in doing so, offer a ton of resources to help you out in your project.
Roanoke, Salem, and their surrounding communities make up the largest region in Western Virginia. As a historic hub for transportation and a current transportation manufacturing powerhouse, businesses and homeowners alike stand to gain quite a bit when going solar.
By generating cost-free electricity, they can offset their high electricity bills with renewable energy. It can also help cut down on air pollution, keeping those beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains clear.
In addition, the City of Roanoke initiated a campaign called Solarize Roanoke. which aims to make the solar installation process easier and more affordable. And in 2021, the program started to include options for solar batteries!
Solar Incentives Available in Virginia
One of the biggest factors in solar’s cost is the available incentives. Both federal and local Virginian governments offer incentives that cut solar’s installation costs, making paybacks even better.
One of the most robust incentives is the 30% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). This incentive is available to all those who pay federal taxes. You’ll get back 26% of what you spend on your solar energy system back through a tax credit.
In addition to this tax credit, businesses can take advantage of 100% bonus depreciation. With this, you can push all the tax savings from the depreciation of the solar system to the year the system is placed into service.
On a state level, there’s a solar property tax exemption. Installing solar can increase the value of your home, raising your property taxes. But in Virginia, your taxes won’t go up. That said, local municipalities have the option to forgo this exemption, so it may not be available everywhere.
Virginia also requires their utility companies to offer net metering. This is a great solar-friendly program that helps you maximize your solar investment. You’ll upload that extra electricity to the utility grid with net metering. In exchange, you’ll get a “credit” for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. That credit can be exchanged for a kilowatt-hour from the utility at any time.
Is Solar Energy A Good Investment in Virginia?
The federal tax credit, accelerated depreciation, and net metering help to keep the payback period short, so you can save more with solar energy. And in addition to the money you’re saving, you’re also helping to reduce air pollution and your carbon footprint, which can go a long way in keeping Virginia beautiful.
So while the cost to install solar panels in Virginia may seem high, the return on that investment is even higher. With a lifespan of at least 25 to 30 years (the length most quality solar panels are guaranteed for), your system will produce tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of free electricity. And with Virginia’s high rates, you can stand to save even more.
If you’re ready to take advantage of those savings, the next step is to get a custom quote. Use the button below to get started.
California solar panels: local pricing and installation data
Over 209,000 homeowners in California have used EnergySage to receive compare solar panel installation quotes!
Solar Data Explorer:
Solar installation costs do not include the 30% federal investment tax credit or local incentives. Savings estimates do not account for utility net billing rates.
Save money by installing solar panels in CA.
Thanks to plentiful sunshine and great solar incentives, Golden State homeowners are saving thousands by going solar.
Solar in California
California is consistently one of the best states in the country for generating solar energy. Considering the state’s large population and high energy demand, it comes as no surprise that California has far and away the most installed solar capacity out of all 50 states. Thanks to pro-solar policies, plenty of sunlight hours throughout the year, and favorable solar incentives, the Golden State is an ideal area for property owners who are considering installing solar panels.
How much do solar panels cost in California?
The average cost of a solar panel installation in California ranges from 12,622 to 17,078. On a cost per watt (/W) basis, a solar panel installation in California ranges in price from 2.52 to 3.42. See how California compares to solar panel costs across the U.S.
A critical question many property owners have when they are considering installing solar panels is the amount of time it will take to recover their initial investment through electricity savings. This question is defined as the solar payback period. For California, the average solar payback period is 5.92 years.
Another choice that solar shoppers have to face is how to pay for a solar panel system. Fortunately, there are many financing options available for property owners looking to invest in solar energy. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. For those who prefer 0-down options, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.
Solar companies in California
Check out solar installers in nearby cities
See the cost of solar in CA cities and towns
What solar panels should I install in California?
There are plenty of options to consider when choosing the solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and batteries to install for your solar panel system. With the number of options available today, it’s important for you to understand various factors that distinguish one component apart from another. For example, the best solar panels available may have premium efficiencies and warranties, but will typically be more costly. However, depending on the size of the installation, you’ll need to determine whether high-efficiency solar panels that can produce more electricity are worthwhile. Also, your appetite for risk can help determine which solar warranties best fit your needs. These are just a few of the many factors to consider when selecting solar panel equipment. To find more info, check out EnergySage’s Solar Decision Guide.
How much energy can I get from solar in California?
Aside from the power output and efficiency of the solar equipment you choose to install, the amount of energy you generate with solar panels in California is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. California is one of the sunniest states in the U.S.; therefore, a solar panel installation in the state will likely produce more energy annually than a system of the same size installed elsewhere, such as in the Northeast.
There are additional factors that determine how much solar electricity you can produce: shading and panel angle are important in calculating your production estimate, a prediction of how much energy your solar installation will produce over time. You can see an estimate of how much you can save with solar using the EnergySage Solar Calculator – the calculator will take into account site-specific conditions like shade and geography.
California solar incentives
Solar incentives in California can help you reduce the overall price of going solar. Learn more about why solar panels are such a great investment in California.
What rebates and incentives are there in California for solar?
The federal investment tax credit, now referred to as the Residential Clean Energy Credit for residential systems, has been one of the most reliable and impactful incentives for solar across the U.S. This solar incentive allows you to deduct 30 percent of the total system cost from your federal taxes. For example, a solar energy system installation that costs 15,000 out of will qualify for a tax deduction of 4,500. For residential systems, this advantageous incentive lasts until the end of 2032 at which point it steps down to 26 percent. The federal ITC drops to 22 percent in 2034 and is eliminated for residential solar installations in 2035. Commercial systems are eligible at least through 2024, but may not be eligible for the full 30 percent depending on certain labor and domestic manufacturing requirements; they also may be eligible for specific ITC adders.
Besides the federal ITC, California has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. Of note are local rebates, the availability of net metering 2.0, and the California Solar Initiative income-eligible solar incentive programs. To learn more about the financial incentives available for solar installations in CA, check out the complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.
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History of solar policy in California
California has taken significant steps to grow in-state solar: from reaching nearly 23 gigawatts of solar capacity across almost 900,000 solar installations to receiving in-state solar investments of 42 billion through 2018, California leads U.S. states in many solar categories. The state’s commitment to solar in the US is acutely apparent in SEIA’s Top 10 Solar States list: notably, not even the next eight ranked states combined had installed as much solar energy capacity as California in 2018. The history of solar energy in the Golden State spans back to the industry’s earliest roots and is a story of steady progress.
California first began promoting solar energy in 1976, when the state passed tax legislation to provide financial incentives for investment in the technology. Building upon this initial commitment solar, the state quickly passed the Solar Rights Act (CA Civil Code 714) in 1978, which bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar energy systems. The state’s commitment to the solar industry fostered an environment of growth that ultimately led to ARCO Solar’s 1980 completion of a 1 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic facility in Camarillo, an impressive capacity for solar at that time.
The state’s booming solar industry truly began to take form with the 1996 passage of the Electric Utility Industry Restructuring Act (Assembly Bill 1890). This progressive energy law made California the first state to deregulate its utility companies, meaning, among other things, that customers could now choose their electric generation supplier. Equally important, California also adopted net metering policies in 1996, allowing excess solar energy to be fed back into the grid, further incentivizing consumers to pursue solar. These state-led initiatives formed the bedrock of California’s solar energy industry.
recently, an important catalyst for growth in California’s solar industry is the enacting of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) in 2006. The Governor Schwarzenegger-supported legislation designed and provided upfront solar installation rebates to residential and commercial property owners through the state’s three largest investor-owned-utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas Electric (SDGE). The 2-plus billion dollar program surpassed its intended goal to reach 1,940 MW of new solar generation capacity by 2016, two years ahead of schedule, creating a sustainable market without leaving behind any burdensome legacy costs.
The future for solar energy in California looks as bright as ever. Following the sunsetting of the CSI, California’s state government has pushed even further forward on solar. In 2015, Governor Brown signed into law the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (Senate Bill 350), which mandates a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 33 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. In 2018, Governor Brown and the state legislature took renewable energy policy two steps further by first requiring the electric sector to decarbonize by 2050 and, second, by requiring the entire state economy to decarbonize by the same year.
Perhaps the most innovative piece of solar legislation from California also came in 2018 as the California Energy Commission (CEC) passed requirements on the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards mandating that all new homes must have solar panels beginning 2020. These policies, both old and new, all but guarantee a successful future for solar in California.
Do Solar Panels Increase Your Home’s Value?
Samantha covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair. She previously edited home repair and design content at The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.
We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Home. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.
Table of Contents
Solar panels are a fantastic source of renewable energy, as well as a great way to save a chunk of change on your monthly electrical bills. Upfront, however, they are an investment, and if you’re thinking about purchasing a solar panel, you may be wondering if they’re worth the thousands—if not tens of thousands—of dollars they often cost.
Solar panels might increase your home’s value in the long run, though. Here’s how.
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.
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Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
In most cases, yes. If a home has solar panels, it means its owners will be saving money in the long run, increasing the home’s appeal and value.
How Does Solar Increase Home Value?
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every dollar that a solar panel saves you on your electrical bills increases the value of your home by 20. And according to Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for four percent higher than those without them.
Currently, the demand for solar panels is higher than it ever has been, with home-buyers becoming increasingly environmentally conscious while wanting to save money. It is this demand that often increases the value of homes featuring solar panels. Whether and by how much your home’s value will increase, though, will depend on where you live and the quality of your solar panel.
Can Adding Solar Ever Decrease Home Value?
No, but it could have no effect, depending on where you live.
Factors Influencing Solar’s Added Value
Solar panels are increasingly seen as a valuable addition to any home. There are many reasons why solar panels can be an excellent financial investment, including the fact that they can help you save money while increasing your property’s value in the long run.
It is no secret that the location of your home can significantly impact your property’s value. Therefore, the value of homes with solar panels certainly increases depending on their location – especially in areas with abundant sunlight and high electricity rates. Plus, if your home is in a region or neighborhood that emphasizes environmental sustainability, homes with solar panels can enhance a home’s perceived value. Not to mention, depending on your location, government incentives and supportive policies also play crucial roles in increasing the desirability of solar-equipped homes.
The states where solar panels are most in demand are California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon. The cities where solar panels are most in demand are Los Angeles, San Diego, Honolulu, Phoenix, San Jose, San Antonio and New York. If you live in one of these areas, there is a good chance that solar panels will increase your home’s value.
Solar Panel Ownership
When purchased outright, solar panels can be easily transferred from the home’s seller to the buyer. However, if you’re leasing your solar panels, you’ll need to work with the solar company to establish who will take ownership of the panels. Typically, the buyer can take over the solar system by buying the lease out or transferring it. However, when selling or buying a home, it’s essential to keep track of who has ownership rights over them to avoid confusion and potential legal issues later on.
Solar System Condition
While they may not be top of mind when you think about the value of a house, solar panels can significantly impact property value. Therefore, ensuring they are in a well-working condition is essential. The solar system’s condition is important since it directly affects its efficiency, functionality and lifespan.
Well-maintained and properly functioning solar panels are more likely to attract potential buyers and contribute positively to the property’s overall worth. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspection, helps to ensure the panel’s performance and longevity. Damaged or outdated panels can decrease efficiency, reducing energy production and increasing potential repair costs. Therefore, keeping solar panels in good condition maximizes their energy-generating potential, ultimately increasing the property’s value.
Do Bigger Installations Increase Home Value?
There’s no proven correlation between the size of a solar panel and its increase of a property’s value. wattage won’t result in more money, so when choosing a solar panel or solar system for your home, just choose one that will generate the right amount of energy for your household.
Best Solar Companies By States And Cities
The short answer to this question is that solar panels are not illegal in Florida. However, you may have come across this question while researching solar power options in Florida and wondered why people are asking this question. Don’t worry, we’re here to let you know not only is it legal to power your home with solar panels in Florida, but it’s also a pretty Smart investment. Let’s go over what the law has to say, what HOAS can do about your solar initiative and the financial benefits that come with investing in solar panels. Read on!
What the Florida Solar Rights Act Says
According to Florida Statute 163.04, any enforceable agreement (whether between HOAs or otherwise) prohibiting a property owner from installing solar is illegal. An HOA may limit where you may install solar panels, but not if the system’s performance decreases as a consequence. House Bill 697 built on this law by allowing condominium boards to install solar on their properties for the benefit of unit owners without seeking previous agreement from the unit owners. It also permits condo owners to put solar panels on their own property.
Solar easements can be negotiated under Florida Statute 704.07 to ensure that a property owner’s solar panels receive adequate sunlight exposure.
What Can Florida HOAs Do About Home Solar Panels?
While homeowners cannot be banned from building a solar energy system, various limitations can be placed without breaking the law. These limits, however, must be fair, not arbitrary, and universally enforced on homeowners in a subdivision. The limits must not affect the operation of a solar system, or they will be interpreted as “essentially” forbidding solar.
The legislation expressly prevents a homeowner association from blocking the installation of rooftop solar collectors. Although the association may choose where the collectors are located on the roof, as long as the installation is within the region necessary for its efficient functioning, that is, south, east, or west of due south, the installation is permitted.
As a result, the organization is restricted from imposing criteria to effectively reduce the system’s operational efficiency or raise the system installation cost. As a result, if the association modification hinders the system’s efficiency, requirements for hiding the system from view, whether by trees or fences, ground mounting, or limiting installation to an area not visible from the street, are inconsistent with the spirit and text of the legislation. The regulation also prohibits requiring the system to adhere to a specific color (i.e., merging with the color of the roof) because the collector surface must be black to properly absorb the sun’s heat (and, in fact, is the only available material on the market).
Are There Any Solar Incentives Available for Florida Residents?
There are several Florida solar incentives available to help reduce the overall cost of adopting solar. We’ve already discussed net metering, but you may also get state and federal tax rebates and sales tax exemptions. And, depending on where you reside in Florida, you may be able to apply for a PACE loan, which may possibly finance 100% of the cost of going solar, making bundling a battery backup even more affordable!
So, if you live in Florida, don’t worry about whether or not you’re breaking the law by installing solar panels on your home. While the Florida Solar Rights Act prohibits HOAs from banning the installation of solar panels, they can place certain limitations on where the system is placed. However, those limitations must not interfere with the system’s efficiency.
If you’re looking to install a solar energy system, get your quote from the leading solar panel contractors in Florida today. At West Bay Energy, we’ve got the expertise and skill to get you the best results out of your installation.
At West Bay Energy, we will make sure you get your savings or we will make it right – guaranteed!