Delaware solar panels: The complete guide in 2024

Data updated May 17, 2024

Written by: Emily Walker

Interested in going solar? You'll need to install a 12.54 kW solar panel system to cover the average electric bill in Delaware, which will cost you about $22,365 after the federal tax credit.

Cost for an average system in Delaware


Out of pocket cost, cash
$31,950
Federal tax credit (30%)
- $9,585
Price post tax credit
$22,365

20-year savings $27,344
Payback period 9 Years
Electricity offset 94%
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As long as your federal tax bill is high enough, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

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Going solar in Delaware

For such a small state, Delaware has some pretty big solar incentives. As a homeowner, you'll save with the federal tax credit and net metering––and you can even earn cash every year by selling the environmental benefits associated with your solar panel system.

The First State may have relatively low electricity costs, but solar is still worth it for most Delawareans.

Here's what you need to know about installing solar panels in Delaware.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost in Delaware?

Solar panels will save you a lot of money over time, but the upfront costs aren't cheap. The average Delaware homeowner needs a 12.54 kW solar panel system to cover their electricity needs, which comes out to $31,950 before incentives. Prices range from $27,158 to $36,742, but after the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%. Delaware has some of the best local incentives too, including a robust net metering program, solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), and rebate and grant programs.

With cost savings like these, it’s no wonder why over 3,200 Delaware homeowners have used EnergySage to receive and compare quotes for solar installations. You can expect to earn back your initial solar investment through electricity savings in about 9.46 years, while most systems last at least 25 years. You'll often see this number referenced as your solar payback period.

There are a few ways to finance your solar panel system so you don't have to provide all that money upfront. 

  • Cash purchase: You'll own the system and pay for it upfront. This provides the best long-term savings. 

  • Solar loan: This allows you to retain ownership of your system while owing little to no money upfront. Solar loans aren't all created equal. If you have access to subsidized clean energy loans through local incentive programs, that's usually your best bet. A home equity loan or a personal loan are often your next best options—private solar loans typically come with higher interest rates or upfront fees.

  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A third-party company owns your system and either leases you the solar panels (solar lease) or allows you to purchase the electricity they generate (PPA). These generally provide the lowest savings and generate the most negative press about solar. If you choose this financing option, read the fine print: You can get trapped in them for longer than you'd like.

Solar panels on a house

Incentives

What are the best solar rebates and incentives in Delaware?

Incentives help bring solar's price tag down considerably in Delaware. Here are the major ones to know about:

Incentive
Average savings in Delaware
Description

Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

$9,585

Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

Green Energy Program Rebate

$3,500

A rebate based on the capacity of your solar array for LMI households

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

$180

Clean-energy credits that you can sell for cash

Is net metering available in Delaware?

In some states, you'll earn bill credits from your utility company when your solar panel system generates excess electricity and sends it to the grid. This incentive is known as net metering—basically a solar buyback program—and makes it so you will owe very little, or even nothing, on your electric bills with solar panels.

In Delaware, the net metering rules work the same way across all electric utilities, including Delmarva, Delaware Electric Coop, and the municipal electric companies. But to qualify for net metering, your total system capacity can only be predicted to generate 110% of your previous 12 months' electricity use.

So, if you just purchased other clean energy solutions like heat pumps, it’s a good idea to wait to see your annual usage before you think about installing solar—otherwise, you may not be allowed to install a net-metered system large enough to cover all your electricity needs.

A house with rooftop solar panels connected to the grid

Equipment

Equipment quality

Each year, solar panels get more and more efficient—that is, they produce more power per square foot. As of 2024, the most popular solar panels can produce about 400 watts of electricity when they’re in full sunlight. If you want to make the most of your roof’s solar potential, get panels with at least that much power output.  

You should also make sure to select a solar inverter setup that makes sense for your roof’s layout. 

And if you want or need a solar battery, be sure to pick one that can integrate cleanly with that inverter. 

Premium equipment can come with a high price tag, but it will often save you more money in the long run. The best equipment tends to have the best warranty terms, often guaranteed to 25 years (sometimes even 40!), so you’re covered in case you need repairs or replacements. The highest-quality panels also degrade more slowly, so they’ll maintain more of their power output further into the future. 

See our list of the best solar panels

Companies

Who are the best solar installers in Delaware?

We pre-screen all of the solar companies on EnergySage to ensure they'll provide you with a high-quality installation. We then rate them based on their results, reputation, and responsiveness. Here are the highest-rated EnergySage installers in Delaware:

resources

Top solar resources for Delaware

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