Maryland solar panels: local pricing and data

Over 7,700 homeowners in Maryland have used EnergySage to receive & compare solar panel installation quotes!

Updated 6/8/2019

Solar Data Explorer:

Out-of-pocket cost  
Net 20-year savings  
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Solar installation costs do not include the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit or local incentives.

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Solar power is more popular than ever in the Old Line State thanks to some of the most generous solar incentives in the country.

Solar in Maryland

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This beautiful Mid-Atlantic state is full of beaches, hiking, and historical sites. With an early jump on renewables, Maryland has made a name for itself in the solar community. Maryland boasts an impressive RPS, strong net metering, and solar power tax benefits. The solar incentives in Maryland make investing in solar an easy choice for energy-conscious consumers.

How much do solar panels cost in Maryland?

The average cost of a solar panel installation in Maryland ranges from $11,985 to $16,215. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, a solar panel installation in Maryland ranges in price from $2.40 to $3.24.

How long does it take to earn back your initial investment in solar panels? A solar payback periodis the amount of time it takes for property owners who install solar panels to recover their initial investment through electricity savings. For Maryland, the average solar payback period is 8.60 years.

Fortunately, there are many financial options available to ensure solar shoppers can afford installations. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. If an upfront purchase isn’t right for you, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.

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$11,985 – $16,215

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What solar panels should I install in Maryland?

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For property owners, you now can customize your solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and batteries, as well as the general aesthetic of the installation. This customizability has made it important for solar consumers to understand these various factors. 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.

How much energy can I get from solar in Maryland?

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Aside from the power output of the solar equipment you choose to install, the amount of energy you generate with solar panels in Maryland is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. Maryland ranks in the middle of peak sun hours among U.S. states, with 105 clear days per year, and 4.47 hours of sun per day.

There are additional factors that determine how much solar electricity you can produce. These include shading, panel orientation, and panel angle, which are all used to calculate your total production estimate. a prediction of how much energy your solar installation will produce over time. This evaluation offers a clear estimate of how much energy your solar installation will produce. You can see how much solar panels can save you based on factors like geographic location and shading by using the EnergySage Solar Calculator – the calculator will take into account site-specific conditions like shade and geography.

Maryland solar incentives

Maryland is becoming known for its great solar incentives and programs, which are considered some of the best in the country. Learn more about why solar panels are such a great investment in Maryland.

Learn about solar incentives in MD

What rebates and incentives are there in Maryland for solar?

The federal Investment Tax Credit 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 pocket will qualify for a tax deduction of $4,500. This advantageous incentive lasts until the end of 2019 - the tax credit amount steps down to 26 percent for 2020 before falling to 22 percent for 2021. The federal ITC is eliminated for residential solar installations after 2021, but commercial solar energy system owners can still deduct 10 percent of a commercial solar system cost from their taxes in 2022 and beyond.

Besides the federal ITC, Maryland has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. Maryland offers net metering and tax incentives to boost solar production power in the state. Policies such as the solar rebate program and property or sales tax exemptions help reduce up-front costs and yield a larger cost benefit over time in Maryland. To learn more about Maryland’s best financial incentives for solar, check out our complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.

Solar panel installations in Maryland

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True Cost of Solar Guide™ for Maryland

Download EnergySage’s DIY worksheet to better understand what solar should cost in your state

Don’t get sold on the hype! Find out what solar should actually cost before you talk to your first sales rep. This PDF worksheet will walk you through the simple calculations you can make to determine what size solar PV system you need, and approximately how much it should cost.

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History of solar policy in Maryland

In the Free State, solar energy has flourished as a significant industry over the last few years. Currently, the state ranks 14th in SEIA’s national rankings with a total solar energy capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts (MW). However, such an achievement for a modest-sized state did not happen overnight. In fact, Maryland was an early proponent of enacting solar legislation even back in the 1980s prior to most other states acting on solar.

As the solar industry began to emerge, states interested in harnessing this technology understood that they needed to define clear market laws for their residents to live by. Maryland was one of the states to take the lead in this field by implementing solar easement and rights laws in 1980. Specifically, this policy ensures that property owners have the right to install solar collection panels without having to worry about land use covenants imposing limitations on their investment. This policy is important for a primary reason: it establishes that solar is treated as seriously as an individual’s property rights. Maryland would later enhance the language of these rights in 2008 providing additional detailed protections for solar energy systems.

While Maryland would go on to pass some additional policies for renewable energy in the 1980s and 1990s, the most significant law passed during the time period was net metering in 1997. Throughout the nation, net metering has been one of the most crucial policies for developing renewable and solar energy. This is because electric companies are required to credit owners who generate surplus kilowatt-hour (kWh) solar energy at the market rate toward future utility bills. This means solar investors get to receive full credit for the energy generated by their solar panels. Maryland continues to update the net metering program, as the state increased the cap size limits and introduced a pilot virtual net metering program for community solar systems. As it stands today, the Free State has established one of the strongest net metering programs in the nation.

Maryland continued to seriously develop its solar and renewable energy industry by establishing its own Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the 2000s. Established in 2004, the original regulatory mandate specified that electricity suppliers in the state must procure 7.5 percent of their electric retail sales with eligible renewable energy supplies by the year 2019. Maryland has continued to push to increase its commitment to clean energy by revising its program multiple times. The latest amendment to the RPS passed in 2017, when policymakers agreed that by 2020 utilities must supply 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy.

Maryland’s RPS program is especially recognized by the solar industry for including a carve-out for the technology back in 2007. As the RPS mandate has increased, so has the solar carve-out, which today stands at 2.5 percent by 2020. To enforce this regulation, the state organized a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) system in 2015 that allows residents to sell credits for their solar production back to the utility. (Importantly, SRECs and net metering are different policies that both compensate for different aspects of solar production.) The utility ultimately has to buy the SREC or face the higher-priced Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) instead. The result is a great financial incentive for residents to partake in because they can reap significant earnings for their solar production.

Maryland’s solar policy has focused on more than just its net metering and RPS programs. In 2004, the state laid out a variety of financial incentives that further strengthened the solar industry. For example, the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program that was enacted in 2004 provides a flat $1,000 rebate for a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation from 1-20 kW. Additionally, Maryland reduced solar costs for residents by implementing the Property Tax Exemption for Solar & Wind Systems in 2007 as well as the Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment in 2008. Overall, Maryland’s solar policy history exemplifies a clear, concise commitment towards transitioning to a cleaner and healthier state for its people to live in.