Rhode Island solar panels: local pricing and data

Over 5,500 homeowners in Rhode Island 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  
Payback period  
Electricity bill offset  

Solar installation costs do not include the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit or local incentives.

Save money by installing solar panels in RI.

Thanks to solar incentives and programs like SolarWise Rhode Island, residents of the Ocean State are saving thousands on their electricity bills.

Solar companies in Rhode Island

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See the cost of solar in RI cities and towns

$12,878 – $17,422

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What solar panels should I install in Rhode Island?

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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 Rhode Island?

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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 Rhode Island is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. Compared to other New England states, Rhode Island gets a decent amount of sun per day, helping make solar a sound investment.

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.

Rhode Island solar incentives

Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.

Learn about solar incentives in RI

What rebates and incentives are there in Rhode Island 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, Rhode Island has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. Of note are small-scale solar grants, renewable energy tax credit, property and sales tax breaks, and net metering programs. Additionally, one of the state’s most exciting developments is the Renewable Energy Growth program! To learn more about Rhode Island’s best financial incentives for solar, check out our complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.

Solar panel installations in Rhode Island

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True Cost of Solar Guide™ for Rhode Island

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 Rhode Island

Rhode Island punches well above its weight on solar: although SEIA reported in 2018 that the state ranks 34th in the nation with about 120 megawatts (MW) of installed solar energy capacity, Rhode Island has achieved half of that capacity in 2018 alone. The rapid growth of the industry in-state did not happen overnight, though, as it has taken years of state legislation to make Rhode Island an ideal solar market.

Rhode Island’s first major solar policy was passed in 1981, when the state implemented Solar Easements regulations. Although the policy doesn’t focus on financial incentives, it recognized solar energy usage as a property right and ensured that proper sunlight is made available to those who operate solar-energy systems.

Rhode Island next passed solar policies in 1996, when the state’s electric-utility restructuring legislation required utilities to create one of the first public benefits fund in the nation. Known as the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF), the funding for this organization comes from a $0.0003 per kWh surcharge on resident’s utility bill and is administered by CommerceRI.

At the turn of the century, Rhode Island made major strides in clean energy by enacting a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2004. Across the country, state energy requirements have been instrumental to the development of clean energy. Officially titled the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in Rhode Island, legislators created a top-rated program requiring utilities to supply 38.5 percent of their electricity sales with renewable resources by the end of 2035.

The next significant solar policy to pass is the state’s 2011 net metering program, which makes solar more financially attractive to Rhode Island residents. Throughout the nation, net metering programs have allowed residents to send surplus net energy to the electric grid and receive compensation for it on their energy bill. In Rhode Island, National Grid offers the top program in the state and every utility credits net surplus at the avoided-cost rate. In 2016, policymakers extended the reach of net metering by raising the capacity limit of the program to 10 MW, as well as by approving community remote net metering so that residents can still use solar without having to install their own installation.

Beyond these policies, Rhode Island has developed a few other notable financial incentives to make solar more accessible to everyone. The first of these were the Small-Scale Solar Grants and Commercial Scale Renewable Grants policies, which were created in 2013 and use the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to compensate residents for going solar. The creation of the Renewable Energy Growth Program in 2014 made solar more affordable by providing a feed-in tariff of 32.25 cents for each kilowatt-hour they sell to the grid for the first 15 years of their system, which is much higher than the 19 cents residents would otherwise receive. Finally, additional solar incentives include the Sales Tax Exemption and Property Tax Exemption, which help reduce the overall costs of solar installation.