Many fellow Georgians have turned to solar energy systems to generate their own electricity. In fact, in 2013, Georgia was the fastest growing solar market in the country, and had enough capacity to power over 8,000 homes. If you’re interested in being energy self-sufficient, consider going solar in the Peach state.
What are the best solar energy incentives in GA?
Not only will going solar enable you to generate electricity for your own use, but you may also be able to sell it back to the utility as well, thanks to a policy known as net metering. Under this policy, participating utilities will measure the amount of excess solar electricity you put on the grid and pay you a rate determined by Georgia’s Public Service Commission.
The Georgia net metering rate is set at the utilities’ avoided cost, which refers to the rate that the utility would otherwise pay to power generators. They would have had to pay to a large electric power plant if they had not bought it from you and your panels. In 2016, for example, the utilities would pay you between $40 and $60 for each megawatt hour (MWh) you generate; if you install a 5-kilowatt (kW) system that generates 5 MWh per year, you could sell the electricity for $200 to $300.
The federal solar tax credit (ITC)
The biggest savings you will see on your solar energy system will come from the federal government in the form of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which was recently extended. In addition to Georgia’s net metering policy, this great government program can reduce the cost of your PV solar energy system by 30 percent.
That is, when you file your income taxes after you purchase your system, you will get a huge rebate to help you cover your cost. Keep in mind that you must have enough income for the tax credit to be relevant (though the credit can roll over into future years), and that the ITC applies only to those who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or solar loan).