The state of Georgia is well known for peaches and hot, sunny, and muggy days. So while the state average cost of electricity is lower than the national average, Georgia residents tend to use more air conditioning in the hotter months than many other states. With 218 sunny days a year on average, the state is well poised to make good use of solar energy to help offset high energy bills.
The cost of solar power in Georgia varies depending on the home size, solar panel type, and where in the state you are located. The state average cost to install solar panels is $16,020 to $19,740, with most residents paying $17,880 for a 6 kW system using monocrystalline panels mounted on the roof. This project’s low cost is $5,350 for a 2 kW system using polycrystalline panels mounted on the roof. The high cost is $55,000 for a 10 kW system using monocrystalline panels with a battery backup mounted on an array.
|Cost of Solar Panels in Georgia|
|National average cost||$17,880|
There are two basic methods for using solar panels to help power your home. The first method is the most common and is known as a grid-tied installation. This means you can use energy from the local power grid at night or during times of inclement weather. Your system can be large or small, covering all or some of your energy costs. This allows you to use solar energy to power a few specific things in your home or invest in a large enough system to meet all your needs, with the grid there solely as a backup.
The other method of installing solar panels is called going off-grid. In an off-grid installation, you disconnect from the power grid altogether. This means you supply 100% of your energy needs. In Georgia, going off-grid is completely legal, and you may supply your own energy through solar, wind, or other methods.
Going off-grid requires a larger solar panel system than being grid tied. You also need to have batteries to help power your home at night or in times when the sun is not strong enough to generate full power. You should also have a backup system. For this reason, off-grid solar panel systems are considerably more expensive than standard grid-tied installations. Below are the average costs for solar panel installations in Georgia using both installations.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Grid-Tied||$16,020 - $19,740|
|Off-Grid||$50,000 - $80,000|
Solar panels are sold and installed by the watt. The panels are typically sized between 250 and 400 watts per panel. The average home in Georgia needs around 6,000 watts or 6 kW to handle central air conditioning. The cost per watt in Georgia is $2.67 to $3.29, making a 6 kW system cost between $16,020 and $19,740.
Many factors impact your total cost per watt, including your location, with urban areas like Atlanta costing more than rural areas. The type of panel, inverter, and where the panels are installed also influence your total costs per watt.
The following is the average cost for installing systems of varying sizes and the number of panels you need for a system of that size.
|System Size||Panels Needed||Average Cost (Installed)|
|2 kW||5 - 8||$5,304 - $6,580|
|3 kW||8 - 12||$8,010 - $9,870|
|4 kW||10 - 16||$10,680 - $13,160|
|5 kW||13 - 20||$13,350 - $16,450|
|6 kW||15 - 24||$16,020 - $19,740|
|7 kW||18 - 28||$18,690 - $23,030|
|8 kW||20 - 32||$21,360 - $26,320|
|10 kW||25 - 40||$26,700 - $32,900|
|12 kW||30 - 48||$32,040 - $39,480|
|15 kW||38 - 60||$40,050 - $49,350|
|18 kW||45 - 72||$48,060 - $59,220|
The number of solar panels and your total system cost can be impacted by several factors, including your home size. While homes of all sizes can have varying energy needs, larger homes tend to use more energy than smaller homes. This means that larger homes are more likely to have a larger system with higher system costs than smaller homes.
That being said, you can install a smaller system on a larger home to power specific things. You can also install a much larger system on a smaller home to meet above-average energy needs. This means you can have a range of costs for each home size, depending on your system size. Below are the average costs associated with installing solar panel systems on homes of varying sizes.
|House Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$5,304 - $26,320|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$6,580 - $32,040|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$10,680 - $32,900|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$16,020 - $39,480|
Solar panels are available in three types - monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Monocrystalline is the most common type of panel available in most parts of Georgia, but polycrystalline may be found in some areas.
Polycrystalline panels are less expensive, made of fragments of silicon crystals that are pieced together. They are less efficient than monocrystalline panels of the same size. Polycrystalline panels are a bright blue and slightly larger in profile.
Monocrystalline panels are made of whole silicon crystals and are more expensive but also more efficient. They have a sleek black finish and are slightly lower in profile, making them more subtle on your roof. These panels also work the best of the three types in bright sunlight. Given the high number of sunny days in Georgia, these panels get the best results.
The third type of solar panel is known as thin film. They are less expensive and much lower in profile than polycrystalline or monocrystalline. However, they work best in moderate sun rather than bright sun. They are uncommon in Georgia, but you can still purchase them. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system using the three types of solar panels in Georgia.
|Cell Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Polycrystalline||$15,000 - $18,000|
|Thin-Film||$15,000 - $18,000|
|Monocrystalline||$16,000 - $22,000|
Labor costs to install solar panels in Georgia range between $0.76 and $0.83 a watt. For a 6 kW system, labor costs typically make up roughly $4,560 to $4,980. Many factors can impact the cost of labor to install your solar panels. Installations in rural areas are usually less expensive than those in larger cities or suburbs. Your labor costs are higher if you install your panels on a ground array than if you mount your panels on the roof. The type of inverter and panel you choose can also influence the total cost of your labor. Below are the average labor costs involved with installing solar panels of various sizes in Georgia.
|System Size||Average Labor Costs|
|2 kW||$1,520 - $1,660|
|3 kW||$2,280 - $2,490|
|4 kW||$3,040 - $3,320|
|5 kW||$3,800 - $4,150|
|6 kW||$4,560 - $4,980|
|7 kW||$5,320 - $5,810|
|8 kW||$6,080 - $6,640|
|10 kW||$7,600 - $8,300|
It is recommended to install your solar panels facing south in Georgia whenever possible. Facing your panels south maximizes the amount of sunlight they receive over the day. However, you can install them to the southwest or southeast without losing much energy production if your roof does not face true south.
While most people mount their solar panels on their roof, you can also mount them on the ground. If your roof cannot hold the weight or it faces the wrong direction, installing them on the ground can help eliminate these issues.
In addition, some solar panel systems use more panels than your home can hold. This is particularly true when installing an off-grid system. Off-grid systems are often so large that they must be mounted on the ground to hold the number of panels involved.
Ground installations are mounted on a ground-mounted racking system or pole mount. This installation is more costly than a roof-mounted system because of the cost of the ground-mounted installation materials and extra labor. On a roof, the wires can connect directly to your home. From the ground, the wires need to be run underground to your home, increasing costs.
Because of their size and other issues, ground installations tend to cost more than roof installations. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system in Georgia on the roof and ground.
|System Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Roof||$16,020 - $19,740|
|Ground||$19,100 - $23,800|
At this time, there are no state specific tax credits for installing solar panels in the state of Georgia. However, residents can still take part in the federal tax credit of 26% of the total cost of the installation in 2022. You can claim this credit when you file your 2022 taxes. For a 6 kW system, this credit would be equal to $4,165 to $5,132, helping offset the total cost of your system.
In addition to the solar panels, your installation also requires solar inverters. Solar inverters convert the energy from the solar panels into energy you can use to power your home. The number of inverters your system needs can vary by the inverter type. While you need a minimum of one string inverter for the entire system, you need one microinverter per panel. So, if your installation has 20 panels, you need 20 microinverters.
Several inverter types are on the market today. The least expensive and most common are string inverters. String inverters are used with panels that are linked together into a string. Multiple strings may connect to one inverter. They are effective, but if one panel fails, the entire string fails, lowering efficiency. For this reason, newer inverter types do not link together.
Power optimizers can be used with your string inverter to help optimize power output. You need one power optimizer per panel, and they are attached to the panels themselves. If one panel is in shade or has a lower output, the power optimizers work to keep the rest of the string working at peak efficiency.
Microinverters are attached to each panel; you need one microinverter for every solar panel. Because they aren’t connecting panels, they eliminate the potential problems with string inverters. While they are less costly than string inverters, you need more of them, which can make the whole system more expensive.
If you have a battery or batteries for your system, each one needs an inverter. This converts the energy into something the batteries can store. Below are the average costs for each inverter type.
|Inverter Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Power Optimizer||$125 - $150|
|Micro Inverter||$150 - $215|
|String Inverter||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Battery-Based||$2,000 - $2,300|
Solar panels installed in Georgia do not need much regular maintenance, but they require regular inspections and cleaning to help them stay at their best. Inspecting and cleaning your panels twice a year helps ensure they continue to produce electricity at the optimal rate year-round. These inspections can also help catch small issues when they can be easily repaired, such as fixing wires chewed by squirrels or other rodents. The cost of this service ranges from $200 to $400 per visit, or $400 to $800 per year to help your solar panels continue running at their best.
If you need to replace your roof before you can install solar panels or do not love the look of solar panels mounted on the roof, you can also install a Tesla solar roof. Tesla solar roofs use a combination of photovoltaic and standard roof tiles installed over your entire home. They can produce as much electricity as your solar panels with a more subtle appearance.
Their costs in Georgia can be considerably higher than the cost of a new roof made of other materials and solar panels, however. Costs range from $54,500 to $79,500 for a standard 2,000 sq.ft. home needing 6 kW of energy. Tesla solar roofs have the option to use Powerwall batteries with their systems as well. This means you do not have to rely on the grid during the night or as much during inclement weather.
In addition to using solar panels to provide energy to your home, you can also heat your water using solar energy. Solar water heaters can help provide hot water to your entire home using the sun’s power. They have an average cost of $8,000 to $10,000.
Georgia is a very sunny state that sees high energy usage in the summer. Therefore, solar panels can make a big difference in the energy bills of residents who install them.
The cost to install solar panels varies by the panel type and system size. The average cost of a 6 kW system in Georgia is $16,020 to $19,740.
No, there is no residential program for free panels in Georgia at this time. There are some rebates available to schools and other commercial and public buildings that can reimburse up to 50%.
No, Georgia does not offer a solar tax credit at this time. However, residents can take advantage of the 2022 federal solar tax credit.
Yes, HOAs have the power to prevent solar panels if they are outside of the parameters laid out by the association.
Georgia does not have net metering. They have a capped credit system that credits you wholesale costs on the energy excess you had for that month. These credits do not roll over from month to month.