Alabama has the potential to be a major player in solar energy thanks in part to its 99 days of average sunshine per year. It currently ranks near the bottom among states for installed solar panel capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. However, large retailers have committed to solar projects and the state’s two large utilities are looking to boost renewable power options for their customers. Read on to learn more about companies who install solar panels in Alabama, the state’s solar policies, and other helpful resources.

Alabama’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

Electricity Costs in Alabama

Since 2005, Alabama’s residential electricity costs have steadily increased to its current rate of 12.07 cents/kWh, sitting just below the national average of 12.99 cents/kWh. Although Alabama hasn’t yet committed to extensive solar panel use, the state uses a variety of other renewable energy sources. Hydroelectric power supplies about 75 percent of Alabama’s renewable electricity and Alabama ranks sixth in the nation using land fill gas and biomass to generate electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Alabama also has large deposits of fossil fuel resources, including coal, crude oil and natural gas reserves.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Alabama
Library of Resources

Alabama Policies & Incentives for Solar Power

With no state renewable portfolio standard and no statewide net metering standards, Alabama offers few incentives to encourage solar. Currently there are no property tax nor sales tax exemptions are offered for residents with solar panels. The bright spot in Alabama solar is Tennessee Valley Authority, which offers eligible customers a $1,000 rebate upon installation of solar power. At the time being, Alabama Power is researching solar potential and the governor has ordered state agencies to consider using green standards in public buildings. In addition, AlabamaSAVES is an incentive loan program utilizing solar available for commercial and industrial projects.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

None for residential/commercial

None specifically for residential

AlabamaSAVES Revolving Loan Program:

The funds from this third-party lending program are offered to businesses in Alabama that wish to retrofit their facilities, including installing solar PV systems. The maximum loan amount is $4 million, and the length of the loan is 10 years maximum. The interest rate is negotiated with lender.

POLICIES

None

None specific to residential

None

TAX CREDITS

None specifically for residential

None

None

EXEMPTIONS

None specifically for commercial

None

None

Solar Panel Installers & Companies in Alabama

More than 30 solar companies are working in Alabama, providing solar products and services that include installing solar photovoltaic panels and solar hot water systems and manufacturing components needed for solar modules. About 500 people are employed in the industry throughout the state. Alabama homeowners have options in their search for a company to design and install their solar systems. Here are some of the installation companies currently working in Alabama’s solar industry:

Alabama Energy Doctors

Offers installation of solar panels, solar water heating, and solar pool heating to homes and businesses.

Where it operatesSoutheast Alabama

Year of opening2007

Earth Steward Solar Consulting

Design and installation of solar PV systems and solar water heating, along with overall energy efficiency services.

Where it operatesNorth and central Alabama

Year of opening2005

Solar Technology Alabama

Specializes in solar water heating systems, off-grid and alternate power solar systems, and grid-tied non-batter solar systems for homes.

Where it operatesStatewide

Year of opening1991; started in renewables 2008

Solar Thermal Systems

Installs solar hot water systems that include optional online data logging and system efficiency upgrades (such as pipe insulation and psychical water conditioner).

Where it operatesNorthern Alabama counties

Year of opening2012

Southern Solar Systems

Offered grid-tied and off-grid solar PV systems as well as geothermal heat pumps for homes and businesses across the Southeastern United States.

Where it operatesNorthern Alabama counties

Year of opening1977

Resources for Alabama Homeowners & Businesses

Alabama Power

Find information about Alabama’s solar potential as well as the different types and costs of solar installations available and answers to frequently asked questions.

Tennessee Valley Authority

Explore TVA’s renewable energy programs aimed at allowing customers to lower their carbon footprint through solar, wind, biomass and low-impact hydroelectric.

Alabama Legislature

As more Alabamans turn to solar, the legislature will begin to consider more solar-related measures. Track pending legislation, find specific legislators and stay up to date on current issues in the state.

DSIRE Incentives database – Alabama

Explore a public database for solar energy incentives and regulatory policies specific to Alabama as well as financial incentives offered by the federal government.

U.S. Energy Information Administration – Alabama

Find up-to-date information about Alabama’s electricity consumption, renewable resources and other energy statistics from the federal government.

Alabama State Energy Division

Keep current with the state’s energy programs as the division is responsible for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy policies.

Alabama Public Service Commission

Learn about the governing body that oversees the Electricity Policy Division, which sets the electricity rates and services of public utilities throughout the state.

Solar Energy Industries Association – Alabama

Find a quick and easy-to-understand list of Alabama solar facts, solar installations and contractors.