With its sunny days, Georgia has great potential for harnessing solar energy — in fact, the southern two-thirds of the state offers as much solar potential as all of Florida. Although solar development in Georgia has been slow, the future is brighter as the state adopts measures to encourage and support its use. Read on to see how Georgia is making the switch to solar easier than ever with new rebate incentives, and browse a comprehensive list of solar panel dealers and resources.

Georgia’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%

Cost-Comparison of Electricity in Georgia

At just over $.11/kWh, the cost of electricity in Georgia is slightly less than the national average, although residents’ usage is higher than the rest of the country, making their total costs more. Some energy demands are met through solar, with about 370 MW of installed solar power throughout the state. More than 200 MW were added in 2015 alone, representing almost a 300 percent increase over 2014. In addition, legislation passed in 2015 now makes it possible for customers to enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with utility companies. These significantly reduce upfront installation costs, and have proved pivotal to the increased popularity of solar panels in Georgia and development of the state’s solar industry as a whole.

Cost of Residential Electricity

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

Georgia
Library of Resources

Examining Georgia’s Solar Policies & Incentives

Georgia offers several ways for consumers to take advantage of solar energy. More than 70 programs throughout the state offer incentives, loans, and rebates to consumers installing solar panels in Georgia.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

TVA Green Power Providers

Homeowners and businesses are eligible for a performance-based incentive program for the installation of renewable generation systems. For the first 10 years of the 20-year term, TVA will purchase 100 percent of the output at a premium of $0.02 per kWh on top of the retail electricity rate. During the second 10 years, TVA will pay the retail rate. New participants receive a $1,000 incentive to offset the upfront costs.

Georgia Power Solar Buyback

The state’s largest utility purchases limited solar power at a premium rate of $0.17 per kWh from solar customers who generate additional energy. The program is currently full, with new applicants being placed on a waiting list.

GreyStone Power Photovoltaic Program

A one-time rebate is available for solar photovoltaic systems that are interconnected and net-metered. The electricity cooperative’s rebate equals $450 per kW up to 10 kW in capacity, or $4,500. Rebates are subject to change.

Central Georgia EMC Solar Power Rebates

Residential members of the utility are eligible for a rebate for photovoltaic systems up to 10 kW in capacity. The systems must be interconnected, net-metered, installed by a licensed contractor and must have a warranty of five years or longer. Application fee is $100.

Jackson EMC Right Choice Sun Power Rebate Program

Customers who install photovoltaic systems are eligible for rebates of $450 per kW up to 10 kW. In return, the utility retains the rights to renewable energy credits produced by the systems. The installations must be preapproved for interconnection and net metering.

TVA Distributed Solar Solutions

The program encourages solar photovoltaic systems closer to the customers. Projects must be between 50kW and 2 MW and be submitted during enrollment period.

Georgia Green Loans Save and Sustain Program

Small businesses and commercial property owners are eligible for low-interest loans for energy-efficient improvements to their properties, including solar photovoltaics. Loan amounts range from $500 to $500,000 with a maximum term of five years. The nonprofit Georgia Green Loans will cover most of the costs of the required energy audits.

POLICIES

Net Metering

Georgia law allows but does not require utilities to offer net metering. Utilities and cooperatives are required to offer bidirectional or single-directional metering to customers who generate electricity, depending on how the equipment is connected to the grid. Residential photovoltaic systems are limited to 10 kW and commercial systems are capped at 100 kW. All or part of the net excess generation may be sold back to the utility.

Solar Easements

According to Georgia’s Solar Easements Act of 1978, solar easements are to be created and negotiated in the same way as other types of easements. Owners of solar energy systems may enter into a written agreement for continued access to sunlight. The easement agreement must contain a description of the airspace affected and conditions under which the easement will be terminated.

Interconnection Guidelines

Georgia’s guidelines permit residential customers with solar photovoltaic systems up to 10 kW in capacity and commercial customers up to 100 kW to connect to the electricity grid. The standards do not require a manual external disconnect device and utilities may not require additional tests or liability insurance.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX CREDITS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

EXEMPTIONS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

Directory of Solar Panel Companies in Georgia

There are solar contractors and installers all over the state. Find out more information about companies offering solar panels in Georgia below:

All American Solar Services

All American Solar Services provides full-service design and installation of PV solar systems, in addition to solar thermal water systems.

Where it operatesMurrayville, GA

Year of opening2011

Coastal Solar

Coastal Solar designs and installs both grid-tied and off-grid solar systems, specializing in turnkey residential services.

Where it operatesHinesville, GA

Year of opening2011

Georgia Solar Power Company

The company installs residential and commercial solar systems, and provides consulting services for other solar projects.

Where it operatesMarietta, GA

Year of opening2007

Green Point Wind and Solar

Green Point designs and installs renewable energy systems, specializing in both solar photovoltaic and wind power systems for residential and commercial customers.

Where it operatesMorganton, GA

Year of opening2009

Greenspeed Energy Solutions

Greenspeed provides residential, commercial, military, governmental, and institutional clients with solar system design and installation services.

Where it operatesAtlanta, GA

Year of opening2006

Hannah Solar

Hannah Solar offers residential and commercial solar design and construction, electric vehicle infrastructure, back-up generator installation, energy storage systems, and LED lighting retrofits.

Where it operatesAtlanta, GA

Year of opening2008

Inman Solar

Inman Solar offers turnkey services including design, installation and system configuration, securing all incentives and rebates before beginning work.

Where it operatesAtlanta, GA

Year of opening2009

Okefenokee Solar Inc.

Okefenokee Solar provides full-service solar design, installation and integration, and offers follow-up maintenance and repair if necessary.

Where it operatesBlackshear, GA

Year of opening2012

SolarFlex Technologies

The company offers rooftop and freestanding solar arrays to commercial, military and government clients.

Where it operatesWatkinsville, GA

Year of opening2009

Additional Georgia Solar Resources

These state and national resources can help you in considering solar energy.

U.S. Energy Information Administration – Georgia Profile

Explore this government site for research and data on energy production, sources and uses in Georgia.

Georgia Power

One of the state’s largest utility companies offers information about solar energy aimed at residential customers.

Georgia Solar Energy Association

The organization works to provide education about solar energy and promote its use. Members come from many fields that impact or are impacted by solar energy.

Solar Energy Industries Association – Georgia

Facts and data on solar energy endeavors and projects in the state of Georgia are provided by SEIA.