Maryland has the potential to become one of the highest solar energy producing states with more than 200 sunny days per year and 182 solar contractors, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. As green energy awareness increases, so do the government incentives to convert to solar panels in Maryland. Discover how Maryland residents can save money by taking advantage of solar incentives and tax credits.

Maryland’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%

Examining Electricity Costs in Maryland

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal and nuclear power represent more than 80 percent of Maryland’s net electricity generation and most of that energy comes from out of state. This may explain the high cost of residential electricity at nearly $.15/kWh. The EIA notes that Maryland ranks 12th in the nation for residential electricity costs. To curb these costs, the state offers many incentives and tax credits to assist homeowners with the transition to clean, renewable energy.

Cost of Residential Electricity

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

Maryland
Library of Resources

Maryland Solar Panel Incentives & Policies

Maryland is aggressively seeking to increase its use of renewable energy resources. Its 2004 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) enacted requirements for electricity providers that will result in 20 percent of electricity generation to be from renewables by 2022. The RPS stipulates that 2 percent of the renewables used must be solar. Maryland offers a host of policies, programs, and incentives to encourage solar use among homeowners and businesses. Residents can find dozens of ways to save and earn money when they purchase a solar panel system.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC)

Allows for the generation of SRECs by owners of solar energy systems, where one SREC represents 1 MWh of power, able to be purchased by electric utility companies in order to meet their alternative energy obligations.

Residential Clean Energy Grant Program

Provides financial incentives to homeowners who install solar water-heating, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems to their primary residence. The grant amount differs per project type and capacity.

Parking Lot Solar PV with EV Charger Grant Program

Provides grants of up to $500 per kWh of solar panel electricity generation (requires an installation of minimum 75 KW capacity), with a maximum total grant of $250,000.

Game Changer Competitive Grant Program

Offers grants to cover costs to develop and support renewable and alternative energy systems. The awards range from $50,000 up to $250,000, up to 30 percent of total project costs.

Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program

Provides grants for the installation of solar power and geothermal energy systems by businesses, non-profits and local government agencies. Grant amounts vary according to the energy type.

POLICIES

Interconnection Standards

Laws enacted in 2007 created interconnection standards for electric generation systems of less than 10 MW, creating a four-tiered approach, defined through generation capacity.

Clean Energy Procurement

An 2001 executive order issued by the Maryland state governor designated a goal of at least 6 percent of state-consumed energy to come from “green” energy sources, along for an energy-use reduction of 15 percent by state buildings by 2010.

Net Metering

Requires all utilities to offer net metering tariffs for all alternative and renewable energy generation systems, up to a combined capacity of 10 percent of peak demand (1,500 MW).

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

Maryland’s RPS was enacted in 2004 (with multiple revisions since), and requires two percent of total electricity sales to come from solar sources by 2020, and a goal of obtaining 20 percent of sales from non-solar renewables by 2022.

Solar Easements and Rights Laws

Offers protections for solar energy system procurement, and prevents restrictions that increase the costs or reduce efficiency of solar panel energy collection systems.

Energy Conversation in State Buildings Permits and Variances for Solar Panels, Calculation of Impervious Cover

None specifically for residential

None specifically for commercial

TAX CREDITS

Clean Energy Production Tax Credit

Provides personal and corporate tax credits for electricity generated by renewable sources and eligible biomass, at an amount of $0.0085/kWh. Minimum grant offered is $1,000.

Property Tax Credit for High Performance Buildings

Allows for the offering of property tax credits for high performance buildings that achieve a minimum silver rating for green building standards.

Property Tax Credit for Renewables and Energy Conservation Devices

Offers property tax for buildings equipped with solar, geothermal or other qualifying energy conservation devices.

High Performance Building Property Tax Credit (Howard County)

Allows for the offering of property tax credits (from 10 percent to 75 percent) of taxes owed from three to five years, for high performance buildings located in Howard County. The credit amount offered differs based on individual building efficiency.

Property Tax Credit for Solar and Geothermal Devices (Hartford County)

Offers a tax credit of 100 percent of total real estate property taxes for a year on buildings that use solar or geothermal devices for energy generating, heating, or cooling purposes. The incentive amount offered is from $2,500 per device, up to $5,000 per property per year for Hartford County.

High Performance Building Property Tax Credit (Montgomery County)

Local governments can offer property tax credits for high performance buildings, generally based on U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. The tax credit amount and term varies depending on its type and rating.

Solar and Geothermal Equipment Property Tax Credits (Anne Arundel County)

Provides a one-time property tax credit on residential homes that use solar or geothermal equipment for electricity generation or heating and cooling purposes. The incentive offered is 50 percent of the cost of materials and installation, up to $2,500.

High Performance Dwelling Property Tax Credit (Anne Arudel County)

Provides property tax credits for local governments in Anne Arudel County, with the percentage amount and maximum credit offered varying on the green building standard achieved.

Property Tax Credit for High Performance Buildings and Homes (Baltimore County)

Provides property tax credits for high performance buildings for local governments located in Baltimore County, with the percentage amount and maximum credit offered varying on the building type (commercial or residential), and energy efficiency rating.

None specifically for commercial

EXEMPTIONS

Property Tax Exemption for Solar and Wind Energy Systems

Provides a 100 percent real property local and state tax exemption for residential solar and wind energy devices installed for the purposes of heating, cooling and generating electricity.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment

Offers a 100 percent exemption for solar and geothermal energy equipment from state sales and use tax.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Residential Solar and Wind Electricity Sales

Offers 100 percent sales tax exemptions towards the purchase of solar and wind energy systems. Qualifying customers must use the system on residential property connected to net metering services.

None specifically for commercial

Maryland Solar Panel Contractors, Companies & Installers

Maryland Solar Solutions, Inc.

Maryland Solar Solutions, Inc. offers solar electric design and installation, and home and small business energy audits and consultations in Maryland.

Where it operatesBaltimore, MD

Year of opening2008

Power Factor

Power Factor specializes in custom solar panel installation systems in the Baltimore area. They sell more than 35 different types of manufacturer brands, and guarantee the best price so residents can start saving money immediately.

Where it operatesBaltimore, MD

Year of opening2012

Paradise Energy Solutions

Paradise Energy Solutions serves Maryland homes, farms, and businesses and includes a 10-year performance warranty on every installed system.

Where it operatesSalisbury, MD

Year of opening2009

Solar Energy World

Solar Energy World offers residential and commercial solar. It is the only solar company in the region that runs its facility on solar.

Where it operatesElkridge, MD

Year of opening2009

SolarGaines

SolarGaines offers design, installation and maintenance. The company provides customers with three different financing options to make solar installation simpler: financing, power purchase agreement, or simple upfront purchase.

Where it operatesCockeysville, MD

Year of opening2009

Direct Energy Solar

Direct Energy Solar installs unique panel systems that allow each individual panel to function on its own so Maryland residents can make the most of the sunshine, even if their roof is partially shaded.

Where it operatesColumbia, MD

Year of opening2008

Chuck’s Electrical Service

Chuck’s Electrical Service provides Maryland homes and businesses with solar panel sales, installation, repair, and maintenance, as well as other energy efficiency products. They also offer a 24-hour emergency service for any repair needs that may arise.

Where it operatesCentresville, MD

Year of opening1987

American Sentry Solar

In addition to simple custom solar panel installations, American Sentry Solar handles all permits and paperwork for faster service, and even offers online and mobile system monitoring.

Where it operatesHavre De Grace, MD

Year of opening2009

Aurora Energy

In 2002, Aurora Energy completed the 145-panel installation for the White House. They offer simple clean energy solutions to Maryland residents, businesses, and government agencies.

Where it operatesColumbia, MD

Year of opening1994

Standard Energy Solutions

Serving the Mid-Atlantic region, Standard Energy Solutions offers residential and commercial solar systems, as well as energy efficiency audits and implementation, energy monitoring, and financing options.

Where it operatesColumbia, MD

Year of opening2004

Resources

Maryland Energy Administration

Learn about MEA’s mission to make affordable, clean energy accessible to all Maryland entities, and read about the available opportunities and tips to help residents in the state save money on energy.

DSIRE Incentives Database – Maryland

Browse through the solar incentive and policy database for initiatives both in Maryland and across the U.S.

Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs

Learn what programs are available to qualified Maryland homeowners that can help them save money on heating and energy costs.

Maryland General Assembly

Explore the website for Maryland legislatures and electorate representatives. Read about current and pending legislatures regarding energy and solar power.

U.S. Energy Information Administration Maryland State Profile

See the latest statistics and information regarding Maryland’s energy production and usage.