While solar energy is a relatively new topic in the West Virginia legislature, the state holds promising potential for alternative energy. West Virginia offers generous credits for home-owners and businesses who generate excess energy through their solar panels, and the state gets ample sunlight for energy production. Read on to learn about tax incentives, solar potential and installers in West Virginia.
West Virginia’s Solar
To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:
- Rebates, Tax Credits, and Tax Exemptions from Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency;
- Electricity Rates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration;
- Renewable Energy Policy from NC Clean Energy Technology Center;
- Interconnection Ease from Freeing The Grid;
- Photovoltaic Potential from the Energy Department
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%
A Closer Look: West Virginia Electricity Costs
Electricity in the Mountain State is relatively inexpensive and nearly mirrors the national average at $.10/kWh. That price has remained relatively stable, on average, since 2011, making solar less attractive for the state’s residents. More than 95 percent of West Virginia’s electric generation came from coal in 2014 and it’s one of the top coal producers east of the Mississippi River. With low residential electricity prices, solar power is simply not on the radar for the state or its residents.
Cost of Residential Electricity
Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015
Library of Resources
West Virginia Solar Policies & Incentives
West Virginia’s legislature traditionally has not been very solar-friendly and the state’s governor vetoed a controversial bill in 2015 that would have required a rewriting of the rules for solar owners. Residents still have the ability to earn back in cash the energy they do not use from their solar panels; however, there are very few other financial incentives to going solar. Most of these are federal tax incentives and state rebate programs.
West Virginia’s interconnection standards include two levels of review. Level One applies to certified, inverter-based systems with a rated capacity of 25kW or less. Level Two applies to certified systems with a capacity of two megawatts or less.Net Metering:
PV systems are eligible for net metering in West Virginia. The limit on system capacity varies depending on the customer type and utility type.
West Virginia legislation restricts housing associations from prohibiting solar energy systems on homes. However, this prohibition does not apply to provisions that impose “reasonable restrictions” on solar energy systems.
West Virginia Companies, Contractors & Installers
Although West Virginia’s solar incentives could use a boost, there are still several suppliers in the state for those who want to take advantage of alternative energy. Browse the companies below to find a solar installer near you.
This small, locally owned solar installation company works in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Where it operatesFalling Waters, WV
Year of opening
Mountain View sells renewable energy systems for residential, commercial and municipal customers.
Where it operatesBerkeley Springs, WV
Year of opening2006
PIMBY works in West Virginia, western Maryland and western Virginia.
Where it operatesThomas, WV
Year of opening2006
West Virginia Solar sells alternative energy systems, including wind power, solar panels and solar water pumps.
Where it operatesPhilippi, WV
Year of opening
West Virginia Solar Panel Resources
Find out more about solar energy in West Virginia as well as the laws and regulations governing it.
Find out what incentives are available at the state and federal level for those converting to solar.
Explore quick facts about the state’s energy consumption and prices.
Learn more about solar energy and other renewable resources available in West Virginia.
Find out what the state legislature is doing about clean energy methods like solar and whether any bills or committees are currently addressing this issue.