Are Solar Panels in Virginia Worth It?
While Virgina has been a slow adopter in solar energy over the last 10 years, the state is starting to catch onto the many great reasons to switch to clean energy and specifically the power of sunlight.
As of 2020, Virginia currently ranks 17th in the country in terms of total installed solar capacity at 893 MW.
If you’re a homeowner, there’s no better time to turn that sunshine into savings by going solar. Wondering why you should switch to clean green energy instead of relying on fossil fuels the electric companies are still offering up?
It’s time to tell your electric company to get with it and get into the future of energy in Virginia!
Let’s go over all the reasons why switching to solar energy in Virginia has never been a better idea. First, let’s start with a snapshot of the state of electricity in Virginia.
Virginia’s Energy Picture
Over the years, Virginia’s electricity prices have slowly increased, keeping Virginia well below the national average each year.
However, in the last two years, electricity prices have taken a large jump in Virginia, leaving residential customers at the mercy of their electric companies.
In an article by the NRDC about this shocking development, they explain the state of electricity rates in Virginia:
“Rising bills are particularly striking, when in the wider energy market of which Virginia is a part, electricity costs have significantly declined, in contrast to Dominion’s steady drumbeat of increases and overcollections.”
Rising Electricity Rates in Virginia: What You Can Do About It
Time will only tell what the future will hold for energy prices in 2021 and beyond, but leaving it in the hands of the power company monopolies is something to be increasingly concerned about.
“To be fair, our regulated electric companies absolutely should (and indeed must) be profitable, both to keep the lights on and to ensure investment in the best technology for customers. However, the concurrence of Dominion’s eyebrow-raising profit levels with steadily rising bills indicates something is out of whack.”
Why Go Solar in Virginia?
Now let’s dive into all the great reasons why people in your neighborhood and all across the state of Virginia (as well as the rest of the world) have been switching to solar energy, including environmental concerns and increased home value.
- Environmental Concerns – As concern about the environment grows, people are looking for ways to reduce their impact on their surroundings. You can decrease your carbon footprint while increasing self-sufficiency by installing solar panels on your home.
- Decreasing Costs – The costs of solar panel installations have come down significantly. There are plenty of ways to switch to green energy for your home that works for your budget. Our sales reps are trained to help you make sense of it all and help you figure out a plan that works for your specific needs, as well as average costs for switching.
- Solar Technology Improvements – Solar technology has made huge strides in efficiency and longevity too! More efficient solar panels mean that each square foot of solar panel can produce even more solar power. This is extremely important for rooftop installations with limited space for solar panels.
- Improved Home Value – A solar panel system does more than lower or eliminate your electric bill, it is also an asset that increases your home’s value!
- Tax Credits – The federal government gives out a significant tax credit for those who install solar panels to their home. In 2020 it is 26%, but in 2021 it will be decreased to 22%.
- Solar Powered Battery Storage – If you’re concerned about power outages, now is a great time to consider a solar battery backup as an add on to your solar energy system. Solar battery technology is pretty cool these days and it’s worth checking out to see if it makes sense for your home. Solar energy batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, will take any extra solar power your panels produce and store it for you to use later. So even when the sun goes down, your home can run on clean, green energy.
What are the best solar power rebates and incentives in VA?
Virginia has a few great incentives for solar customers, including:
What’s new for Virginia’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)in 2020?
In addition, thanks to a mandate signed in Virginia in 2020 by Gov. Ralph Northam, the future for solar energy in Virginia looks promising.
The Virginia Clean Economy Act will require the state’s utilities to switch to 100% clean energy by 2050, while also adding 16 GW of solar and onshore wind, 3 GW of energy storage and the closing of all the state’s coal power plants by 2024.
This means for those wanting to free themselves of their electric company, the state is about to light up with solar energy, including the potential for more incentives for your solar panel system.
An article in Solar Builder Magazine summed up this bill quite nicely, outline the four main pillars it stands on:
- Prioritize investment in the least-cost clean energy resource – energy efficiency – which helps reduce waste and save Virginians money. The bill establishes a mandatory energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) with clear targets.
- Harness the power of cost-competitive clean energy resources, like wind, solar, and energy storage, to power Virginia’s electricity grid, through binding clean energy targets.
- Steadily reduce reliance on fossil-fired generation, with targets to drive emissions from coal, oil, and natural gas plants to zero by 2045.
- Unlock rooftop solar and let more Virginians take part in Virginia’s clean energy economy by rolling-back unnecessary regulations and increasing the cap on solar power purchase agreements from 50 megawatts (MW) to 1,000 MW.
Now let’s dive into the incentives are already in play for solar panels in Virginia.
Virginia Net Metering
Net metering is a great incentive that helps homeowners get the most value out of their solar panel investment.
Read more about net metering.
Net metering is set up through your utility company provider and allows you to sell any excess electricity produced by your solar panels back to your utility company. They will then credit your account for this energy, which reduces your monthly bill, or in some cases can eliminate it completely. Excess generation of power due to your solar panels can bring large savings for your home.
Currently, Dominion Energy offers net metering.
Fortunately for residents of Virginia, the state’s interconnection policies are solid, which means homeowners wanting to go solar are looking at straightforward rules to get their system ready for earning energy credits from net metering.
You can find their 5 simple steps as well as requirements on their site.
And here is an example of how net metering works, thanks to Dominion Energy.
Property Tax Exemption for Virginia Solar Panels
Not only do solar panels save you money, but they also add value to your home.
On average, solar panels add $20 of value for every $1 you save on your electric bill. So if you saved $200 a month on your electric bill with solar panels, you’d have an additional $4,000 of value added to your home.
But if you’re worried about increased property taxes as a result of this added value, worry not! In the state of Virginia, solar panels are completely property tax exempt. That means all the value without having to pay additional property taxes for the solar panels installed on your home.
Now that we’ve seen the local incentives for going solar, let’s take a look at the federal incentives, otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit (ITC).
Solar Federal Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offered by the United States federal government is available to Virginia home and business owners. This incentive provides a 26% tax credit of the entire solar system cost, including a battery system.
To take advantage of this federal income tax credit, you need to act fast! In 2021, this tax credit will drop to 22% of the total solar power cost. From 2022 onward, no federal tax credit will be available to homeowners.
Save Money and Install Solar Panels to Your Home in Virginia
Now you’ve seen how installing solar panels on your home can save you money, as well as provide an investment for freedom from your utility company, what are you waiting for?
Now is never better to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, as well as increase your home value, and reduce your environmental footprint.
How Do I Choose A Solar Contractor?
Choosing a solar contractor for your area can be intimidating, which is why it’s helpful to remember the three most important tips when choosing a solar panel company.
- Make sure the company you’re choosing has warranties in place. Not only on the labor, but products as well. That way you know you and your investment are protected in the years to come.
- Read reviews about the company you’re choosing. While you’ll see a bad review here and there (just the nature of open reviews), make sure a large majority of the reviews aren’t negative and stating the same problems over and over. That’s a clear indicator of a company to stay clear of, no matter how well known their name is.
- Choose a reputable company that’s been in the game for awhile. Again, this way you are sure to protect your investment with a company that will continue to be there for you in the years to come.
Sunpro Solar, Trusted solar company in Virginia
Since 2008, Sunpro Solar has a proven history and reputation for providing quality service, and was ranked #5 for 2020 Solar Power World’s Magazine Top Residential Solar Installer in the United States. We are proud to offer some of the best warranties you can find in the solar industry and only use products that offer the same.
- 25 Year Labor Warranty
- 25 Year Production Guarantee
- 25 Year Solar Panel Manufacturer Warranty
- 25 Year Enphase Microinverter Warranty
- Thousands of happy homeowners
- Free Home Energy Audit
- Roof replacement if needed
Solar Panel Quote for Virginia Residents
If you’re ready to take the next step, or even if you’re considering what it would take to get you there, contact us to discover all your options.
We install solar and roofs in Richmond and surrounding areas. Contact us today to see if we service your area and get free solar quotes for your particular needs.Free Solar Quote