Maryland solar power facts
Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2016
Price shown before incentives
Average payback time
Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital
Levelized cost of solar energy
If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
(per kW of peak DC solar panels)
Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5kw system
Solar companies in Maryland that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace
Solar power in Maryland
Maryland has dropped back to the pack when it comes to solar incentives because of the oversupply of solar carve out and the veto by Governor Hogan in September 2016 of the Clean Energy Jobs bill.
There is still a small statewide upfront rebate of $1,000 but the strength of incentives now relies heavily on county specific property tax credits.
These can range up to $5,000 in counties such as Prince Georges but do not exist in other counties.
You can use the solar panels calculator solar savings calculatorhere to see if there is a county tax credit in your county.
The overall attractiveness of installing solar panels for your home in Maryland has fallen from 5th to 12th because of the oversupply in the SREC market and payback periods currently sit at between 8-10 years.
However, we are also starting to see some very cheap solar pricing emerging in Maryland that is helping to shorten payback.
We have seen some solar offers below $3.00 per watt for cash settled systems and even some using really good equipment for around $3.30 per watt for cash settled systems.
Whilst the small return from solar carve out is disappointing the 30% federal solar tax credit and net metering are still in place and an 8 year payback still means that after the 8 years you enjoy 17 years of free power.
When money earns less than 1% in the bank a secure 11% return from solar panels on your roof still seems like a no-brainer to me.
Estimate your solar savings
Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Maryland
Best brands of solar panels
To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusterd solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.
However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so whilst solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.
For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.
Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Maryland
How much electricity will solar panels produce in Maryland
Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.
Around the Annapolis area solar panels installed on a south facing 29 degree pitch roof will typically produce:
1,150 kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity
For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your address below.
What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Maryland
Maryland State Solar Tax Credit
There is still a small statewide upfront rebate of $1,000 but there are property tax credits ranging from $5,000 to nothing at all, this depends on your county.
The solar carve out and Maryland's SREC's
Maryland has a renewable energy target that is has mandated in legislation that requires utilities operating in the state to source a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.
The legislature has further mandated that part of this renewable energy must come from solar, this is known as the solar carve out this program is designed to provide support to the solar industry until such time as 136.5 MW of solar is installed.
At the time of writing there are approximately 156 MW of solar power, an oversupply of SRECs on the market has lead to the fall in value of the SRECS to around $25.
The typical 5kW solar system generates about 6 solar carve out so is worth around $150 per year to the homeowner currently.
The way they enact this program, so that the liable entities (the utilities) do not have to build this solar capacity themselves is to attach a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) to each MWH of solar electricity generation in the state.
You (or your installer) registers your installation and you can then create and trade these SREC certificates.
You get 1 SREC for each MWh (Megawatt hour) of solar electricity production.
Maryland Clean Energy Grant Incentives
The Maryland clean energy grant is a state based solar incentive that provides rebates of up to $1000 per solar system installed.
This grant is for residential system between 1kW and 20kW, more info on this incentive can be found here.
Conditions apply to this rebate and Solar systems must be installed by NABCEP qualified installers.
Net Metering in Maryland
Many people don't understand the importance of net metering policy to the residential solar industry.
Solar by its nature generates most power during the middle of the day when most people are at work or school and little power is being used in the home.
Net metering means that for every unit of surplus solar generation generated during the day you effectively get a credit for a kilowatt hour of power purchased from the grid at another time.
Excess kWh are reconciled annually at the avoided cost rate, more info about Maryland net metering is here.
Cost of Solar Systems in Maryland
You should be able to buy good quality solar power systems from reputable installers in the range of $3.20 to $3.70 per watt, before incentives and fully installed.
At this sort of price level you are talking about a payback period of 7 years or less and an internal rate of return on investment of around 20%.
Is it better to lease or purchase solar panels in Maryland?
Maryland has made various zero down solar lease and solar PPA products popular in Maryland generally speaking you will make far greater savings over the life of a system if you purchase your solar panels (whether with cash you have available or through a HELOC loan) rather than enter into a third party owned solar lease or Solar PPA agreement.
You can use the solar savings calculator to see the difference in the overall savings over the life of a system.
Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Maryland we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.
You can either use our full monty solar calculator that shows you everything you could possibly want to know or you can use one of our range of smaller calculators for specific solar calculations that focus on providing you only with the specific information you require.
What you can find out about installing solar panels in Maryland using our full monty solar calculator
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:
- What size solar system do you need?
Answers the question of How many solar panels do I need?
- How many square feet of roof space you need for solar panels
- Solar electricity production in annual kWh (kilowatt hours) you can expect from your solar system in Maryland
- The value of solar tax credits and other incentives you are entitled to based on the estimated size of system you need, your location and your utility provider.
- Likely cost based on an average of prices charged for solar systems of that size in the last year in Maryland or Annapolis;
- The likely payback period on your solar panels and your investment return.
- Your total lifetime solar savings based on each of the major solar finance options, a cash purchase, a cash purchase funded with a HELOC sol (home equity line of credit) and a zero down PPA or third party lease product.
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
How much do solar panels cost in Maryland
$3.10 per watt
Cash purchased solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
$3.50 per watt
Financed solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator
What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Maryland
The advantages of installing solar panels in Maryland is there is both state based incentives and the federal tax credit. In addition Maryland also has expensive power meaning overall the return on investment for an installation of residential solar panels in Maryland is one of the the best in the nation.
The disadvantage of installing solar panels for your home in Maryland is that there is less overall solar irradiation in Maryland per year and so a solar system, produces less than it would in some other areas.
However, the local incentives are quite good and certainly have got the solar market going in Maryland, get in while the gettn's good.