What Should You Pay For Solar In Rhode Island?

Find Out For Your Home Based On Recent Installations In Your ZIP

Solar power in Rhode Island

Last fact checked on July 02, 2019 by Catherine Lane

Rhode Island has some of the best incentives in the nation when it comes to installing solar. The state offers a very generous performance-based incentive that is equal to $0.2845 per kilowatt hour produced and an upfront rebate of $0.90 per watt installed that can help reduce installation costs.

Add in the state’s high electric rates, net metering law, and the 30% federal tax credit and you have a recipe for great savings on a solar system for your Rhode Island home. 


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Solar power in Rhode Island

Rhode Island solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

0 Years 10 Months

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


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 9.63kW system

This 9.63kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in Rhode Island is $207, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Solar companies in Rhode Island that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace


Best solar offers currently available in Rhode Island

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Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Rhode Island

How much do solar panels cost in Rhode Island

$2.83 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$4.30 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

17.7¢ cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Rhode Island

The advantages of installing solar panels in Rhode Island include both the state-based incentives and the federal tax credit. Also, Rhode Island has some of the highest electric utility rates in the nation, thereby making the overall return on investment for residential solar panels in Rhode Island outstanding.

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels for your home in Rhode Island is that there is less overall sun exposure in the state per year, so a solar system produces less here than it would in a state such as Arizona. In addition to that, Rhode Island’s net metering policy does not require utilities to credit you for excess generation at the full retail rate, meaning your excess energy will be credited at a slightly lower price. 

However, the state incentives more than make up for these shortcomings. Rhode Island homeowners will be kicking themselves if they don’t install solar panels while these generous incentives are around. 

Enter your details to calculate the potential costs and savings you can expect when installing solar panels for your home.

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Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted 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 while 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.


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How much electricity will solar panels produce in Rhode Island

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Providence area solar panels installed on a south facing 31 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,168kWh 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 zipcode below.


See how much electricity your solar panels could produce

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Rhode Island?

Net metering in Rhode Island

Solar, by its nature, generates the 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. The net metering policy in Rhode Island mandates that for every surplus kilowatt hour (kWh) generated by solar (like the excess energy your system creates during the day), utilities must provide a credit to you that is equal to the avoided cost rate of electricity. 

The avoided cost rate in Rhode Island is equal to the sum of a utility’s standard-offer service charge, distribution charge, transmission charge, and transition charge. This ends up being less than the full retail value of one kWh of electricity. 



Tax exemptions

Rhode Island offers two tax exemptions for solar systems: a sales tax exemption and a property tax exemption. 

Under the property tax exemption for renewable energy resources, 100% of the assessed value of a solar system is exempt from the homeowner’s property taxes. 

The sales and use tax exemption prevents the addition of sales and use tax to equipment associated with a solar energy system. 



Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund

The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund is a grant program that can potentially cover 25% to 30% of your total solar system installation costs. You can also receive $0.90 per watt of solar that you install, up to $7,500. 



Renewable Energy Growth Program

Perhaps the best incentive Rhode Island offers is the Renewable Energy Growth Program. The goal of the program is to promote the installation of renewable energy systems. When you install solar, you can receive a rebate of $0.2845 per kWh of energy your system produces, after a credit is applied to your bill for the amount of energy you produced. 

For example, if your solar system generated 200 kWh of power, you would have a performance-based incentive total of $56.90. Let’s say your home used a total of 300 kWh of power, at a rate of 19 cents per kWh - your total bill would be $57. You would receive a bill credit that is equal to the amount your solar system produced (200 kWh), times the rate of electricity (19 cents) - in this case the bill credit would be $38. That $38 is deducted from your total electric bill, meaning you would only have to pay $19. Then, to find the total incentive you will receive, you subtract the amount of your bill credit ($38) from your performance-based incentive total ($56.90). In this scenario, you would receive an incentive of $18.90. 

Rhode Island Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Rhode Island we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in Rhode Island using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

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 Rhode Island 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.


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Going solar in Rhode Island

Check out all of the ways energy providers of Rhode Island can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Small Scale Solar Grants (Commerce RI) State Grant Program
RI Renewable Energy Growth Program State Performance-Based Incentive
Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund State Rebate Program
Property Tax Exemption State Property Tax Incentive
Sales and Use Tax Exemption State Sales Tax Incentive
Net Metering State Net Metering
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.