Virginia Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

How much do solar panels cost in Virginia?

Written by Lisa Iscrupe

Edited by Hannah Hillson

Last updated 08/24/2022


Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Moment/Getty images

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Solar power in Virginia

Virginia is a top-ranking state for solar energy generation, thanks to the state’s continued investment in renewable energy. Now is a good time to consider installing solar panels on your Virginia home. Solar installations have increased significantly in recent years and are expected to grow even more over the next five years. Plus, when it comes to the solar market, “[p]rices have fallen 50% over the last 10 years,” according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), making it a more affordable investment. 

Virginia solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels in Virginia depends on many factors, such as

In general, solar panels cost between $3 and $4.62 per watt, with the average per watt cost being $3.82. The overall cost of an installed solar system ranges from $12,286 to $45,013, but the average residential homeowner spends about $24,742 before solar rebates and incentives

These figures are based on an average system size of 6.48 kW from the annual Tracking the Sun report produced by Berkeley Lab. Because of financial incentives and energy savings, homeowners with solar panels can generally break even and begin earning a return on their investment on solar panels within 6 to 9 years.

Ready to go solar? Call 866-420-6535 to be connected with a solar expert today!

Get an exact quote from our solar advisors

The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy fit for your home — all for free. If you’re interested in solar, answer a few questions to get an exact price quote from our solar advisors.

1. Complete the form below
2. Schedule an appointment with a solar advisor
3. Get an exact price quote for solar panels for your home

Virginia solar incentives or rebates

The federal, state, and local governments have put solar financial incentives in place to help you save on solar panels and installation. Here are a few ways for Virginia homeowners to save on solar:

Incentive Sources Details
Federal solar tax credit The federal government offers a solar tax credit to help reduce the cost of your solar panels. The credit is 30% through 2032, 26% in 2033 and decreases again to 22% in 2034. Claim the solar tax credit by following instructions to fill out Form 5695.
Property tax exemptionVirginia homeowners with solar panels on their homes won’t pay taxes on the increase in the home’s value due to the addition of solar panels. Solar equipment must be certified by “local building departments.”
Net metering for Dominion Energy customersThis billing agreement allows residential customers with a “renewable energy source on their property that connects to the Dominion Energy power grid” to receive bill credits from Dominion Energy.  
Virginia Green Job Creation Tax CreditThis statute mainly relates to small solar business owners and it states that “[f]or taxable years beginning before January 1, 2025, the Green Job Creation Tax Credit allows a credit against the Virginia individual or corporate income tax for each new green job that pays an annual salary of at least $50,000 that is created within the Commonwealth by the taxpayer.”

Why choose Virginia solar power?

The benefits of solar power include long-term energy savings, energy independence, and a reduced carbon footprint. 

Lower energy costs

Solar panels for your home can help you lower your monthly electricity bill. The amount you save varies based on the efficiency of your solar panels and your energy usage. Producing excess energy for the power grid can earn you additional electric bill credits, which is a program called net metering

Establish energy independence

Energy independence doesn’t mean your home can function without the power grid. Even with solar panels, your home will be connected to the power grid. However, by generating much of your own energy from solar panels, your reliance on the traditional power grid is reduced. When you produce your own energy, you can worry less about seasonal energy price hikes. Adding an optional solar battery to your solar system can increase your energy independence because you can use stored solar energy if there is a temporary power outage in your area.  

Go green

Traditional electricity generation is harmful to the environment because it uses fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change. Renewable solar energy doesn’t emit these harmful greenhouse gasses. As a result, having solar panels on your home can reduce your carbon footprint.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

When you install solar panels on your home, you can choose to either buy or lease your panels. While both have key benefits, buying or financing your solar panels is the most cost-effective in the long run. When you buy your solar panels, you can 

While leasing solar panels isn’t quite as cost-effective as buying, there are still plenty of benefits. Leasing solar panels or entering a power purchase agreement (PPA) helps make solar panels more accessible to homeowners because it is less expensive in terms of upfront costs. Leasing or a PPA is also ideal for people who rent.

Community solar is an option that allows residents to take advantage of the benefits of solar power without having to buy or lease panels, or even have solar panels on their property. Areas with community solar programs let residents use solar power from a shared source at a reduced rate. Check here to see if you have community solar available near you.

Virginia solar panel companies

Virginia has over 200 solar companies, according to the SEIA. How can you be sure you choose the right one? SaveOnEnergy can connect you with a vetted and trusted solar installer near you. Fill out the form on this page to have an energy expert reach out to you with your solar options. Our customized solar experience offers a range of options to work for different households’ needs. 

The history of solar power in Virginia

Virginia began enacting solar-friendly policies in the late 1970s, starting with its residential property tax exemption. Other policies the state has enacted over the years include a net metering program, solar easement regulations, and a voluntary renewable energy portfolio goal.

The state’s investment in solar power has paid off, and Virginia now ranks among the top 20 states for solar energy generation. According to the SEIA, solar energy currently accounts for over 4% of electricity in Virginia, which is enough to power more than 427,000 homes. Plus, the state is home to over 200 solar companies and over 4,000 solar-related jobs in the state.

Important solar factors to consider

Consider these details when researching solar panels for your home. 

  • Roof orientation: According to the Department of Energy, solar panels work best on south-facing roofs with slopes between 15 and 40 degrees. 
  • Age of roof: If your roof needs repair or replacement, that will be a priority before adding solar panels to your home. 
  • Weather patterns: Solar panels rely on sunlight, not heat, to generate energy. Therefore, solar panels will work in winter and cold climates. However, consistently overcast weather conditions could lower solar panels’ efficiency.  
  • Shade: Too much shade over your solar panels can cause them to be less efficient. Direct sunlight is best for solar panel energy production. You may need to consider trimming trees if your yard is very shaded. 
  • Neighborhood policies: Some homeowners associations may have restrictions on the use of solar panels. If you have a neighborhood organization, look into whether there’s a size limit on solar panel systems and whether you’ll need approval ahead of time.

 

Solar power FAQs

  • Nationally, solar panels cost on average around $18,000. State and federal solar rebates and incentives can reduce this cost by as much as 30% through the end of 2032.  

  • Solar power can be an excellent investment if your home receives ample sunlight. Before you invest in solar panels, consider how much you spend on energy costs each month. Speak with an energy expert about your solar panel options by filling out the form on this page.

  • Your potential savings depends on your monthly electricity costs. For example, if you spend $100 per month on electricity, then you have the potential to save up to $1,200 per year by using solar power. Solar panels last 30 years or more and are a long-term investment. 

  • SaveOnEnergy can help you find the best solar panel installer in your area. To get started, just enter your information on the screen, and we’ll connect you to a trusted solar installer in your area.

  • According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “As a renewable source of power, solar energy has an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change, which is critical to protecting humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Solar energy can also improve air quality and reduce water use from energy production.”

Solar energy by state