Washington D.C. Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

How much do solar panels cost in Washington D.C.?

Written by Erin Gobler

Edited by Madison Khalil

Last updated 10/25/2022


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Solar power in Washington D.C.

In Washington D.C., solar energy makes up more than half of the city’s electricity generation. Solar has become an important part of both the state’s energy production and its economy.

Washington D.C. residents can save money and reduce their environmental footprint by investing in solar power. Keep reading to learn more about the costs and benefits of solar panels and whether they’re right for your home.

Washington D.C. solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels in Washington D.C. depends on a variety of factors, including the size and components of your system, your location, the type of solar panels you choose, local labor and permitting costs, and more. The average cost of a residential solar panel system ranges from $15,000 to $25,000. But thanks to tax credits, other financial incentives, and energy savings, you can expect to make your money back on your solar panels within just 6-9 years.

Ready to go solar? Call 877-307-7668 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

Not eligible for rooftop? Check your availability with community solar.

Washington D.C. solar panel incentives or rebates

There’s no doubt that solar panels are a large investment, but the federal government and many state and local governments have created financial incentives to help reduce the cost burden.

First, the federal government offers a 30% tax credit for solar systems installed on your primary or secondary home. The Residential Clean Energy Credit can help you save thousands on your solar panel purchase.

Washington D.C. offers a property tax exemption, meaning you won’t pay additional property taxes on the increased value to your home. The city also has a net metering policy, meaning residents can return their excess energy to the grid for credits on their utility bills. Other incentives available to Washington D.C. residents include the city’s solar renewable energy credits and a solar program for low-income residents.

Why choose Washington D.C. solar power?

Lower energy costs

One of the major benefits of investing in solar power is that you can reduce your energy costs. Anytime your home is being powered by solar power, you aren’t paying for electricity from the traditional energy grid. Solar panels can also increase the value of your home, which is money in your pocket if you sell your home.

Establish energy independence

Another benefit of having solar panels on your home is the opportunity to establish energy independence, meaning you aren’t fully reliant on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. This means you aren’t vulnerable to price hikes when energy demand is high, nor do you have to worry about power outages due to storms and downed power lines. Instead, your stored energy from your solar battery can continue to power your home.

Go green

Traditional electricity generation emits greenhouse gasses that can pollute air and water and contribute to climate change. However, solar is a renewable energy source, and its generation doesn’t have the same harmful environmental effect.

Want to learn more about solar energy

Here at SaveOnEnergy, we’re your guide to everything solar energy, from checking your availability and discussing your home’s needs to getting you customized options to go solar with ease. Want to talk with a human? Call our dedicated solar advisors to discuss your solar energy options. Give us a call at 877-307-7668.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

When you decide to install solar panels on your home, you can choose to either buy or lease your solar panels. While both options have some major advantages, buying your own solar panels is ultimately the most cost-effective. It allows you to take advantage of the federal and city tax perks, which aren’t available when you lease solar panels. It also provides greater long-term energy savings, and purchasing solar panels can increase your home’s resale value by $15,000, on average.

While leasing solar panels may not be most cost-effective, it’s still a great option that provides plenty of energy savings. Because it has lower upfront costs, solar panel leasing has made solar power more accessible. It’s also a great option for those who rent their homes, where buying solar panels may not make sense.

If buying or leasing solar panels isn’t right for you, you might consider a community solar project. When you join one of these shared solar programs, you and other participants each get a portion of the solar power the project produces. It’s more affordable than buying solar panels and is available to even Washington D.C. residents in apartments.

Washington D.C. solar panel companies

When you decide to install solar panels on your home, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Thanks to the rising popularity of solar power, you won’t have a problem finding a great solar installer. Before choosing an installer, use the solar resources from SaveOnEnergy to get familiar with the industry and what to expect with your solar panel system.

The history of solar power in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C enacted its first solar policies later than many states. It passed its net metering policy in 2000, allowing homeowners to sell their excess solar power back to the energy grid. Since then, the city has enacted several more policies that have helped to make solar power more affordable and accessible for Washington D.C. residents.

Today, Washington D.C. ranks 39th in the country for solar energy generation. Solar power accounts for more than 65% of Washington D.C.’s electricity generation, which is enough to power about 30,000 homes. In the past five years especially, the city has seen an increase in commercial, utility, residential, and community solar installations. 

The solar industry has also helped to boost the city’s economy — there are more than 160 solar companies that create more than 1,000 jobs.

Important solar installation factors to consider

Solar power can be an excellent investment, helping homeowners to save money and reduce their environmental footprint. But there are a few things to consider before opting for solar panels.

  1. According to the Department of Energy, solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs with slopes between 15 and 40 degrees. They are also best-suited to roofs in good condition that won’t be replaced soon.
  2. For solar panels to be most efficient, it’s important they get a lot of sunlight. Before making the investment in solar panels, consider the weather patterns in your area and how much sunlight your solar panels are likely to get.
  3. If you have a homeowners association, there may be additional considerations before you install solar panels. Some organizations limit the size of solar panels or require approval before you install them.

Solar power FAQs

  • A residential solar panel system has an average cost between $15,000 and $25,000, though your actual costs will depend on the size of your system, the type of solar panels you choose, local labor and permitting costs, and more.

  • Solar power can be an excellent investment, helping you to save thousands — or even tens of thousands — over the lifetime of your solar panels. But to decide if they’re a good investment for you, you’ll have to consider your local weather patterns and your energy usage habits.

  • The amount you can save by investing in solar depends on the amount of energy your solar panels produce and your energy usage habits. Your electricity bill can help you estimate how much you might save. 

  • Washington D.C. residents have plenty of great options when finding a solar installer. Be sure to do your research before investing in solar panels, and especially before signing a solar PPA.

  • Unlike traditional electricity generation, solar generation doesn’t emit the same harmful greenhouse gasses that traditional electricity generation does. As a result, solar power can help reduce your home’s environmental footprint. 

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