Home solar panels in Las Vegas: Everything you need to know


Over the last 10 years, the solar industry has grown tremendously, both on a state and federal level. It’s hard to talk about booming solar energy markets without mentioning Las Vegas. The federal solar tax credit and a strong net metering law — not to mention the endless sunshine! — make Las Vegas a haven for solar energy!

Cost of solar panels in Las Vegas
The massive solar array atop the Mandalay Bay's rooftop. Image source: Slash Gear

How much do solar panels cost in Las Vegas?

The average price of a solar system in Las Vegas is about $2.66/watt as of January 2021 puts an average 6 kW residential system at $15,960. While this figure may seem daunting, note that this is the cost before any incentives, and there are many zero-down solar loans available.

Are there any solar tax credits in Las Vegas?

Despite the fact there is no state solar tax credit in Nevada, all Americans can claim 26% of the cost of their solar system as a deduction to their federal tax liability.

After claiming the 26% tax credit, the final price of a 6kW solar system at just $11,810.

Does NV Energy offer any solar rebates?

Not any longer. NV Energy used to offer an 'installation-based incentive' for systems under 25 kW. This incentive took the form of a rebate of $245/kW, which was stepped down to $150/kW before expiring in 2019

How does net metering affect my investment in a solar system?

During the middle of the day, it is likely your solar system will produce more energy than needed in your home. This excess is sold to your utility through the grid and for each kWh of exported energy, you get a credit for 1 kWh of energy you can draw from the grid when your solar panels can't service your homes' electricity demand (e.g. at night). At the end of the month, you are only billed for the net amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) you drew from the grid above the amount of kWh's you exported to the grid. This is why it is called net metering.

For example if your solar system sent 500 kWh of excess solar power to the grid during the middle of the day when you were at work,  and your home drew 500 kWh from the grid at night when your solar panels weren't working during the same month, would receive a bill for 0 kWh, your net electricity usage.

However, the NV Energy net metering is not quite a full one for one payment and so it is more of a feed in tariff rather than net metering. However, it is still close to full one for one recognition and so at the moment, it is not much different to net metering.

What is the net metering policy for NV Energy?

In 2017, the Nevada legislature passed legislation that established net metering rates on a tiered system. Under this system, the earlier you apply, the higher the rate you get for the surplus energy your system produces.

Net metering rates will be stepping down in the following order
Applicable tier Capacity Credit rate Credit Period
Tier 1 80MW solar capacity applied for 95% retail rate 20 years
Tier 2 80MW solar capacity applied for 88% retail rate 20 years
Tier 3 80MW solar capacity applied for 81% retail rate 20 years
Tier 4 All applied capacity after tier 3 expires 75% retail rate 20 years

NV Energy will be reducing the credit amount offered to solar customers as the installed solar capacity increases within their service territory.

At the time of writing (January 2021), Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 have already filled up and applications are being accepted for Tier 4. This means that NV Energy values your excess solar generation at 75% of the retail rate. While not ideal, this is still a pretty good incentive overall.  

To lock in this rate for the next 20 years, it's best to install solar as soon as possible before the net metering rate declines again. 

What is the dollar value of my excess solar generation?

As discussed above, homeowners who go solar now will qualify for Tier 4 net metering rates. NV Energy has set the net metering rates for single-family homes, effective January 1, 2021, as follows:

Current feed in tariff rates for the two NV Energy billing zones
Billing zone Credit rate
South Nevada $0.07735/kWh
North Nevada $0.06436kWh

How long does a solar system take to pay for itself in Las Vegas?

Solar systems in Las Vegas generally take about 9.6 years to pay for themselves in utility bill savings. To receive the shortest possible payback time, it is best to install solar as soon as possible to get the highest feed in rate for your excess solar energy.

Where can I find the best solar installer in Las Vegas?

Our site has hundreds of reviews for Las Vegas solar installers.

How much electricity do solar panels produce in Las Vegas?

For each 1kw of solar panels installed on a south facing roof in Las Vegas, you can expect to generate 1,570kwh per year.

The table below shows how much electricity solar panels produce in Las Vegas for each size of solar system
Size of System Annual kilowatt hours (kwh) of solar energy
4kw solar system 6,278 kWh
5kw solar system 7,848 kWh
6kw solar system 9,417 kWh
10kw solar system 15,695 kWh

How many solar panels do I need to power my home in Las Vegas?

The average 2,500 square foot home in Las Vegas uses approximately 12,815 kWh of power per year. This means that the average home in Las Vegas requires a 8.17kW solar system to cover its power needs.

If we assume that we will be using 300 watt solar panels, then you will need approximately 27 solar panels to power your home. Of course, this will vary with the size of your home and the amount of power usage.

Are there ways I can reduce my electric bill without going solar?

Although solar is usually the most effective way for NV Energy customers to reduce their electric bill there are two other possible ways:

Swapping to the cheapest available NV Energy electric rates plan; or Reducing your energy usage through lifestyle changes or through buying more energy efficient alliances.

 - Author of Solar Reviews

Zeeshan Hyder

SolarReviews Blog Author

Zeeshan is passionate about promoting renewable energy and tackling climate change. He developed these interests while studying at beautiful Middlebury College, Vermont, which has a strong focus on sustainability. He has previously worked in the humanitarian sector — for Doctors Without Borders — and in communications and journalism.

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