Home solar panels in Las Vegas: Everything you need to know
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
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 combination of endless sunshine, the federal solar tax credit, and relatively good utility feed-in tariffs make Las Vegas an excellent location for home solar energy.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about installing solar panels on a home in or around Las Vegas.
The average price of a solar system in Las Vegas is about $2.66 per watt as of Q2 2022. This puts an average 6-kilowatt (6 kW) residential system at $15,960.
While this figure may seem daunting, note that this is the cost before any incentives, and many zero-down solar loans are available.
Unfortunately, there is no state solar tax credit in Nevada. However, all Americans can claim 26% of the cost of their solar system as a deduction from their federal tax liability.
After claiming the 26% tax credit, the final price of a typical 6 kW solar system is just $11,810.
Energy used to offer an 'installation-based incentive' for systems under 25 kW. This incentive initially took the form of a rebate of $245/kW; unfortunately, this was first stepped down to $150/kW, before expiring completely in 2019.
NV Energy currently offers a modified form of net metering. Net metering, and versions of it, help you increase your potential savings from solar panels.
Here’s how net metering works. During the middle of the day, your solar system will likely produce more energy than needed in your home. This excess is sold to your utility through the grid. In return, you earn credits to use against any energy you draw from the grid at night (or at other times when your panels can't meet your home’s electricity demand). At the end of the month, you are only billed for the net amount of electricity consumed, i.e. the kilowatt-hours (kWh) you drew from the grid minus the credits from your solar power exports.
With full net metering, each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy you export earns you a credit equal to the utility’s retail price of electricity, i.e. one-for-one (1:1).
However, with NV Energy net metering, customers earn less than a full 1:1 payment. Instead, consumers will be credited 75% of the retail rate of electricity.
In 2017, the Nevada legislature passed a law establishing feed-in tariffs on a tiered system. Accordingly, NV Energy has reduced the credit amount offered to solar customers as total installed solar capacity increases within its service territory.
In other words, customers who installed solar earlier earned a better rate from NV Energy for their solar power exports.
The table below shows the net metering credit rates for each tier:
|Applicable tier||Capacity||Credit rate||Credit period|
|Tier 1||80 MW||95% retail rate||20 years|
|Tier 2||80MW||88% retail rate||20 years|
|Tier 3||80MW||81% retail rate||20 years|
|Tier 4||All applied capacity after Tier 3 expires||75% retail rate||20 years|
At the time of writing (Q2 2022), Tiers 1, 2, and 3 have already filled up and applications are open for Tier 4. As such, NV Energy will now value 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 feed-in tariff rate declines further.
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:
|Billing zone||Credit rate|
|South Nevada||$0.07735 per kWh|
|North Nevada||$0.06436 per kWh|
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 ensure you get locked into a good net metering rate.
Our site has hundreds of reviews for Las Vegas solar installers. At the time of writing, four companies earn both an ‘Elite’ rating from SolarReviews and a high consumer review score of over 4.00 / 5.00. You can compare them all here.
For every 1 kW of solar panels installed on a south-facing roof in Las Vegas, you can expect to generate 1,570 kWh per year.
|System size||Annual energy production|
|6 kW||9,417 kWh|
|8 kW||12,556 kWh|
|10 kW||15,695 kWh|
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 Vegas requires an 8.17 kW solar system to cover its power needs.
If we assume the use of 300-watt (300 W) solar panels, then you will need approximately 27 panels to power your home. With larger 400 W solar panels, you would need 21 panels. Of course, this will vary with the size of your home and the amount of power usage.
Although solar is usually the most effective way for NV Energy customers to reduce their electric bills, there are two other possible ways: