Updated 2 months ago

Going solar with Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE)

Written by Jamie Smith , Edited by Catherine Lane

Going solar with Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE)

Find out how much solar panels can save you on your BGE bill

Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) is the largest electric and natural gas utility provider in central Maryland – providing electricity service to over 1.3 million customers.

Maryland ranked fourth on our list of the top ten states for home solar due to its solar carve-out policies, net metering, and the great return homeowners can get from their solar investment. In other words, going solar in Maryland is worth it. 

Let’s see what BGE customers need to know about going solar before they put panels on their roofs.

Key takeaways

  • The average solar installation in Maryland will cost about $16,440 before any incentives are applied.

  • BGE does not offer full-retail net metering, but does offer payment to customers for excess energy their solar panels generate at a rate slightly lower than the full-retail rate.

  • BGE does not have solar rebate or incentive programs, but Maryland offers a few state-wide incentives that make solar more affordable.

How much do solar panels cost in Maryland?

A 6 kilowatt (kW) solar system in Maryland will cost about $16,440 before incentives are applied. That works out to an average cost of $2.74 per watt of solar installed in Maryland.

The table below shows how much homeowners can expect to pay for different solar system sizes before and after the federal tax credit is applied.

System size

Total before tax credit

Total after tax credit

4 kW

$10,960

$7,672

6 kW

$16,440

$11,948

8 kW

$21,920

$15,344

10 kW

$27,400

$19,180

Keep in mind that the actual price of your solar system depends on more than just your solar system size. Your home’s electricity usage, roof characteristics, the equipment you use, and even how you finance the solar panels all impact how much you’ll pay for solar. 

Find out how much a solar panel system costs for your specific home

Does Baltimore Gas and Electric offer net metering?

BGE does not offer net metering at the full retail rate but it does pay customers for excess energy their solar panels produce. 

BGE purchases any extra energy generated from solar systems at the Standard Offer-of-Service (SOS) rate. BGE's SOS rate is nearly $0.10 per kWh, which is lower than the full electric rate. 

Choosing an electric provider. Maryland has a deregulated electricity marking, meaning you can shop for different electric providers to find the best rate for your home. How much solar panels save you may differ depending on your provider

BGE net metering payout options

BGE customers who take advantage of net metering have two payout options:

  • Annual payout (default option): BGE will send you a check for any excess generation accumulated each year at the end of the customer’s April billing cycle.

  • No annual payout: Customers can accumulate excess generation for as long as they want. Excess energy credits carry over indefinitely until the customer closes their BGE account or switches to the annual payout option. 

Does BGE have any solar rebates or incentives?

BGE does not offer solar incentives or rebates to its customers. However, BGE solar homeowners can take advantage of state and federal incentives. 

The biggest incentive is the federal solar tax credit, which reduces your federal income taxes. The tax credit equals 30% of installation costs and is available to qualifying homeowners across the country.

Maryland homeowners can participate in the state’s solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market to earn extra cash from solar panels. Maryland is one of the few states in the U.S. that offers this performance-based incentive to solar homeowners. One SREC is generated for each 1,000 kWh of electricity produced by a solar system. Maryland’s SRECs are usually worth around $50 to $60 each, but the actual price fluctuates with the market's supply and demand.

Maryland also offers a rebate of up to $1,000 for homeowners who install solar as a part of its Residential Clean Energy rebate program. The program is completely allocated, and new applications will be placed on a waitlist. 

Calculate how much you can save with solar incentives in Maryland

Does BGE offer community solar?

Yes – BGE offers community solar to customers who want to use clean energy without installing a solar system on their roofs. Renters and those who don’t have suitable roofs for solar panels are ideal candidates for community solar programs. 

In what’s known as the Community Solar Pilot Program, BGE customers pay a subscription fee for a portion of the solar energy generated by a large community solar system. Customers will receive a community solar adjustment credit on their bill that reduces how much they owe that month. 

Customers will still be paying supply, delivery, and administrative charges to BGE. The rate of your bill adjustment will depend on what rate schedule you are on. Steps to going solar with Baltimore Gas and Electric

Before you can install solar panels and get your system up and running, you need to take a couple of steps with your utility to get your system hooked up to the grid. Here’s an outline of BGE’s solar interconnection process:

  1. Design your system: Before any paperwork is filled out, it’s necessary to consult with your chosen solar installer to design a system that will fit on your roof and give you optimal results. 

  2. Apply for interconnection: When your solar system design meets Maryland’s regulations and requirements, you must apply to BGE for approval to interconnect. BGE offers four levels of applications—almost all residential solar applications fall under level 1, but be sure to review all applications beforehand.

  3. Fill out interconnection agreement: After applying for interconnection, BGE will mail the customer an Interconnection Agreement within five business days to notify them of approval. The customer must return a signed agreement to BGE. Lastly, BGE will send back a certificate of completion that must be returned to BGE before installation. 

  4. Install your solar system: Once you’ve completed all the paperwork and obtained all your approvals, you can begin installing your solar system. 

  5. Complete a system inspection: After installation, you must arrange for your local county or municipality to inspect your system to ensure it’s within regulations. 

  6. Install your net meter: Once BGE receives your certificate of completion, proof of passed inspection, and approved interconnection application – BGE will verify these documents and install your net meter.

  7. Permission to operate: Finally, BGE will send over the permission to operate Email, and you can begin powering up your system. 

This entire process should take a few weeks to complete, depending on the response time from your local BGE representatives. In the worst-case scenario, the process could take up to a few months. 

Should you go solar with BGE?

Going solar with BGE (or anywhere in Maryland) is a great idea!

Maryland offers great solar incentives, such as its SREC program, rebate program, and more. These allow you to save big on your solar installation. 

The only downside is that BGE does not buy electricity at the full retail rate, which means slightly lower solar savings. However, the difference between the SOS rate and the all-in rate is small enough that you can still cover a large portion of your electricity bill. You can also shop around for electricity rates that will allow you to get the best savings with net metering.

Find reliable local solar companies to lower your BGE bill

Going solar with Baltimore Gas and Electric FAQ

Written by Jamie Smith Content Specialist

Jamie is a Content Writer and researcher at SolarReviews. A recent graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Jamie earned her B.S. in communications with a concentration in journalism, mass media, and public relations. Jamie has previously worked at a marketing company where she had the opportunity to highlight and promote small business owners through long-form stories and interviews. With a deep-rooted passion for creativity, Jamie stri...

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