*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.
There are three ways you can reduce your GP bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.
You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.
The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. GP offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.
Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.
For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Georgia Power each year for no reason.
Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Georgia Power. Even a small savings can be worth it.
Maybe. With the 26% Federal solar tax credit, home solar panels are an investment worthy of your careful consideration as a Georgia Power customer. Georgia Power now offers monthly net metering to reach their goal of 32 megawatts of solar capacity. That allows you to get full retail credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits accrue at the same rate you pay for electricity, and roll over to the next month’s bill (as long as your credits don't eclipse your usage over the course of a month).
Georgia Power doesn't offer true net metering, which would be credits for excess kWh produced in one month that can be used to reduce the next month's bill by the same number of kWh. Instead, if your solar panels generate more energy than you need in one month, GP will pay you a lower rate for the excess. The program is also limited to 5000 people annually. Work with your installer to get enrolled!This is still a decent deal when it comes to solar savings, but unfortunately we can't call it net metering.
The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2021 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.
Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.
Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a GP customer:
|Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal)||-$5,561|
A decision filed by the Georgia Public Service Commission in Georgia Power's 2019 rate case requires Georgia Power to offer net metering with monthly netting to 5,000 rooftop solar customers or 32 MW of capacity, whichever comes first.
*Based on 9.62 kW system, average installation cost $21,390
If you input the details for a GP customer with a power bill of $170 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 9.62 kW solar system that will produce 13,088 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $35,648 profit after repaying the cost of the system.
The solar savings possible for you as a GP customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.
Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical GP customer with a $170 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 9.62 kW solar system.
Showing data for:
Prices based on a 11.5kW system, after 26% federal tax credit
System Size (for 100% usage offset)
Annual Power Generation
Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment
Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates
Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives
Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years
While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Georgia Power customer installing a 9.62 kW solar system on their property:A solar system generating 13,088 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place
The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.
It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.22 per watt or $15,828 for a standard 9.62 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.
Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.