* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.
Nevada has had a rocky past with solar, but with the return of net metering, things may be heading in the right direction.
The state revised their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to require utilities to derive 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. While increasing the amount of energy that needs to be produced by renewables is a huge step forward, the revised RPS removed the state’s solar carve out.
There is no longer a minimum percentage of energy that must be produced by solar systems. However, the ambitious goal of 50% renewable energy may lead utilities to creating new incentive programs.
Between net metering being reinstated and the federal tax credit, you have the potential for big savings if you act fast.
The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Nevada is currently $11,597 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.61 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.
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Prices based on a 5.4kW system, after 26% federal tax credit
Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.
Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.
(forecast avg Nevada electric rates over the next 25 years)
The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses in Nevada is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation.
Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Nevada is now.
Net metering allows you to get credited at near retail rates by your utility company for the amount of solar energy you produce but aren’t able to use onsite.
As of 2020, any kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar electricity you send back to the grid which you aren’t able to use will be credited at 75% of retail rates, currently about 7 cents/kWh.
At the end of your 20-year contract, you'll be able to sign up for whatever program NV Energy offers (though by then, home energy storage will likely be so inexpensive that it will be easier to install a battery and use all the energy yourself).
NV Energy offers two different home battery storage incentive rates, based on your enrollment in a rate structure which changes based on the time of day you use electricity (aka time-of-use, TOU)
For example, if you’re on a TOU plan and purchase one Tesla Powerwall, you’ll receive a $2,565 rebate!. If you’re not on a TOU plan, you can get a $1,283 incentive on that same Powerwall.
(After tax credit)
(After tax credit)
You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.
Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more
Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2021 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.
A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.
In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.
Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.
Read more about types of home solar systems.
No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.
Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Nevada will fall during 2021.
Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.
A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 29-degree pitch roof Nevada will generate 1,471kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in the Las Vegas area.
Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.
The advantage of installing solar panels in Nevada is that there is excellent sun exposure, so your solar panels produce a lot more energy than they would in other states.
High levels of solar irradiance coupled with net metering translates into huge savings on your electric bill. All of this, in addition to the federal tax credit, can cover a significant portion of your installation costs.
The disadvantage of installing solar panels in Nevada is that the state does not offer many incentives outside the battery rebate, meaning it's even more important to switch to solar now while the 26% federal tax credit is still available.
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Nevada solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.
Everything you need to know about going solar with NV Energy, including their net metering program, solar battery rebate, and more.
It's been a rollercoaster year on the solar policy front. Here’s a review of some stand-out policy stories from 2019 and their effect on solar progress in 2020.