Incentives and Financing

How much does solar cost?

System size varies based on your roof size, electricity usage, and budget. (Our average home fits 7kW.) Example, not actual bulk purchase discount pricing

System Size Range
3 kW
(Small row house)
9 kW
Market-Rate System cost before incentives  $9,750 $29,250
Bulk purchasing program discount  -$1,500 -$7,200
Initial upfront cost (after Co-op discount) $7,350 $22,050
Electricity Bill Savings (in year 1) (read more -$465 -$1,395
30% Federal Tax Credit (read more -$2,205 -$6,615
Maryland Residential Clean Energy Grant -$1,000 -$1,000
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (in year 1) (read more) -$36 -$108
Total Cost (after one year) $3,644 $11,755

What are the available incentives for solar?

There are incredible incentives and rebates available for people who go solar, and your system will pay for itself over time.

Electricity savings

Over its 25-30 year lifetime, a system will generate thousands of dollars worth of electricity.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Your solar system will generate SRECs, which you can sell to utility companies to help them meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements. Every time your system produces 1,000 kWh of electricity, you will create one SREC.

Federal Tax Credit

You get back 30% of the total cost of the system BEFORE other incentives. You still have to pay up front for the system but when you file your taxes you will receive a 30% CREDIT (not a deduction) from the federal government.

Solar bulk purchasing discount

Participating in the bulk purchase lets you save about 25% on the total cost of the project. The contractor gives you this discount upfront just for participating in the group.


Financing Options

Low Interest Loans

There are several low interest loans available to help homeowners afford the upfront cost of going solar. In general, the monthly electricity savings will be greater than the monthly loan payment. Many homeowners take out a home equity line of credit to cover the upfront cost of their system.

Power Purchase Agreement

Another option is a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). With a PPA, you don’t pay anything for the solar system and the system is owned by the company that installed it. You then sign a 15-20 year contract with the company, agreeing to buy the energy that the solar panels produce. Generally, the price you pay for your solar energy is less than the price you would have been paying your utility. The PPA may have an escalator that raises the electricity price by about 2-3% per year. This increase is expected, but not guaranteed, to be less than the increase in the BGE electricity prices. If you don’t have enough tax liability to take advantage of the tax credit, the PPA could be the perfect option for you.