Virginia Solar Incentives: Tax Credits & Rebates Guide (2022)

By Jacob L.

Virginia homeowners have faced some hard times recently amidst the rising costs of energy. You might not be able to control the global price of energy, but you can certainly lower your personal utility bills by purchasing a new solar energy system for your house. While solar panels may not be able to produce all of the electricity needed to power your home, they can go a long way toward reducing your reliance on the utility company and its exorbitantly high prices.

Plus, the government of Virginia, in recent years, has made it even easier for residents to purchase solar panels, thanks to its introduction of a variety of tax credits and rebates designed to lower the costs associated with your purchase. Keep reading to learn all about how your purchase and installation of solar panels can be made more financially attainable.

Why Go Solar in Virginia?

Across the United States, solar energy has been on the rise for years. In Virginia specifically, photovoltaic (PV) energy production has taken off thanks to the state government’s incentivization of the use of solar power among homeowners and businesses. Specifically, Virginia’s implementation of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) sets a renewable portfolio standard that requires the state to produce at least 1% of its electricity from solar energy. This means that, in the coming years, it is likely that the solar industry in Virginia will only continue to grow.

Virginia offers many reasons to purchase and install a solar energy system on your property. With nearly 205 sunny days per year, which is exactly the same as the national average, Virginia has a decent climate for solar energy production. Plus, with improvements in solar panel technology, solar energy can be produced even in colder and cloudier climates. Installing solar panels will also reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, reduce your carbon footprint, and ultimately help mitigate the onset of climate change.

Finally, solar panels can make your home far more valuable. According to Zillow, the average home experiences a 4.1% increase in its value after the addition of a solar power system. As a result, an average home in Virginia worth $320,00 will see its value increase by an average of $13,000 with the addition of new solar panels. The added value could be higher if you live in more expensive areas.

Virginia Solar Cost

The average cost of a solar energy system in Virginia ranges is $22,385, which means that the average cost per watt is $2.75. These costs have come down significantly in recent years. Obviously, if you purchase a larger system (more watts), your cost will increase in addition to your energy production. With energy bills increasing amid high oil and gas prices, the relative cost of solar is bound to decline further.

Solar system on house rooftop

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How Much Can You Save on Solar in Virginia?

Property owners in Virginia can save lots of money on their electricity bills when they purchase renewable energy systems. When solar panels produce electricity for your home, they can reduce the amount of energy that you pull from the grid, thus lowering your bills.

The average payback period is 13 years, meaning that you will make back the amount you spent on installation costs after 13 years of usage. You can expect to save as much as $21,629 over the estimated 25-year life of your solar panel system.

The Best Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates in Virginia

There are several public and private incentives in Virginia that help you save on your purchase of solar panels in Virginia:

Incentive Summary End Date
Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit available for home solar systems purchased and installed by the end of 2032, thanks to the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. December 31st, 2032
Virginia Solar Property Tax Exemption Property owners will not have to pay additional property taxes in Virginia on the added value to their homes created when they install solar energy systems. None
Net Metering Net metering enables homeowners that produce extra energy to use it as a credit on their next electric bill. All energy providers are required to offer this option to homeowners. None
USDA REAP GRANT REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy costs and consumption by providing loan financing and grant funding to purchase and install renewable energy systems. Eligible participants in the REAP program are agricultural producers, with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas. None
Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Program The SREC program allows residents of Virginia to earn and sell credits for the solar power their systems produce. While the SREC market is not very active in Virginia at the moment, there is a good chance that it will pick up. None

 Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit available for home solar systems purchased and installed by the end of 2032, thanks to the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. In Virginia, typical solar energy systems cost $30,250, making the average credit value worth $9,075. This is one of the most generous solar incentives available in the state.

Virginia Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Virginia does not offer a sales tax exemption for the purchase and installation of your solar energy system.

Virginia Solar Property Tax Exemption

The Virginia solar property tax exemption excludes the added value of a solar installation in Virginia from your home’s value for tax purposes. This means that you won’t have to pay additional property taxes when your home’s value increases due to solar panel installation.

Virginia Net Metering

Net metering is a policy that enables your solar panels to be connected to the public-utility power grid. When surplus power is created by your panels, it will be transferred to the grid. You can offset the cost of power drawn from the electricity grid as a result of net metering. The minimum amount of compensation that you’ll receive is the avoided-cost rate, which is below the retail rate. While the policy specifics of net metering programs will vary among providers, this remains massively beneficial for solar owners.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Program

The REC program allows residents of Virginia to earn and sell credits for the solar power their systems produce. Unfortunately, the REC market is not very active in Virginia, but there is a good chance that it will pick up.

Commercial Virginia Solar Incentives

Solar Incentives for Nonprofits and Businesses in Virginia

Unfortunately, there are no specific solar incentives for nonprofits and businesses in the state of Virginia.

USDA REAP Grant

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a program designed to help spur investments in clean energy called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses lower their energy costs and consumption by providing loan financing and grant funding to purchase and install renewable energy systems.

Eligible participants in the REAP program are agricultural producers, with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas.

Key Takeaways: The Best Virginia Solar Incentives

Across the United States, homeowners are lining up to buy solar panels for their homes. Virginia, in particular, is a great state to invest in residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems. Thanks to the financial assistance provided by the federal government, the state government, and additional local tax incentives, Virginia residents have a wealth of support to draw from when purchasing solar panels. Solar will only become more and more valuable as the cost of other energy sources like oil, gas, and coal grow increasingly expensive in the coming years.

Like other renewable energies, you can feel confident knowing that there is no finite amount of solar energy on the earth. So long as it is sunny, or at least partially sunny, you can expect to reap the rewards of installing solar panels. If you are interested in purchasing, there are many great companies that will help get you set up in Virginia.

Virginia Solar FAQ

Is solar worth it in Virginia?

Yes, we highly recommend that you consider buying a new solar energy system in Virginia. Solar will save you tons of money on your utility bills and help reduce your production of emissions and your carbon footprint. Plus, a variety of federal, state, and local financial incentives can help to make the purchase of solar panels accessible to anyone.

How much will my electricity bill go down with solar in Virginia?

The average payback period is 13 years, meaning that you will make back the amount you spent on installation costs after 13 years of usage. You can expect to save as much as $21,629 over the estimated 25-year life of your solar panel system.

How much does it cost for solar panels in Virginia?

The average cost of a solar energy system in Virginia ranges is $22,385, which means that the average cost per watt is $2.75. These costs have come down significantly in recent years. Obviously, if you purchase a larger system (more watts), your cost will increase in addition to your energy production. With energy bills increasing amid high oil and gas prices, the relative cost of solar is bound to decline further.

Can you get solar panels for free in Virginia?

No, you likely won’t be able to find solar panels for free in Virginia, but there are numerous federal, state, and local financial incentives that can significantly minimize the costs associated with purchasing a new solar energy system.

What solar rebates are available in Virginia?

There are federal solar tax credits, Virginia solar rebates, and local financial incentives for purchasers of solar energy systems in the state. These include the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the Virginia Property Tax Exemption, and a number of private or non-government incentive programs.

How many homes in Virginia have solar panels?

Virginia has enough solar installed to power more than 280,900 homes, and solar accounts for 1.99% of the state’s electricity production.

Do solar panels increase property taxes in Virginia?

No, the Virginia Solar Property Tax exemption excludes the added value of a solar installation in Virginia from your home’s value for tax purposes.

How much can you write off for solar panels on taxes in Virginia?

Virginia taxpayers can write off many of the costs associated with the purchase of new solar energy systems. For more information about incentive programs, check out this database of state incentives.

House Method’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

  • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
  • Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
  • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
  • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
  • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
  • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

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