Alabama's electricity prices average $0.12/kWh, down from $0.13/kWh last year and below the national average of $0.14/kWh. In 2019 solar made up about 3% of Alabama's renewable generation. Nearly all of this was installed in 2016. Currently there's very little small-scale solar capacity in the state.
The average cost of a 5.5kW solar power system starts around $12,000 in Alabama. That system would save about $800 in the first year of operation, then pay for itself through energy savings within 6-7 years. System life can span well over 25 years, and savings will improve with inflation. Now only would such a system have a carbon offset equivalent to saving over 100 trees a year, but that reduction in carbon pollution will help slow the climate change that threatens many species and their hapitats.
The federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) currently refunds 26% of the cost of a solar power system. Grid-tie solar in Alabama is not really incentivized, as net metering generally yields pennies on the dollar for rooftop solar power sent to the grid.
Alabama tax code (Section 40-9B-1) provisions for a property tax abatement to any owner of a qualifying renewable energy facility. Basically this exempts property tax on any increase to a home's value resulting from a solar installation for the first 10 or 20 years of the system's life. Exemption claimants must apply through their municipal or county tax authority, which will review case-by-case using a process outlined by the Alabama Department of Revenue. The period of the term depends on in which jurisdiction the request is made.
Alabama has no net metering or interconnection standards for solar, meaning that interconnection rules are set at the discretion of utility companies. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) serves about 17% of Alabama, and offers a $1,000 rebate for a new PV system. With a grid-tie system, you can agree to sell up to all the energy you produce through their Green Power Providers program, at full retail price with an additional $0.02/kWh. Because Alabama doesn't have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and utilities aren't required to meet minimum percentages of renewable energy generation, no other utilities in the state offer solar incentives.
Many states offer additional financial incentives and rebates for going solar. Alabama has over 70 solar policies to help you cover the cost of solar power - just check out the table below. Solar technology has improved to the point that, regardless of an individual state's policies, solar energy is an excellent long-term investment.
If you purchase your own solar panels, you can pay the cost up-front. Alternatively you can finance the solar power system with a solar loan, paying it off over the next several years. Alabama does not allow for Power Purchase Agreements, where a homeowner essentially rents out their roof to an energy company.
Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/
|Name||Implementing Sector||Program Type||Administrator||DSIRE ID|
|Wood-Burning Heating System Deduction||State||Personal Tax Deduction||46|
|Energy Standards for State Agencies||State||Energy Standards for Public Buildings||2972|
|Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative - Residential Heat Pump Loan Program||Utility||Loan Program||5240|
|TVA - Green Power Providers||Utility||Feed-in Tariff||5674|
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program||Federal||Grant Program||5711|
|TVA - Solar Solutions Initiative||Utility||Performance-Based Incentive||5721|
|Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing||State||PACE Financing||5799|
|Alabama Power - EnergyDirect||Utility||Energy Analysis||Alabama Power Co.||14900|
|Alabama Power - Technology Application Centers||Utility||Energy Analysis||Alabama Power Co.||14901|
|Alabama Power - Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Training Center||Utility||Training and Information||Alabama Power Co.||14902|
|Baldwin Electric Membership Corp. - Energy Use Analysis||Other||Energy Analysis||Baldwin Electric Membership Corp.||15981|
|Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative - Comprehensive Services Program||Other||Energy Analysis||Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative||17826|
|South Alabama Electric Cooperative - Energy Audits||Utility||Energy Analysis||South Alabama Electric Cooperative||18811|
|Baldwin Electric Membership Corp. - Business Energy Savings||Other||Energy Analysis||Baldwin Electric Membership Corp.||19201|
|Central Alabama Electric Cooperative - Green Power Choice Program||Other||Other||Central Alabama Electric Coop||20257|
|Dixie Electric Cooperative - Green Power Choice||Other||Other||Dixie Electric Coop||20343|
|Wiregrass Electric Cooperative - Green Power Choice||Other||Other||Wiregrass Electric Coop, Inc.||20697|
|U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): University of Florida||Federal||Energy Analysis||U.S. Department of Energy||21869|
|Events Calendar||State||Green Building Incentive||21883|
|Park Electric Cooperative Inc. - Net-Metering||Utility||Green Building Incentive||21915|
|Alabama Power Co. - Ways to Save||Utility||Training and Information||Alabama Power Co.||21964|
|Tennessee Valley Authority - EnergyRight Solutions for Business + Industry||Utility||Energy Analysis||Tennessee Valley Authority||21966|
|Tennessee Valley Authority - Business Energy Advisor||Utility||Training and Information||Tennessee Valley Authority||21967|
|Alabama Power - Electric Water Heater Rebates||Utility||Rebate Program||Alabama Power Co||22059|