Maryland's electricity prices average $0.13/kWh, just below the national average of $0.14/kWh.
In 2018 solar accounted for nearly 3% in-state power generation, up from just above 1% in 2016. Currently about a third of the state's solar power comes from small-scale PV installs.
The average cost of a 10kW (equivalent to saving almost 200 trees a year) solar power system starts around $28,000 in Maryland. Before any incentives, in the first year you’d save about $1,800, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.
This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:
From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 10kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $28,000, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, then paying itself in full over 9 years.
Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years. In that time, between incentives and paying lower rates you could make a profit of around $46,000 - over 50% more than the up-front cost of the system!
Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely.
Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.
Starting with that same 10kW system costing $28,000 but with zero up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings starting around $1,800, you could see a revenue surplus of about $7,100 at the end of the first year.
Save some of that money though. Your loan payments will likely exceed your power savings by about $20/month for the 15-year term. Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $3,000 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $35,500.
With a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) the homeowner leases their roof to an outside party, usually a power company. Generally PPAs feature a fixed price per kWh, with either a fixed term or an annual escalator.
With a PPA, the cost of installation, repair, and maintenance to the homeowner is usually $0.00. For that 10kW system, with a PPA you could expect to save about $15/month on energy. Over 25 years, you could see over $9,900 in revenue - without accounting for inflation. That’s technically an infinite return!
PPA’s can be complicated, as you are effectively ceding at least some control of your home to the third party, but they are an excellent way to get into solar because they have no overhead.
Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/
|Name||Implementing Sector||Program Type||Administrator||DSIRE ID|
|Solar Easements & Rights Laws||State||Solar/Wind Access Policy||3|
|Wood Heating Fuel Exemption||State||Sales Tax Incentive||143|
|Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure||State||Generation Disclosure||193|
|Local Option - Property Tax Credit for Renewables and Energy Conservation Devices||State||Property Tax Incentive||Programs locally administered||232|
|Local Option - Property Tax Credit for High Performance Buildings||State||Property Tax Incentive||Programs locally administered||2363|
|Energy Savings in Capital Projects||State||Energy Standards for Public Buildings||2368|
|Property Tax Exemption for Solar and Wind Energy Systems||State||Property Tax Incentive||Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation||2542|
|Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment||State||Sales Tax Incentive||Comptroller of Maryland||2928|
|Prince George's County - Solar and Geothermal Residential Property Tax Credit||Local||Property Tax Incentive||Prince George's County Office of Finance||3106|
|Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Residential Solar and Wind Electricity Sales||State||Sales Tax Incentive||Comptroller of Maryland||4853|
|Baltimore County - Property Tax Credit for Solar and Geothermal Devices||Local||Property Tax Incentive||Baltimore County Office of Budget and Finance||5042|
|Permits and Variances for Solar Panels, Calculation of Impervious Cover||State||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards||5185|
|Clean-Burning Wood Stove Grant Program||State||Rebate Program||Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)||5303|
|Game Changer Competitive Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Maryland Energy Administration||5559|
|Parking Lot Solar PV with EV Charger Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Maryland Energy Administration||5630|
|SMECO- Small Business/Non-Profit Solutions||Utility||Rebate Program||5696|
|Washington Gas- Residential Rebate Program||Utility||Rebate Program||5819|
|Washington Gas- Commercial Rebate Program||Utility||Rebate Program||5820|
|Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Grant Program||State||Grant Program||5836|
|Maryland Smart Energy Communities Grant||State||Grant Program||5838|
|City of Baltimore- BEI Loan Program||Local||Loan Program||Baltimore City Energy Office||5887|
|Montgomery County- Green Building Standard||Local||Energy Standards for Public Buildings||Division of Building Design and Construction||5889|
|Montgomery County- Expedited Permitting for Solar PV||Local||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards||Department of Permitting Services||5890|
|Clean Energy Communities Low-to-Moderate Income Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Maryland Energy Administration||5939|
|FirstEnergy Corporation - Power Management Platform and FirstEnergy Efficiency Solutions||Other||Energy Analysis||13923|
|Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative - Business Solutions||Utility||Energy Analysis||16192|
|Maryland Energy Administration - Ten Tips for Saving Natural Gas||State||Training and Information||16405|
|TVA - EnergyRight Solutions||Other||Energy Analysis||16497|
|First Energy - Business Energy Analyzer נOhio||Other||Energy Analysis||19777|
|First Energy - Business Energy Analyzer||Other||Energy Analysis||19977|
|PEPCO - Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Incentive Program||Utility||Training and Information||PEPCO||21599|
|PEPCO - New Construction and Major Renovation Projects||Utility||Energy Analysis||PEPCO||21608|
|PEPCO - Energy Saving Solutions for Existing Buildings||Utility||Energy Analysis||PEPCO||21609|
|PEPCO - ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit||Utility||Energy Analysis||PEPCO||21617|
|PEPCO - Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Training||Utility||Training and Information||PEPCO||21641|
|U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): University of Delaware||Federal||Energy Analysis||U.S. Department of Energy||21693|
|Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships - EM&V Forum||Non-Profit||Training and Information||Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships||22027|
|MEA- Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)||22041|
|Energy Storage Tax Credit||State||Personal Tax Credit||Maryland Energy Administration||22076|
|DHCD Net Zero Construction Loan Program||State||Loan Program||Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development||22085|