Georgia has some pretty low electricity rates, which is going to make the pay back period longer on you home solar power system. However, low electricity rates are not going to be available forever. Georgia derives most of its electricity from coal-fired power plants and its electricity generation and consumption are among the highest in the Nation. If and when carbon-trading legislation passes the cost of generating electricity from fossil fuels (like coal) is sure to rise. Therefore, if you look at this from a ‘risk management’ point of view, it makes sense (based on a long-term view) to look for sources of electricity generation that are renewable and not subject to price increases. Let’s take a look at the Georgia solar rebates and incentives that are currently on offer.
Georgia has had net-metering rules in effect since 2002. Home solar power system size is limited to 10kW. All utility companies participate in this plan, however, they are only required to pay for excess customer-generated power to a maximum of 0.2% of the utility’s annual peak demand the previous year.
Personal Tax Credit
In May 2008, Georgia enacted legislation establishing personal tax credits for clean energy equipment installed and operated. For systems installed on homes, the tax credit is 35% of the cost of the system (including installation). The limit is $10,500 per residence for solar power systems. More information here
Georgia Power – Solar Buyback Program
Georgia Power has established a program to buy energy from eligible renewable-energy systems connected to the grid. System owners are paid for the electricity they produce at a higher rate than the rate at which they would be compensated under standard net metering. That rate is currently 18.31 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), up to an aggregate capacity of 1 megawatt (MW).
Tennessee Valley Authority – Generation Partners Program
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating power distributors of TVA power offer a production-based incentive program to homeowners for the installation of home solar power systems and other renewable energy production sources. Under this program, TVA will purchase 100% of the output at $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) above the retail electricity rate.
The catch is that TVA will retain all rights to any renewable energy credits (including tradable renewable credits or green tags)
In addition, you will receive an additional $1000 upon signing up to offset the upfront cost of the qualifying system.
Utility Rebate Programs
Central Georgia EMC – Photovoltaic Rebate Program
Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (CGEMC) has been offering an incentive for home solar power systems since June 2008. To be eligible you have to be net-metered, have a five-year system warranty, and have the system installed by a licensed contractor. The rebate is a one-time rebate of $450 per kilowatt (kW), up to 10 kW per house.
Sawnee EMC – Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program
- One-time rebate of $300 per kilowatt (kW) is available for the first 10 kW of installed capacity.
- Residential customers are not eligible if their system is larger than 10 kW.
Jackson EMC – Right Choice Sun Power Rebate Program
- One-time rebate of $450 per kilowatt (kW) of DC installed, (up to 10 kW).
- System must be installed by a trained and certified North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) contractor
- Your system must meet Jackson EMC requirements and be pre-approved for interconnection and net metering.
GreyStone Power – Photovoltaic Rebate Program
- One-time rebate for PV installations that are interconnected and net-metered. The rebate is equal to $450 per kilowatt (kW) AC for systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Contact the cooperative for more information.