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Solar panels are being installed all over the state, whether on the Eastern Shore, in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, or in the mountains of western Maryland. 

If you're a Maryland homeowner, farmer, or business leader looking to reduce energy costs and your carbon footprint, now is an excellent time to explore going solar.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about installing solar panels in Maryland, including:

  • Why solar is a wise investment in Maryland
  • How to get started with a solar installation
  • Typical costs and incentives
  • Tops for choosing the best solar company
  • Answers to frequently asked questions

Is Solar Worth It In Maryland?

With over 200 sunny days per year and 4.2 peak sun hours a day (just .3 less than Florida) coupled with some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, Maryland residents have significant potential to save money by going solar.

This is a significant reason why the state has over 2,100 megawatts (MW) of solar installed. That’s a lot of solar panels! 

Thanks to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires 50% renewable energy by 2030, with a minimum of 14.5% from solar power, along with a 30% federal tax credit and other incentives, solar offers exceptional returns for Maryland homeowners and businesses.

 

 

Visit our project gallery to view some of our other solar installations in Maryland. 

The Process of Installing Solar Panels in Maryland

1. Request a free solar evaluation from 2-3 reputable local installers.
A site evaluation will allow the solar company to review your electricity usage, examine your roof for solar potential, and gather other important information that is needed to provide an accurate quote. 

2.  Review the quote, examine your financing options, and do your due diligence for each company.
A quote should empower you with all the information you need to make an informed investment decision in solar energy. If you decide to move forward, spend time researching and interviewing your solar company. Solar is a long-term investment; you want to ensure your installation company is in it for the long haul.

3. The installation begins.
Once you select an installer, they should handle all permitting & paperwork, the system design, and installation. This process can take weeks to a few months for a residential system. The process for commercial installations can be much longer, taking several months to a year to complete in most cases. 

4. After inspection and approval, it’s time to energize your system! 
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your system can now be energized and begin saving your hard-earned money. 

The Cost of Installing Solar Panels In Maryland

The cost of installing solar panels in Maryland can vary, but as a general estimate:

  • Residential systems (5-15kW): $25,000 - $55,000+ before incentives
  • Commercial systems (50-200kW): $145,000 - $500,000+ before incentives

However, generous incentives, such as the 30% federal tax credit and Maryland's Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program, dramatically reduce the net cost.

For example, a typical 10kW residential solar panel system that costs $33,340 before incentives has a net cost of $22,338 after the federal tax credit and Maryland state grant.

A standard 100 kW commercial or agricultural solar panel system in Maryland would cost $225,400 before utilizing any of the available incentives. The net cost would be $86,231 after the 30% federal tax credit, depreciation, and Maryland state grant. 

The chart below provides a breakdown of the average cost and savings for Maryland residential solar installations. 

System Size
Cost Before Incentives
Tax Savings
Cost After Incentives
Year One Electric Savings
Year One SREC Income
10 kW
$33,340
$10,002
$22,338
$1,625
$708
15 kW
$43,850
$13,155
$29,695
$2,438
$1,061
20 kW
$54,360
$16,308
$37,052
$3,250
$1,415

 

Here is a detailed breakdown of the typical costs with tax savings and grants for Maryland businesses that choose to invest in a solar panel installation.

System Size
Cost Before Incentives
Tax Savings
Cost After Incentives
Year One Electric Savings
Year One SREC Income
50 kW
$134,900
$74,434
$53,166
$5,625
$3,538
100 kW
$225,400
$124,369
$86,231
$11,250
$7,075
200 kW
$409,400
$225,895
$163,505
$22,500
$14,150

 

Maryland Solar Incentives

There are several incentives available for Maryland businesses and homeowners that invest in solar panels. 

The Tax Benefits

The main benefit is the federal tax credit, which offsets your tax liability. The credit is a flat 30% for residential solar owners. It’s a little more complex for commercial and agricultural systems, starting at 30% for systems under 1 MW AC and with the opportunity to grow to 70%. 

In addition to the tax credit, businesses can capitalize on depreciation by accelerating 60% of the federal depreciation to year one. The remaining 40% and state depreciation will follow the five-year MACRS schedule. 

Additional Insight: Visit our commercial tax benefits blog to learn more. 

 

USDA REAP Grant for Maryland Farmers and Other Qualifying Businesses

Gentle Giant Horse Rescue Owners In Front of Solar PanelsQualifying Maryland farmers and other businesses can obtain a USDA REAP grant covering 50% of the installation cost up to $1 million. However, the 50% grant is only available through September 2024 and has limited funds. 

There is also a 25% grant available, which is a less competitive grant to obtain.

We expect the grant to stay at 25% after the 50% rounds end. However, this is subject to change at any time. 

 

Maryland State Solar Grants

The current Maryland state grant is being phased out. Through 2024, Maryland homeowners can apply for a $1,000 grant towards their solar energy system. The Commercial Clean Energy Rebate Program (CERP) amount varies based on the size of the system.

However, both programs are being replaced with a Maryland Solar Access Program (MSAP). This will begin for commercial projects in the summer of 2024. The new program will then begin for Maryland homeowners in January 2025. Outside of the start dates, the details of this program have not yet been made available.

Maryland Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Solar owners generate 1 Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every 1,000 kWh their solar panels produce. That SREC can then be sold on an open market, generating additional income for the system owner.

As of May 2024, new legislation allows Maryland residents to take advantage of a lucrative multiplier on SRECS. Projects meeting specific criteria can now utilize certified SRECs, which will pay 150% of the value of a standard SREC. The following projects will qualify:

  • Any solar system that is 20 kW AC or less
  • Any solar system that is 2 MW AC or less that is used for aggregate net metering
  • Any solar system that is 5 MW SC or less that is a roof-mount, carport, or is installed in a brownfield

Solar Net Metering In Maryland

The Car Store In Laurel Delaware Celebrates After Installing Solar PanelsMaryland Net Metering regulations require utility companies and cooperatives to pay all eligible customers with solar energy systems for their system’s production. A system eligible for net metering must be under 2 megawatts (MW) in capacity or 200% of the owner’s annual electricity usage. 

Net metering allows solar system owners to receive a one-for-one credit for the electricity they send back to the grid. During the night or on a low production day, the electricity pulled from the grid can be offset using those credits. 

Reimbursement procedures for net metering vary depending on the utility company. Some Maryland utility companies reimburse their customers at the end of the year. While others will rollover the credits for the next anniversary cycle instead of issuing a payout. 

Aggregate net metering is available for commercial, agricultural producers, non-profit organizations, and municipalities. This benefit allows one solar system to offset multiple electricity meters virtually. 

The requirements for aggregate net metering will vary by utility company. For example, Delmarva Power requires one host account and a minimum of two waterfall/child accounts to aggregate. Choptank Electric and Easton Utilities require one host account and one waterfall/child account. 

Please check with your installation company to confirm the requirements of your utility company. 

The Average Payback & ROI for Solar Panels in Maryland

Solar panel systems offer Marylanders immediate tax savings and long-term energy savings, making them an investment with a consistent payback that can be trusted.

One of the best parts of a solar energy investment is the front-loaded return. The federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation for businesses can be utilized in the first year soon after the system is energized. 

Maryland homeowners can expect an average payback period of 14.36 years on their solar panels, with an ROI of 8.18%.

Maryland businesses can expect to recoup their initial investment in around 8.75 years, with a high 17% return on investment.

Solar panels typically last 25 to 30 years and are backed by a warranty for the same duration. This means homeowners can enjoy over a decade and a half of free electricity, while businesses can benefit for more than two decades.

In making your decision, consider the solar panel system's expected lifespan in relation to potential tax savings, energy savings, and environmental benefits. While solar panels are a beneficial investment for many Maryland residents and businesses, solar is not suited for everyone.

Embrace the power of the sun and take advantage of Maryland's solar incentives. Contact us today to learn more about how solar panels can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Tips For Choosing a Solar Installation Company

Not all solar companies are equal. To ensure a high-quality installation and maximize your savings, be sure to:Paradise Energy Service Technician completing a maintenance check on a solar inverter

  • Only consider companies with lengthy industry experience and the proper industry and electrical certifications
  • Read reviews on Google and SolarReviews.com. One word of caution about online reviews: Many sites have pay-play aspects, so rankings are not always reflective of the customer experience. Review the actual customer reviews instead of the site rankings.
  • Pick a company that offers a production guarantee and workmanship warranty. These should be in addition to the product warranties offered by the equipment manufacturers.
  • Verify they will handle all grant, permitting, and utility interconnection paperwork on your behalf.
  • Confirm that they have a maintenance team that will be available to service your system if needed 

Additional Resource: Is Paradise Energy the right solar company for you? Find out. 

Maryland's Top Solar Installation Companies

Based on ratings from Google Reviews, here are the top solar installation companies for Eastern Shore, Maryland, and Western Maryland. They are listed in no particular order.

Eastern Shore Maryland Western Maryland

- Sunrise Solar - Located in Chestertown, Maryland

- Paradise Energy Solutions - Located in Salisbury, Maryland

- Solair LLC - Located in Selbyville, Delaware

- Solar Energy World - Located in Laurel, Maryland

- Maryland Solar Solutions - Located in Owings Mills, Maryland

- Paradise Energy Solutions - Located in Williamsport, Maryland

- Lumina Solar - Located in Baltimore, Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions When Going Solar in Maryland

How much can I realistically save with solar panels?
After factoring in upfront costs, electricity savings, and incentives, most Maryland homeowners can save $10,000- $70,000+ over the 30-year lifespan of their solar installation.

Maryland businesses can expect to save $225,000 to $1 million plus over the 30-year lifespan of the solar panels—these savings factor in the upfront cost, the long-term electricity savings, and the immediate tax savings.
Do I need a south-facing roof for solar?
While south-facing is ideal, east and west-facing roofs can also make great economic sense with today's efficient panel technology. Your solar installer will help you determine if your roof is viable for solar panels. 
Can solar panels withstand severe weather?
With proper installation, solar panels are built to withstand up to 1" hail, 140 mph winds, and significant snow loads. They are a durable, long-term investment.
Do I need to pay sales tax on a solar panel installation in Maryland?
Maryland does not require sales tax to be paid on solar panel installations.
Will installing solar panels increase my Maryland property taxes?
Installing solar panels will increase your home/property value, but your property taxes in Maryland will not increase.

 

Going Solar in Maryland: The Smart Financial & Environmental Choice

The financial and environmental case for going solar in Maryland is compelling, with ample sunshine, lucrative solar incentives, and rising utility costs.

To learn more about how solar can benefit your Maryland home or business, click the button below to request your free custom quote.

If you’re not ready for a quote, visit our learning center for blogs, videos, and other tools to help you on your solar journey.