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Georgia’s New Solar Law Brings Much-Needed Change to the Peach State

Georgia residents interested in saving money on their power bills have a new reason to cheer. Governor Nathan Deal has recently signed “The Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015,” which allows third-party ownership of solar panels, which allows solar companies to offer leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), along with other financing options.

That’s a fancy way of saying “Georgians can now get solar panels for no money down!”

Basically, here’s what you need to know:

  • The bill allows homeowners to sign a lease or (PPA) from third-party solar companies like SolarCity.
  • Leases and PPAs often begin with little or no money down, and can save homeowners money every month, because the payments are cheaper than retail energy from the utility.
  • The financial benefits of a lease or aren’t as great as with a system purchase, but the homeowner isn’t responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the system.
  • Third-party solar agreements do not make homeowners eligible for rebates and tax credits, but rebates do exist for some utility customers in Georgia.

Let’s take a look at the financials of solar in Georgia:

As you can see, you’ll have to lay out an awful lot of cash up front if you plan to buy, but you save a whole lot more over the 25-year life of a system. With a lease, your savings start from day 1. Small at first, but growing over time as the rate of increase of electricity prices outpaces your lease payments. That’s a pretty sweet deal, and it might make you want to see if you can get $0-down solar in Georgia.

Before this legislation passed, Georgia was in a bad way with solar. With a payback timeframe of 13 years, a vanishing state tax credit, and Georgia Power, the largest utility in the state, offering no rebates, there was little hope for homeowners who wanted solar panels. It’s no wonder the state got an “F” in our 2015 U.S. ranking report.

These days, with solar equipment costs dropping to all-time lows and the new law that provides for third-party ownership, solar lovers in Georgia can look forward to lease and PPA options that will get panels on their roofs fast, with no money down. The best way to get started is to sign up for free quotes from our installer partners in Georgia, and get ready to pick a winner!

Last modified: December 28, 2018

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Anonymous

I want their lines off my property with the smart meter

Daniel

So it is legal to go off grid. We have lost many appliances. And they have used round up on my property. And I just buried my mini Australian Sheppard because of them this dog cost about $1500and before she died it cost $500 for doctor bill and I think I would dismiss them and going totally off grid I live in country.

Daniel

Can go off grid using solar in Georgia. Savannah area

Bryan Grant

The law does not address how the ESP will buy the excess power from the installed array. Also, the array sizes are minimal, 10kw residential and 100kw commercial. The residential is adequate, maybe, but 100kw is a drop inthe bucket for industrial and retail property owners. Also, the users of the energy in commercial property are NOT owners, they would be the tenants of the property. So, there are a lot of vagaries in this law. That said, I am amazaed even this passed in the political and regulatory environment that governs Georgia. http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/HB/57

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