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2018 Policy


Avg. Yearly Savings


Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in West Virginia

2018 Policy


Avg. Savings/yr


At Solar Power Rocks, our dream is to turn your thoughts of solar power for your home into reality

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

West Virginia is home to the Appalachian Mountains, and some of the most beautiful hills in the country. Tourists here enjoy cultural activities like traditional music and crafts. People who live here enjoy the state's natural beauty, and maybe a pepperoni roll once in a while. But none of those activities have much future unless West Virginia can kick some of the coal habit and switch to cleaner power sources. Hey, how about that solar energy?

Unfortunately, the past year has been a tale of woe for solar in the Mountain State. While the state was saved from the bottom of our rankings for 2015, the governor and Legislature have destroyed the few bright spots here. They repealed the state's barely-adequate RPS, and re-wrote the laws that provide for net metering and interconnection. All that adds up to a sad state of affairs for solar in WV.

But! prices for solar equipment and installation are still falling all over the world, and nothing the West Virginia government can do will stop that. With falling costs and increased electric rates, solar here pays itself back 6 years faster than it did this time last year. That's something to celebrate, so if you're still thinking about solar in the Mountain State, read on to find out all about the financial ins and outs!

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the West Virginia solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in West Virginia

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in West Virginia. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in West Virginia. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in West Virginia. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what West Virginia is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in West Virginia

Figuring out the best way to go solar in West Virginia can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in West Virginia

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan. Here's the thing about West Virginia: the state has next to zero incentives or policy that make solar a good idea, but it's actually still not that bad of an investment here. That's because prices for solar have fallen dramatically over the past decade or so, and even West Virginia's famously bad policy and low electricity prices can't keep it down.

Now as for that complicated chart above... let's break it down a little:

The green bars show solar's financial return over 25 years if you pay up front. As you can see, there's a big payment (negative) in year 1, which gets slowly reduced over time. The green bars cross the "$0" line at year 17, which is when the system will have paid back your initial investment with electricity savings. Our example goes to year 25, which is when most solar panel warranties end, and in West Virginia, you'll end up with just over $10,000 in total profits by that date. That's pretty good!

The orange bars, on the other hand, show what happens if you take a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to pay for the system. You don't put any money down, but you do get the 30% Federal solar tax credit, meaning you actually come out ahead in year 1. The bars dip below the $0 line after 4 years, because your loan payments (over a 15-year term) will exceed your energy savings each year. By kind of a lot. Once you pay off the loan in 2030, the savings start stacking up. In the end, you'll come out just $1,425 ahead at the end of our 25-year estimate. You're basically breaking even on solar here, unless West Virginia electricity prices go up by a lot more than we estimate (3.5% annually).

Finally, the blue bars represent a similar HELOC option, but for a smaller, 2-kW solar system. This size system is great if you only have a little equity, and it still lets you break even over the long term, while reducing the amount of CO2 pollution you're responsible for. The loan size is smaller, and so are the first-year windfall and final profits, but if you love the idea of solar, this is a great way to go.

Read on to find out more about each option!

 Buying Solar in West Virginia

Paying up front used to be the only way to get panels on your roof, and it's still the option that allows you the most control, and it's the surest bet in West Virginia. An outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits—the Federal solar tax credit of 30% of system costs and some decent energy bill savings.

In our example, you put down $20,000, but by the end of year 1, that tax credit and the energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $10,000 in income.

Here’s an example of how the numbers work for a purchase of a 5-kW rooftop solar system in West Virginia:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000.
  • The Feds offer a tax credit of 30% of out-of-pocket costs, so you'll get $6,000 back next April. Note: you can take the credit over two years if you don't owe $6,000 in Federal taxes this year.
  • Then there's your first-year energy savings. That's another $624, and it brings the cost after 1 year to just $13,376.
  • With all the energy bill savings rolling in, your system will pay itself back after 17 years. Once that happens, you’ll be seeing over $1,100 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • When all is said and done, our 25-year estimate shows a total net profit of $10,305 with an internal rate of return of 4.5%. That's not quite the return of a stock market index fund over 25 years, but it's a solid investment if you're looking to save money and the planet at the same time.
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by $12,480, too (your expected electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • And speaking of doing good for the environment... your system will create some green for the earth by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 113 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in West Virginia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Solar Loans in West Virginia

This is usually where we tell you that taking a loan for solar panels is a no-brainer, because it means investing in an income-generating asset. But in West Virginia, with solar policy so lacking in basic protections for homeowners, it's not necessarily true. The state gets a nice amount of sunshine, so if lawmakers here would get their heads out of their behinds, we could see some really nice returns. In most states, just the electricity savings are enough to make solar worthwhile, generating a good deal of income for you after you pay your loan off.

Here's how a solar loan works in West Virginia:

As you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because with a loan, you're not putting any money down, and you get the 30% federal solar tax credit just like if you paid $20,000 up front for your system. You'll come out ahead over $4,700 after the first year! In the 14 years that follow, your loan payments will cost quite a bit more than the money you'll be saving in electricity, but just think of it like a monthly deposit into a savings account.

The rest of our estimate might look like a see-saw, because you start out with a windfall, drop down into "sizeable investment" territory, and then slowly gain after the loan is paid off. That's when the solar "savings account" will pay dividends. You'll be saving money every year because you'll own the system outright. If our prediction of 3.5% annual increases in energy costs hold, you'll be $1,836 to the good at the end of 25 years, which is not too bad for an investment where you put nothing down!

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $20,000 with a fixed rate of 5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period (lower rates and shorter repayment increases your profit).
  • You have an appetite for more-or-less breaking even on a long-term investment, while also producing a ton of benefits for the environment.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a West Virginia solar purchase with a HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity bill savings in the first year of operation will total $624, but your loan payments will be $1,898, for a difference of $1,274, or about $106 per month.
  • But here comes the tax credit! Because you've technically "paid" for the system with your loan, you'll get the Federal tax credit of 30% of system costs, or $6,000! Even after you make those loan payments, you'll end up with an extra $4,726 at the end of the first year.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll see over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll see minor returns, to the tune of $1,836 after all the payments. If you took a 10-year 5% loan for $20,000, your payments would increase, but so would your final profits, to $4,849 after 25 years.
  • Finally, the environmental benefits cannot be overstated. Operating your system will take as much carbon out of the air as planting 113 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in West Virginia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Small Rooftop Systems in West Virginia

Let's say you don't have a ton of extra cash laying around, but you do have a bit of equity in your home. Can you get solar panels? YES! Is it a good idea in West Virginia? Probably not. You'll take out a small loan that will be repaid with low monthly payments, and your electricity savings and tax credit will result in big savings. You'll end up with no profit over 25 years, but you will help take a lot of carbon out of the air!

Here are the factors we'll look at for this example:

  • A 2-kW rooftop system that will cost around $9,000 installed.
  • A HELOC for that amount with a 15-year payback at 5% interest.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a West Virginia purchase of a small rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 2-kW solar system should cost about $9,000. Your loan should be for this amount.
  • You'll gain $250 in electricity savings in the first year of operation, while your loan payments will cost $854. That's a net cost to you of $604, but...
  • At the end of the year, the Federal government will give you a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your system. That's $2,700 that you won't owe this year. You can take the Federal credit over two years if you don't owe that much in taxes this year. Here's how that looks:
    • First-year electric bill savings: $250
    • - First-year loan payments: $854
    • = First-year cost of solar: -$604
    • + First year federal tax credit: $2,700
    • Total in your pocket after year 1: $2,096
  • Your loan payments will exceed your electricity savings while you pay off the loan, by about $50 per month. But when your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll see upwards of $415 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll end up basically breaking even, finishing the 25th year still $389 in the hole. After year 26, you'll be in the black by a couple hundred dollars, and if your system is still kicking out the kilowatts in 2045, you'll have won the game! Now, if our estimates for increases in electricity cost turn out to be too conservative, you could still end up with a nice profit over the life of your system. It all depends on how the fossil fuel industry is regulated in the next couple decades.
  • But don't forget the environmental benefits! Your system will remove as much carbon from the air as planting 45 trees per year, which is a pretty great thing, we'd say.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in West Virginia. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

West Virginia Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in West Virginia:



Grade: F

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

West Virginia used to have a solid goal of having 25% of its energy needs met by renewable energy sources by 2025. While it was by no means the most aggressive RPS in the country, it was a step toward getting electric utility companies to help the little guy (that means you!) get into the solar game. Sadly, in early 2015, the West Virginia government repealed the RPS.

West Virginia’s RPS was critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. Without an RPS law in West Virginia, there is little chance the electric companies will help anyone go solar.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out


Grade: F

As mentioned above, West Virginia no longer has an RPS, so there's no chance it has special requirements for certain amounts of electricity from solar. It's a sad state of affairs, considering nearby states like Ohio and Maryland do have solar carve-outs, which have been quite successful.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

West Virginia Electricity Prices


Grade: D

West Virginia homeowners pay an average of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That’s quite a bit less than the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh. We know you like paying less now, but the long term costs of cheap electricity are through the roof. All that cheap electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Tons and tons of earth-killing fossil fuels. When the astronomical environmental costs start to mount, monthly electricity bills are inevitably going to rise as well. When that happens you’re going to feel pretty darn smart for making the early switch to producing your own clean, efficient solar power.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

West Virginia Net Metering


Grade: A

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Currently, West Virginia requires all utilities to offer net metering. All monthly surplus energy production is applied to your next bill. Unused credits can be rolled ever perpetually, and unlike many other states, they do not ever have to be surrendered back to the utility. That’s a really solid net metering program. The only thing we want to see changed is the elimination of liability insurance requirements for small residential systems.

Sadly, like the RPS, West Virginia has decided to change its successful net metering rules. We're still waiting to see what changes the Public Utility Commission makes, so stay tuned; we'll update this page when we learn more. Fingers crossed it isn't a debacle.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

West Virginia Interconnection Rules


Interconnection is solid here as well. All systems up to 2 MW are eligible to hook up to the grid. The connection process is split into two tiers depending on system size. Your residential system of less than 25 kW qualifies for a reduced application fee of only $30 (maximum) and is exempt from requirements for a redundant external disconnect switch.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in West Virginia

West Virginia Solar Power Rebates


Grade: F

That’s right, West Virginia got left in the Stone Age. Ahem, I mean the Coal Age. There aren’t any utility rebates for solar power here. It’s time to start calling your legislators to tell them to get on the ball when it comes to promoting clean energy. West Virginia is still in the early stages of reaching for their RPS targets, but once those compliance deadlines start rolling around, expect to see greater rebates and incentives offered. The established benchmark mandates that 10% of electricity sales between 2015 and 2019 must come from alternative and renewable energy resources. Let’s see some hustle, West Virginia!

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

West Virginia Solar Power Tax Credits


Grade: F

While West Virginia used to offer a personal tax credit to help bring down the costs of switching to clean power, that incentive is no longer being offered. Hopefully legislators have a replacement or renewal in the works. We hate to see good incentives left behind.

Luckily, all solar installations are eligible for a 30% tax credit from the Feds. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and fortunately for West Virginia, having no state rebate to deduct means a larger tax credit coming your way. Sample calculations follow below -- keep scrolling!

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments


Grade: F

There aren’t any performance payments for solar power here. It’s time to start calling your legislators to tell them to get on the ball when it comes to promoting clean energy. As we mentioned earlier, West Virginia is still in the early stages of reaching for their RPS targets, but once those compliance deadlines start rolling around, let’s hope greater rebates and incentives (like performance payments) start popping up.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption


Grade: F

West Virginia continues to disappoint in the tax exemption department. Even without utility incentives, the legislature could do a great deal to incentivize solar power simply by adding these simple, straightforward laws. A property tax exemption would do a lot to help get solar rolling here. When you add a solar power system your home goes up in value by about twenty times your annual electricity savings. A property tax exemption would save you from paying taxes on that increase in value, earning you extra cash year, after year, after year.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption


Grade: F

As we said above, West Virginia continues its disappointment tour on the tax exemption front. Even without utility incentives, the legislature could do a great deal to incentivize solar power simply by adding these simple, straightforward laws. A sales tax exemption would save you 6-7% up front. In addition to helping you, sales tax exemptions also help the local solar industry, so they’re a double win.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

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The consensus on West Virginia solar power rebates and incentives

Hey mountaineers! Your legislature has failed! We hear so much about coal mine safety every year. Here’s a thought: retrain those miners to work in a safer industry – the solar power industry. Seriously! Coal mining may be part of the heritage of the state, but clean energy is the future of the planet. If you want to keep the state “Wild and Wonderful,” it’s time to start renewing the West Virginia political scene: vote yes on solar!

39 thoughts on “2018 Guide to West Virginia Home Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

  1. Pat Levesque says:

    how much would it cost to power my garage not my home?

  2. Sue Patalano says:

    Who does installation in Wirt County

  3. Kirk Sorensen says:

    If we still have net metering in WV, what is the most economical size to install? Your data says 2 KW is $9000 and 5 kw is $20000. That means that, assuming both run at max, the 5 kw size delivers a higher rate of return. What is the optimum size?

  4. Ross says:

    Hey fellow Mountaineers! Calm down. King Coal is losing ground for a whole bunch of reasons, including the drop in natural gas prices. This site isn’t bashing miners, it’s acknowledging the truth that coal mining isn’t an job with a long-term future. Indeed, why not retrain coal miners to work in solar installation etc?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hello, Does anyone know who does installations in Hardy County, WV? Thanks!

  6. Anonymous says:

    You had me sold on this for my home until you slammed the coal miners of our state ! Not sure who your CEO is , but I’d bet you if he had read this before you put it out there that he would have stopped you before hand ! If you want to push something in any state, don’t downgrade the lively hood of the bulk of WV . Do you know how many Coal Miners there are out here that would love to go solar to save on their electric bil like the rest of us ! ALOT ! How many West Virginians do you think you lost by using the WV coal miner for this ? or am I completely mistaken on this ? Are you offering al of them jobs within your company that will match or even better pay them more to feed their families ?

  7. John Christensen says:

    In 2011 the WV legislature passed SB 465 to support the alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure tax credit including solar. The bill’s main purpose was to support the downstream gas industry to build the infrastructure to power natural gas powered vehicles but also included other forms including solar. The tax form for 2011 included an extra form which allowed the taxpayer to claim up to $10,000. on residential install of solar panels and charging equipment and up to $312,000. on commercial solar installations. Most all of the credits have since been denied by the state tax dept without any direction on how the credit was meant to be applied even going so far as to change the tax form going forward with a different form omitting many of the solar options from the year before. This denial is currently being challenged based on information provided by the tax dept to solar companies throughout the process. This should be very interesting to see how it turns out in court.

  8. Jim Jones Sr. says:

    I am ONLY interested in the end result POWER what I think of people who mine coal or gas is not important to the end result for the poor trying to get by on what little they have. I have been around DC power my entire life and know enough to make it work. I am looking into solar and wind I have enough property to make both work, I am just going to have to invest in it slowly at first. What do i have to loose. Did you know that a simple car alternator turning at just 1500 RPM with an inverter box can run most power tools. I am going to try and build a system rather than purchase it, if I fail so what I tried.

  9. denver says:

    Well i am from wva now living in ok. i see you slaming coal minners and spouting green.
    In wva that is a way of life. that is how a lot of people survive you cant push your own spam and expect people in wva to listen. i think solar is good but all you should tell wva people if you want them to listen is solar facts. like how to hook them up and the different parts needed. tell them about inverters, chargers, batteries, pannels, cables wireing etc. you dont have to be brand
    specific. be kind be smart and stop acting like people from a location are dumb. Remember knowledge passed on will do more to accomplish what you want. pushing politics or spam just turns people off. wva people are very smart and can do more than their legislature has set up for them if you pass on the way to help themselves.

  10. Proud to be a MINERS WIFE!! says:

    FYI- WV DOES offer a tax credit for SOLAR energy upgrades. So get your FACTS STRAIGHT!! Before you go slamming WV and it’s Miners!

  11. Aaron says:

    Solar energy seems great, but in many places would not work well in West Virginia. In many valleys the sun doesn’t touch the roof tops untill 10:00-AM or later.

    There is also the problem of how expensive the systems are. I feel like if you want people to have the products, we need to make them more affordable. There is no way that a single working parent could afford the expenses.

    I’ve thought about solar energy for a long time, but it just seems like another way for someone else to make money off of people.

    Saying we need to have the system because it helps the planet is fine, but the huge price involved seems to point in the direction of someone loving to fill their pockets more.

    I do think pollution is bad, but the prices posted here are still high. The most important thing to remember is we need something to help people. To make something that they can afford. No one needs another payment to make at the end of the month.

    Most of these prices could buy a house in West Virginia, which really makes it seem that much more un-appealing. I’m sure someone will disagree with me, but facts are, many people shy away from this great idea, because of cost.

  12. Linda Wood says:

    Are you doing any seminars in the eastern part of the state any time soon? Or maybe the 1st question is do you do seminars?I want to go solar but don’t know where to start. Thanks Linda

  13. jeanie says:

    Interested in building my own solar panels and maybe as a group teaching others. Lets get off the grid people. we can do this. Nothing against coal, but we are shipping it to China! WV could care less about us; a 2000.00 credit. Humpfffff, right. Lets do it ourselves….I am in fairmont area. contact me.

  14. lisa says:

    I am trying to turn a 1740 log home into total solar the home currently is using 1200.00 to 2000.00 per month in electric. I want to open the home to schools ext. to teach people about the real differnce solar and green energy can make. However its like spitting in the wind to get a company to sponsor the program. However if people cant really see how it could work for them they will never change.

  15. Fred says:

    The WV Legislature passed a residential solar energy tax credit in 2009 equal to 30% of the purchase and installation cost up to $2k. See 110CSR21D for the details.

  16. JB says:

    We’re looking to bring a US Solar Manufacturer to the mountain state within the next three years. Kudos to Robin and Sarah for their good works.

  17. Murphy says:

    If WV would just make a sensible Feed in tariff with a proper cap to protect the grid…banks and companies would invest 100’s of millions of dollars in the state like they do in other development solar economies. The GDP of WV is 63 Billion Dollars….300MW of solar would be at least 1.2 Billion…thats a 1.6% jump in the cash/goods flowing through our state…not to mention 1.2GWh of green electricity.

    To make it better, AEP signed a Power Purchasing Agreement with Ohio; so the rate hike in WV is to pay for the solar in Ohio; making Jobs and Money

  18. Dan Hahn says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and process Robin! Congratulations on your installation!

  19. Robin Wilson says:

    We are in the process of installing ~ 3 Kw grid tied PV system. Your site is wonderful. We have listed resources we have used at . I’m very excited about the project, I have learned a lot. As you can tell from the spread sheet we are DIY effort with the help of our neighbors Don Alexander and Mary Wildfire who have a cool off grid PV system. With the excitement comes some terror of making mistakes. Several useful things:
    1. Bill Howley told me with the new WV Net-metering law you don’t need the disconnect next to the meter. I was mistaken in hoping that the tax credit could count on the year when purchased – but it’s only when completed. 2. I found it easier to lay out our array orientation using solar noon (link on our web site) rather that a cheap compass. 3. I going to use the owner built rack Don our neighbor Don designed (on site). 4. I wish I had spent more money and purchased US made panels / modules.

  20. Linda says:

    Hi ~ Your site is very helpful. Not only the articles/info that SolarPowerRocks writes here, but many of the user comments, too. Thank you for a much needed solar info center.

    1. Dan Hahn says:

      Thanks Linda!

  21. Bill says:


    I’m in the biz, and can assure you that your cost numbers for a 3 KW system are way high. The national averate cost per watt of PV is $6 – $8 per watt. So a 3 kw system would be around $21K. Even with our low elec rates and minimal state incentives, the payback period is less than 10 years. More info available if you are interested



    1. Tina says:

      Hi Bill…
      Rather than purchase a retirement annuity, I’m interested in creating an income stream from selling solar power, but I’ve only been able to find info on net metering. Do you know how/if we might accomplish that in WV or MD?

  22. Dave says:

    I live in WV, and have for all 39years of my life. Now, finding myself approaching the mid years of life, and considering other forms of energy. My home is all electric and the bills keep getting higher all the time. My average bill is approximately $280 a month and recently found out the the electric company has been approved to increase the bill another 8%. We need other forms of electricity to be able to afford the energy. I am currently searching and studying solar, and wind energy, but there definitely needs to be some tax breaks from the state and nation to better accomidate the american people as well as West Virginians, to encourage the use of other natural resources and save everone in the long run.

  23. tim reed says:

    I also live in W.V. and would like to get solar panels for my home, but not enough tax credits and it’s not cost effective without it. I’m originally from La. and have no desire to move back. W.V. is home now but we do need help in state tax breaks for solar and wind power.

  24. Sarah says:

    Are any of you folks interested in getting involved in supporting legislation for these rebates? On another subject, have you heard of Create WV? Seems you all have great energy and would like to see big change happen in this state. I am organinzing the US Green Building Council for the state, and I am one of the founders of Create WV, and Green Drinks Charleston. has a great blog and would welcome your energy, and Green Drinks Charleston is one of two groups started to build social capital among people who think like we do. There’s also a Green Drinks Morgantown, and GreenDrinks Upper Ohio Valley is trying to get on its feet. Lastly, I’m launching a training initiative called WVGreenWorks to provide training in the hot areas in green and sustainability. I’m not making a shameless plea for my business–everything I’m talking about here is non-profit…but everything I’m talking about here is very important–geared to pull people together to move forward like we’ve never done before in this state. Holler at me if you want to get involved, or if you have questions. [email protected]

    1. Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hey, Sarah, we’ve got other solar fish to fry, but we’re posting your comment for anyone else locally in WV who would like to get involved with your organizations.

  25. TREHUGGR says:

    As stated by Murray, WV now offers 30% tax credit with a Max of $2000 for solar installations. Additionally the Federal tax credit is now 30% off of whatever is insalled, and I believe Allegheny’s rates are up a few cents from this article. Still WV could stand a few more incentives.

  26. Murray says:

    WV now has a $2000 Credit


    §11-13Z-1. Amount of credit.

    Any taxpayer who installs or causes to be installed a solar
    energy system on property owned by the taxpayer and used as a residence, or as farm or small industry as defined in section three of this article, after July 1, 2009 shall be allowed a credit against the taxes imposed in article twenty-one of this chapter in an amount equal to thirty percent of the cost to purchase and install the system up to a maximum amount of $2,000.

  27. anne says:

    In June, the West Virginia legislature passed a solar energy tax credit. See here:

  28. Murray says:

    Chris, with a Farm you probably qualify for a USDA Grant, that combined with the Federal Tax Credit makes Solar or Wind very much within your reach…. even in West Virginia. We are quoting a number of these in the state right now.

  29. Trev Hall says:

    I just learned yesterday that West Virginia will be enacting a 20+% additional tax credit for solar installations. Should happen soon.

  30. chris says:

    I’ve lived in WV since 1981 and would love to install a solar and water electric power generation system on my farm. But like most, financing seems to be an issue even with the available Federal Tax Credit. It would be great if the State of WV would help on offsetting the cost with something that would benefit everyone. If anyone has any input, please feel free to email me.

  31. Karen Lyvers says:

    I am very intrested in retrofitting my home to solar power. I am very intrested in clean power sources. I also would love to get this country off foreign oil. why make them rich,when they hate and want to kill us. I need help with financing.

  32. Jason Legg says:

    If there is any like minded people that are even remotely interested in constructing or building solar, wind power, or overunity generators in or around Huntington, WV. Leave me an E-mail ([email protected]
    Lets start something here, anything!!!

  33. Unnamed says:

    I have watched WV slide into the oblivion of being owned by everyone but the people. Let’s face it the states use was over with the Civil War. I have lived here all my life and was impressed we had cable internet as soon as we did, but AEP and coal companies are allowed to run amuck here. Kentucky isn’t much better. They the AK Steel company do whatever they want with H2S releases and other horrible gases that will literally peel the paint off your car. This area is doomed because the people here vote by party not by the best man for the job. Ceredo, WV has had the same mayor for 35+ years which mocks what our country’s system of government was meant to do. so it is no surprise to me to see chemical valley behind the world with solar or any other power. Hell the state wouldn’t protect the miners and had most of them shot for not working way back before the unions. So yeah this place sucks.

  34. Taron says:

    wow hey this is taron….and i love to hobnob with the bigwigs in west virginia I go there every weekend with my maid Karla. She wears skimpy maid outfits for me

  35. Wayne says:

    WOW! Second thoughts on retireing in Charleston. I was raised in Charleston and attended WVU before moving to New York City. After 20+ yrs I know that I don’t want to retire here, so I bought a house in Charlestons South Hills with the expectation of moving back home. I am having second thoughts about this now that I now know that WV is sooo far behind the rest of the country with solar energy. I will go solar on my retirement home, just hope that your legislature stops pandering to BIG COAL and starts to catch up with the rest of the WORLD. Time to get into the 21st century. Alternative fuel guys.

  36. Carla says:

    Back in 2005, before WV even had net meetering, I was told that WV didn’t offer any incentives for renewable energy to homeowners because “electricity is so cheap here” Figure in the health costs of the residents, and the environmental damage, and just how cheap is it?

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to call the govenor and state senators about this again.

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