How Much Can You Save on Solar in West Virginia?
West Virginia has resources that give it the potential for renewable energy generation. According to data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Mountain State receives an annual average of 4,146 kilojoules per square meter (KJ/m2) of sunlight, broken into a range of 3.5 to 4.5 hours per day.
As of 2020, the commercial sector in West Virginia consumes a total energy per capita of 57 million British Thermal units. On the other hand, residential consumption stood at 84 million BTU in total energy per capita. The total energy per capita consumed across sectors was about 107.9 million British Thermal units in 2020.
As part of the state’s sustainability effort, West Virginia offers multuple renewable energy rebates. Here is a breakdown of some of these rebates.
West Virginia Solar Tax and Incentives at a Glance
|West Virginia Solar Incentive||State of Federal||Program Overview|
|Federal Tax Credit||Federal||US citizens can claim a 30% federal Tax credit on solar energy systems installed in 2023. This credit covers all expenses, including installations. There is no maximum limit on the available credit amount.|
|Net Metering||State||The state gives credits on the amount of solar energy sent back to the distribution grid. This credit offsets the electricity bill for subsequent months.|
How Cheap or Affordable is Solar Energy in West Virginia?
The average retail cost of grid electricity in West Virginia is 8.87 cents per kilowatt. The average cost of solar panels per watt is $2.64.
In 2023, West Virginia had 24 MW of installed solar capacity, The state is projected to experience a steady increase in solar energy generation over the coming years.
|State||Number of solar Installations||MW Installed||Average cost for grid power (2021)||Average cost per watts|
|West Virginia||1||24||8.87 cents/Kw||$2.64|
By 2027, 671 MW of solar energy is expected to be added to the state’s solar energy profile. This projection comes logically as the price of solar energy in the state has decreased by over 52% over the last ten years.
Apart from solar energy, West Virginia also has an abundant source of other forms of renewable energy. For example, the mountainous part of the state provides a suitable environment for hydropower generation. Hydroelectric power from this source currently generates more than 2.5% of the state’s total electricity net generation.
In 2020, wind power generation also reached an all-time high of 1.9 million hours in the state. And in 2022, a 115 MW wind farm began operation, increasing the state’s wind capacity to 860 MW.
In addition to renewable energy sources, West Virginia relies on non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas to meet its energy needs.
As of January 2023, a 6Kw solar panel costs about $15,834 at $2.64 per watt in West Virginia. With the 30% Federal Tax credit, homeowners can save $0.75 per watt on solar panel installations.
This brings a 6Kw solar panel cost to $11,084 after the Federal Tax Credit. However, apart from the Federal Tax credit, there is no other West Virginia tax credit for solar panels.
|State||Cost of Installing a 6Kw||Federal Tax Credit Value 2023 (30%)|
As of 2021, West Virginia gets 5% of its total Energy Supply from Renewable Sources. Hydroelectricity is the Major source of renewable energy in the state. Other major sources of renewable energy include wind, sun, and biomass.
However, about 90% of West Virginia's energy is generated from coal. Most of the time, power consumers buy from renewable sources to offset the bills. No laws explicitly stop users from purchasing 100% green energy.
The cost of a panel differs based on a mix of factors. Here is a breakdown of these factors:
|Type of Solar Panel||Average Cost in the United States ($)|
On average, it takes 8 to 10 years for homeowners to earn their money’s worth on West Virginia solar panels,. This factor may, however, vary with households based on the following factors:
The Federal Solar Tax credit is a renewable energy tax credit available to all taxpayers in the United States. With this arrangement, taxpayers get a percentage tax credit that offsets the income liability of the solar energy system.
The percentage credit may vary, depending on the year the solar energy system is installed. For example, energy systems installed between 2020-2021 can claim a 26% Federal Tax Credit.
This solar energy incentive was introduced in 2005, with 2022 as the original deadline. However, the United States congress extended it in August 2022 and changed the credit parameters slightly.
Taxpayers can claim a 30% tax credit on systems installed from 2023 to 2032. The 30% tax credit also applies to systems installed on or before 31st December 2019. The new legislation also reduced the percentage credit amount to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. Unless new legislation extends it, the credit expires in 2035.
|State||Cost of Installing a 6Kw||Federal Tax Credit Value 2023 (30%)|
To be eligible for the Federal Tax Credit in West Virginia, a resident must
The Federal Solar Tax Credit is designed to offset the solar energy system installation cost. Here is a detailed breakdown of the costs it covers:
To claim this solar energy incentive in West Virginia, you must first check your eligibility for the tax credit. Once you’ve confirmed you’re eligible, follow these steps to claim the credit:
Net Energy Metering is one of the renewable energy incentives in West Virginia. With this provision, owners of solar energy systems get credit for the energy they produce. This credit offset is then used to offset the energy bill for the owners.
The West Virginia Code §24-2F-8 establishes the laws that guide Net Energy Metering in the state. The most recent major amendments to Net Energy Metering were made in 2015 and 2019 in House Bill 2201.
According to State laws, this solar energy incentive applies to residential owners of solar energy systems. The law further mandates the owners to be customers of Investor Owned Utilities. The policy also extends to electric cooperatives and municipal utility companies. Finally, the law stipulates maximum generating capacities for different IOU types, municipal utilities, and electric cooperatives. Here is a breakdown of the limits:
|Customer Type||Investor Owned Utilities With customers above 30,000||Electric cooperatives and municipal utility||Investor Owned Utilities With customers less than 30,000|
Under this policy, customers are credited per Kilowatt of the energy their system generates. At the end of a month, the credit amount is deducted from the amount they incur in the electricity bill.
In cases where the energy generated exceeds the energy used, customers are credited for the excess. The credits accumulate to offset the electricity bills in subsequent months. Credit accrued to excess generation accumulates monthly for an indefinite period.
To enrol for this West Virginia’s renewable energy rebate, you must:
West Virginia has no local solar property tax exemption provisions. West Virginia also has no solar tax credit. The only incentive for the energy systems is the Net Metering policy.
According to the United States Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's recommendations, solar energy system installation is better handled by certified professionals. There are, however, many solar energy companies in the United States. The following steps are useful in finding the best solar energy companies in West Virginia:
To create a good list of potential companies, you could:
There are many options to streamline your longlist. However, you could examine reviews on marketplaces, app stores, and company websites. Here are a few premises for your comparison and streamlining:
Delaware Solar Tax and Incentives at a Glance: It is important that your choice of solar energy meets the minimum safety and regulatory requirements. The best way to ascertain this is through certifications. The North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) licence is an important certification. You could also explore if the company has the Electrical contractor licence issued in West Virginia.
Also, the West Virginia Division of Labor licenses contractors in the state. Finally, the Solar Energy International certification is a plus. On the business end, you may want to check if the Better Business Bureau accredits the company. Certified companies can be held to more accountability than unregistered and uncertified ones.
Experience: The best way to assess a company’s experience may be the number of years in active service. It is plausible that companies that have existed for a long time are trusted with installations.
Customer Satisfaction: You can get a feel of a company’s customer service from reviews. You could also check if the company has warranty coverages and customer protection policies. With this, you are sure that your complaints will be treated with urgency and expertise.
Industry Affiliations: Some companies may be affiliated with big brands, regulatory agencies, and the government. These affiliations may be important to determine whom to hire or not.
Proximity: You also need to be sure the company is accessible. Explore the available customer service options to see how fast they work. Most importantly, companies nearer to you will understand how to handle your installations. Proximity may also affect cost.
Pricing: You should check the company’s pricing policy. Read about the available incentives, if any exist. You should weigh this against your installation budget before proceeding. Sometimes, booking a session with front desk professionals in the companies may be helpful.
It is best to pick five companies and request quotations from them. The documents give you a better shot at fairly accessing your options. You should look out for the details in the quotation and pricing. The quotation may be useful to give you an idea of the company’s experience and expertise.
From customer reviews on solar marketplaces, some companies have consistently appeared on the top radar in West Virginia. Some of these companies include Mountain View Solar, Milestone Solar consultants, and Yellow Lites.
West Virginia is ranked as the tenth smallest state by area size in the US and the twelfth least populous state. As of 2021, West Virginia was estimated to have a population of 1,775,556.
The homeownership rate in the State is estimated to be 73.9%. This rate is slightly higher than the national average rate of 65.8%. The state's median value of owner-occupied housing units stood at $128,800. In West Virginia, 73.9% of homes are owner-occupied. These owner-occupied buildings were estimated to cost a median of $1,101 monthly with a mortgage and $345 without a mortgage. To live in these owner-occupied houses, one can expect to pay a median gross rent of $770.
In the year 2021, the government issued a total of 3,671 building permits. The homeownership vacancy rate stands at 2.2% in the State, while the annual property tax rate is 0.59%.