How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Power in Maryland
From the brisk, thriving communities in the D.C. suburbs to the precious wildlife living in its beautiful natural estuaries, Maryland has a lot to offer. Now you can add something new to the list—solar power.
With a long list of statewide incentives, installing solar in Maryland makes good financial sense. If you live in one of several areas that offers its own county tax credits, as well, you could shave thousands of dollars off your final bill when you install solar power on your Maryland home. Take a look at how solar power is growing throughout your state, and what you stand to save on the costs!
Solar Productivity in Maryland
Maryland might not be the first place you think of when you hear the words “solar power,” but surprisingly, the state receives a lot more sun than you’d think. When the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranked the states according to their average sun hours and intensity, the rated Maryland as 17th in the nation for solar productivity, tied with Maine, Delaware, Minnesota, and North Dakota. The state has an average UV index level of 0.84, with most of the area generating on average between 4.5 to 5 kilowatt hours of solar power daily. That’s a lot of energy you could save on your electricity bills!
Maryland’s Solar Popularity
Maryland is ranked 11th in the nation for solar power, according to industry estimates. Indeed, there is enough solar power currently installed in the state to power 38,000 homes. Like most U.S. states, interest in alternative energy has been growing, due largely to the lowered cost of panels. As solar power becomes more popular and mainstream, you can expect to see more and more installations go live, which should drive down panel and installation costs enormously. However, those who install now stand to take advantage of generous incentives, especially in Maryland, where the state is eager for residents in the area to go solar, and offers programs that make solar very affordable.
Average Residential Electricity Use and Cost
The state consumed some 27,488 million kilowatts of electricity in 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s about average among US states, but the amount that Marylanders pay for that electricity is definitely higher than its neighboring states—residents here pay an average 13.7 cents on the kilowatt hour, compared to the national average of 12 cents per kilowatt. That makes Maryland energy on the costly side, meaning residents here could benefit from a little sun power in their lives.
Installing Solar in Maryland
Maryland may be on the smaller side in terms of square mileage, but you wouldn’t know it to look at their solar industry. With over 150 installers located in the state, residents here have plenty of options to choose from when looking for a qualified installer. In fact, Maryland is one of the few states in the nation that boosts large national solar chains as well, meaning solar leases are much easier to come by here.
Maryland State Solar Support
Maryland’s state support of solar power is a lot more than lip service—the state has encouraged the growth of renewable energy by enacting legislation that will make switching to solar more attractive, for both residents and public commercial buildings. In fact, the state has a few very innovative programs for public buildings, including Game Changer Competitive Grant Program and the Parking Lot Solar PV with EV Charger Grant Program, which provide support for the creation of new lighting and charging setups. Like most states who support the growth of renewable energy, Maryland has set standards for itself, with a goal of eventually procuring at least 20 percent of its energy from green sources by 2022, with at least two percent of that coming from solar power.
Particularly, Maryland has several incentives supporting the construction of high performance structures—buildings and residences that have achieved LEED certification, an energy performance measuring system that rates construction across several different efficiency standards. As you might imagine, solar power gets homes high points on this measurement—and accordingly, there are several Maryland state incentives specifically aimed at those households opting for solar power.
Maryland State Solar Incentives
Solar legislation for commercial buildings is nice, of course, but if you’re a resident of the state, you want to know what it can offer you when you install solar power on your property. Thankfully, Maryland carries the trend over to the residential sector as well, providing some very generous incentives for homeowners in the area, including the following:
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Residential Solar: Maryland residents who purchase and install solar systems on net-metered properties are exempt from paying all sales taxes on the purchase. With the average residential system costing between $25,000 to $35,000 that represents quite a savings.
Property Tax Exemption for Solar Energy Systems: Solar energy systems have been shown to boost property values—great if you’re hoping to earn back the investment you made on your home, but not so great when the tax bill comes due. Thankfully, in Maryland, the state mitigates the cost of property tax increases by allowing an exemption for homeowners installing solar power on their homes. Residents who do choose to install solar power are not responsible for paying any increases the system generates on their valuation.
Net Metering: Like most states in the union, Maryland offers residents a way to save when they generate energy in excess of what they need to power their homes—net metering. Net metering measures homeowners’ energy generation against the energy they return to the grid and credits solar households for each extra kilowatt hour.
Personal Clean Energy Production Tax Credit: When you install solar power in your Maryland home, you’re also eligible for a personal tax credit on your state income taxes, worth $0.0085 per kilowatt hour of actual generated energy. The incentive is capped at $2.5 million dollars earned over a five year period.
Additionally, Marylanders who decide to go solar may qualify for a national incentive, as well. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit returns taxpayers 30 percent of the cost of a solar energy system when they complete complete IRS form 5695 along with their income taxes. To qualify, systems must generate at least half of the household’s energy.
Maryland Local Solar Incentives
In addition to statewide incentives, several counties in Maryland offer their own unique incentive options, that could save you as much as 50 percent of system costs. Here’s a sampling of what local governments have to offer:
Baltimore County Property Tax Credit for Solar Devices: Baltimore county offers its residents a generous incentive for solar-powered devices, representing up to 50 percent of the system cost. For solar space heating, there is a maximum incentive of $5,000. For solar water heating a max of $1,500 and for solar PV it caps at $5,000. Because there is a maximum annual budget for the program, there was a waiting list to receive this incentive that was backed up until 2024, as of the end of 2015.
Harford County Property Tax Credit for Solar Devices: Hartford County residents are exempt from paying property taxes generated from the installation of solar power systems. The incentive is worth one year of real property taxes or $2,500– whichever is lowest.
Prince George’s County Solar Residential Property Tax Credit: Residents in Prince George’s County can receive a one-time tax credit worth 50 percent of system costs, for solar PV, solar water heating, and solar space heating devices. The incentive is capped at $5,000 for space heating and solar electric, and $1,500 for solar water heating.
Anne Arundel County Solar Equipment Property Tax Credits: Anne Arundel residents are eligible for a very generous incentive that credits them 50 percent of their system and installation costs, after any applicable state and federal incentives are deducted. That makes solar power in this county very lucrative, indeed.