Nevadans have a great opportunity to save money by getting their energy from a resource they have in abundance: sunlight.
Most of the electricity produced in Nevada comes from natural gas, but nearly a quarter comes from solar power – good for sixth-most nationwide. Few states get more sunlight than the Silver State.
So what does it take to go solar? Less than it used to. The price of solar panels has fallen by roughly half in the last decade, and newly expanded federal tax credits mean you’ll get 30% back on the cost of a solar panel installation. Nevadans can also sell surplus electricity back to the electrical grid for a credit on future power bills, further reducing the cost.
Here’s what to know before making the decision to get solar panels.
Best national solar panel companies in Nevada
More than 85 solar companies are operating across Nevada, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. As solar continues to grow in popularity, the number of solar companies will also likely increase.
Based on our research, we’ve compiled a list of solar panel companies that excel in the industry. Be sure to do your own investigation into installers in your area before signing a contract. Here are a few Nevada solar installers to consider.
Local solar panel companies in Nevada
How to determine which solar company in Nevada is best for me
A solar installer is like any other contractor you’d have doing work on your home. That means you need to be informed about what your options are, shop around and get multiple quotes, check references and ensure the company is qualified to do the work. This is a project that will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars and remain an integral part of your home for decades, so don’t go with the first company that shows up at your door with a clipboard.
Average cost of solar panels in Nevada
Here’s a look at the average cash price for a 5-kilowatt system before factoring in tax credits incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com. Your system’s overall cost will also depend heavily on whether you get a solar battery.
Nevada solar panel incentives or rebates
Solar panels are a significant investment. Thankfully, solar tax credits and incentives are available in Nevada to make the switch to solar more affordable.
The Residential Clean Energy Credit is a federal solar tax incentive that credits 30% of the total cost of a solar system back to consumers. If you purchase a solar panel system in Nevada, you are eligible for this tax credit. The Residential Clean Energy Credit, formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit or ITC, was increased from 26% to 30% and extended after the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in August 2022. Based on Nevada’s median solar panel system cost, you could save as much as $8,194 with the federal tax credit.
You can apply for the Residential Clean Energy Credit by following the IRS-provided instructions and filling out form 5695 (PDF). Once the IRS approves your application, you will receive your 30% savings in credit when you file your federal tax return.
Nevada also offers net metering programs as an incentive for going solar. Net metering allows you to sell excess solar energy back to the grid in exchange for credits on your energy bill. These programs have undergone several updates in the last few years. Currently, consumers who live in the utility company NV Energy’s service area will receive a credit valued at 75% of the retail rate of electricity for the solar energy they send to the grid. Consumers living in Valley Electric Association’s service area will receive credits equal to 75% of the rate they pay the utility company.
Nevada does not have a property tax or sales tax exemption. If adding solar panels increases the value of your home, your property taxes could increase.
Read more: Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.
How to pay for solar panels in Nevada
As with any major purchase, you will want to think about how to finance the cost of solar panels. Keep in mind, the money from the tax credit won’t be yours until after you’ve filed your taxes for the year the panels are installed. It’s also important to factor in the solar payback period, which is the time it takes to recoup your upfront investment and when savings begins.
Here are some ways to pay for solar panels:
Solar loan: Your solar installer likely has a relationship with a bank or other financial institution to offer a loan designed for solar panels. This can be a great deal, but you’ll want to get multiple offers to ensure the rates and terms are the best.
Lease or power purchase agreement: Some solar companies allow you to lease your system or enter a power purchase agreement. If you choose to lease, you won’t own the solar system, you’ll just pay for use of the equipment. Entering a power purchase agreement means you’ll buy solar energy generated from the solar company to power your home. The price you’ll pay is usually lower than the retail rate from your local utility company. Note that not all incentives are available with a lease or power purchase agreement.
Personal loan: You can also borrow the money through a personal loan. The main difference between a personal loan and a home equity loan is that a personal loan is typically unsecured. That means your house isn’t at risk. The downside is they tend to have shorter terms and higher interest rates than home equity products.
Cash: This approach only works if you happen to have thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account. If you don’t have that yet, but you want solar panels in the future, consider saving money in a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are high right now, and this can help you save faster.
Home equity: You don’t have to use a loan from your solar company. Financial institutions offer home equity loans and lines of credit (or HELOCs) that are commonly used for home improvement projects. These loans can be used for basically any purpose, and they may be a good fit for your solar project. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Installation factors to consider
Investing in solar panels is a big financial decision. Considering this investment from every angle before signing a contract is important. Some installation factors to consider are:
Your home’s roof. The shape, size and slope of your home’s roof will determine how much power solar panels produce. The Department of Energy states solar panels will be most efficient on roofs sloping between 15 and 40 degrees. Before installing solar panels, you should also consider whether your roof needs repair or replacement. Older roofs may not be able to handle the installation process.
HOA and neighborhood requirements. Nevada law prohibits HOAs from banning or restricting solar panel systems. Currently, this law states HOAs can’t “unreasonably restrict” the efficiency of solar systems by more than 10%. Still, your neighborhood may have specific requirements or processes for solar installation. Be sure to check ahead of time about whether there are any approval steps you need to take.
- Insuring your solar system. After installing a solar system, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance agency to update your policy so it covers the solar system. Most homeowners’ policies cover solar panels and don’t require a separate policy, but check with your agency for specific details.
- Where you live. Solar panels generate electricity in direct and indirect sunlight. However, they’ll generate more power when they receive at least four hours of direct sun each day. Solar systems in Nevada should run efficiently as the state normally receives more sunny days each year than the US average. But if your home gets shade coverage throughout the day, a solar panel system will not produce as much power as it would in direct sun.
- Renting your home. If you live in an apartment or rent your home, you will need to ask your landlord or rental management company if you can install solar panels. If the answer is no, community solar programs are an alternative option. These programs let you subscribe to solar power produced by panels at another location (usually near your home) and get a credit on your energy bills. The subscription price is lower than the value of the credit you receive.