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How To Get Free Solar Panels Installed in Maryland

Updated April 8, 2024

If you are a homeowner in Maryland, there is a good chance that you qualify for a free solar panel installation for your home or business! This guide will help you find out if you qualify and how to get started with solar.

How to get free solar panels in Maryland

Step 1: Understand Your Options

There are several programs that offer free solar panels and installations to Maryland residents. Your options depend on a number of factors such as where you live, the type of energy system you need, and your income status. Based on these factors, you may also qualify for even more financial benefits like rebates and tax credits. The following are some of the most popular and beneficial programs currently available in Maryland…

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Power Purchase Agreements

The most common path to "free" solar is a Power Purchase Agreement directly between you and a state-licensed solar energy company. Under a "PPA", the solar company absorbs the full cost of the solar panel equipment and installation for you.

The solar company is technically the owner of the equipment, however, they are responsible for providing you with electricity produced from your home for a guaranteed fixed rate (unlike the unpredictable rising costs of traditional utilities). They are also responsible for any continued maintenance or repairs the solar system may require.

This can be a great option if you don’t want to buy or simply can’t afford buying the solar panels outright. Even though the homeowner isn’t purchasing the actual solar system, they still enjoy the benefits of solar energy and save money on their electricity bills.

Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program

The Maryland Residential Clean Energy Program is a statewide, non-competitive (first come, first served) rebate program by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). This landmark program provides rebates directly to homeowners who choose to adopt solar electric (photovoltaic) or solar water heating. For MD residents who meet certain eligibility requirements, this can be an excellent way to obtain a state-licensed solar panel installation at no cost.

While MD Clean Energy is the leading state program, many local counties offer their own programs as well, each with unique eligibility requirements. Considering how specific each program is to the details of your home, we strongly suggest you speak with a local solar expert to review all of your best options.

Additional Financial Benefits

In addition to these programs, there are many financial benefits for homeowners in Pennsylvania who switch to solar energy. Some of the biggest incentives and benefits are:

Federal Tax Credit: Formerly known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), this program was extended in 2022 and renamed the Residential Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners who install solar can claim a massive federal tax credit worth 30% of the gross system cost (including panels, related equipment, wiring, installation, permits, and fees). That means that if the gross system cost is $20,000, your federal tax credit would be a whopping $6,000!

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs): SRECs are financial credits that you receive automatically for the excess energy your solar system produces and distributes back to the grid. These credits come in the form of deductions from your bills or can even be sold for monetary payment based on market value. This is a great way to make some passive income from your solar panels and increase your solar savings!

Multiple Tax Exemptions: Homeowners with solar can receive a property tax exemption for the value of their system. This allows homeowners to increase their property values without increasing their taxes. The state also applies a Sales Tax Exemption to the purchase of the system, so residents won't have to pay the 6% Maryland state sales tax. So if your solar energy system costs $20,000 total, you’ll save an additional $1,325 off taxes!

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Step 2: Find Out if Your Home Qualifies

Depending on where you live, your home may qualify for several different solar savings or free install programs, each with unique advantages. We strongly recommended you speak with a local solar expert regarding your options prior to installation. If you begin an installation without applying for the right programs, you may lose out on massive savings!

Step 3: Get a State-Licensed Installation

Working with a state-licensed installer is the best way to ensure your solar system is installed safely, securely, and most importantly, legally. Setting up a cutting-edge solar system and connecting it with your utility company’s grid is no simple DIY project. Be sure only to evaluate options provided from licensed and insured solar panel installers.

Contact our local Maryland solar experts and we’ll walk you through the whole process, from qualification to installation!

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Author & Solar Energy Expert

James Kahle, a revered voice in the energy domain, enlightens homeowners about the benefits of solar. Catch James soaking up the sun while playing basketball or immersed in the pages of a book.

Find out if you qualify for solar savings programs!

Do I Qualify?

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