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Solar Power Guide for Nevada Residents: Pricing, Incentives and More

Want to lower your energy bills? Learn how solar energy can save you money and help the environment.

View of solar panels in the Mojave Desert.
Tilted solar panels glisten near the mountains of the Mojave Desert.
andreiorlov/Getty Images

According to the Energy Information Administration, solar energy is on the rise in Nevada, with solar generation up more than 20% from 2020 to 2021. The cost of solar panels has fallen significantly in recent years, leading to a growth in home solar installations in the state.

Residents in The Silver State tend to pay a lower traditional energy bill than the US average, based on data from CNET's sister publication SaveOnEnergy. Nevadans can utilize renewable energy and lower their carbon footprint by investing in a solar panel system. 

According to the EIA, Nevada residents paid an average residential electric bill of $132 in August 2022. This comes to an average energy cost of $1,584 for an entire year. The average solar loan bill in the US is about $78 a month, based on data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The amount you pay each month for solar depends on factors including the system's total cost, local policies, and energy prices. If Nevadans invest in a solar system that produces as much energy as their household consumes, they could save around $648 each year with solar power.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the cost of home solar panels has decreased by more than 69% since 2000. Meanwhile, traditional energy prices are rising, meaning you can save more on energy bills now than ever. There are federal, state and local tax credits and incentives to help bring the price down further. Whether you're considering solar to benefit the environment or lower your energy bills, home solar panels are a good investment in Nevada.

Nevada solar panel costs

Several factors influence the cost of a solar panel system, including the number of solar panel modules, components like batteries and the cost of installation and labor. Solar systems in Nevada tend to be smaller than the national average system size. However, Nevada's median price per watt is slightly higher than the US median price per watt.

Based on Lawrence Berkeley National Lab data, here's a breakdown of Nevada's typical solar panel system size and cost. 

Typical solar installation costs in Nevada


System size (kW) Price per watt Total cost
High 10.2 $4.78 $48,867
Median 7 $3.88 $27,318
Low 5 $2.04 $10,113

Nevada vs. the whole US


System size (kW) Price per watt Total cost
Nevada 7 $3.88 $27,318
Nationwide 7.6  $3.67 $26,882

Based on this data, the median cost of home solar in Nevada is on par with the nationwide median. As more solar installers emerge in Nevada, increased competition may further drive down costs. 

There are several financing options available to make investing in solar panels easier. Many residents purchase their solar panels upfront, while others finance their system with a solar loan. Solar leases and power purchase agreements are also options, although you won't be eligible for tax incentives unless you own your system.


Advertiser Disclosure: SaveOnEnergy, owned by CNET's parent company Red Ventures, can help you find the right energy fit for your home. The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy fit for your home -- all for free. If you're interested in solar, answer a few questions to get an exact price quote from our solar advisors.


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 solar panel companies

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.

Palmetto Solar

Palmetto offers solar panel systems to residential customers in 25 states, including Nevada. According to Palmetto's website, this installer estimates its solar systems could save Nevada residents about $20,312 over 25 years. With Palmetto, you can purchase solar panels outright or sign a solar lease or PPA. 

Palmetto Solar sells solar panels with an efficiency rating greater than 19.8% and a power rating of 395-405 watts. Palmetto requires its manufacturers to offer a minimum 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. Customers can also opt into a subscription called Palmetto Protect, which provides system monitoring and tiered levels of customer support if the panels experience issues or are damaged.

Sol-Up

Sol-Up is a solar installer that has been operating in the Las Vegas area since 2009. While it has a smaller service area than other national installers, Sol-Up offers a strong lineup of solar products, including Panasonic panels, Span Smart Panels and the Tesla Powerall. This installer handles every step of the process in-house, meaning it does not hire third-party contractors for engineering, sales or installation. 

Sol-Up offers a 25-year quality-of-work warranty. Product and performance warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer; consumers who choose Sol-Up should check the warranty information for each product.

SunPower Solar

SunPower Solar excels in the solar industry regarding efficiency. With an efficiency rating of up to 22.8%, the SunPower Equinox solar panel is the most efficient option on the market. SunPower also offers Maxeon solar panels, Enphase microinverters and mounting equipment.

SunPower is headquartered in California and operates across most of the nation, including Nevada. This installer offers very competitive warranties, guaranteeing 92% production capacity for 25 years and 10 years of coverage for mounting equipment. Customers can use the mySunPower app to monitor their system's performance and adjust battery settings.

Sunrun

Sunrun differs from its competitors because of its focus on solar leases. Leasing solar panels has some disadvantages -- for example, you won't qualify for the federal tax credit if you don't own the system -- but solar leases are more affordable upfront. While most of Sunrun's customers lease their systems, the installer also offers solar systems for purchase.

Sunrun is the largest solar installation company in the US and offers high-quality solar panels, batteries and inverters. Sunrun provides strong warranties for customers who lease their system, offering "bumper-to-bumper" coverage on system monitoring and required maintenance. For those who purchase their system through Sunrun, the installer provides a 10-year quality warranty covering installation issues and roof damage.

Tesla Solar

Tesla became a brand name in the solar industry and expanded its installation capacity in 2016 when it purchased SolarCity. If you choose Tesla as your solar installer, you can decide between Tesla solar panels or the Tesla Solar Roof. The price, warranty and efficiency rating will depend on which solar system you choose.

The Tesla Solar Roof is the more expensive option. The Solar Roof replaces your entire roof with shingles that generate solar power and look-alike shingles that don't. It comes with a 25-year product warranty and guarantees 95% capacity after five years and 85% after 25 years.

Tesla solar panels are the more affordable option for a traditional solar panel route. Tesla's solar panels have an efficiency range between 19.3% and 20.6% and guarantee 85% capacity after 25 years.

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 cannot "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. 

Nevada solar power FAQs

How many solar panels would I need in Nevada?

The number of solar panels you will need for your system depends on how much energy you use, the panels you choose, the amount of sunlight you get daily and other factors. On average, a US home would need 15-25 solar panels to fully cover its energy usage.

Is solar worth it in Nevada?

Solar panels can be a great investment in Nevada. The state tends to get a high number of sunny days each year, and the cost of solar panels has decreased in recent years. Residents could save as much as $648 annually in energy bills based on Nevada's median solar panel system cost.

How do I choose a Nevada solar installer?

Finding the right solar installer for your home can feel tricky. We recommend you research your options thoroughly, including reading customer reviews and getting multiple quotes from different installers. You can also review CNET's choices for top solar companies.