West Virginia isn’t an especially solar-friendly state. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), West Virginia ranks a lowly 48th in the nation for installed solar capacity. The state generates just 0.04% of its electricity from solar power, demonstrating West Virginia’s abiding love of burning coal.
The lack of solar installations here aren’t all that surprising, given that there are no state sales tax or property tax exemptions for solar installations, no state rebates or other incentives, and no market for solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).
Reader note: SunPower is currently our top ranked solar installer operating in West Virginia.
The good news is that net metering is allowed in West Virginia and the rules are pretty generous, with one big caveat.
West Virginia Solar Incentives
|Net metering in West Virginia||Net metering is mandated by law in West Virginia, with credits rolling over indefinitely but a requirement for liability insurance.|
|Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) in West Virginia||The state has no market for SRECs but residents may be able to sell SRECs in adjacent states.|
SRECs in West Virginia
West Virginia repealed its Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2015, which means the state no longer requires utilities to generate any percentage of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. As such, there is no market for solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) in West Virginia. However, West Virginia solar producers may be able to sell their SRECs in the Ohio market. The trouble there, though, is that Ohio prices for SRECs are at a historic low, netting most sellers just $4 per SREC.
For most homeowners in West Virginia, then, it’s barely worth the trouble to fill out the paperwork to sell SRECs. Unlike in some other states, where homeowners can earn thousands of dollars annually from SRECs, don’t bank on any additional income from your solar array in the Mountain State.
Net metering in West Virginia
West Virginia Code §24-2F-8, amended by House Bill 2201, mandates net metering with unused credits rolled ever indefinitely. All residential customers of investor-owned utilities (IOU), municipal utilities, and electric cooperatives are eligible to net meter for systems under 25 kW. The only other caveat being that all net metering customers, including residential customers, must have at least $100,000 in general liability insurance.
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Final thoughts on state solar incentives in West Virginia
West Virginia offers little in the way of incentives to go solar at home. Plucky homeowners are mostly going it alone when it comes to switching to renewables. Aside from the 30% federal solar tax credit, net metering is the only other bonus for most West Virginians installing residential solar.
Despite lacking other incentives, West Virginia has at least enacted solar easement laws. These protect residents’ rights to install solar panels and maintain peak sun exposure. Previously, homeowners associations and other bodies could prevent homeowners installing solar arrays and development could mean your previously sun-soaked panels were thrust into shade. Now, once you install solar, other residents and businesses can’t build and block your access to sunshine.