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Solarize Virginia Makes Clean, Renewable Energy Affordable for Virginians

Making the switch to clean, renewable energy is more affordable than ever thanks to Solarize Virginia, an initiative of Virginia nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), and tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act.  Hundreds have already signed up for a free home assessment through Solarize for their home since the 2023 program launched last Wednesday.

Solar accounts for 5.6 percent of Virginia electricity production – enough to power 500,000 homes.  Thanks in part to Virginia’s Clean Economy Act (VCEA), this is expected to grow 50 percent by 2028, while adding nearly 30,000 new solar jobs.

“In the current market, it is hard to know who to trust or what questions to ask,” said Katie VanLangen, Co-Executive Director of LEAP.  “We ask the questions and negotiate the pricing so that participants don’t have to worry.”  

Consumers that sign up through August 31, and sign an installation contract by September 15, will be eligible for bulk discounts, negotiated by Solarize, up to 20 percent.   

Over the past decade, solar costs have fallen 54 percent, with installations now ranging $15,000 to $25,000.  This is before the tax credit up to 30 percent of installation cost, which saves consumers over $6,000 on average.

The tax credit may only be claimed against tax liability owed to the IRS — though any remaining credit can be “rolled over” annually through 2034.  Solarize recommends discussing with a financial planner or accountant to strategize any changes in withholding.

Though popular during assessment, VanLangen says solar shingles and home battery systems are rarely chosen.  A home battery system can double the cost of an install and, thanks to net metering, are unnecessary unless one wants to be outage-proof.  Solar shingles are better looking, but produce less and cost much more.

VanLangen says, after completing an install through Solarize last year, her home electric bill dropped over 90 percent to under seven dollars per month.  According to EnergySage, solar will reduce most electric bills by over 75 percent, with many eliminated entirely.

Though unable to “get paid” for overproduction, net metering is available over a set 12-month period (from the first month of use), allowing consumers to apply credits from high-production months to any bills received during the period.  This is not a rolling period, however. Consumers who turn on their systems during winter months are encouraged to contact their electric company and adjust their 12-month period to begin in the early summer, so that credits are available to use during winter months, when shorter days reduce production.  

In addition, VCEA provides consumers with one State Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) per megawatt-hour (MWh) produced by solar (most homes produce just above one MWh per month), which can each be sold to utility companies for around $50.

New for 2023, nonprofits and places of worship can now apply through Solarize Virginia, whereas in previous years only residential applications were considered.  This could provide a substantial boost to the presence of solar in our region, with 8,200 nonprofits based in the DC metro area – the third largest concentration in the nation.

Area homeowners, nonprofits, and religious institutions are encouraged to sign up for a free consultation and assessment at  In addition, Solarize has scheduled three information webinars on July 19, August 1, and August 17; register for free at