Solarize Piedmont

solar panel banner image

For a limited time each year, residents and businesses within PEC’s nine-county service area can take advantage of Solarize Piedmont — a cooperative program with Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP)The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), and participating municipal governments — to bring solar power to more people in the Commonwealth. 

The benefits of solar power are multi-fold: providing peak power close to the demand, energy security, cost savings, local employment opportunities, and emissions reductions. If you live in PEC’s service territory and have been thinking about putting solar power on your home, farm, or business, this is your opportunity to find out if it will work for you and take advantage of some very competitive pricing.

More than 700 households signed up for quotes and 99 households completed solar installations through Solarize Piedmont in 2023.

The 2024 Solarize campaign runs from April 1 to June 30.
Learn more about this annual campaign below.

Here’s how to participate in Solarize Piedmont in six easy steps.

1. Sign Up

Interested in solar, but not sure where to start? Curious about what you should be looking for or what is a good price? Get started by filling out our online form to get a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar. There is absolutely no commitment until, and if, you sign a contract with an installer.  

2. Solar Assessment

After you fill out the form, staff from LEAP will perform a satellite assessment of your property (via Google Earth) to determine its suitability for a solar array. You will be contacted with the results within 3-5 business days. Primarily, we’re looking for a good location for the solar panels. Most are installed on roofs, so a generally south-facing roof that isn’t shaded by adjacent trees is perfect. Ground-mounted systems are an option for fields or yards that get plenty of sun.

If your property is a good candidate for solar, LEAP will email you back asking you to share a copy of your prior year’s electric usage. This step helps the installer to determine the optimal size system for your home.

3. Connect With a Vetted Installer

Through a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, we selected four qualified local solar installers for the campaign. Once your electric usage is in hand, LEAP will forward your contact information on to one of them. Within 3-5 business days, that installer will contact you to schedule a free site visit to your home to create a proposal tailored for you, your budget, and your home’s energy needs.

4. On-Site Inspection and Proposal

The installer will do a site visit to evaluate your property and identify the best system for your needs. Then, they’ll send you a proposal tailored to your home, including financing options. Decide whether the proposal, pricing and financing options are right for you. This may involve a back-and-forth with the installer to further tailor your options. If you aren’t able to move forward right away, at least you have a better idea of your options!

Still not sure? Let LEAP’s Solarize manager know at She can talk to you about your questions or concerns.

5. Installation

If the proposal and price work for you, it is time to sign the proposal. The installer will obtain all necessary permits, materials, and equipment, and will get started on the installation. It generally takes around 4 months from signing up to having a functional system in place.

6. Enjoy the Savings and Clean Energy!

Once your system is up and running, you use electricity as it is generated and sell back any surplus electricity to the utility. Through “net energy metering,” you get a one-to-one, kilowatt hour-for-kilowatt hour credit on your bill for every unit of electricity produced and put back on the electric grid.

The electric utility will never pay you for the solar energy, they just credit your account. The credits are good for 12 months, so a sunny summer can be saving money for you in the winter.

Happy with your system? Let us know! We’d love to hear your story.

To sign up for Solarize Piedmont your property must be located in one of the following jurisdictions: Albemarle, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock.

Not in PEC’s nine-county service area? LEAP’s Solarize campaigns now cover over 30 counties, including in the Richmond area, Shenandoah Valley, Tidewater and all of Northern Virginia. 


The cost will depend on the number of panels installed and whether your site is suitable for rooftop solar or ground-mounted solar. Ground-mounted systems typically cost more. On average, a rooftop solar system costs between $10,000 – $25,000 after incentives. Your solar installer can walk you through different financing scenarios and options.

Configuration Options

There are two different types of panels to choose from:

  • Standard Panels (foreign-made)
    • 10 yr warranty on install and workmanship
    • 25 years on power at 80% or better
  • “Buy America” Compliant Panels 
    • 10 yr warranty on install and workmanship
    • 25 yr on power at 80% or better

Additionally, you have the option of standard inverters or micro-inverters. Talk to your solar sales engineer to determine which is the best choice for you!

Financial Incentives

In addition to the Solarize discount, Solarize Piedmont installers will help participants access the 30% federal tax credit, access affordable financing and navigate the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market for additional incentives.

Additional charges may apply…

  • Panels installed on more than 2 roof planes
  • Extensive/difficult cabling for online monitoring functionality
  • Tilt legs for roof-mounted arrays
  • Electrical modifications to the existing service other than net-metered back-fed breaker installation
  • Grid-tied Battery backup power installation
  • Off-grid battery backup power installation
  • Rocks in trenching line
  • Copper, slate, tile, or shake roofs
  • Line side tap (if needed)
  • Service shutdown (if needed)
  • Multiple string inverters
  • Extended inverter warranties
  • Non-standard color panels or frames
  • Premium panel upgrade

Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption (Code of VA § 58.1-3661)

  • Potential Applicants: Business, Industry, and Residents. This statute allows any county, city, or town to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment from local property taxes. Eligible technologies include passive solar space heat, active solar water heat, active solar space heat, solar thermal electricity, and photovoltaics. Certified solar energy items are defined as any “property, including real and personal property, equipment, facilities, and devices which use solar energy that would otherwise require a conventional source of energy.” Localities offering exemptions: Albemarle, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Fauquier, Hampton, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Prince William, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Spotsylvania, and Winchester.

All of the options above may make it possible for participants to finance their installations with monthly payments similar to or less than their regular utility payments.

Please note: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


After a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, LEAP selected four qualified local solar installers for the 2024 Solarize Piedmont campaign, which will run from April 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. Once you sign up and have the initial satellite assessment completed by LEAP, one of the two installers will be assigned to make a site visit to gather all the information necessary and provide you with a proposal. If you go to contract, the installer will obtain all necessary permits, order materials and equipment, and schedule your installation.

In 2024, Convert Solar, Solar Energy World, Nova Solar, and Solar Connexion are LEAP’s preferred campaign installers.

NOVA:Solar Energy World and Convert Solar
Central:Nova Solar and Convert Solar
Valley:Convert Solar
Fredericksburg:Solar Energy World and Convert Solar
Roanoke:Convert and Solar Connexion
Hampton Roads:Convert Solar

How we select our installers

LEAP issues a request for proposals to Virginia-based solar contractors for each of our solarize campaigns. They evaluate proposals based on price, equipment quality, and company business practices. They also give consideration for geographic proximity as we seek to support local business and minimize miles driven.

Are you a solar installer?

If you would like to receive future Solarize Request For Proposals (RFPs), please email LEAP at


Get started by filling out our online form to get a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar. There is absolutely no commitment until, and if, you sign a contract with an installer.  If you sign up before Solarize Piedmont’s official launch on April 1, you’ll be added to our waitlist and will be the first in line.

Want to talk to someone before signing up? Email Ashish Kapoor, Senior Energy and Climate Policy Analyst, at with any questions! You can also find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.