With over 200 sunny days a year, Missouri is an ideal location for the installation of solar panels. Missouri residents who want to take advantage of green energy enjoy benefits such as lower energy costs, increased home value, energy independence, and a smaller carbon footprint.
Missouri solar panel cost
The cost of solar panels in Missouri can vary based on the solar panel installation, the brand of solar panel you choose, and the age and condition of your roof. For example, if you need to repair or replace the roof before installing solar panels, your solar system costs may be higher. And of course, whether you select a mid-range solar panel or opt for the best solar panels money can buy, your overall costs will be affected.
So how is the average cost of solar panels calculated? The cost of solar panels is measured by dollars per watt of energy. Using that method, the average cost of a residential solar system is $3 to $5 per watt, which places the average cost of solar panels between $15,000 and $25,000.
However, this figure does not take into account rebates or tax credits from the federal or state government. Most homeowners can recoup much of the initial costs through various incentives, which we will cover below. Overall, the cost of solar panels has decreased by more than 70 percent over the last 10 years. Nowadays, the normal payback time for a solar panel system is approximately six to nine years.
Why choose Missouri solar power?
Lower energy costs
Lower electric bills and saving energy with solar is often top of mind when Missouri residents consider going solar. Since you won’t be relying on the standard power grid all the time, your monthly electric bills should be less. In fact, a North Carolina State University study found that people who had solar panels between $44—$187 per month.
Establish energy independence
To be fully self-sufficient with your energy needs, the combination of solar panels and battery storage must power your home even during times of limited sunshine. When there is lots of sunshine, your solar panels may create more energy than you consume. The best solar batteries can store this excess energy and use it to power your home during cloudy days. Plus, you still have the power grid as a backup option.
With the use of solar panels, you can reduce your carbon footprint. How? Since solar energy is a renewable resource, you can feel good about using fewer fossil fuels and not contributing as much to climate change over time.
Missouri solar panel incentives or rebates
Missouri residents have access to a combination of incentives and rebates that can reduce the cost of your solar panels.
The federal government offers a solar tax credit of 26% to homeowners who install solar panels on their primary or secondary residence by 2022. Given the average cost of a system is between $15,000 and $25,000, this means you could save between $3,900 and $6,500, effectively reducing the solar panel cost to anywhere from $11,100 to $18,500, respectively.
However, this tax credit is scheduled to reduce to 22% after 2022, and expire at the beginning of 2024. Hopefully, Congress will renew and extend this credit, but homeowners who want to purchase their solar panels at a discount should act now to take advantage of the credit.
The state of Missouri also has solar incentives that keep solar costs lower. For example, the installation of a solar system can increase your property value, leading to a higher property tax. However, Missouri homeowners are exempt from property tax increases caused by the addition of solar panels. The state’s power companies also offer $0.25/watt and $0.50/watt rebates, a practice also known as net-metering.
Missouri also offers a financing option for homeowners to improve energy efficiency or invest in renewable energy, such as solar systems. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is “a voluntary tax assessment secured by a lien on the property.” This financing method lets homeowners repay the loan on their annual property tax bill. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, “PACE offers secured, fixed-rate, upfront financing for eligible improvements with repayment up to 20 years.”
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
Homeowners who can afford the upfront cost will save more money over the long haul by purchasing or financing their solar panels. A study by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy found the purchase of solar panels could increase the value of your home by $15,000.
However, if purchasing is not an option for you, you can obtain a home solar system through a solar lease. Leasing your solar panels allows you to use solar energy and reduce your electric bills without buying the solar panels. Another option is signing a solar power purchase agreement (PPA), which is a contract in which you’ll pay a low, fixed monthly cost to the company that owns and maintains the solar system.
Besides owning, leasing, or a PPA, there is a fourth solar option that is ideal for renters or homeowners who don’t want to install solar panels. Community solar programs are projects in which multiple families can take advantage of the same solar facilities.
Missouri solar panel companies
There are close to 120 solar companies in Missouri, which includes manufacturers, installers, and other tertiary solar businesses. Researching the components that come with getting solar panels for your home can help you choose the best company for your situation. To help with your research, SaveOnEnergy has a comprehensive solar energy guide.
The history of solar power in Missouri
Missouri currently ranks 29th in the nation in solar production by state. Though not in the coveted top 10 solar states, Missouri still is a significant solar powerhouse, with over 12,500 solar installations throughout the state powering over 33,000 homes. Missouri expects to see more solar installs over the next decade, especially since the price for solar panels has fallen 43 percent during the last five years.
The state’s largest solar farm is the O’Fallon Renewable Energy Center. Completed in 2014, it has the capacity to create 5.7 megawatts (MW) of energy. That’s enough to power more than 600 homes! Major corporations that use solar power in the Missouri area include Anheuser-Busch and IKEA.
Important solar installation factors to consider
Before you decide on a solar installer or financing option, you’ll want to first do a rudimentary assessment of your property to make sure it is a viable option for solar panels. Consider these factors:
- Roof — If your roof is in disrepair or is older, you may want to replace it. The average lifespan of a roof and solar panels is roughly 20-25 years, so it can be more cost-effective if your roof is new. Remember, a roof that is suitable for solar panels will typically face south and have a slope between 15 and 40 degrees.
- Sunshine — Solar panels are effective in areas where there is a good deal of sunshine. If your home has a lot of shady trees, solar panels may not be as effective.
- HOA rules and approval — If you live in an area that has an HOA or a set of community rules, you need to ensure that solar panels are permitted.
Solar power FAQ
How much would solar cost in Missouri?
The typical cost of solar panels in Missouri is $15,000 to $25,000 before factoring in federal and state incentives and rebates, which is based on a price of $3 to $5 per watt.
Is solar power a good investment in Missouri?
Solar panels in Missouri can be a great investment. Plus, incentives and rebates can reduce the cost of the panels. Missouri solar users are able to generate their own power, reduce energy costs, and increase the value of their homes.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
On average, homeowners in Missouri see a savings of $725 a year. The amount of money you save depends on a number of factors, including the amount of sun your roof receives and the amount of energy you use.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Missouri?
There are close to 50 companies in Missouri that install solar panels. Therefore, you’ll want to thoroughly research your options. Begin by reviewing our complete guide to solar energy. From there, you can develop a list of questions to ask each of the companies you’re considering.
How does solar power help the environment?
Solar power is a renewable resource that creates clean energy that does not emit carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are major contributors to global warming. By switching to solar energy, you can lower your home’s carbon footprint.