Solar Panels in Montana | 2022 Cost and Incentives | SaveOnEnergy®

Montana Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

How much do solar panels cost in Montana?

home with solar panels on the roof


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Solar power in Montana

Solar power is a great source of renewable energy in the state of Montana. Currently, there is 122.7 MW of solar energy installed in Montana, enough to power over 16,000 homes. Montana has invested over $171 million in the industry and created almost 300 jobs. Although currently ranked 43rd in the nation for solar generation, Montana is projected to steadily move up to 40th place in the next five years with a growth of 556 MW.

Solar energy can be a great investment for homeowners seeking to go green and reduce their carbon footprint. Solar panels also provide a consistent energy source independent of price fluctuations from the electric company. Despite a large up-front cost, homeowners enjoy savings in monthly utility bills. In fact, within a few years, the solar system may even pay for itself.

Montana solar panel cost

Solar energy systems can cost an average of $24,742 before factoring in any tax credits or rebates. Broken down, the solar energy costs, which are measured in dollars per watt, come out to $3.82 on average. Although this may seem like a large investment, you could save money every year compared to traditional monthly utility costs. Most solar customers recoup their initial investment in six to nine years on average. 

The cost of solar in Montana is specific to your usage and home. Your solar installer will help you determine an optimal-sized system. If you have a large family, you may consume more energy and need a larger system. Other factors including permits, labor, and inspections add to the total cost of your solar system. Additionally, high-end panels or the addition of a battery can increase the price.

Get an exact quote from our solar advisors

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.

1. Complete the form below
2. Schedule an appointment with a solar advisor
3. Get an exact price quote for solar panels for your home

Montana solar panel incentives or rebates

Purchasing solar panels can be a big investment. Thankfully, you may be able to offset the cost with tax incentives and rebates. For example, the recent Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden includes the Residential Clean Energy Credit, formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Residents who buy and install solar panels in Montana can receive a 30% tax credit for purchases through 2032. The credit can even be retroactively applied to systems bought in the beginning of 2022.

Montana also offers statewide solar incentives to help lower your costs further. Here are a few options:

Renewable Energy Systems Exemption Montana offers residents a property tax exemption on qualifying renewable energy systems for up to $20,000 over a period of 10 years.
Residential Alternative Energy System Tax Credit This is a personal tax credit of up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples made available when a green energy source such as solar is installed. 
Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program This program offers individuals loans for alternative energy system installation, including solar panels and solar water heating.
Net Metering Montana residents who are served by investor-owned utilities have the option to receive bill credits when their solar array produces more energy than the household uses in a month.
Residential Clean Energy Credit This is a 30% federal tax credit offered to consumers who purchase and install solar panels from 2022 to 2032.

 

Why choose Montana solar power?

Lower energy costs 

One of the best benefits of installing solar power on your Montana home is the lower energy costs. Despite an expensive initial investment, you will no longer be impacted by fluctuating energy prices from the power grid. These savings eventually pay for themselves, with most solar systems recovering initial costs in an average of six to nine years. Your individual savings will vary depending on the size of your solar system and your home’s total consumption. If you produce excess energy, you may even be able to sell your excess power back through net metering.

Establish energy independence

Another benefit of installing a home solar system is establishing energy independence. Energy costs often fluctuate, and homeowners can be vulnerable to rate increases. However, with solar energy, you can power your home without completely relying on electric companies. This independence can be especially helpful when there are high demands on the power grid. When you opt to buy a solar battery with your system, you can also use some electricity during a power outage. Home solar systems also help to curb the nation’s dependency on foreign fossil fuel imports.

Go green

Last but not least, a wonderful benefit to solar energy is having the option to help the environment by reducing pollution. As a green energy source, installing a solar panel system can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Plus, solar plants do not emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, decreasing air pollution. Typically, switching to solar energy is non-invasive since solar panels can be installed on existing infrastructure. The reduction in pollutants can even help lessen the cost of pollution-related healthcare and mitigate climate change.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

Montana homeowners have the option to buy or lease their solar panels. Some homeowners may even have access to community solar sharing. Although the up-front cost is high, buying your system provides the best return on your investment. 

If you can afford to purchase outright, you will eventually recoup your costs in the savings from your monthly electricity bills. Buying also allows you to take advantage of federal and state tax credits that you would not qualify for if you leased your system. An added benefit is that your home’s total resale value can increase by up to $15,000 after installing a solar system.

If the up-front cost of purchasing doesn’t fit your current budget, leasing is still a great option for homeowners interested in solar energy. Solar loans help make panel installation accessible to more homeowners. Even though you are still paying a monthly fee to the solar company, your home is self-generating power, and you typically save on monthly energy costs. The biggest downside is that solar leases can last up to 25 years. This can make selling your home more challenging since you will have to find a buyer willing to take over your lease.

Montana solar panel companies

There are a variety of solar installer companies in Montana to choose from. Before you sign a contract, spend time researching the company’s experience, customer service rating, and the warranties available for repairs or replacement panels. 

SaveOnEnergy is an unaffiliated energy marketplace that can help you find the company best suited to your individual needs. We will help you explore the energy plans in your area as well as the renewable choices available. To learn more about solar installers in your area, you can request more information or call the number on your screen to speak with one of our experts.

Important solar installation factors to consider

Before investing in solar power in your Montana home, consider any factors that could impact the effectiveness of your panels. Some homes are better suited to produce adequate solar energy than others.

  • Condition of your roof: Your roof plays a big role in determining whether your home is ready for solar. Everything from the shape and size of your roof to its orientation and slope can impact solar panel effectiveness. You should also consider the age of your roof and how soon it might need replacing.
  • Local climate and weather: Solar technology is designed to operate in any climate, but there are certain weather conditions better suited for optimal energy harvesting. Obviously, your roof panels would need access to substantial sunlight for the most effective solar energy generation.
  • Neighborhood rules and regulations: Even though there are many benefits to installing solar panels, some neighborhood HOAs may have restrictions against construction on the exterior of your home. Always check with your community before making major changes or signing an installation contract.

Solar power FAQs

How much does solar cost in Montana? Expand / Collapse Toggle

The national average cost to install a residential solar system is between $3 and $5 dollars per watt, or $24,742. The size of your home, condition of your roof, and company of choice can all impact the total cost of your installation. Luckily, with federal and state incentives, you may be able to offset your initial investment.

Is solar power a good investment in Montana? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Whether solar is a good investment will vary depending on factors discussed in the last section. If your home is in a location capable of capturing a lot of sunlight, you may enjoy a huge savings in energy costs. Depending on what your monthly bill was and how much energy you generate, you may even be able to recoup your investment costs in a few years.

How much could I save by investing in solar? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Your home’s specific needs and energy consumption play a role in determining how much you will save by investing in solar energy. Larger systems may cost more up front, but if you were used to high energy bills, you could save a lot each month by generating your own power. With net metering, you may even be able to sell any excess energy generated back to the power grid.

Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Montana? Expand / Collapse Toggle

SaveOnEnergy’s independent energy marketplace is a great place to start exploring which solar installer in Montana might be right for you. Before choosing a company, it is a good idea to research a company’s experience and satisfaction ratings. Fill out this form or call us at the number listed above to get more information and find the solar installer in Montana to fit your needs.

How does solar power help the environment? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Nationwide efforts for positive environmental impacts are at an all-time high and solar energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. As a renewable energy source, solar energy does not emit harmful pollutants into the atmosphere like fossil fuel plants. Solar panels also rarely impact the local environment since they get installed on existing buildings.