Residential solar panels are quickly growing in popularity in Utah. The state is among the top 10 in the nation for solar capacity, with enough Utah solar panels installed to power 442,889 homes with solar energy. And according to the SEIA, nearly 1,500 megawatts of additional solar capacity will be added in the next five years.
If you are interested in investing in solar panels for your Utah home, now is a great time. The cost of home solar systems has dropped by 43 percent over the last five years in Utah. As solar panels become more affordable, Utah residents can take advantage of solar power to lower their energy costs and reduce their home’s carbon footprint.
Utah solar panel cost
The cost of solar panels in Utah can vary with several factors, including the size of the system, the cost of solar panel installation, and tax credits and incentives. Generally, the price of a solar system is based on how much energy the system will generate. The average home solar installation is 5,000 watts. Solar panels cost between $3 and $5 per watt, so a 5,000 watt system would cost between $15,000 and $25,000.
However, tax incentives and rebates can significantly reduce the final cost. For example, the federal tax credit for solar panels is currently set at 26 percent of the system’s price. State and local rebates may also reduce the cost of solar panels in Utah. There are also several financing options to help cover the cost of solar panels, and many solar companies offer solar leases.
Why choose Utah solar power?
Lower energy costs
While an upfront cost of solar panels is a big investment, a home solar system reduces the amount of energy you have to buy from your electricity supplier. If your system produces more energy than you need for household use, the excess energy can be sold back to the electricity grid. This is called net metering and can further reduce the cost you pay to power your home.
Establish energy independence
If you don’t want to be tied to the electricity grid at all, solar panels paired with a solar battery can increase your energy independence. You can store any power your solar panels generate that your home doesn’t use immediately with solar batteries that are connected to your system. When your solar panels don’t generate as much energy as you need, you can draw from the power stored in the battery. With a home solar system, you will be more independent from the power grid and you won’t have to worry about system outages during times of high demand.
Many people choose to install solar panels out of concern for the environment. Solar panels use energy from the sun, which is a clean and clean and renewable source of power. The electricity you get from your energy provider may be produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. Fossil fuels contribute to air pollution and global warming. By using solar energy, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and benefit our environment.
Utah solar panel incentives or rebates
While the upfront costs of solar panels in Utah are high, there are several federal and state incentives and rebates to offset those costs.
The most significant incentive currently available is the federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC). The solar tax credit is 26 percent in 2021 and 2022 and will drop to 22 percent in 2023. The credit is set to expire in 2024, so it might be smart to invest in solar panels soon to guarantee you receive the credit.
Utah’s solar incentives include the Renewable Residential Energy Systems Credit, which applies to solar installations and other renewable energy systems installed in a residence. The solar credit is being phased out, but installations completed by Dec. 31, 2023 will qualify. The maximum credit is $1,200 for installations completed in 2021, $800 for those completed in 2022, and $400 for systems installed in 2023.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
If you can manage the upfront fees, you’ll end up saving more money in the long run by purchasing your solar panels. Solar panels pay for themselves in 6 to 9 years on average. After that, you’re saving money for every watt of electricity your panels produce.
When you lease solar panels, you’ll pay a monthly fee for the entire length of the contract, which is usually 20 to 25 years. A solar lease may include a clause that increases the amount you pay each year, often raising the cost by 1-5 percent annually. You also won’t qualify for tax incentives when you lease solar panels.
What’s more, buying your solar panels can also increase the resale value of your home by up to $15,000. Leasing doesn’t bring the same resale value because the buyers have to qualify to take over your lease or remove the panels.
Another way to benefit from solar energy without the upfront costs is a community solar program. With a shared or community solar project, many homes share the power generated by an offsite plant.
Utah solar panel companies
In Utah, you’ll find many companies that sell, lease, and install solar panels. Because it’s a major investment with a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, be sure to consider all the options before selecting a company to install your system. Before you make any decisions, we suggest you use the resources SaveOnEnergy has compiled to educate yourself about solar panels, solar panel installation, solar power purchase agreements, and the possible return on investment with a home solar system.
The history of solar power in Utah
Utah ranks 9th in the nation for solar power generation. The state has more than 50,000 solar installations, including large installations such as the Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park, which can generate up to 104 megawatts of electricity. That installation alone produces enough power for more than 20,000 homes.
Overall, 14.5 percent of the electricity in Utah comes from solar power. Nationwide, solar energy capacity is more than 97 gigawatts.
Important solar installation factors to consider
While tax credits and Utah solar incentives may make solar power tempting, consider the factors that could limit the efficiency of solar panels for your home. Key factors include:
- Your roof’s size, slope, and shape. Solar panels perform best when installed on a south-facing roof. The preferred slope is 15 to 40 degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, consider whether your roof will need to be replaced before installing solar panels.
- Your geographic location. The amount of energy your system generates will vary based on where your home is located. Some states, like Florida, get more sun than others.
- Community rules. Investigate whether you need local approval to install the panels. Your homeowners’ association or neighborhood may have established rules that you may need to follow.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Utah?
The cost of a solar panel system varies based on factors, including the size of the system. On average, a home solar system that can produce up to 5,000 watts of electricity costs between $15,000 and $25,000 before tax credits. Utah’s solar incentives may help you recoup some of the upfront cost.
Is solar power a good investment in Utah?
The answer depends on your individual situation, including the location of your home, the weather patterns in your area, and how much energy your family uses. You may be able to save money over the long term by investing in solar panels. See the section above for more details about factors you should consider before investing in solar.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
The savings from any individual system varies depending on factors such as the system size, how much sun your roof receives, how much energy you use, and what your local utility charges for electricity delivered through the grid. In some cases, a home solar system could lower your energy bills by up to 50 percent.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Utah?
Because Utah is a top state for solar installation, there are many experienced solar panel installers available throughout the state. Go about finding an installer the same way you would find any home improvement contractor – research your options, read all contracts before signing, and check references before hiring anyone.
How does solar energy help the environment?
Solar energy is clean energy that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide or other pollutants contributing to global warming. When you invest in solar panels and turn to solar energy over power generated from fossil fuels, you help reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.