Utah residents pay some of the lowest rates in the country for electricity, at less than 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in August 2023. But the state also gets a lot of sunlight compared to other states.
These two factors weigh heavily on the question of whether solar panels make sense in Utah. The answer depends on the math for your specific home and your specific energy needs.
There are some incentives that can help you cover the cost of solar panels. The federal residential clean energy credit will reimburse you for up to 30% of the cost of installing a solar system. A Utah solar tax incentive offers a little bit of help, but it expires at the end of 2023.
Here’s what you need to know before going solar in the Beehive State.
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How to determine which solar company in Utah is best for me
Going solar is a big deal. Treat it that way. This is a purchase that will likely cost more than $10,000 and will be a major part of your home for decades. Choose an installer carefully.
Start by seeking out companies with good reputations. Ask people you know who have gotten solar panels and see what their experience was like with the installer they chose. Then have each company on your list come to your home and give you an estimate. Make sure the estimate takes into account the particular nature of your house and your energy needs. Evaluate each one not just on price, but on the company’s service offerings, equipment and reputation.
Average cost of solar panels in Utah
Here’s a look at the average cash price for a 5-kilowatt system before factoring in tax credits and incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com. But your system might become more expensive if you choose to include solar batteries or additional equipment in your purchase.
Utah solar panel costs
|System size (kW)||Price per watt||Total cost|
Utah solar panel incentives or rebates
You have several incentives to help you lower the total cost of solar in Utah. The federal residential clean energy credit is the most significant cost-saving incentive for new solar owners. You can deduct 30% of your solar system’s cost from your federal income taxes, with no limit on system size. With the extension of this tax credit by Congress in 2022, all solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032 will qualify for this benefit.
Utah solar incentives
|Renewable energy system tax credit||Utah offers a tax credit limited to $400 or 25% of your solar equipment’s installation costs. The credit expires in 2023|
|Net metering||Net metering allows you to sell your excess power to the grid for credits on your power bill. Utah doesn’t mandate net metering but some voluntarily offer the program. Check with your local utility for details.|
|Solar easement and access laws||Utah’s solar easement and access laws are similar to easement laws in other states. If you want to go solar, you can voluntarily enter an easement contract with your neighbors to remove any obstacles to your solar panels accessing sunlight. Utah’s solar rights law stops homeowners and other community associations from imposing bans and unreasonable restrictions on solar panel systems.|
Solar financing options in Utah
The upfront cost of solar panels can be high for most Americans. But there are several options to pay for solar panels in Utah. You can purchase solar panels outright or finance them with a solar loan. These options allow you to fully own the panels and recoup your costs in a few years. On average the solar payback time, the period it takes for your energy savings to surpass the cost of investing in solar, is six to 12 years after you buy your solar panels. If you can’t afford to buy or get a loan to finance solar panels, signing a lease or a power purchase agreement are other alternatives. However, buying solar panels with cash or a loan will be less costly over the long term.
Read more: Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.
Installation factors to consider
Numerous factors can help you determine whether it makes sense to go solar. Your particular home may have something specific that could make solar a bad investment. It’s good to consult a professional and licensed solar panel installer to discuss these and receive quotes from at least three companies before picking one.
Insurance on your solar panels: Many homeowners insurance companies cover solar panels in their policies. Before investing in solar panels, find out if your insurance company can protect them. If they do, remember to add them to your policy after installation.
Shading around your property: Your solar panels can generate electricity with some tree shading, but heavy shading can make solar panels a bad fit. A professional solar installer can help you understand your situation
Renting or owning your home: Renters typically have difficulty installing solar panels because they don’t own their homes. Landlords will determine whether they want solar panels on rental units. One way for renters to get green energy is to enroll in a community solar program.
Roof: Determining your roof’s age and condition is critical before installing solar panels. If your roof is more than 20 years old or in poor shape, you may want to replace your roof before you install solar panels to avoid a much costlier replacement after installation.
Utah solar power FAQs