Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular around the country, and Missouri is no exception. Like many states, Missouri has seen a boom of solar installations over the past decade for residents, businesses, and communities alike. Many individuals have installed solar panels on their homes to lower their energy costs and help the environment.
Wondering whether solar is worth it for you? Keep reading to learn how solar power in Missouri works, some of the benefits of installing solar panels on your home, and how to pay for Missouri solar panels.
Cost of solar panels in Missouri
The average residential solar system costs between $3 and $5 per watt, with the average 5-kW system costing between $15,000 and $25,000. Keep in mind that this is the cost before tax credits and other financial incentives, which can help to further reduce your costs. Additionally, the actual costs you pay for solar panels will depend on factors such as your system’s size, components, configuration, and more.
Solar panel setup
As we mentioned, the components in your solar panel system will impact your total cost. Some of the components likely to be included in your system are:
- Solar panels: These are obviously the most important part of your home solar system and the part that actually captures the sunlight. The most common types of solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.
- Solar cell: After your solar panels capture the sunlight, your solar cell takes that sunlight and converts it into electricity so you can use it in your home.
- Inverter: A solar panel inverter is a piece of equipment that takes the direct current (DC) power from your solar cell and converts it into alternating current (AC) power, which is needed to power your home.
- Battery: The battery in your solar panel system allows you to store unused energy, which you can then use to power your home when there’s no sunshine or to sell back to the electricity grid.
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Solar incentives and rebates in Missouri
There’s no doubt that solar panels are a significant investment. Luckily, there are plenty of financial incentives in place to make them more affordable for Missouri consumers. Here are some incentives you can enjoy:
- Federal tax credit: If you purchase your solar panels rather than leasing, you can claim a 26 percent federal tax credit, which can reduce your out-of-pocket costs by thousands of dollars.
- Property tax exemption: Missouri offers a property tax exemption for homeowners whose home value increases after they install solar panels. This means that even though your property value will increase with solar panels, you will not have to pay more in property taxes.
- Solar rebates: Several utilities in Missouri, including Columbia Water & Light, Kansas City Power & Light, and Empire District Electric, offer rebates for customers who generate solar power.
Solar energy in Missouri may help lower your electric bills
Rebates and tax breaks aren’t the only way you’ll save money when you buy a solar panel system for your home. You’ll also save money on your electricity bill, which can save you thousands of dollars.
Let’s say you purchase a solar system for $15,000. First, you would be able to claim the federal tax credit, saving you an immediate $3,900. Next, you would save money on your monthly electricity bill. Missouri customers pay an average electricity bill of $140 per month, meaning you could save up to $1,680 per year.
With the federal tax credit and energy savings, you could break even on your system in just over six and a half years. Then, you’ll save about $1,680 per year and an impressive $8,400 over the following five years.
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Energy independence in Missouri can help you
Installing solar panels on your home in Missouri can bring you closer to achieving energy independence. Energy independence means you can rely less on the traditional electricity grid to power your home.
There are plenty of benefits to energy independence. First, you are less vulnerable to price hikes on your electricity bill. In the summer and winter when energy demand tends to be highest, energy prices spike. But when your home is powered with solar panels, you do not have to worry about electricity prices fluctuating.
Your home will still be connected to the power grid unless you decide to purchase enough solar panels to live completely off the grid. However, the electricity that you generate from your solar panels can alleviate your dependence on the power grid substantially. And if your area offers net metering programs, you may be able to sell excess electricity back to the grid.
How to buy solar panels in Missouri
Solar panels are a significant investment, and it’s important to consider all of the pros and cons to solar before you buy them. If you’re just getting started, you can visit our library of educational resources to learn more about solar power.
Here are a few things to consider before you buy solar panels for your home:
- The state of your roof: Solar panels are most effective on roofs with a slight slope. They’re also best for roofs that you won’t need to replace in the near future and those that get a lot of sunlight.
- How long you plan to stay in the home: You’ll get the most value from your solar panels if you stay in your home long enough to break even and enjoy true energy savings. If you plan to move in the next few years, solar panels may not be worth the purchase.
- Your neighborhood: Some homeowners associations have restrictions around the use of solar panels or require approval before you can install them on your home.
The future of energy is solar in Missouri
Missouri adopted its first solar energy policies more than four decades ago, but like many states, didn’t see widespread adoption until more recently. Missouri still lags behind many states when it comes to solar power. Today the state ranks 28th in the nation for solar energy production. It gets just 0.7 percent of its total electricity from solar power, which is enough to power about 33,600 homes.
While Missouri may not be ahead of the curve for solar installations, there are more than 100 companies in the state helping to increase solar installations each year. The state continues to see residential, commercial, community, and utility solar installations, which will increase its green energy generation.
Solar energy FAQs
What is the life expectancy of solar panels in Missouri?
The life expectancy of solar panels depends on several factors, but in general, they can be expected to last between 25 and 30 years.
Are there disadvantages to using solar energy in Missouri?
Solar panels can be an excellent investment, but they aren’t right for everyone. First, solar panels are quite expensive, and may not be affordable for everyone. Additionally, solar panels aren’t a great investment for those whose homes aren’t well-suited to them.
How does solar power help the environment?
Traditional electricity generation emits greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. But because solar power is a form of green energy, it doesn’t have the same negative environmental impact.
Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?
Leasing solar panels can be an option for those who can’t — or don’t want to — pay the upfront costs associated with solar panels. But those who buy their solar panels will enjoy the most energy savings in the long run.