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Solar panels in Oklahoma
Solar energy continues to grow in popularity across the U.S. Residential solar installations in Oklahoma reached 128 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). As the Sooner State invests more resources into solar energy, more residents stand to benefit from installing solar panels.
Oklahoma has enough solar installed to power over 14,500 homes, and more residents are joining them every year. Read on to find out if you can take advantage of the many benefits of solar panels in Oklahoma.
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Cost of solar panels in Oklahoma
The cost of solar panels in Oklahoma depends on various factors, including your energy consumption habits, the size of your solar system, its components, and configuration. Local labor and permitting costs will also affect the final installed price. Current Oklahoma solar incentives and tax credits may reduce your total net cost.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. average residential solar cost is $3.67 per watt, or around $31,558 for an 8.6 kilowatt-(kW) system.
In Oklahoma, the typical resident would need a 9-kW system to provide sufficient energy for their home. According to data from Find Energy, the average price per watt for a 9-kW solar system is $3.13, for a total cost of $28,170. While the price tag of going solar is high for many homeowners in Oklahoma, solar tax credits and other incentives can help lower the costs, as we’ll explore on this page.
Every home requires a different system size depending on your household’s energy consumption, roof size, and other factors. The following table shows a range of costs and sizes at Oklahoma’s average price per watt of $3.13.
|System size||Total cost|
Solar incentives and rebates in Oklahoma
Solar panels in Oklahoma are a significant financial investment and require ample consideration. The good news is that financial incentives can reduce the cost burden. Keep in mind, however, you can only use incentives if you purchase or finance your solar panels, not if you lease them or enter a power purchase agreement.
|Residential Clean Energy Credit||This federal incentive allows you to claim a credit of 30% of your solar panel cost on your tax return when you purchase or finance a residential solar system. There is no price cap on this solar credit. Any home or system size can qualify. You can use the credit for your primary or secondary residence on systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. The credit decreases to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034, before expiring in 2035 unless renewed.|
|Net metering||Oklahoma utilities allow you to receive credits on your electricity bill when you send excess electricity back to the grid. Under the amended 2019 net metering program, Oklahoma utilities can purchase excess generation from solar customers at an avoided energy cost rate. That means solar owners don’t get full retail electricity rates for the excess generation they sell to the grid.|
Solar incentives in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City residents can access several solar incentives, including net metering, through Oklahoma Gas and Electric. Net metering credits can help you earn back your installation costs more quickly. Homeowners can also apply for a Green Home Loan to access low-interest financing, up to $20,000, for installing solar panels. This loan helps provide more access to solar for residents who cannot afford to purchase their panels up front.
Solar incentives in Tulsa
The Public Service Company of Oklahoma provides net metering benefits to Tulsa residents, allowing them to sell back energy to the grid for credits on their utility bills. This enables Tulsa solar owners to earn money for their excess solar generation and can help them recover their investment quicker.
Solar panel setup
The home solar panel system components contribute to the total price. Here are a few key components you should know about to understand how solar panels work and find the best solar system for your needs:
- Solar panels: Solar panels have solar cells, which capture sunlight to be converted into electricity to power your home. Multiple solar cells make up a solar panel, and solar panels make up a solar system. You can choose between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film panels. Each type has different efficiency levels and optimal functioning ranges, which affect costs. The best solar panels in June 2023 will likely cost more up front but lead to higher long-term savings.
- Solar inverter: Your solar panel inverter takes the electricity from your panels and converts it from direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC) power to supply electricity for your home.
- Racking: Solar panels are attached to a roof, a ground mount, or building facades with a racking system with mounting rails and flashings. Solar panel roof installations are the most common form of racking.
- Batteries: Once you convert solar energy into usable electricity, you can store excess energy in a solar battery for later use. This is necessary if you plan to be 100% off-grid (which is legal in Oklahoma) or draw the majority of your energy from solar panels.
Are you interested in solar?
If you’re ready to find out how much you can save with a solar installation, Choose Energy can help you get connected to a solar installer near you. Call the number on your screen to get started.
Solar energy in Oklahoma may help lower your electric bills
You can expect to save money on energy bills in the long run by powering your home with solar. Electricity costs an average of 11.93¢/kWh in Oklahoma, and solar could help you reduce or eliminate this cost. The savings per kWh for a solar panel can be divided over its lifetime. Oklahoma residents pay an average of $129.80 for electricity each month. If you purchase a $28,170 residential solar panel system covering 100% of your usage, you could recoup your installation price in about 12.6 years.
Energy independence in Oklahoma
One of the most important benefits of installing solar panels is the energy independence you gain. When you produce your own electricity, you’re no longer solely reliant on electric utilities. More energy independence can protect your family from daily and seasonal energy price fluctuations.
Energy demand tends to be higher during extreme temperatures in both summer and winter. As a result, electricity is usually more expensive during those seasons. Solar panels can shield you from seasonal price swings, offering more stable prices and predictable monthly bills.
Most solar system owners remain connected to the power grid after installing solar panels, but you can still cover your usage and sell excess energy back to your utility with increased energy independence.
Over 14,500 Oklahoma homes are powered by solar. Oklahoma has invested more than $265 million in solar power, but currently, only 0.49% of the state’s power comes from solar. There is still plenty of opportunity to add solar and make an environmental impact in the Sooner State.
How to buy solar panels in Oklahoma
Solar panels are a significant investment. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what you’re getting before you purchase them. You can learn more about solar panels by reading our education resources, such as the best states for solar or the pros and cons of leasing solar panels. You can also call the number on your screen to speak to an energy expert directly about solar in Oklahoma.
Here are a few things to consider before you buy solar panels:
- Your roof: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar panels work best on south-facing roofs with 15- to 40-degree slopes. The installer will also assess the age and condition of your roof before installing solar panels. Roof replacement after solar system installation can be much costlier.
- Shading: Solar panels with direct access to sunlight work most efficiently and provide maximum power output. Therefore, it’s essential to remove any shade around your property before going solar. Ask your solar installer if tree removal services are included in its offerings.
- Solar investment vs. living in your home: You’ll get the most value from your solar panels if you plan to be in your home for an extended period. It can take 12.6 years or more to break even on a solar panel purchase in Oklahoma, and it may not be worth it if you plan to move soon.
- HOA rules: Some homeowners’ associations (HOAs) may restrict solar panel use or require approval before installing them on your home. Your solar installer can help you figure out potential neighborhood restrictions.
To learn more about the factors affecting your solar panel installation in Oklahoma, call the number on your screen.
How should I pay for my solar panels?
There are several ways to pay for solar panels — or even to purchase solar energy from other sources. However, your best bet for maximizing savings and Oklahoma solar incentives is to buy your system outright or get a solar loan. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each type of solar financing:
|Cash purchase||Highest long-term savings, full ownership, eligible for incentives, electricity bill savings||High upfront cost|
|Solar loan||Full ownership, eligible for incentives, electricity bill savings||Monthly payments, interest fees|
|Solar lease||Avoid upfront costs, little to no maintenance, electricity bill savings||No ownership, ineligible for incentives, potential annual rate increases|
|Power purchase agreement (PPA)||Avoid upfront costs, little to no maintenance, electricity bill savings||No ownership, ineligible for incentives, potential rate increases|
|Community solar||No upfront costs, power home with clean energy, electricity bill savings||No ownership|
Solar panel companies
When considering what company to use for solar installation, Oklahoma residents have a handful of options to choose from. The following table shows some of the most popular installers in the area.
|Solar installer||Year founded||Financing options||Warranty terms|
|SunPower Solar||1985||Cash purchase, solar loan, or lease||25-year full system warranty|
|ADT Solar||2011||Cash purchase or solar loan||25-year manufacturer warranty and production guarantee|
|Lumio||2020||Cash purchase, solar loan, lease, or PPA||25-year manufacturer warranty and 10-year quality-of-work guarantee|
The future of energy is solar in Oklahoma
Green energy, or renewable energy, is produced without diminishing the energy source. Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, bioenergy, and hydroelectric energy. Benefits for the customer include lower monthly bills, long-term energy savings, and more stable energy service even during storms or extreme weather. Many of these sources are also clean, meaning they don’t produce harmful carbon emissions.
Despite modest growth in solar installations in Oklahoma, the future of solar in the state is bright. There are 33 solar companies, and solar prices in Oklahoma have also fallen 53% in the last 10 years.
The past several years have seen investments in residential, commercial, community, and utility-scale solar installations. Major solar installations in Oklahoma include Covington Solar Farm and Choctaw Nation Solar Farm, which generate about 19.3 MW and power 2,445 homes. The SEIA expects the total installed solar capacity in Oklahoma to reach more than 2,200 MW in the next five years.
Solar energy FAQs
What is the life expectancy of solar panels in Oklahoma?
Most solar panel warranties last between 25 and 30 years. However, proper care and maintenance may extend the life of your solar panels. Many improved recycling technologies are being developed to expand a solar panel’s value beyond its useful life.
Are there disadvantages to using solar energy in Oklahoma?
Two main disadvantages of going solar are the high upfront cost of buying solar and potential roof incompatibility due to structural or space limitations. However, it’s possible to reduce installation costs with tax credits and incentives.
How does solar power help the environment?
Solar power is a form of green energy. Unlike traditional electricity generation, its production doesn’t emit greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
What percent of Oklahoma’s energy production is solar?
Oklahoma currently gets 0.49% of its electricity from solar energy, enough to power 14,554 homes. However, this number is expected to increase significantly. SEIA projects solar growth in Oklahoma by 2,099 MW over the next five years.
Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?
Whether buying or leasing solar panels is better for you depends on your situation. You’ll usually get the best financial return by buying solar panels. If you cannot secure financing, you may want to consider leasing panels. You can also consider a subscription through community solar to access the benefits of solar without buying.