Camilo Morales / Getty Images
Camilo Morales / Getty Images
Solar power is quickly becoming one of the most important green energy sources in the United States. Many states, including Utah, have embraced solar energy and have seen an increase in residential solar installations over the past decade. Homeowners in Utah who install solar panels can save money and help the environment.
Wondering whether solar is worth it for you in Utah? Keep reading to learn about the costs and benefits of solar panels and how to decide if they’re suitable for your home.
The cost of solar panels in Utah depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your system, the components included, the configuration, your labor costs, and any local permitting or tax costs you incur.
On average, a residential solar system costs between $3 and $5 per watt, and the average 5-kW system runs between $15,000 and $25,000. Keep in mind that this average cost is before any tax credits, rebates, or other incentives, so your actual out-of-pocket costs may be lower.
As we mentioned, the components in your solar panel system will impact your total costs. Here is the solar equipment likely to be in your system:
Utah residents have plenty of ways to save money on their solar panel purchases. First, the federal government offers a tax credit for homeowners to save 26% on their solar panel purchase. This credit is temporary, so if you’re planning to take advantage of it, buy your solar panels sooner rather than later. Additionally, the state of Utah offers its own solar panel tax credit that allows you to claim up to 25% of your costs, up to $1,600.
Plus, solar owners can cash in on Utah’s net-metering law that allows you to save money with your solar panels. When you generate your solar energy, send your excess energy back to the power grid for credits on your electricity bill.
Of course, the tax incentives aren’t the only way your solar panel purchase will save you money. You also save money on your energy bills each month. Most solar owners are able to virtually eliminate their monthly electricity bills through solar generation and net-metering benefits.
Let’s take a look at an example to see how long it could take you to see a return on your solar investment (ROI). Say you spend $15,000 on a new solar panel system for your home. Right off the bat, you can save $3,900 from the federal tax credit and $1,600 for Utah’s state tax credit. Add in the money you save on your electricity bill each month. Utah residents pay around $79 per month in electricity, or $948 per year. Thanks to the tax credits and energy savings, you would break even on your system in about a decade, which leaves you with nearly two decades of pure savings.
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Another benefit of solar panels in Utah is that you can claim energy independence. When you’re energy-independent, it means you aren’t fully reliant on the traditional electricity grid to power your home. And that comes with plenty of benefits for homeowners.
First, energy independence can protect you against electricity price swings. When energy demand is higher in the summer and winter, electricity costs tend to be higher. Power your home with solar, and you don’t have to worry about those price swings.
Additionally, energy independence means you don’t have to stress as much about power outages. If you invest in a solar battery, you’ll have residual solar energy to power your home, even when the power is out.
Are you considering buying solar panels in Utah? They can be a great purchase, but they are a big investment. And because of that, it’s essential to do your research upfront. Call the number on your screen to speak to a Choose Energy expert. Our experts can walk you through the steps of a solar panel purchase and answer any questions you have. You can also visit our library of educational resources to learn more about solar energy, including the best states for solar or the pros and cons of leasing solar panels.
Here are a few main factors to consider before you buy solar panels:
Do you have an HOA? Some homeowners associations have rules around the use of solar panels or require approval before installation.
Utah enacted its first solar policy in 1979 with its solar easements regulations. In 2001, the state took the first step to reduce the cost of solar panels for homeowners by passing its Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit.
These early investments in solar power have helped Utah become 12th in the nation for solar energy generation. Today, solar energy makes up 8.86% of the state’s electricity generation — that’s enough to power more than 447,000 homes. Utah’s most prominent investment into solar energy has been in utility installations, but it has also seen an increase in residential solar structures, like many other states.
What does the future of solar in Utah look like? We can expect solar installations to increase over the coming years. Additionally, since we’ve consistently seen solar systems become more affordable for homeowners, we may see that trend continue so that more homeowners can enjoy the benefits of solar panels.