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How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Missouri

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How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Missouri

Missouri is one of 10 states in the country that have invested in communal solar energy projects. Having made progress like that, it’s a wonder why the Show-Me State is letting its renewable standards expire. If you’ve been thinking about making the switch, now is the time to purchase solar panels in Missouri.

Affording a new system can cost a lot, but with the right information, you can save quite a bit. At the moment, Missouri offers financial benefits and government regulations to help afford an installation. Read on to learn more about the Show-Me State’s solar incentives.

How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Missouri: Overview

Considering the cost alone, solar panels in Missouri are relatively affordable. The Show-Me State has decent rates on equipment that counteract high electricity bills. Coupled with excellent sunlight, homeowners can save $25,000 or more on utilities throughout a solar array’s lifetime.

Luckily for Missourians, the state offers decent incentives to invest in an installation. Beyond a solid federal tax return, homeowners in the Show-Me State can take advantage of municipal rebates and net metering. There are also notable government regulations that suggest a healthy future for sustainable energy. Let’s dig into the benefits below.

save money on solar panels in georgia
Missouri homeowners could save $25,000 or more on utilities throughout a solar array’s lifetime.

Solar Panels in Missouri: Federal Incentive

Before looking into state-level incentives, it’s imperative to see if you qualify for the solar tax credit offered by the US government. This program offers a 30% return on all purchases made toward a solar panel system. This includes all equipment, installation labor, and sales tax.

To qualify, your system must meet a few requirements. Most importantly, you need to purchase your equipment outright or with a loan. Those leasing a system in Missouri will miss out on the 30% return. Additionally, you must live at the home where the array is installed and all equipment must be original. 

You can take full advantage of the federal program until 2032. In 2033, the incentive drops to 26%, and 22% in 2034. The incentive ends in 2035 unless it’s extended.

Missouri’s State Credits and Rebates

Some of the more prominent state benefits come in the form of financial incentives, such as tax credits or rebates. Missouri currently does not offer a state tax return, but its renewable standards require utility companies to offer equipment bonuses. These help residents of the Show-Me State afford the immediate cost of an installation.

For example, Columbia Water and Light offers a rebate based on the size of a system. Homeowners who use this utility company can earn $375-$625 per kW up to 10kW. That means Missourians who install a 6kW system could receive $2,250 to $3,750 as a check. Combined with almost $5,000 in savings from the federal return, homeowners can practically cut the cost of a system in half.

Missouri stopped requiring utility companies to offer rebates in 2020. Here is a list of companies still promoting solar energy:

  • Empire District Electric
  • Evergy Solar
  • Columbia Water and Light

Additionally, the Show-Me State has net metering laws, although they’re a little weak. This program requires utility companies to pay customers for their excess solar energy. In Missouri, any solar credits are offered at an avoided-cost rate, which is much less than the retail rate. The net metering laws also have expiration dates on credits, where some states allow them to roll over indefinitely. Still, there’s a small win in the form of discounted energy.

Solar panels in Missouri
Missouri utility company Columbia Water and Light offers a rebate based on the size of a system.

Solar Panels in Missouri: Government Regulations

Missouri has these financial incentives because its renewable portfolio standards (RPS) pressure utilities to invest in solar. A state’s RPS helps people like us determine future investments in renewable energy. Missouri’s RPS is modest, requiring just 15% renewables by 2021 with a 2% solar carve-out. 

The RPS was enough to heavily influence residential solar installations while it was current. However, since the objective was met two years ago, there’s a possibility that incentives could expire in the near future. We’ve already seen many utility rebates disappear. Because of this, homeowners (especially those using the above-listed utility companies) should move quickly on purchasing solar panels in Missouri.

Rewards exist for those that pull the trigger. Residents of the Show-Me State who switch to solar will be exempt from any additional property taxes that might result from the increased property value. Not only will this save you thousands over 25 years, but you’ll benefit from a more valuable home.

Should Missourians Lease Solar?

Usually, states offer leasing programs for those that wish to install a solar panel system but don’t have the means. Missouri is one of those states, suggesting that they want residents to have solar access. While leasing makes affording an array easier, it comes with its disadvantages. 

Up front, these systems won’t save homeowners as much over 25 years because while you’ll pay less in electricity, you’ll now have to pay a monthly lease fee. This generally cuts the potential savings in half.

Additionally, leasing solar panels disqualifies Missourians from several incentives. Because they don’t own the system, they won’t receive the federal return or any utility rebates, and all net metering profit will go to the installer.

Solar Panels in Missouri: Incentive Summary

BenefitAccessibility
Federal Tax Incentive30% credit
State Tax Credits / RebatesNone / utility rebates
Net MeteringAvailable at avoided-cost rate; credits expire after 12 months
Renewable Portfolio Standard15% by 2021 (expired) 2% solar carve-out
Property Tax Exemption100%
Sales Tax ExemptionNone
Performance Payment ProgramNone 

How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Missouri: Further Reading

There are plenty of ways for homeowners to save money on solar panels in Missouri. However, with the state’s RPS expired, you shouldn’t hesitate to make the switch. For more on how the Show-Me State supports emerging technology, check out these articles below.

How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Massachusetts – With Missouri’s renewable standards beginning to fall off, it’s essential to see how some states promote solar energy.

Owning an EV in Missouri: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – Just as Missouri’s solar energy support is expiring, the state of electric vehicles in the Show-Me State seems to be up in the air.

Largest Tech Companies in Missouri – Although Missouri hasn’t made efforts to continue supporting renewable energy, the Show-Me State still homes a few of the country’s largest tech ventures.

Can Sono Motors Make Good on Its Affordable Solar-Electric Sion EV? – If Missouri’s EV infrastructure is lacking, this solar-electric vehicle could be the solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you actually save money going solar in Missouri?

Missouri has decent prices on solar panels, which counters the state’s relatively high electricity bills. With excellent sunlight and decent state-level benefits, homeowners could save up to $25,000 or more with a solar panel system over the course of 25 years.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves in Missouri?

In Missouri, homeowners pay an average of $1,617.24 a year on electricity. When this is used to offset the cost of a 6kW solar panel system, homeowners can pay it off completely in 9.6 years. This is slightly faster than in most states, resulting in a higher net return on utilities.

How much do solar panels cost in Missouri?

Missourians can expect to pay about $2.59 per watt for solar energy, which is just below the average in the United States. At this rate, a 6kW system would cost about $15,540 before incentives.

Can I use the federal tax incentive in Missouri?

Qualifying homeowners in Missouri can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. This program returns 30% back on solar purchases. Homeowners with a 6kW system could save nearly $5,000 on an installation.

Can I lease solar panels in Missouri?

Homeowners can lease solar panels in Missouri. This is a great option for those that can’t afford a system outright, but it disqualifies the system from any incentives including the federal solar tax credit.

Does Missouri have an RPS?

Missouri’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) require utility companies to produce 15% of their electricity from renewable sources, with 2% of it coming directly from solar energy. However, the goal was met in 2021 and has not been updated.

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