In 2022, Kentucky installed nearly 90 million megawatts of solar energy across the state. With numbers like this, it’s a wonder why the Bluegrass ranks 42nd in the country for capacity. While the state might not offer much support for the renewable energy, homeowners that take advantage of one of the lowest rates in the country could save thousands of dollars with solar panels in Kentucky.
If you’re trying to figure out how much a system might cost, we’ve got you covered. We break down average rates, standard wattage, and potential savings below. Keep reading for all you should know before purchasing solar in Kentucky.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Kentucky
Historically, Kentuckians might have believed that the Bluegrass State was too cloudy for solar. However, with installation costs as low as 2.34/W, homeowners have never had a better opportunity to purchase solar panels in Kentucky. At rates this low, residents could afford a new array for $14,040 before incentives.
But how do those prices compare to Kentucky’s average electricity bills? The state has some of the lowest rates in the country at just 11.79 cents per kilowatt. But with high power usage, Kentuckians tend to pay about $126.51 monthly. Having bills more expensive than the national average of $122 a month, homeowners in the Bluegrass State could save considerably with solar panels.
To help drop that initial cost even further, qualifying residents in Kentucky can apply for the federal solar tax return. This incentive comes in the form of a credit worth 30% of any solar purchases in that year. Those switching could see the price of a 6kW system drop from $14,040 to $9,828.
How Much Solar Do Kentuckians Need?
Residents might get a general idea using the average cost in Kentucky, but it might not reflect the amount of wattage needed for individual households. To determine the right size solar panel system for your power requirements, you’ll have to divide your daily usage by the number of peak sun hours in your area. Let’s show you how to do this math using Kentucky’s averages.
Homeowners in the Bluegrass State typically use about 35.8kWh a day. Using Kentucky’s peak sun average of 4.94 hours, we determine that a 7.2kW system is needed to cover electricity demands. Considering average solar costs of $2.34/W, Kentuckians could expect to spend about $16,848 before applying for the federal credit.
With the information needed to determine the right amount of solar panels in Kentucky, you can accurately budget for your household. Because sunlight differs with location, you can find the average peak sun using this Kentucky sun chart.
Kentucky Solar Cost Factors
As we briefly mentioned above, one of the most influential aspects that affect the cost of solar panels in Kentucky is sunlight. The Bluegrass State has one of the more central locations in the country, giving particularly good peak sun.
However, some residents living closer to the Appalachian foothills might experience less sun than in other places. For deeper examples of how sunlight and geography affect solar costs, compare Kentucky to its neighboring states:
Fortunately for Kentuckians, a simple way to reduce the cost of an installation is with polycrystalline panels. While these are less efficient than monocrystalline, they come at an affordable price.
Because Kentucky has decent sunlight, homeowners can save money here. However, if you live in an area with particularly poor weather, you can still make a system work with monocrystalline equipment.
One overlooked factor that can have a drastic effect on your investment is the quality of the solar installer. Some companies sacrifice equipment efficiency or workmanship coverage to undercut the competition. While you might find yourself tempted to go with one of these installers, it could cost you thousands over the lifetime of your array.
Best Solar Installers in Kentucky
When reviewing the best installers for solar panels in Kentucky, we refer to EnergySage’s guidelines. With endorsements from SEIA and the US Department of Energy, this solar reviewer offers industry-standard screening to weed out negligent companies. When considering an installer for your project, look for key factors such as:
- Several years of industry experience
- Contractor transparency
- Premium equipment
- Lengthy warranties
Leading the installation market in Kentucky, Solar Energy Solutions offers local service from its headquarters in Lexington. With 17 years of experience, this company has gold-standard certifications and talented, in-house technicians. You can trust that Solar Energy Solutions will take care of your new solar array with their 25-year power production guarantee.
However, if budget is paramount, you might consider Blue Raven Solar. While this is a national company, it’s proven its reputation over nearly 10 years. Featuring comparable certifications and warranties, Blue Raven separates itself from the competition with a range of financing options. This way, you can still own your system without having it break the bank.
Can Solar Energy Save Kentuckians Money?
Featuring some of the lowest prices for solar panels in Kentucky, residents can definitely find savings from installing an array. These returns come from offsetting utility bills, of which Kentuckians pay a decent amount. Let’s see how much money homeowners in the Bluegrass State can earn back.
First, it’s essential to know how long it would take to pay off a solar panel system. Offsetting an average annual electricity bill of $1,518.12, Kentuckians could cover the cost of a 6kW system in around 9.2 years. This is slightly lower than the average compared to other states.
After paying off the solar panel system, residents in Kentucky start to see net returns in their wallets. With an average lifespan for arrays in the Bluegrass State of 20-25 years, homeowners would earn back $16,396 to $23,986. Returns of this size are higher than usual, which should motivate homeowners to make the switch.
Solar Panels in Kentucky: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
While the up-front cost of solar panels in Kentucky is pretty affordable, homeowners looking for additional ways to save money might need to look hard. The Bluegrass State offers convoluted support for renewable energy. While municipalities have no motivation to help residents with an installation, there are still ways to drop the cost.
Those that qualify should definitely take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. Homeowners could see the price of a solar panel system drop over $4,000. Additionally, Kentucky offers decent tax credits and rebates to lower installation costs even further. For a detailed rundown of incentives in the Bluegrass State, check out this list.
Solar Panels in Kentucky: Further Reading
Contrary to popular opinion, solar panels in Kentucky are worth considering. The Bluegrass State has great sunlight and some of the lowest rates on equipment, meaning homeowners could earn thousands of dollars back on utility bills. For more on emerging technology in Kentucky, read the articles below.
- Solar Panels in Connecticut: Average Costs, Savings, and Rebates – See how Kentucky compares to one of the most expensive states for solar.
- Owning an EV in Kentucky: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – Here’s why the Bluegrass State might not be the best place for electric vehicles.
- Largest Technology Companies in Kentucky – You’d be surprised to find these successful tech companies in Kentucky.
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