Solar Panels in Nebraska: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

Solar Panels in Nebraska: Cost, Savings, and Rebates

In 2022, the solar energy produced in Nebraska equaled only 83MW, which is the fourth lowest in the country. While the Cornhusker State is known for its progressive policies, it’s a wonder why renewable technology has yet to be adopted. This makes installing solar panels in Nebraska a cautious decision.

Still, those that want to improve their carbon footprint will be rewarded with thousands of dollars in savings. In this article, we’ll break down the average cost of solar in the Cornhusker State, as well as the factors that affect it and the potential savings available. So let’s get started!

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Nebraska

Right out of the gate, homeowners might struggle to budget for solar panels in Nebraska. The state has an average equipment rate of $2.83/W, which is some of the highest in the country. For Nebraskans considering a typical, 6kW system, they’ll have to invest around $16,980 before incentives.

The cost of solar panels hardly outweighs the traditional electricity bill in the Cornhusker State. Although Nebraskans tend to use a lot of power, the rate per kWh is incredibly low. This results in an average monthly bill of less than $120 a month, which falls below the national average. With high installation costs and low electricity rates, there’s not much motivation to make the switch.

Still, Nebraskans that have a strong desire to reduce their carbon footprint can utilize the federal solar tax credit to save 30% on the cost of a system. This program returns a significant portion of an installation in the form of a tax credit on federal income taxes. Homeowners that install a standard 6kW solar array in Nebraska could see the price drop from $16,980 to $11,886.

How Much Solar Do Nebraskans Need?

The average costs from above show installation rates for a typical system size across the country. However, because Nebraskans use more electricity on average, these rates might not reflect a solar array that meets needs. To find out how large your system should be, you’ll need to find your average daily power usage and divide it by your city’s direct sunlight hours. Let’s explain how to do this using Nebraska’s averages.

Residents of the Cornhusker State typically use 33.8kWh in a day (or 1,013kWh a month). When you divide that number by the number of peak sun hours in Nebraska of 4.79, you learn that a solar panel system would need to produce 7kW an hour. An array of this size would cost Nebraskans around $19,810 before incentives.

Now, these numbers only reflect the Cornhusker State’s average. Depending on your electricity usage and location, your ideal system size could differ. To find the average peak sun in your nearest city, you can use this Nebraska sun chart.

Nebraska Solar Cost Factors

As shown above, direct sun can have a noticeable effect on the cost of solar panels in Nebraska. Because of the state’s length across the middle of the state, some cities might experience more or less sunlight. For example, Scottsbluff can receive as much as 5.3 hours of direct sun, almost 30 minutes more a day. 

For more examples of the effect of sunlight and location on solar panel costs, compare Nebraska to some of its neighbor states.

Homeowners in Nebraska have a great opportunity to save money through the type of solar panels they install. Because the Cornhusker State receives great sunlight compared to other states, Nebraskans can install polycrystalline equipment. This type of panel is less efficient but much more affordable than monocrystalline. However, if you have a small roof, you might consider the latter.

Finally, you must look into solar installation companies before settling for the best rate. Oftentimes, companies might cut costs in equipment quality, contractor experience, or warranty coverage. The entirety of the solar industry in Nebraska resides around Omaha and Lincoln. This means that options are limited in the Cornhusker State.

Best Nebraska Solar Installers

The cost of solar panels in Nebraska can fluctuate depending on the installer.

©Dmitrii Pridannikov/Shutterstock.com

Generally, when we recommend solar installers, we try to promote local companies. However, Nebraska has limited options, and most of the Nebraska-focused installers offer weak warranty coverage. In a state that receives wild storms in the Spring, you don’t want to compromise on this aspect. Therefore, we’ve chosen two of the best regional companies that will keep you covered.

Our first choice for installation companies for solar panels in Nebraska is GRNE Solar. This Midwest installer has its headquarters in Illinois and an office in the Cornhusker State. While their primary contractors aren’t in Nebraska, the company makes up for it with great customer service, a variety of equipment, and industry-leading warranties. All the while, GRNE Solar can keep its services relatively affordable.

For a more local feel, Everlight Solar has a strong presence in Nebraska. With an office in La Vista, this company knows the ins and outs of the Cornhusker State’s solar policies. While their equipment options are limited, Everlight Solar has award-winning technicians and customer service. They’re NABCEP certified and offer 25-year warranties, ensuring your system lasts its entire lifespan.

Can Solar Energy Save Nebraskans Money?

With high solar panel rates and low average utility bills, Nebraskans might not find the incredible savings that can be found in other states. However, those that make the switch can still see a return in some form. These returns come in the form of electricity bill offsets, which build up after paying off the solar panel system.

Solar panels in Nebraska are a long-term investment, and total net gains come after the system is covered. Homeowners in the Cornhusker State can use an annual utility offset of $1,431.96 to pay for a 6kW system in about 11.9 years. This is a couple of years longer than in most states, but not the longest in the country.

After covering the price of a solar panel array in Nebraska, residents can start to earn money back. Considering the lifespan of a system ranging from 20 to 25 years, Nebraskans can see net savings of about $11,599 to $18,759. So while the upfront cost of solar panels in Nebraska is relatively high, homeowners can still save a good amount of money on utility bills.

Solar Panels in Nebraska: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives

To help drop the price of an installation, homeowners might look for incentives in the form of federal and state credits and government regulations. While Nebraska is one of the last states in the country to adopt solar energy, some benefits exist.

First off, Nebraskans that qualify can take advantage of the federal solar tax return. With 30% of all solar purchases coming back in the form of a credit, homeowners in the Cornhusker State can save over $5,000 on a 6kW system.

To learn more about the existing solar programs in Nebraska, check out our detailed breakdown.

Solar Panels in Nebraska: Cost, Savings, and Rebates FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is solar worth it in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, solar equipment is expensive and traditional electricity rates are low. This makes purchasing an array a difficult decision. However, those that make the switch could save as much as $18,000 or more on utility bills.

How much does solar cost in Nebraska?

Homeowners in Nebraska can expect to spend about $2.83 per watt on solar energy. This equals around $16,980 for a 6kW system. Aspects such as sunlight, location, equipment type, and installation company can affect this cost.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay back in Nebraska?

Nebraskans can use an average annual electricity bill of $1,431.96 to pay off a 6kW system in about 11.9 years. This is a couple of years longer than in most states.

Can you get a federal tax credit for solar panels in Nebraska?

Homeowners in Nebraska can utilize the federal solar tax credit to save 30% on qualifying solar installations. Those that make the switch can see the price of a 6kW system drop from $16,980 to $11,886.

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