- The cost of solar panels in Utah is higher than in many other states, with an average cost of $2.66 per watt.
- Utahns can save money by utilizing the federal solar tax credit, which offers a 30% return on all solar purchases.
- To determine the right size solar panel system for your home in Utah, divide your average daily electricity usage by the peak sun hours for your nearest city.
- The amount of direct sun in Utah can vary depending on location, with areas closer to the Arizona border receiving more sunlight.
- When choosing a solar installation company in Utah, it’s important to consider the cost of labor as well as the quality of installation and warranty.
- Apollo Energy and Smart Wave Solar are two recommended solar installation companies in Utah.
- Homeowners in Utah can save money in the long run by switching to solar energy, with potential net savings over 25 years.
- Utah offers some incentives for solar panel installation, including the federal solar tax credit and state tax credits.
Utah has some of the best sunlight in the country, making it an ideal place for solar energy. However, state officials seem to hesitate to support clean infrastructure. This begs the question for homeowners: Are solar panels in Utah worth it?
If you’re struggling with the numbers, we have you covered. From average costs to possible savings, we break it all down below. Let’s get started.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Utah
Upfront, the cost of solar panels in Utah may surprise you. At around $2.66 per watt, equipment rates in the Beehive State are higher than in many states. Those purchasing a 6kW system can expect to spend about $15,960 before incentives.
And when compared to the average cost of electricity, residents may struggle to justify a solar array for their return potential. Utahns use some of the least amount of power in the US. When coupled with the 3rd lowest rate for electricity, they end up with the lowest monthly utility bill anywhere in the country.
Still, those interested in making the switch can save a hefty sum by utilizing the federal solar tax credit. This program offers a 30% return on all solar purchases, including equipment, labor, and sales tax. Utahns installing a 6kW system could watch the overall cost drop from $15,960 to $11,172.
How Much Solar Do Utahns Need?
The above example shows how much the typical array of solar panels in Utah could cost, but it may not represent your household’s needs. With low power needs and excellent sunlight, residents in the Beehive state could get away with less wattage.
To determine the right size solar panel system for your house, take your average daily electricity usage and divide it by the peak sun hours for your nearest city. Here’s what that might look like using Utah’s state averages.
Homeowners in the Beehive State use about 25.6kWh a day (or about 769kWh a month). When we divide that by Utah’s average direct sun of 5.26 hours, we discover that a solar panel system needs to produce 4.9kW an hour to support your power needs. At over 1kW less than the national average, homeowners could expect to pay $13,034 before incentives for this size array.
Now that you know how to size an array properly for your home, you can put together an accurate budget. Because peak sun differs depending on location, use this Utah sun chart to find the average for your nearest city.
Utah Solar Cost Factors
As we briefly touched on, direct sun can substantially influence the cost of solar panels in Utah. The Beehive State has a large landmass with diverse geography. Those closer to the Arizona border may receive more sunlight than those in mountainous regions. For example, Cedar City sees as much as 5.9 hours of direct sun, almost 45 minutes more than the state average.
For additional case studies of how sunlight and location affect solar prices, compare Utah to the states surrounding it:
When trying to save money on an installation, you’ll also want to consider the type of solar panels in your array. You generally have a choice between monocrystalline, which is highly efficient, or polycrystalline, which you can find at an affordable price. Those in Southwest Utah could save with poly panels, but those in Salt Lake City might consider mono for long-term value.
Finally, you want to consider carefully your decision of solar installation companies. While the cost of labor might seem high, those installers offering lower rates may compromise on installation or warranty quality. With over 50 companies in the Beehive State, you can take your time to choose the right one for your installation.
Best Solar Installers in Utah
When recommending solar installation companies in Utah, we trust EnergySage’s pre-screening qualifications. The review network has endorsements from SEIA and the Department of Energy, making them a reliable source. When comparing solar installers, we look for:
- Years in the industry
- Contractor transparency
- Equipment quality
- Length of warranties
- Licenses and certifications
Here are our top two choices in Utah.
Headquartered in West Haven, Apollo Energy has served Utahns since 1999. Their local master electricians aim to educate customers on solar energy. The company works with premier equipment, such as Enphase and Generac, and backs its workmanship with 25-year labor and equipment warranties.
While a slightly younger company, Smart Wave Solar is making a name for themselves in Utah as a great local option. It offers similar services as Apollo Energy at an affordable price. Additionally, the company has a credible NABCEP certification.
Can Solar Energy Save Utahns Money?
While the initial investment may seem high, homeowners in Utah benefit from needing smaller arrays than average. And with excellent sunlight in most of the state, it’s easy to cover power requirements and pay off the system. This leads to decent net savings over 25 years.
To determine how much you could earn back by making the switch, you first need to know how long it takes to cover the cost of the array. Assuming Utahns use their average annual utility bill ($1,013.28) to offset those costs, a 6kW system could be paid for in 15.7 years. While quite a bit higher than normal, it’s wise to remember that homeowners may not need a system of this size.
After paying off your solar array, you can start earning a net return on your utility offsets. With a solar panel system lasting about 20-25 years, you could save as much as $4,357 to $9,424. And with federal and state incentives, these savings could be even greater.
Solar Panels in Utah: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
Just considering price and sunlight, it’s wise to choose solar panels in Utah. However, the state legislature sits on the fence when it comes to support. While homeowners have access to some incentives, there’s potential for more.
Still, if Utahns only use the federal solar tax credit, they’re on a good track to purchase a system. Those installing a 6kW array could save nearly $5,000 or more. And with a state tax credit and some net metering, you can lower that installation cost further. Check out our Utah incentives guide for a deeper dive into these opportunities.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Millenius/Shutterstock.com.