How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Oklahoma, Step-by-Step

Hey there! Are you an Oklahoma homeowner considering going solar, but concerned about the costs? I‘ve got good news! While state-level policies lag behind, Oklahoma‘s sun resources still provide huge money saving potential with solar panels over the long-term.

In this detailed guide, we‘ll break down exactly how much you can save based on system size, electricity costs in your area, and more. You‘ll learn how to leverage federal tax credits, weigh buying vs leasing, accurately estimate payback timelines, and maximize your solar savings. Let‘s dive in!

Oklahoma‘s Untapped Solar Potential

Oklahoma ranks 9th nationally for solar energy potential. And yet over 90% of the state‘s renewable generation comes from wind. Why isn‘t Oklahoma taking full advantage of the abundant sunlight?

  • Oklahoma averages 5 peak sunlight hours per day, on par with leaders like Arizona
  • Solar insolation levels exceed 6 kWh/m2/day across the Panhandle
  • To put it in perspective, the average home in OK uses 11,271 kWh electricity annually. A 6 kW solar array could generate 8,500 kWh, slashing utility bills by 75%

With the right policies and pricing, solar energy could displace immense amounts of fossil fuel usage across the state. So what economic factors determine the profitability of installing a solar array right now?

Projected Oklahoma Electricity Costs

Electricity rates sit around $0.11 per kWh in Oklahoma currently. And prices have increased about 1.8% annually over the last 5 years in the state. Environmental and grid infrastructure regulations also point to sustained higher costs going forward.

When estimating your potential solar savings, it‘s key to factor in likely continued price increases in the decades ahead. Here is a projection of average electric costs in Oklahoma over a 25 year timeline:

YearEstimated Average Electricity Price
2023$0.12 per kWh
2030$0.15 per kWh
2040$0.19 per kWh
2048$0.23 per kWh

Now let‘s explore your savings and incentive options based on current pricing and proven system specs.

Calculate Your Solar Savings Potential in Oklahoma

While payback periods vary across the state, let‘s walk through average figures together. We‘ll take an example household with $1800 a year in electricity bills and model cost and savings estimates by system size.

Estimated Production, Costs, and Savings – Oklahoma Solar

System SizeAvg Annual ProductionEstimated System CostFederal Tax CreditNet CostAnnual Bill SavingsPayback Period
4 kW6,800 kWh$10,480$3,144$7,336$7489-10 years
6 kW8,500 kWh$15,720$4,716$11,004$93510-12 years
8 kW10,200 kWh$20,960$6,288$14,672$1,12211-13 years

With high electricity rates and abundant solar resources, a 6 kW solar array cuts utility bills by over $900 per year in Oklahoma. And panels fully pay for themselves within 10-12 years before providing decades of free renewable power!

Maximize Savings With the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) remains one of the most powerful incentives to reduce the upfront costs of going solar. Currently worth 30% of all system costs and installation labor, it drops to 26% at the start of 2033.

For a 6 kW system in Oklahoma, that change from 30% to 26% means $960 less in tax credit savings in the new year. And the credit drops again to 22% for systems installed in 2034.

  • 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit – thru end of 2032
  • 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit – 2033
  • 22% Federal Solar Tax Credit – 2034
  • Expires December 31, 2035

To maximize your potential savings on solar panels in Oklahoma, get quotes and install before the federal credit decreases at the end of 2032!

Weigh the True Costs: Buy vs Lease Your Solar System

Since Oklahoma lacks additional state solar incentives, homeowners mainly choose between buying their solar array outright vs leasing from a solar provider. What are the core tradeoffs with these two options?

  • Buying means higher upfront costs, but ownership unlocks the full federal tax credit and long term electricity bill savings after payoff
  • Leasing allows $0 down and overall lower out-of-pocket costs, but you forfeit the 30% federal credit and lifetime ownership. Monthly lease savings are usually much less than direct bill reductions from an owned system.

Here is a detailed comparative analysis on the costs, incentives, and lifetime savings differences:

solar-buy-vs-lease-ok

While leasing solar systems often seems attractive for avoiding high initial purchase costs, the loss of the federal tax incentive and reduced electricity savings mean you‘ll end up paying thousands more over a 25 year period.

Tip: If you have tax liability to take advantage of the credit and can qualify for a solar loan, buying your system is strongly recommended in Oklahoma

Accounting for Weak Net Metering Policies

Net metering allows solar panel owners to get credited for excess power their systems export to the electric grid. Unfortunately Oklahoma has limited mandates for fair compensation.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission only instituted voluntary net metering guidelines back in 2015. Major utilities technically run net metering programs "at their discretion" with no consistent statewide rates.

Actual net metering compensation varies widely by company across the state:

Power CompanyNet Metering Rate
OG&E$0.07 – $0.09 per kWh
PSO$0.095 per kWh
REC$0.09 – $0.10 per kWh

So net metering provides some extra savings each year but isn‘t guaranteed long term income. Factor this uncertainty into solar payback forecasts.

No State Solar Incentives…Yet

A major limiting factor for solar energy growth in Oklahoma is a complete lack of supportive state-level financial incentives.

  • No state tax credits or rebates
  • No property tax breaks
  • No sales tax exemptions

And after meeting a 15% by 2015 renewable energy standard, Oklahoma hasn‘t adopted any new targets or mandates for utilities to expand solar access.

However, several bills have been recently introduced that could change the situation:

  • SB 424 (2023) – solar tax exemption on equipment purchases up to $20k
  • HB 3261 (2023) – state tax rebate up to $2500 for solar installations

So while state policies fail to promote solar currently, new legislation would provide significant new savings opportunities.

Contact your representatives to urge their support if these incentives would make solar affordable for your home!

Conclusions: Leverage Federal Credits, Do the Math Yourself

I hope walking through the solar costs and savings calculations specifically for Oklahoma empowers you to determine if panels can cut your current electricity bills!

While state incentives lag, the federal tax credit remains substantial enough to make solar economic in many situations here. And with excellent sunlight resources, our state has immense unlocked potential for residents to benefit from solar power generation.

If the numbers add up for your household, go solar before the federal credit starts decreasing at the end of 2023. And support local clean energy advocates pushing for expanded state solar policies so we can maximize Oklahoma‘s solar future!


Author Bio: John is a certified financial analyst specializing in renewable energy investments, including analysis of solar costs, savings, and policy impacts in Oklahoma. He helps homeowners navigate the complex process of affordably transitioning to solar power.

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