Diving Deep on Solar Panels in Utah: Costs, Savings and Steps to Go Solar

If you‘re a Utah homeowner or business considering going solar, you probably have some key questions:

  • How much do solar panels cost to install in my area of the state?
  • What rebates and tax credits are available to me?
  • How long would it take to recoup my investment through energy bill savings?
  • Beyond cost, what should I evaluate when choosing a solar company?

This comprehensive guide will explore solar costs, savings, system sizing calculations, top installers, incentives and more based on the latest 2021 data and expert insight from Utah solar professionals. Let‘s dive in!

At a Glance: Key Solar Statistics for Utah

Before covering solar costs, it‘s helpful to understand a few key stats about the local solar industry:

  • Average Solar Installation Cost per Watt: $2.83
  • Number of Solar Companies Operating Statewide: Over 50
  • Total Homes Powered by Solar: Over 18,000
  • Average Solar Array Size: 6 kilowatts
  • Total Solar Capacity Statewide: 166 megawatts

Utah solar capacity grew 22% annually over the past 5 years showing steady consumer adoption. But compared to neighbors like Arizona and Nevada with over 3,000 MW of solar power, we have room to grow!

More context on the state of the industry informs solar shoppers. Now let‘s explore the details…

Calculating the Right Solar System Size for Your Home

With Utah‘s high-altitude sunlight, proper solar sizing is key to covering your household‘s electricity usage without overspending on excess capacity. Follow this process:

  1. Find Your Average Daily Electric Usage

Review 12 months of power bills, and total your kilowatt-hours (kWh) used. Divide this number by 365 to get your typical daily average usage. For example:

  • Total Annual kWh Usage: 9,100
  • Daily Average kWh Usage = 9,100 / 365 = 25 kWh
  1. Divide By Your Region‘s Peak Sun Hours

Use this Utah sun hour map to find your city and match it to annual peak sun hours:

Utah Solar Map

  • St. George – 6.0 avg sun hours
  • Salt Lake City – 5.2
  • Park City – 5

If your daily electric need is 25 kWh in Salt Lake City, divide by 5.2 sun hours to get a 4.8 kilowatt solar array size.

  1. Confirm System Size With Solar Installer

Now you‘ve got an ballpark! Confirm the right capacity when discussing your property and electricity bills with solar providers.

This careful process helps avoid overspending on larger-than-necessary panels while still meeting your household‘s kWh needs. Utah‘s plentiful sunlight means proper array rightsizing sets you up for solar success!

2022 Solar Panel Costs in Utah

  • Small 3-4 kilowatt residential system: $8,500 – $11,300
  • Average 5-7 kilowatt system: $14,150 – $19,810
  • Large 10+ kilowatt commercial system: $28,300+

Pricing to install solar in Utah ranges widely depending on your roof‘s specifics, panel types chosen, the overall kilowatt system size and more. Get free quotes from reputable local solar companies to learn your property‘s options.

We recommend quality solar panels and inverters from leading brands like LG, Panasonic and Enphase which last 25+ years even in harsh weather.

Use the solar sizing guidelines earlier to decide what system capacity makes sense for offsetting your building‘s electricity usage based on sun hours.

Bigger solar arrays cost more upfront but harvest additional clean power. Compare financing options like solar loans and power-purchase agreements which allow zero-money down installs in exchange for monthly solar fee payments.

Which Utah Solar Panel Installer Should You Choose?

With over 50 solar companies now operating in Utah, it can be challenging deciding which one to trust. These are key criteria to evaluate when comparing providers:

Experience and Local Track Record

Prioritize solar installers who have long histories completing residential projects in Utah. They understand how to design robust rooftop systems for our high altitude and intense UV exposure. Ask about their years in business and number of local installs.

For homeowners, we recommend these veterans:

  • Apollo Solar: Installing systems since 2002 across Southern Utah.
  • Solaroo: Operating statewide since 2009. Over 5,000 installs.

System Components and Workmanship Warranties

Industry leaders offer at least 10-year manufacturer equipment warranties and 5+ years of workmanship coverage. This protects against defects and gives you assurance about durability in rugged Utah weather.

Ask providers what solar module brands they use and the warranty terms. Top manufacturers offer 12-25 year equipment guarantees.

NABCEP Certification

While not mandatory, many of the best Utah solar installers have staff who are Certified Solar PV Installers under the respected North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) program.

This signals their design and installation processes adhere to the highest national industry standards. PV certification indicates

Customer Reviews and Solar Ratings

Research online reviews of installer options in your part of Utah. Sources like the Better Business Bureau, Google, and consumer sites give transparent feedback from past solar customers describing their first-hand experiences.

Positive commentary about professionalism, quality and pricing builds trust in potential providers. We recommend checking 5-star ratings as a baseline.

Vet Utah solar companies thoroughly before signing a contract!

Available Incentives To Lower Your Costs of Going Solar in Utah

While upfront solar panel costs may seem high, big savings are available in Utah:

Federal Solar Tax Credit – A dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax owed equal to 30% of solar installation costs in 2022, phasing down each year. This meaningfully defrays purchase expenses.

Utah Solar Tax Credit – Equal to 35% of system costs as of 2022. Includes materials plus labor.

These incentives combined can reduce a $15,000 solar purchase price by $7,200 potentially in your first year. Significant savings! Consult a solar CPA to maximize benefits.

Additionally, your utility from Rocky Mountain Power to Logan Light & Power may offer solar rebates, and programs like USDA Rural Energy Grants can chip away at costs for eligible applicants.

Figuring Your Solar Panel Investment Payoff

How quickly could my new solar system pay itself off through lower electricity bills?

This important savings question is commonly called your "solar payback period"…

Let‘s use the Utah averages for a 5 kilowatt solar system and do the math:

  • Avg State Electricity Rate per kWh: 11 cents

  • Estimated First Year kWh Production: 6,460 (5 kW system, multiplied by 5.5 daily sunlight hours, times 365 days per year)

  • Annual Bill Savings = 6,460 kWh * $0.11 per kWh = $710.60

  • Total Upfront Outlay for 5 kW Solar System: $14,150 (after claiming 30% federal tax credit)

  • Payback Period = Total Upfront Cost / Annual Savings = $14,150 / $710.60 per year = 20 years

While the payback period does exceed the 10-15 year US average, key savings through electricity offsets accrue in the 10-20 years afterward, building financial value. And claiming all incentives drops the payoff timeline meaningfully.

Consult our Utah solar calculator tool for a free custom analysis based on your roof, usage and utility rates.

Solar Panel Systems Last 25-30 Years; How Much Could You Save?

While solar panels will one day need replacement decades down the road, they produce free renewable energy throughout a lifetime upwards of 25-30 years. This allows great long-term savings through avoiding high utility bills.

Let‘s estimate full lifetime savings for a 5 kW system in Utah over a 25 year span:

  • Conservative Lifetime Electricity Cost Savings = 25 years x $710.60/year = $17,765

  • Minus $14,150 post-incentive original solar investment

  • Total 25 Year Solar Savings = $3,615

That‘s over $3,500 in positive net lifetime financial value by utilizing free power from the sun! Plus you‘ve avoided 24 tons of carbon emissions.

Bigger solar systems yield higher lifetime profitability. Businesses with 500-1000 kWh daily usage can realize six figures in long term savings with commercial-scale solar installations.

The value of energy independence itself brings peace of mind too.

Solar Outlook in Utah: Insights From Local Industry Experts

Despite excellent solar conditions, adoption in Utah still lags behind neighbors like Nevada and Colorado due to policy limitations says Daniel Laird, VP of Policy and Public Affairs with leading residential solar installer Vivint:

"Utah has world-class solar resources that are going untapped," Laird told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Demand for residential solar is strong and continues to grow, [but] out-of-date policies are limiting Utahns‘ abilities to access solar energy."

Solar policy battles around net metering compensation rates and what qualifies as renewable energy in state building codes continue. But the market drivers for solar adoption still shine brightly looking ahead.

As electricity rates from Rocky Mountain Power have increased over 50% the past 2 decades, solar continues offering a long-term cost savings hedge withpanels typically lock in energy pricing for 25+ years.

And community interest keeps growing rapidly. Vivint alone installed 4 megawatts of new residential solar capacity in Utah during just the first 9 months of 2021 – more than the previous 5 years combined!

"We expect to double our 2021 growth in 2022," shared Laird. "Demand is ther

So while legislative resistance has impacted state incentives, the consumer-driven economics look strong for household solar here for years to come.

Utah should embrace rooftop solar more fully say advocates. Our annual solar installations still only equal 0.1% of total residences, lagging the 3% national average. With ample high elevation sunlight and electric rates rising, now is the time!

We‘ve only scratched the surface of key solar information for Utah in this intro guide. For a personalized analysis of solar costs & savings tailored to your roof and electricity usage, connect with our top 2 recommended local installers for quotes using the links below.

Get Quote from Solaroo / Get Quote from Apollo Solar

You can take control of energy costs while harvesting abundant clean power. Go solar in Utah!

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