There’s one thing that Idaho doesn’t lack, and that’s sunshine! Many Idahoans are taking advantage of their sunny days and reducing their electricity bills with solar panels.
The potential to harness the sun’s energy to produce clean and renewable energy has been around for decades. But, the cost has hindered mass development and adoption.
However, in recent years, a combination of new technology along with federal and local government support has not only made solar panel installation more affordable but worthwhile.
The main reason for this is climate change—the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s not all about the environment; solar panel installation offers many financial benefits for homeowners.
Financial Benefits of Solar Panel Installation in Idaho
In Idaho, the solar panel installation cost is $2.80/W. So the average price for a 5kW system is $14,000. Every home does not use the same amount of energy; therefore, the price of solar depends on how much energy your home needs.
If you want to eliminate your electricity bill, you need to make sure you get a system that will cover all your energy needs. Otherwise, you may receive a small bill from your electric company.
Now let’s discuss the options to reduce that price even further.
The Federal Solar Tax Credit
It’s known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and it gives homeowners who purchase their solar panels (with cash or solar loan) a 26% reduction on the full price of their installation. Basically, you purchase the panels and receive the 26% credit when you file your taxes.
Residential Alternative Tax Deduction
With this tax credit, you can reduce the cost of solar panels by 40% from your personal income taxes. You can also count on a 20% deduction of the total cost for the next three years. However, it does cap at $5,000 a year or $20,000 total.
State Energy Loan Program
This is a low-interest state energy loan that gives homeowners the ability to borrow up to $15,000 for five years with a 4% interest rate. It’s important to note that many solar companies also offer low-interest loans.
If your utility provider in Idaho is Rocky Mountain Power, Idaho Power, or Avista Utilities, you can send excess energy from your solar panels back to the grid to exchange credits on your bill.
How to Install Solar Panels
Purchasing solar panels is an important investment that requires installation from a professional. The first thing you should do is shop around and get a free estimate. The process to install solar panels can take anywhere from 1-3 months.
It all depends on different factors which your solar company will take care of. For example, permitting, inspection, the size of your system, the type of panels, and the utility interconnection.
In all, solar panel installation is a great way to combat climate change and eliminate your electricity bill.
If you want to learn about more home improvement ideas, we encourage you to read more from our blog!