Thinking About Going Solar in Utah? Think Fast …

As you may have heard, changes are coming down the pike when it comes to going solar in Utah. This fall, Rocky Mountain Power will adjust the way it pays residential and commercial customers for the energy their solar systems produce. We’re also going to see a decrease in the state tax credit for solar in 2018.

solar in Utah

The bottom line? You have until November 15, 2017 to sign a contract with a solar company for a system on your home or business to lock in Rocky Mountain Power’s current rate structure. And you have until December 31, 2017 to install that system and secure the higher state tax credit level.

If you’re thinking about going solar, now is the time to act. Going solar can save you money over time and increase the resale value of a Utah home by $7,500 to $10,000. Financing is also usually an option for solar systems.

If you’re looking for a few more details about solar in Utah, here’s the full story.

Rocky Mountain Power Solar Net Metering Changes

The electric utility that supplies Park City, Salt Lake City, and most of the state of Utah with power has been talking about changing the rates they pay customers with solar for a while. The solar industry protested, citing unfairness to existing customers and severe impacts to the local market. So Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) and solar industry representatives talked it out and reached a deal.

The first part of the deal is that existing solar customers don’t have to worry about their rates changing for about 18 years. They will continue to be paid about 10 cents per kilowatt hour for energy produced beyond what they use. The second part of the deal is that property owners who want solar can also lock in the same nearly two decades of rates if they sign a contract by November 15, 2017.

RMP customers who install solar after November 15 will receive about 9 cents per kilowatt hour. While this may not seem like a big decrease, it could pan out to thousands of dollars over the years.

In order to lock in the current rate, you don’t need to install the solar system by November 15. You just need to sign a contract with a solar company to have the system installed.

solar panels park city

Utah Solar Tax Credit Changes

The other change facing home and business owners going solar in Utah is the decreased Utah tax credit that will go into effect in 2018. Currently, the credit is calculated at 25% of the eligible system cost or $2,000—whichever is less.

For systems installed in 2018, the tax credit will be 25% of the eligible system or $1,600, whichever is less. Basically, you will max out your incentive at $400 less beginning next year.

And in 2019, the credit will drop again to max out at $1,200.

However, the RMP and solar industry talks also led to a partnership between the two to advocate for a higher state tax credit. Perhaps we’ll see a Utah tax credit reboot in future years.

What About Federal Solar Tax Credits?

For now, federal tax credits for solar systems are guaranteed until 2022 so you don’t have to worry about them disappearing in the near future.

However, the tax credit will decrease beginning in 2020. If you install PV or solar hot water through the end of 2019, you’ll receive a 30% tax credit. Systems installed before 2021 will be eligible for a 26% tax credit. And systems installed by 2022 will receive 22% back.

Utah Solar Companies

If you’re ready to jump on solar by November 15, Alpenglow Solar + Electric and On Top Solar and Electric are two Park City companies you can contact. And here’s a list of some of the top Utah solar companies in 2016.

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