Cost of solar panels in Arkansas

How much is it to go solar in 2024?

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man installing solar panels on building roof

The average cost to install solar panels is $27,940 in Arkansas before the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). The price drops to $19,558 after the ITC.

Going solar in the Natural State is about 17% more expensive than the national average. The out-of-pocket investment might be higher than in other states, but federal tax credits and net metering can still help you save money with solar panels.


Key insights

  • Solar panels typically pay for themselves within 11 years in Arkansas.
  • The average cost per watt is $2.85 in Arkansas.
  • Arkansas homeowners with solar panels save an estimated $15,567 over 25 years.

How much do solar panels cost in Arkansas?

Installing residential solar panels can cost between $10,000 to $30,000 or more. On average, residents of Arkansas pay $27,940 before any tax credits or incentives for their system.

The size of your system is a big factor in how much you pay. The average size of a solar energy system in Arkansas is 11 kW.

Average cost by system size in Arkansas

Source: EcoWatch

Are solar panels worth it in Arkansas?

We think solar panels are worth it in Arkansas. A solar power system is a good investment if you want to save money on future electric bills. It also helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Like many solar customers we talked to, Donald in Gassville said he went solar to save money in the future. “Also, the system looks good in the house,” he said.

Arkansas gets an average of 3.5 to 4 peak sunlight hours a day.

It also makes sense for energy independence. For example, Joe in Mountain View installed solar panels on a cabin for the cost savings. “There's no electricity down there and this is the sole electrical source,” Joe said. “There's no telling what it would have cost me to get electricity there.”

Just be sure you understand the deal you’re getting. Curt in Benton was excited to go solar but had a negative experience with a solar company. He said reps misled him about Arkansas’ net metering rate and overall costs.

“This is causing us to pay way more now, as our electric bill is still 60% of what it was before, and we have the loan amount on top of that,” Curt told us.

With a trustworthy company and good equipment, though, solar makes a lot of sense for Arkansas homeowners. Solar can also help provide energy independence if you purchase a solar battery, though that can be expensive. Sometimes, solar batteries are almost as expensive as the panels.

» STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

Cost factors of going solar in Arkansas

How much you pay for your solar panels depends on a range of factors, including the size of your system, permitting fees and the quality of your panels and solar equipment.

Solar equipment costs

The cost of solar panels varies based on the solar panel efficiency and the size and weight of your panels. In Arkansas, you can expect to pay around $2.85 per watt for solar panels. Here are some average costs you can expect for other equipment:

» COMPARE: Most efficient solar panels

Size of your system

Not surprisingly, smaller systems tend to cost less. You can easily determine what size system you need. First, find out the amount of electricity you used in the last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You’ll find this information through your electric bill’s online account dashboard.

Then, divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to find the system size you need. For example, the typical Arkansas household uses 13,176 kWh per year. Using this formula, the typical household would need an 11-kW system.

» WATT’S THE DIFFERENCE? kW vs. kWh

Condition of your roof

Quality solar panels should last 25 to 30 years, so you need your roof to last just as long. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay to remove the panels, fix your roof and reinstall them again. This is a frustrating and expensive process. Avoid it by getting your roof inspected and repaired before installing your solar.

» SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

Other solar cost factors

There are various additional costs to watch out for:

  • Installation: Solar installation can be incorporated into your overall solar quote, so be sure to ask for an itemized quote to compare installation costs between companies.
  • Maintenance: Solar panels require minimal maintenance, but you may run into some added costs for potential repair or replacement of components and periodic cleaning.
  • Permits: Most towns in Arkansas require permits for installing solar arrays, which can also add to the overall cost of your system by several hundred dollars.

» TIPS: Getting the best solar quotes

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Arkansas

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Arkansas. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you will receive a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of the system's total cost, including equipment, labor and permits. The credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

Many states have tax breaks, loan programs and rebates to residents to encourage them to get solar. Arkansas is not one of them. There are no statewide financial incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

» EXPLORE: Arkansas solar incentives

Compare solar installation companies in Arkansas

Compare popular solar companies available in Arkansas below. Read our guide about finding the best solar companies for more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in Arkansas?

You can lease solar equipment or enter a power purchase agreement (PPA) with little to no upfront costs. Still, neither is totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee; PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How are solar costs trending in Arkansas?

The cost to go solar in Arkansas has fallen 42% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can pay for solar panels upfront, but most people finance solar panels. A solar loan works like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time (with interest). If you are considering a solar loan, lease or power purchase agreement, always ask:

  • Is there a down payment?
  • How much will I pay per month?
  • Will monthly payments increase, and by how much?
  • Will you put a lien on my house?

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels?

When you pay cash, the average 25-year savings with solar is $15,567 in Arkansas. It’s a common misconception that solar panels always eliminate your monthly power bill — this is not always the case.

On the bright side, people who still have a bill after going solar typically pay significantly less than before. Arkansans with solar panels can expect to offset their electricity bill by 74% to 101%, according to EnergySage.

» EXPLORE: Where solar savings go the furthest

How does net metering work in Arkansas?

If your home's solar system generates surplus energy, you can sell it to the local electricity provider, a process known as net metering.

In Arkansas, homeowners receive credits on their electricity bills for any additional energy produced. Unused credits are carried over to next month’s bill. If these credits remain unutilized for two years, the electricity company is required to issue a check for the accumulated amount.

Will hail damage my solar panels?

Yes, hail can damage solar panels, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from installing them. Many solar panels can withstand smaller hail. The cost of fixing any damage that does occur may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

Bottom line

Going solar in Arkansas is a bit more expensive than in other states. If you take advantage of the ITC and net metering, though, you stand to save a substantial chunk of change. Over 25 years, solar users save an average of $15,567.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Solar costs: Arkansas vs. nearby states

*Before the federal investment tax credit (ITC); **When you pay in full upfront

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. EcoWatch, “How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Arkansas?” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
  2. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
  3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Arkansas Solar.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
  4. DSIRE, “Arkansas Solar Programs.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
  5. EnergySage, “Arkansas solar panels: local pricing and installation data.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
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