Missouri solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Resources for going solar in 2024

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modest house with solar panels

After using the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), the average system is $19,037 in Missouri, which is more expensive than in many other states. The national average is $16,715. To make things more affordable, Missouri utility companies offer rebates for solar systems. You can also get low-interest loans to pay for your system over time.


Key insights

  • The average federal solar investment tax credit value is $8,158 in Missouri.
  • You can also take advantage of rebates and loan programs.
  • Missouri homeowners with solar panels receive an estimated net savings of $18,292 over 25 years.

Solar incentives in Missouri

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

The federal solar investment tax credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

For example, the average cost for a system in Missouri is around $27,195. At that price, you can get a $8,158 credit when you file your taxes.

The solar tax credit is not a rebate or refund — you must claim it when you file federal taxes in the year that your solar panel system becomes operational. To do this, you have to complete Form 5695. The credit is also nonrefundable, meaning any amount that isn’t used rolls over into the next tax year.

Statewide residential solar incentives in Missouri

While Missouri doesn’t offer any tax breaks, it does have several solar rebate incentives. You can also snag a low-interest solar loan if you can’t pay out-of-pocket for your system.

» MUST-KNOW: Tax deductions for homeowners

Rebates

Several local power companies in Missouri offer solar rebate programs for their customers:

  • Columbia Water & Light customers can get $375 to $625 per kilowatt (kW) for the first 10 kW of their system, then $300 to $500 per kW for the next 10 to 50 kW and $150 to $250 per kW for anything over that (up to 100 kW).
  • Empire District Electric Company offers a rebate of 25 cents per watt for systems. The only stipulation is that the system must be new and within the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty term.
  • Evergy's Missouri utilities offer a rebate of 25 cents per watt for solar installations. To qualify, your system must be less than 25 kW.

Loan programs

Missouri residents can use the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to get a loan to purchase solar equipment. These loans have low interest rates and are paid back through a fee added to your property taxes.

If you live in Columbia, you have an extra financing option. Columbia Water & Light offers a loan program to customers who would like to add solar panels to their homes. The low-interest loan has a cap of $15,000 and a loan term of up to 10 years.

What to know about net metering in Missouri

Net metering is when you sell the excess energy your solar system produces to your electric company instead of storing it in a solar battery. Missouri offers net metering for systems up to 100 kW. The energy produced by homeowners is paid for through a credit on your next month’s electricity bill. If you don’t use the credits, they expire after 12 months.

» GREENEST STATES: Missouri ranks No. 44

Solar resources in Missouri

Below are some additional resources that can guide you through transitioning to solar in Missouri.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Find solar companies in Missouri

Compare popular solar companies available in Missouri below. Read our guide to the best solar companies for more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get solar panels for free in Missouri?

There aren’t any programs in Missouri that provide free solar panels, but you can lease panels or enter a power purchase agreement with little to no upfront costs. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee, while PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can purchase the system outright, but most people finance solar panels with a solar loan. You can also get a lease or power purchase agreement.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels in Missouri?

In Missouri, the average savings is $18,292 over 25 years. Even if you don’t generate 100% of your energy needs, you can still save a lot of money versus paying traditional utility bills.

Are there any commercial solar incentives in Missouri?

There are commercial solar loan and rebate programs in Missouri.

» MORE: Commercial solar panel installation

Are there any disadvantages to going solar in Missouri?

It is more expensive to go solar in Missouri than in other states. Missouri also doesn’t offer tax incentives for solar to residents. However, we think going solar is likely worth it for Missouri homeowners looking to decrease their utility costs and increase their energy independence.

» MORE: Solar energy pros and cons

Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

Homeowners associations can place limited restrictions on installing solar panels in Missouri. The restrictions can’t adversely affect the cost, functioning, use or efficiency of the system or prevent you from installing a solar system, according to the Missouri Senate Bill 820.

Bottom line: How much are solar panels in Missouri?

While it may be more expensive to purchase solar in Missouri, the ITC and utility rebate programs can make the purchase much more budget-friendly. If you don’t have the funds to pay for your system, the state’s PACE loan program can be an affordable way to go solar.

The ConsumerAffairs research team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in Missouri and the average solar costs in other states.

Solar costs: Missouri 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. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), “Missouri Solar Programs.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
  2. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), “Net Metering in Missouri.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
  3. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Missouri.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Summary of Inflation Reduction Act provisions related to renewable energy.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
  5. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Missouri Solar.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
  6. Missouri Senate, “Missouri Senate Bill 820, Sections 442.404 and B.” Accessed Nov. 4, 2023.
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