Cost of solar panels in Oklahoma

How much is it to go solar in the Sooner State?

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
Written by
Author picture
Edited by

Do you own or rent?

technician installing solar panel on the roof of a home

Average solar panel installation costs in Oklahoma range from $8,948 to $25,567. How much you pay depends on the size of your system, what incentives you’re eligible for, sunlight exposure and other factors. Assuming an upfront purchase, it takes about 11 years to break even (when your savings with solar panels make up for the cost).

Based on feedback from thousands of solar customers nationwide, the general consensus is that solar panel investments pay off over time. Thanks to plenty of sunlight and relatively cheap installation costs, Oklahoma is actually one of the better states for solar panels.


Key insights

  • The average solar panel installation costs $2.56 per watt in Oklahoma. “Cost per watt” is similar to the price per square foot when you buy a house. It helps you compare the value of solar energy systems in different sizes.
  • The federal solar investment tax credit is usually the most significant financial incentive when buying solar panels. It is not a rebate or a refund, but goes toward what you owe on federal income taxes.
  • In Oklahoma, you can lease a system or enter a power purchase agreement with low upfront costs. However, you won’t be eligible for the federal tax credit.

How much do solar panels cost in Oklahoma?

With professional installation, a typical 6-kilowatt residential solar panel system in Oklahoma costs $15,340. That price drops to $10,738 after using the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). The size of your solar panel system is a big factor in your total cost.

The average Oklahoma household needs a 11.35 kW system to offset enough energy costs to make solar viable. Depending on your household energy usage, you might need a smaller or larger system.

Average solar panel cost by system size in Oklahoma

This doesn’t include the cost of a solar storage battery, which sometimes costs as much as the panels. Solar batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid. Permitting, utility fees and maintenance also add to the cost of going solar.

Are solar panels worth it in Oklahoma?

We’ve talked to many Okies who have already gone solar. For many, solar panels are worth it for the savings on electric bills alone. On average, Oklahoma homeowners with solar panels avoid $65,916 in utility costs over 25 years.

Consider going solar for your monthly costs. For instance, Lowell in Oklahoma City said his monthly electric bill went from $125 to about $15. “I did a five-year loan for my solar panels, and my payment was $175 a month,” he told us. The difference between his old electric bill and current loan payment was $50. According to Lowell, “a $50 investment for five years to have no electric bill just makes sense.”

Solar panels typically save $20,000 to $90,000 over 25 years.

For others, it’s more about helping the environment or gaining more energy independence. People who aren’t happy after going solar usually have complaints about a specific company. For instance, Tasha in Okmulgee said she “had delays and problems from the start" and “will be paying for solar panels on my roof and never actually using them,” which is understandably frustrating.

That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly research and verify claims made by sales teams before making a decision. Use NREL’s PVWatts Calculator to estimate how much electricity a solar panel can produce over a year on your house — just type in your address. Project Sunroof is a free solar savings estimator powered by Google Earth imagery.

» STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

Solar panel installation cost factors in Oklahoma

The actual equipment — solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and other electrical accessories — typically accounts for the largest portion of your overall total costs (approximately 25% to 50%). Labor, which includes planning, preparing and connecting your system to the grid, is about 10% to 30%. Permits and other soft costs generally make up the rest of the total price tag.

Most installers set the price according to the system's wattage, with a typical cost between $2.50 and $5 per watt. In Oklahoma, the average cost per watt is $2.56 (one of the cheapest in the United States).

Solar equipment costs

Systems contain solar panels, mounting equipment, wiring and other equipment, such as inverters, batteries and monitoring systems.

  • Solar batteries: Batteries store energy for later use. Prices often depend on the battery’s storage capacity, lifespan, brand and other factors. You can probably expect to pay between $7,000 and $18,000, though some cost $30,000 or more.
  • Solar inverter: Inverters convert the electricity generated by your solar panels from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Inverter costs usually range from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Monitoring system: Some companies include a solar monitoring system to track how much energy your system produces and if there are any problems. If not, you can get one for $80 to $400.
  • Solar panels: Monocrystalline panels are generally considered the “best bang for your buck.” Cheaper solar panels are typically polycrystalline — the difference comes down to efficiency and materials. Monocrystalline panels are made from pure, single silicon crystals; various silicon fragments melted together are used to make polycrystalline panels.

Like most things, high-quality panels come with a more expensive price tag, but they often pay off in the long run with better performance and durability. The more efficient your panels are, the more electricity they produce and the less space they take up on your roof.

Size of your system

The cost difference between a 5-kilowatt system and a 10-kilowatt system is thousands of dollars. You can easily determine what size system you need for your home. First, find out the amount of electricity you used last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You can usually find this information on your electric bill or through your electric account dashboard online. Then divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to calculate the system size.

» WATT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Kilowatt vs. kilowatt-hour

Condition of your roof

Your roof's condition is important, so make sure to get an inspection. Quality solar panels can last 25 to 30 years, so you want your roof to last just as long. If not, you'll end up paying extra to remove the panels, fix the roof and reinstall everything.

» SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

Other cost factors

Good solar installation companies make sure your system is set up for optimal performance, but this expertise comes at a price.

  • Labor costs: Solar equipment costs are going down, but labor costs are higher than ever in some areas. Labor and installation costs are usually included in the initial cost estimate of your system, but be sure to confirm before committing to a contract.
  • Local permits: Local permits and fees should be considered, especially if you're installing a larger system that might require additional permits or inspections. The permitting process depends on your city. For example, the City of Tulsa is different from Oklahoma City
  • Ongoing costs: Solar panels require minimal maintenance, but there’s still an associated cost. Think about potential repairs and periodic cleaning, too. These all add to the lifetime cost of your solar panel system.

How to save money on solar panels in Oklahoma

There’s no way around it — solar panel installations are expensive. Here are some tips to maximize your savings on solar panels in Oklahoma:

  • Compare quotes: Get quotes from at least three or four different solar installers in your area. This lets you compare different proposed equipment, pricing, financing terms and estimated energy production to find the best overall value. Don't just go with the cheapest option without vetting quality and services.
  • Explore payment options: Affordable financing makes the upfront costs of solar more manageable. For instance, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) let you start saving from day one with little or no money down. 
  • Use incentives: Oklahoma residents may take advantage of incentives to reduce solar costs, including a 30% federal tax credit. 

» TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Oklahoma

The federal solar investment tax credit is the biggest incentive for most people going solar in the state. The ITC credits 30% of the system’s total cost — including equipment, labor, and permits — toward what you owe on federal income taxes.

The ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

For example, if you spend $10,000 installing a solar panel system, then the TC is worth $3,000. If you owe $15,000 in taxes, then the ITC reduces what you owe to $12,000.

Keep in mind: The ITC is a credit, meaning it directly decreases the amount of taxes you owe. This is different from a deduction, which reduces your taxable income. It only offsets your tax liability; you can't take advantage of the ITC if you don’t owe taxes in the first place. However, the credit rolls over to the next tax year if you don’t use the full amount.

» EXPLORE: Oklahoma solar incentives

How can I pay for solar panels in Oklahoma?

When it comes to paying for your solar system, you have options, including loans. With leasing or a PPA, you get the benefits of solar, but you don’t own the system. Each scenario has pros and cons, and your choice affects the overall costs of going solar.

  • Solar loans: A solar loan works like any other type of home improvement loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time (with interest) each month. In an ideal financing scenario, your system generates enough extra power to pay off the loan. Solar loan terms typically last between eight and 20 years.
  • Solar leases: Leasing solar panels is a great way to set up a system without the high upfront costs. A potential downside is that you are not eligible for the same tax incentives.
  • Power purchase agreements: A solar PPA works a lot like a lease. A solar developer buys, installs and maintains solar panels on your property. You buy the power generated by the system on a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis. It’s a fixed price, and the cents/kWh are usually cheaper than the utility’s rate for the same amount of electricity.
  • Home equity: Some suggest using a home equity line of credit or loan to finance a solar installation. This can be a financially beneficial option — home equity interest rates are relatively low, and homeowners can still take advantage of the federal solar investment tax credit.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

Compare solar companies in Oklahoma

We compared ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to pick the top solar companies in Oklahoma.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in Oklahoma?

We are not aware of any legitimate programs for free solar panels in Oklahoma. However, you can lease a solar energy system with little to no upfront costs. Just look out for scams that promise free solar panels — they can end up costing you quite a bit of money.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

Is it cheaper if I install solar panels myself?

It’s potentially cheaper but also difficult and dangerous. This is especially true if you don’t know what you’re doing during a large residential project.

» DIY solar panels: Pros, cons and installation guide

How does net metering work in Oklahoma?

Net metering is when you sell surplus solar energy to your local electric company. In Oklahoma, electric providers issue a credit on your electricity bill as compensation. To be eligible, your system needs to be under 300 kW, which typically isn't an issue as most residential systems are considerably smaller.

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 energy systems can withstand smaller hail, which is common in Oklahoma. The cost of fixing any damage that does occur may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

How are solar costs trending in Oklahoma?

The cost to go solar in Oklahoma has fallen 47% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Bottom line

If you’ve been thinking about going solar, you’re not alone. More than 11,000 solar installations already exist in Oklahoma — enough to power more than 20,000 homes.

Oklahoma’s climate makes it a great location for going solar. The main drawback is the high cost of purchasing and installing the panels and equipment. Many residents we've talked to say the long-term savings outweigh the upfront expense.

Solar panel costs: Oklahoma vs. nearby states

*To fully offset energy usage; **Over 25 years

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. DSIRE, "Oklahoma Programs." Accessed April 1, 2024.
  2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Oklahoma.” Accessed April 1, 2024.
  3. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), "Oklahoma Solar." Accessed April 1, 2024.
  4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Oklahoma, 2024?” Accessed April 1, 2024.
Did you find this article helpful? |
Share this article