Wyoming solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Resources to make solar panels more affordable in 2024

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modern home with solar panels on roof

The state of Wyoming has relatively few financial incentives for residents investing in renewable energy. Luckily, residents can still take advantage of the federal tax credit. Here’s everything you need to know about how state and federal solar incentives can make installing panels more affordable in the Equality State.


Key insights

In Wyoming, a typical residential solar panel system costs $9,394 to $24,590, depending on the size of your system and what financial incentives you qualify for.

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The 30% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant financial incentive for most homeowners buying solar panels in Wyoming.

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The state supports solar growth through policies like net metering, which lets residents earn credit for excess solar energy sent back to the power grid.

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Residential solar panel incentives in Wyoming

For most homeowners, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the best way to save money when going solar. The ITC reduces your federal tax liability by 30% of how much it costs to install solar panels. This is different from a deduction, which lowers your taxable income.

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

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

Tax credits offset your tax liability, so it’s only useful if you owe federal income taxes in the first place. However, the credit rolls over to the next tax year if you don’t use the full amount. You don’t get these benefits automatically, though. You must claim it the same year you started using your system on Form 5695.

Recent legislation seeks to streamline the permitting process for larger solar projects, potentially encouraging the development of utility-scale solar farms. Check DSIRE for the most comprehensive source of information about local solar incentives and policies.

What to know about net metering in Wyoming

Net metering is a system of give-and-take between you and your utility company. It lets you access power from the grid on days your panels don’t generate enough electricity. It also lets you earn credits for sending any excess solar energy to the local power grid. These credits can offset the cost of electricity consumed at other times.

In Wyoming, the specific value of the credit depends on your utility provider, such as Rocky Mountain Power, Black Hills Energy or Lower Valley Energy. Some utilities may offer a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit at the full retail rate, while others apply an avoided-cost rate, which could be lower than the retail rate. At the end of the year, any unused credits are typically purchased by the utility at the avoided-cost rate.

Recently, there have been discussions in Wyoming about modifying the net metering policy, including the potential for reducing the credit rate for excess energy.

Any grid-connected systems can still tap into the local power grid when needed. The alternative is to store it in a battery. That way, you can still turn your lights on when panels aren’t generating electricity, like at night or on especially cloudy days. The biggest downside is that solar storage battery costs can be almost as high as the panels — $7,000 to $18,000.

» GREENEST STATES: Wyoming ranked No. 50 in 2024

How much are solar panels in Wyoming?

After the federal solar tax credit, solar panel costs in Wyoming typically range from $9,394 to $17,213. Your system size greatly affects how much you pay overall. The typical system size for solar systems in Wyoming is 11.48 kW (kilowatts).

How do you know if the average size system is enough for your home or if you need a bigger one? Check the amount of electricity you used last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You’ll find this information in your online electric account dashboard. Then, divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to find the system size you need. For example, if your home used 15,000 kWh last year, you would need a 13-kW system.

Average solar cost by system size in Wyoming

Solar resources in Wyoming

Below are some additional resources.

Find solar companies in Wyoming

A good solar company helps you navigate local incentives, permitting and net metering policies. Compare our picks for Wyoming’s top solar companies to learn more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in Wyoming?

No, but you can lease solar equipment with little to no upfront costs. Still, it’s not totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can pay cash, but most people finance solar panels with a solar loan. It works a lot like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time (with interest). You also have the option of getting a lease.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels in Wyoming?

On average, Wyoming homeowners with solar panels avoid $85,447 in utility costs over 25 years. Your current electric bill is the starting point for assessing the financial benefits of transitioning to solar energy. Knowing your average energy consumption helps determine the size and capacity of the solar system you need. Once you know this, you can figure out potential savings and how long it should take for your solar installation to pay for itself.

How do I know if my house is a good candidate for solar?

It’s best to have plenty of unshaded roof space that faces south or west for optimal sun exposure. It’s also smart to upgrade any old, inefficient appliances first. Reducing your electrical loads now means you can get a smaller system, which will be cheaper.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, more commonly known as solar panels, absorb sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. If you have a lot of shading around your house, they might not get enough sun to power your home.

The condition of your roof matters too — if it needs replacement soon, do that before installing solar panels. Installing solar panels on an old roof might mean you have to remove the panels, replace your roof and then reinstall the panels. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

Do solar panels increase property taxes in Wyoming?

Yes, a solar panel system can increase the value of your property, which can mean an increase in property taxes. There is no property tax exemption available in Wyoming.

What has Wyoming’s investment in solar been so far?

Total solar investments in the state amount to $164 million, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Recent legislation seeks to streamline the permitting process for larger solar projects, potentially encouraging the development of utility-scale solar farms.

In April 2024, the South Cheyenne Solar Facility became operational after two years of construction. This 150-megawatt facility is Southern Power's first solar project in the state and underscores Wyoming's increasing investment in solar energy as a reliable and sustainable power source.

Bottom line

Wyoming has relatively few financial incentives for residents who invest in renewable energy. But long-term savings still outweigh the initial costs for many. The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the average costs of going solar and incentives in other states. Turns out, it’s worth it for many homeowners, particularly in Wyoming.

Solar costs vs. savings: Wyoming and nearby states

* For 100% usage offset; ** 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, "Wyoming Solar Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  2. Solar Energy Industries Association, "Wyoming Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  3. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Wyoming?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  4. Southern Company, “Southern Power's South Cheyenne Solar Facility in Wyoming is now operational.” Accessed June 11, 2024.
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