Cost of solar panels in Wyoming (2024)

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

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man installing solar panel on slanted roof

Average solar panel installation costs range from $9,394 to $24,590 in Wyoming. How much you actually pay depends on the size of your system, what incentives you’re eligible for and other factors. Assuming an upfront purchase, it takes about 9 years to break even (when your savings with solar panels make up for the cost).


Key insights

The average solar panel installation costs $2.57 per watt in Wyoming. “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.

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The federal solar investment tax credit is usually the most significant financial incentive for homeowners buying solar panels. It is not a rebate or a refund but goes toward what you owe on federal income taxes.

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Leasing solar equipment is often cheaper upfront. However, you won’t be eligible for the federal tax credit if you do.

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How much do solar panels cost in Wyoming?

With professional installation, a typical 6-kilowatt residential solar panel system in Wyoming costs $15,401. That price drops to $10,781 after the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

The size of your solar panel system is a big factor in your overall solar costs. A typical Wyoming household needs a system with a capacity of 11.48 kW 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 installation cost by system size in Wyoming

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 Wyoming?

Financially, going solar ends up being worth it for the cost savings over time. On average, you’ll spend $9,394 to $24,590 for panels that last about 25 years. Over that same time period, you’d avoid approximately $85,447 in total utility costs.

The generally cool climate, particularly in the summer, helps panels operate more efficiently. Wyoming also gets a lot of sunny days throughout the year, which is ideal for solar energy production. However, heavy snowfall, especially in the mountains, can cover panels and reduce their effectiveness.

Homeowners with solar panels typically save $20,000 to $90,000 over 25 years.

But it doesn't work out for everyone. We suggest using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory'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. If your house is a good candidate for solar, it’s worth at least considering solar in Wyoming.

» STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

Solar panel installation cost factors in Wyoming

The equipment — solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and other electrical accessories — is typically the largest portion of your overall total costs (approximately 25% to 50%). Labor, which includes planning, preparing and connecting your system to the grid, accounts for 10% to 30%. Local permits and fees are a small part of your overall costs.

Solar panels

Most of your solar equipment costs come down to how much you pay for solar panels. You’ll hear installers talk about how “efficient” their panels are.

Solar panel efficiency is a measure of how well a panel makes electricity. The more efficient the solar panels you buy are, the fewer panels you need. While more efficient panels cost a little more, you save by buying fewer panels.

In general, monocrystalline panels are 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.

Additional solar equipment costs

Solar arrays also contain mounting equipment, wiring and other devices, such as inverters, batteries or a monitoring system.

  • Solar batteries: A battery stores energy for later use. It’s a must if you want real energy independence, and they sometimes cost as much as the panels. Prices often depend on the battery’s storage capacity, lifespan, brand and other factors. 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.

Size of your system

The cost difference between a 6-kilowatt system and a 7-kilowatt system is thousands of dollars. To estimate what size system you need, first look up how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used last year on your electricity bill. Divide that number by 1,200. This will be roughly the system size you need. For example, if your home used 30,000 kWh last year, you would need a 25-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 have to pay to remove the panels, fix your roof and reinstall them again. This is a frustrating and expensive process you should avoid if you can. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your roof, it’s a good idea to do that before getting solar panels.

ConsumerAffairs often hears from disgruntled solar customers who felt blindsided by expensive roof repairs needed after their solar panel installation was complete. If you want to ensure a seamless and cost-effective solar journey, your roof must match the system's longevity. Get your roof inspected, fixed or replaced before you get a solar energy system.

Labor costs

Solar equipment costs are going down, but labor costs are higher than ever in some areas. Labor costs are usually included in your system's initial price estimate, but be sure to confirm before committing to a contract.

Installing solar panels yourself might initially seem cheaper because you'll save on labor costs. However, it's crucial to consider several factors for safety before going the do-it-yourself route. If not installed correctly, solar panels pose safety risks, causing roof leaks and other problems.

Local permits and fees

Permits and interconnection fees, though relatively cheap, are worth mentioning. The process for installing residential solar panels varies by city. In Laramie, you need building and electrical permits from the city's Code Administration Department. Your application must include site plans, specifications, technical details and proof of your net metering agreement with the utility. In Cheyenne, there are a few options for solar panel installers that will handle the permitting process for you and include the cost of the permits into your bill.

» TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

How to save money on solar panels in Wyoming

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

  • Compare quotes: Get quotes from at least three or four different solar companies in Wyoming. 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.
  • Lower your electrical load: Before going solar, it’s smart to upgrade any old appliances. For example, replacing an old refrigerator with a more eco-friendly one reduces your electric load, which also helps lower your utility bill. If you use less electricity, you need fewer solar panels, making the whole system cheaper.
  • Explore payment options: Affordable financing makes the upfront costs of solar more manageable. For instance, leases let you start saving from day one with little or no money down.
  • Solar rebates: Some solar panel manufacturers offer rebates on their products. While these may not be specific to Wyoming, they can still provide additional savings. Ask your installer about any available manufacturer rebates.

» MORE: Why are solar panels so expensive?

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Wyoming

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

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Wyoming. 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.

Aside from the federal tax credit, Wyoming doesn’t have many financial incentives to make going solar more affordable for residents. Dominion Energy customers can get rebates on solar water heaters, though.

» EXPLORE: Wyoming solar incentives

How can I pay for solar panels in Wyoming?

  • Loan: 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 eight to 20 years.
  • Lease: 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.
  • Home equity: Using a home equity line of credit or loan to finance a solar installation 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 installation companies in Wyoming

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

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in Wyoming?

There is no program to receive free solar panels in Wyoming. You can lease solar panels with little to no upfront costs, but it’s not completely free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee. In general, beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Solar scams that promise free solar panels often, unfortunately, end up costing people quite a bit of money.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How are solar costs trending in Wyoming?

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

Is it cheaper if I install solar panels myself?

It’s potentially cheaper to install your solar energy system yourself, but it’s difficult and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, especially for a large residential project.

» DIY SOLAR PANELS: Pros and cons

How does net metering work in Wyoming?

Net metering in Wyoming allows you to sell excess electricity generated by your solar panels back to the utility grid. You'll receive a credit on your bill for this excess electricity. The specific value of the credit depends on your utility provider. 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.

Will solar panels increase the value of my home?

Installing solar panels can significantly increase a home's value. According to a Zillow study, homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more on average. The exact increase in value varies by location, with homes in active solar markets seeing higher boosts.

How much can I save with solar panels?

On average, Wyoming homeowners with solar panels avoid $85,447 in total utility costs over 25 years.

» EXPLORE: Where solar savings go the furthest

Bottom line

Going solar is cheaper in Wyoming than in some other states, but residents don’t get the same return on investment. There also aren’t many state or local incentives to help homeowners invest in renewable energy.

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in Wyoming and the average solar costs in other states.

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.” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  3. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Wyoming?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  4. Laramie, WY, “Solar Laramie.” Accessed May 9, 2024.
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