Alaska Solar Incentives (Rebates, Tax Credits & More in 2023)
By Dan Simms /
In this guide to the best solar providers that service Alaska, you’ll learn:
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Alaska has long been deemed the Last Frontier, and that designation is still fitting today in terms of solar energy. To date, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recognizes just five installers in Alaska, and the state is ranked nearly last in the country for its solar adoption rate.
However, solar can still be worth it in Alaska. And choosing from even a small selection of solar panel installation companies can be intimidating, as clean energy is a sizable investment. We’ve researched all of the providers in the area for you and have determined that the below companies are the best options for Alaska property owners looking to convert to solar energy:
You can gather more information about each of these installers in the drop-down menus that follow.
Arctic Solar Ventures (ASV) is our top pick in Alaska for two primary reasons: the high-efficiency panels offered and the solar services, which include battery installations.
ASV primarily installs LG solar panels, which have an above-average efficiency rating. Panel efficiency means everything in Alaska because the state sees just 121 sunny days per year, compared to the national average of 205.2 Efficient panels are required in Alaska to make solar a worthwhile endeavor and provide you with energy savings.
High-efficiency panels also help ensure that the above-average energy costs are offset sufficiently.3 Ultimately, high-efficiency panels maximize your long-term savings and provide more return on investment.
In addition to high-efficiency panels, ASV includes access to solar batteries. Batteries are a must in Alaska due to the long stretches of darkness. Solar batteries drive up system costs but ultimately pay for themselves in most cases.
Unlike most other providers in the state, ASV offers a comprehensive 30-year warranty that covers equipment, production and workmanship. This is outstanding and almost unheard of in the world of solar.
Arctic Solar Ventures only provides access to a single panel brand and only works in and around Anchorage. Still, we think this is the best company for its warranty coverage, panel efficiency and battery options.
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating|
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|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries|
As the name implies, Alaska Solar is another company that’s local to Alaska, and it’s situated near ASV and services the same area. We think this is another great option overall for its high-quality panels and access to solar storage solutions.
Much like our top pick, Alaska Solar offers just one panel brand: Qcells. Thankfully, this panel has an above-average efficiency rating, making it suitable for maximizing your energy production to offset the lack of sunlight so far north.
Alaska Solar also specializes in solar battery installations, so you can couple your panels with a storage solution that helps maintain power and boost savings even through the long periods of darkness in Alaska.
Unfortunately, this company only includes the manufacturer’s warranty for the equipment. Still, since several companies don’t even offer an equipment warranty that lasts 25 years in Alaska, we think this is a good option for customers in and around Anchorage.
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating|
|Average Cost ($-$$$$$)|
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries|
Renewable Energy Systems of Alaska made it to our top company recommendations in the state mostly because of its wide service area. However, it has other things going for it as well, like high-quality panel brands and over a decade of local experience.
First off, this installer covers Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and the surrounding areas, which means it can serve customers that aren’t within the service areas of most other installers in the area.
This company has a better selection of panels than most local competitors as well, including Trina and Canadian Solar. These are both tier-one panel brands that are suitable for use in low-light conditions.
Renewable Energy Systems of Alaska offers above-average warranty coverage for the equipment — 50 years — and an above-average warranty for the power output — 30 years. The latter coverage is great to have in Alaska, where production capacity dictates your long-term savings.
The company doesn’t offer any workmanship warranty. However, we feel confident recommending its services because it has more than a decade of experience installing solar. That should mitigate most risk of roof leaks resulting from poor installation technique.
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating|
|Average Cost ($-$$$$$)|
|Solar Panels, Solar Batteries|
Watch Below: See What An Off Grid Solar Installation Looks Like in Snowy Alaska
The average cost to install a solar energy system in Alaska is just $14,460, which is about $10,000 cheaper than the national average. This is likely because a number of Alaskan solar companies only sell solar panels and don’t install them. As such, if you plan to have a contractor install your panels for you, it will likely cost more.
While this solar panel cost is well below the national average, many residents will still struggle to justify a $14,000 price tag. There are a few things you can do to make your solar conversion more affordable, including:
We’ll explain how these strategies help save you money in the sections below.
Taking advantage of solar incentives is one of the best ways to bring down your upfront conversion costs and maximize the value you get from your panels over time. Choosing a local company with years of local experience and good customer service often means you’ll get access to assistance navigating and taking the local perks available.
We’ll include some information on the solar benefit programs available to Alaska residents in the table below.
|Solar Benefit Program||Program Description|
|Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)||The federal tax credit is equal to 30% of your solar energy system cost, which includes the price of panels, inverters, batteries and more. In AK, this averages out to $4,338. That amount gets applied to your income tax burden for the year you install your panels, and you can carry over any unused credit (if you don’t owe enough on your taxes) for five years.|
|Net Metering||Net energy metering is a policy that states that your utility company must credit you for all excess power your panels generate. Homeowners can overproduce and “bank” energy and then call on that energy at no cost if they ever need to pull energy from the electric grid. Net energy metering is a highly beneficial perk in AK, as it helps keep your utility bills low, even in the winter when sunlight is in short supply. All energy is credited at the retail rate, which is the best-case scenario.|
|Local Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems||This is a property tax exemption that prevents the added value from your solar panel system from pushing up your taxes.|
You can get more information on these perks and other rebates and incentives by checking out our guide to solar benefit programs for Alaskan property owners.
Our second tip for saving money when choosing a solar provider is to pick one that offers high-efficiency solar panel brands. Different panels come with different efficiency ratings, which tells you how much of the sunlight that hits them will be converted into solar electricity. The higher the rating, the more power your panels will generate.
High-efficiency panels are a necessity if you want to maximize the value of your system and save money on your energy bills. They will produce more electricity, which helps offset your consumption and bank enough power through net energy metering to last through a good portion of the darkness in winter.
High-efficiency panels will often cost a bit more initially, but they’re worth the extra money, as they help maximize your long-term energy savings.
Some panel brands that work well in Alaska include:
Finally, we suggest getting a few free quotes from different companies for your solar PV system. Every installer in AK will likely quote you a different amount for your system, and the price can vary by hundreds or thousands of dollars based on the quality of the equipment, the warranty coverage and more.
We suggest getting at least three quotes and then deciding which company provides the best bang for your buck.
Yes, installing solar panels is expected to bump up your home value in AK. According to research conducted by Zillow, a solar array should make your home around 4.1% more valuable.4 In Alaska, where the typical home is worth around $337,000, that’s an estimated increase of $13,800.5
Solar adoption has been most progressive in larger cities, like Anchorage and Fairbanks, especially since most of the solar providers in the state focus their efforts on these two areas. Given the greater popularity there, you’re also likely to see the most value added to your home from your residential solar system in those cities.
DIY solar system installation is somewhat popular in Alaska, and two of our top solar providers are solar equipment vendors that solely provide panels for DIY installation. Installing your panels yourself should average between $10,000 and $15,000 in AK, whereas a professional system will run closer to $20,000.
You will very likely save a substantial amount of money upfront installing your own panels, but we recommend against it for a few reasons, including:
We’ll explain the drawbacks of a DIY installation in Alaska in the sections below.
The most compelling reason not to install your own solar system is that the panels available for DIYers aren’t as efficient. Most DIY brands hover between 15% and 18% efficiency, while professional brands reach up to nearly 23% and average above 20%. This seemingly small difference can mean massive variances in power production.
In Alaska, panel efficiency is everything. High-quality panels are much more likely to eliminate or significantly offset your electric bills and generate enough power to carry you through the winter using net energy metering.
Since the state has the third-highest electricity rates in the country at nearly double the national average, maximizing panel efficiency can lead to dramatic differences in your long-term savings.6
The panels available for DIY installations also don’t have the same warranty coverage. Most DIY brands have a ten- to 15-year warranty for the equipment, a ten-year warranty for the power production and no warranty for the labor.
You might pay more for professionally-installed panels, but the industry average for warranty coverage is much better. Most include a 25-year warranty for the solar panels and equipment, 20 to 25 years of coverage for the energy production and ten years of coverage for the labor.
In our opinion, the power production and workmanship warranties are most important for Alaskans. The former helps maximize your energy savings over time, which is crucial in places like Alaska, where the energy rates are so high. The latter protects you against issues like roof leaks, which are more common given the annual snowfall is nearly triple the national average.7
Systems with warranties will usually cost more upfront, but they can often provide a greater return on investment over time and help avoid costly issues like roof leaks stemming from improper installation.
Finally, DIYers are more likely to make mistakes when making roof shingle penetrations and installing rooftop solar panels. Any issues with the installation process can lead to costly property damage that outweighs the savings you’d see by carrying out a DIY installation.
In our opinion, it’s worth it to hire a professional to complete the installation for you. You’ll get peace of mind that the system is installed properly, and you may also avoid expensive damage to your home over time.
Even in an area like Alaska, where there are few solar providers to choose from, picking one to handle your solar project can be a challenge. To make things a bit easier, we recommend focusing on the below factors, which we believe are the most crucial to Alaska solar customers:
We’ll explain why we think these are the most important factors to consider in the sections below.
The first thing we recommend prioritizing is the panel brand selection offered by each company you’re considering. We strongly suggest you only consider installers that carry high-efficiency, tier-one solar panels.
Given the high cost of electricity and the well-below-average sunlight availability, a high panel efficiency is crucial if going solar is going to be worth it in Alaska. Companies that carry brands like Maxeon, Tesla, REC, Qcells and other tier-one brands are much better suited to serve Alaska residents, in our opinion.
The second thing we suggest looking for is longevity in the industry and experience with installations in Alaska. Thanks to recent advancements in solar technology and equipment price drops, the solar industry in Alaska is just starting to pick up. As a result, many of the companies popping up have minimal experience installing solar.
An experienced company — by years or installations — is more likely to understand your energy needs and size your system appropriately to save you money. A company with longevity is also more likely to stick around and honor your warranties, which is always a positive thing.
Finally, we suggest choosing a company that offers good warranty coverage. Specifically, we recommend opting for a lengthy efficiency warranty and then prioritizing the workmanship warranty.
A power production guarantee will help ensure that your system continues to produce sufficient energy for your home and offset the above-average energy bills in AK. A labor warranty will help protect you from issues like roof leaks, which are a higher risk in Alaska, given how often and long your roof will be exposed to moisture from snow.
Our number one goal is to provide you with recommendations for solar providers that lead you to long-term savings, satisfaction and a reduced carbon footprint. To achieve that goal, we rank companies in your area based on criteria that we believe are most important to customers in Alaska, specifically. Below are the weighted factors we use in AK:
Our methodology is never affected by relationships we have in the solar industry, so you can always rest assured that our recommendations aren’t biased. We’ll explain why we prioritize and weight our rating factors in Alaska in the sections below.
The first thing we look at when assessing a solar provider in Alaska is the selection and quality of the products it offers and the services it provides. Installers with high-quality, high-efficiency panels get ranked highest because panel efficiency is the most crucial thing to ensure your system saves you money in the low-light conditions of AK.
We also prioritize companies that provide additional energy efficiency and solar services, like energy audits, solar water heaters and more. The baseline industry average we use for comparison is panel and battery installations. We give extra points for off-grid and ground-mounted solar offerings, as these are quite popular in Alaska.
Since many of the solar providers in AK are solar equipment vendors only — and since we don’t recommend DIY installations — we give precedence to companies that offer full-service PV system installations.
Next, we look at the warranty included with your system and the likelihood that the company will respond to warranty claims. We believe the efficiency and workmanship warranties are most important. These will help ensure that your panels continue to offset the above-average energy prices and utility bills in Alaska and remain issue-free.
The industry average we use to compare companies includes:
Next, since the popularity of solar in AK is just starting to grow and much of the state has a small population per square mile, we look at each company’s availability. Many installers in the area focus their efforts on Anchorage and Fairbanks, so we rank those higher that have wider service areas.
Alaska property owners have some unique needs in terms of solar power systems. These include above-average panel efficiency to offset losses during the low-sun winters and warranty coverage for the labor to protect against roof leaks from the above-average snowfall.
Companies with more experience get ranked higher because they’re more likely to understand your energy needs and provide a solid installation that doesn’t leave you open to property damage.
Since solar is just starting to gain popularity in the state, most companies have minimal experience. Still, we prioritize those that have five or more years and give a perfect score in this category to those with ten or more.
Next, we look at a company’s qualifications and reputation as a whole. This helps us identify providers that are likely to offer professional and safe installations and that set themselves apart by going above and beyond in a budding solar market. Some things we look for include:
Since going solar in AK is significantly more affordable than it is in nearly every other state, we don’t prioritize price as much as we would in other areas. However, since DIY installations are popular in the area — and much more affordable in most cases — we do consider the installation cost charged by each professional installer.
We also look at the payment options that a company offers, as this directly correlates to how accessible its products and services are. We think this is especially important in Alaska since the solar equipment vendors only accept cash, which is the least accessible payment option.
Finally, we look at each company’s impact on the solar industry as a whole, which is just beginning to take root in Alaska. We also consider its effects on the communities it services, as this helps prioritize reputable installers that make a positive difference in their areas. Some things we look for include:
Below, we’ll provide responses to some of the questions we get most frequently from Alaska property owners looking for a reputable solar panel installation company.
Based on our in-depth review of the best PV system installers in Alaska, we found that Arctic Solar Ventures is the most reputable. This solar provider has a long record of outstanding customer service and fast communication, it installs high-efficiency panels and battery systems made to withstand the harsh conditions in Alaska, and it makes its solar energy solutions accessible with convenient and affordable solar loans.
Arctic Solar Ventures has a limited coverage area, but it provides excellent services and high-tech equipment where it is active.
Yes, panel selection matters a great deal when choosing a solar installer in Alaska. As any resident knows, the winter months see almost no sunlight hitting the area and certainly not enough to power homes via solar power systems. Therefore, it’s important to choose an installer who has access to high-efficiency panels that will overproduce in the sunny months to make up for a lack of production in the winter.
With Alaska’s statewide net energy metering mandate, homeowners who do invest in high-efficiency panels often see a larger return on that investment.
According to the SEIA, there are only 11 solar companies operating in Alaska. Of these 11, a mere five handle panel installations.
Given that the winters in Alaska mean months of minimal sunlight, we get this question frequently from residents. Unfortunately, no PV panels will function at peak efficiency without direct sunlight. That means that your solar power system will produce little — if any — power in the winter.
However, this doesn’t mean that solar isn’t worth it in Alaska. With high-efficiency panels now available and a solid net metering policy, homeowners can overproduce in the sunny months and tap into that excess energy in the winter when sunlight is scarce.
The bottom line is that your panels won’t produce energy in the dark winters in Alaska, but the production in the summer, spring, and fall could cover your needs through the winter if you have the right equipment.
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