2022 Montana Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, Rebates (And More)

Here’s a quick look at the solar incentives in Montana:

  • Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • Net Metering
  • 10-Year Property Tax Exemption
  • Solar & Wind Easements
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/17/2022

Why You Can Trust EcoWatch

Our solar experts have sifted through hundreds of local governments’ and utility companies’ websites to find accurate information about current solar incentives in each state. We’ve also unbiasedly ranked and reviewed hundreds of solar installers to empower you to make the right choice for your home.


Jump to Section:

  1. Solar Rebates, Tax Credits and Incentive Programs in Montana
  2. Net Metering in Montana
  3. Federal Solar Tax Credit
  4. FAQ: Montana Solar Incentives

How Much Can You Save With Solar Incentives in Montana?

In this article, we’ll discuss the solar incentives and rebates available to Montana homeowners. When you’re ready to speak with a qualified professional, follow the links below. Each of these companies can help you identify and apply for incentives available in Montana.

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With solar prices at an all-time low, Montana residents can currently enjoy an average cost of $22,860 to go solar, which is well below the national average. Both the average per-watt price — $2.54 — and the typical system size needed in Montana to offset electricity usage — 9 kilowatts — are lower than you’ll find throughout most of the country. Still, the idea of paying over $22,000 to install solar panels is still not realistic for some homeowners.

Thankfully, there are some solar incentives provided to Montana homeowners by the state and federal governments. These incentives reduce upfront costs and make solar a more accessible renewable energy source by increasing the return on investment. Below, we’ll explain all of the solar incentives available in Montana to help you reduce your costs as much as possible.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on for and is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice.

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Current Solar Rebates, Tax Credits and Incentive Programs in Montana

The table below provides a brief overview of the incentives and credits available to Montana homeowners. We’ll explain each of these incentives in greater depth as well.

Montana Solar Incentive Description
Federal Solar Tax Credit The government provides a federal tax credit worth 26% of your total cost to go solar, which is applied to your federal income taxes owed for the tax year in which your system is turned on.1 In Montana, where the average cost of solar is $22,860, the typical credit is worth $5,944.
Net Metering Net metering allows you to receive credits for overproducing energy with your solar panel system, which can be put toward your energy bills.2 We’ll explain how this policy works in Montana, specifically, below.
Renewable Energy Systems Exemption Montana’s Renewable Energy Systems Exemption is a property tax exemption. Most home improvements cause your assessed value and property taxes to go up. Although solar panels increase home value, this exemption guarantees that installing panels won’t affect your property taxes for 10 years.3

Montana Solar Tax Credit

While the federal tax credit is available to all homeowners throughout the country, some states offer a state tax credit on top of the federal one to further incentivize residential solar conversions. Unfortunately, Montana does not offer a state tax incentive.

Montana previously had an Alternative Energy Systems Tax Credit that was worth $500 for residential solar customers and even more for commercial solar generation. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 399 was passed in 2021 and discontinued the state tax credit for all future installations. As of 2022, there is no state solar tax credit available in Montana.

Other Montana Solar Incentives

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Montana ranks 43rd out of all 50 states in terms of solar conversions.4 Part of the reason for this low ranking is likely the lack of solar incentives provided by the state. Aside from the property tax exemption mentioned above, there is really only one additional solar policy helping Montana residents: Montana’s Solar & Wind Easements.

The Solar & Wind Easements state that every taxpayer will have unimpeded access to sunlight for solar production.5 That means that, as a homeowner, you will always be able to maintain sunlight access for your photovoltaic system, and neighbors and other buildings won’t be able to reduce the sunlight your panels receive.

Montana Solar Property Tax Exemption

Despite having no state tax credit and relatively few solar incentives, Montana does provide residents with an important tax exemption: the Renewable Energy Systems Exemption.

This incentive prevents your property taxes from increasing due to solar panel installation for 10 years. Under normal circumstances, a home improvement like a solar conversion would increase your property taxes, sometimes leading to thousands of dollars in overpayment over several years. The property tax exemption guarantees that your taxes won’t budge for a decade, despite the fact that solar panels do increase property value.

It’s also worth mentioning that Montana is one of the very few states that doesn’t have a state sales tax, which means you won’t have to pay sales tax on your solar equipment. At an average cost of $22,860 to go solar in Montana, these savings on sales tax quickly add up.

Net Metering in Montana

Net metering is a billing policy that benefits residents who install home solar systems on their properties and participate in interconnection.

Because solar panels don’t produce energy at night, without a solar battery, you can’t power your home solely off solar. Most homeowners pull power from the local grid to use on cloudy days or when the sun is down. Many solar panel systems also produce more electricity than a home needs during peak sunlight hours. Through net metering, you can send this extra energy back to the grid in exchange for credits from your utility company. These credits can be used to offset future power bills.

Net metering is mandatory in Montana to help the state reach its Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals, although the terms differ between electric companies. All local utilities will have their own policies and rates, so be sure to check your electric provider’s policy. No matter the rate, net metering in Montana will help you optimize your energy savings and minimize or eliminate your electric bills.

Local Incentives

Some states have municipalities, electric companies and electric cooperatives that provide additional incentives on a more local level. These sometimes include energy efficiency and energy conservation rebates for solar, wind and other renewable energy sources that cut emissions. Unfortunately, no such incentives exist in Montana to reduce installation costs.

However, there are low-interest loans available through the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program, which can make going solar more accessible.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar investment tax credit, commonly abbreviated as the “ITC,” is a solar incentive offered by the federal government to reduce the financial burden of installing solar panels. This credit is available to all Montana homeowners.

The ITC is applied to your federal income taxes owed, so it’s not an immediate credit. However, it is in the amount of 26% of your total cost to go solar, which is substantial. In Montana, where the average solar power system costs $22,860, the federal tax credit amount will typically be around $5,944.

The federal tax credit is scheduled to dip to 22% in 2023, and it will no longer be available for home systems in 2024. However, this could change if Congress renews the bill that established the credit.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the ITC is only available to homeowners who purchase their solar energy systems outright or use solar financing to secure their panels. Solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) will not let you take advantage of the credit.

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Related Topics

FAQ: Montana Solar Incentives

At EcoWatch, we’re happy to answer questions about solar incentives for Montana homeowners. Below are some of the questions we see most frequently, along with our responses.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.