Solar Panel Cost in Alaska (2023 Local Savings Guide)
In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in Alaska, you’ll learn:
- How solar panel costs in Alaska compare to the U.S. average
- What affects solar prices for Alaska residents
- How much you can save by going solar in Alaska
- What makes Alaska a good state for solar
Cost of Solar Panels in Alaska
The average cost of solar panels in Alaska is $2.41 per watt, which is well below the national average of $2.66 per watt. Using this figure, in Alaska, a typical 6-kilowatt solar system would cost $10,122 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit.
The size and per-watt cost of solar panels are defining components in determining the final cost of a solar energy system for your Alaska home whether you live in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau. Many Alaska homeowners opt for a 6-kilowatt system, to offset the average monthly electric bill of about $125.1
Keep reading to learn more about solar costs and incentives in Alaska, or if you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.
Arctic Solar Ventures
Renewable Energy Systems of Alaska
Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Alaska
The size of your solar energy system is a critical factor in the final cost, but its significance extends beyond impacting the price. For homeowners who simply want to supplement their electricity, it may not be a big deal. However, for those who want to eliminate their electricity bills entirely, the size of the system is critical.
Below, we list the most common solar system sizes installed in Alaska and their associated costs before and after applying the federal tax credit.
|Size of Solar Panel System||Alaska Solar Panel Cost||Cost After 30% Federal Tax Credit|
Ready to see the best solar companies in Alaska that consistently offer high-quality, affordable systems? Click here.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Alaska?
Solar panel systems in Alaska are more affordable than they are in most other states, with an average cost of around $10,122 after the federal tax credit. Normal prices can fall within $5,000 to $6,000 on either side of this average, though.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the primary cost factors that will determine what your solar panels will cost.
The solar equipment you install in your home is one of the predominant determining factors when it comes to system cost. There are two main reasons for this.
First, Alaska is the northernmost state, which means sunlight is relatively scarce and isn’t as intense as it is in other states. The Last Frontier experiences just 112 sunny days per year, on average, which is just over half the national average of 205.
The lack of sun in AK demands high-efficiency solar panels, which are almost always more expensive than standard equipment. Consequently, most Alaskans will end up paying more for top-of-the-line equipment.
In many states, solar batteries are add-on products that are most useful for providing power through outages. In Alaska, solar batteries are a good option for some homeowners who want to maximize their energy savings.
Net metering allows residents to overproduce energy and “bank” it with their utility company for later use. However, not all electric companies in AK buy back energy at the full retail rate, so batteries can help get the maximum benefit from overproduction. Solar batteries, however, will drive up the cost of your system.
Solar Financing in Alaska
Financing for solar projects is readily available in Alaska, but the payment option you choose will affect your total system price. Paying with cash means you’ll spend more up front for your panels, but you won’t pay interest, so you’ll end up saving money. Using a solar loan means a more affordable payment up front, but your all-in costs will be higher because of interest payments.
There are plenty of solar loan options in Alaska, although government-backed loan options are scarce. There is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, but it’s currently only available for commercial customers.
However, low-income households can take advantage of affordable and accessible solar financing options available through a nonprofit called the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP).
Alaska Solar Installation Company
Alaska is home to just five solar installers according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the one you choose will make a difference in terms of your overall system price.2 Since every installer charges different prices for installation labor and equipment, two companies installing the exact same equipment can come with wildly different prices.
The solar installers in AK can also vary in price based on the brands they offer. For example, Arctic Solar Ventures, one of the best solar companies in Alaska, only installs LG panels. Alaska Solar, another local company, only offers QCells panels.
LG panels tend to be more expensive than QCells, so Arctic Solar Ventures will usually come at a higher price than Alaska Solar. This is not to say that one is better than the other, though, as these brands also differ in their efficiency, durability, warranty coverage and overall value.
Additional Considerations and Costs in Alaska
There are a few more things you’ll want to consider before committing to a solar installer in Alaska. We’ll include some information on these considerations below.
- Permits: The State of Alaska requires building permits for all solar panel installations. Your installer should handle this process, but if you choose to go the DIY route, you might need to pull permits for yourself. Either way, this is a crucial step in going solar in AK.
- Licenses: Every solar installer in Alaska must be registered with the state as a licensed electrician. You should always make sure your installer is properly licensed before singing any contracts for service.
- Warranties: Solar warranties help protect your investment and ensure that your system continues functioning as intended for many years to come. Warranties usually cover physical damage, performance or the labor for the installation. The best warranties cover all three.
- HOAs: Alaska currently doesn’t have any laws regarding solar rights. Homeowners’ associations can prevent you from installing solar panels, so you should get permission before moving forward with the work.
- Environmental zoning: The zoning laws in Alaska are quite lax when it comes to solar panel systems, so it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any issues with the process.
Alaska Solar Incentives
Alaskan residents who invest in solar energy systems have a few solar incentives at their disposal. Although the state doesn’t offer any property tax exemptions or state tax credits, it offers excellent net metering policies. In addition, residents may also take advantage of the ITC, which is available to solar homeowners across the U.S.
Here’s a brief overview of incentives available to Alaska residents:
|Incentive||How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Alaska|
|Net Metering||Through net metering programs, any extra energy your solar energy system produces is sent to the grid in exchange from utility credits that you can use toward your next month’s bill. In Alaska, utility companies are required to offer these policies to owners of all solar energy systems up to 25 kilowatts. The credits are valued at the retail rate of electricity and can be carried over indefinitely.|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||This credit is called the solar investment tax credit (ITC), and it allows homeowners to claim a credit worth 30% of the installed price of their solar energy systems.|
|Local Solar Rebates & Incentives||Local governments and utility companies may offer additional rebates for installing solar PV systems.|
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Alaska
As we mentioned above, the solar panels you choose to install in Alaska can have a significant impact on your overall system price.
In the table below, we’ll include some average pricing for the top solar panel brands available in Alaska to help you decide which ones are likely to be available within your budget.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
Want to know what size solar system you need in AK and what it will cost? Select one of our top providers below, and we’ll have a vetted, reliable solar installer provide you with a customized estimate.
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FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Alaska
At EcoWatch, we get questions all the time from readers regarding energy costs and solar energy. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at email@example.com.
The average cost of solar panels in Alaska is $2.41 per watt, which is well below the national average of $2.66 per watt. Using this figure, in Alaska, a typical 6-kilowatt solar system would cost $10,700 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit.
Of course, these numbers may be skewed from what you pay for your system. Depending on factors like the kilowatt-hours of energy you use each month, solar provider, type of solar equipment and your roof configuration and orientation, your numbers may be higher or lower.
Yes, solar panels increase your home’s value. According to Zillow, homes with solar energy sell for roughly 4.1% more than those without.5 At the time of publication, the median home value in Alaska is $314,885, which means the added value is equivalent to an extra $12,910.6
The added value is only applicable if you own your renewable energy system and won’t apply if you lease it, since you won’t actually own the system. The increased value percentage may vary based on your particular location and market, but rooftop solar energy systems generally increase the value of your home by just over 4%.
When you switch to solar energy, you have a few options for paying for the system. Generally, you can buy the solar system outright via cash purchase or solar financing, or you could lease the system with a PPA or solar lease. Not all companies offer solar leases, but many do, so it’s something to keep in mind.
If it’s feasible, it’s always best to purchase your system. Buying and owning your system offers a variety of benefits that leasing doesn’t allow. For instance, you can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which can shave a considerable chunk off the overall total. In addition, your home’s value will increase due to the solar array addition.
You can also utilize local rebates and tax breaks when you buy the system. Unfortunately, Alaska doesn’t offer rebates or tax breaks specific to the state, but Alaska residents can still take advantage of exceptional net metering policies and the federal tax credit.
If you choose to lease your system, you can’t claim the federal tax credit and your home doesn’t gain any value as a result of the addition. However, since buying the system outright isn’t feasible for all homeowners, solar leasing is certainly an option. Residents living in a rental home may also decide that leasing makes more sense for their situation.
No, solar panels aren’t free in Alaska. If you see an advertisement for free panels, it’s probably a marketing tactic trying to get you to sign a lease or PPA. While a lease/PPA may be a suitable choice for some homeowners, it’s generally not a great investment.
So, if you see a sign boasting free panels, make sure you do your research to determine exactly what you would be getting yourself into. As the demand for solar energy has risen, dozens of less-than-stellar solar providers have popped up all over the U.S. offering leases. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the company, verifying that it is a reputable option before committing to a solar project.
Absolutely, your solar panel system can eliminate your energy bills. Alaska’s net metering policies are excellent, which works well in favor of homeowners switching to solar energy.
Of course, a few factors may impact how much you can save or if you can eliminate your energy bills. For example, you need an adequately sized system that can meet or exceed your energy needs. However, it’s possible to entirely eliminate your energy bills with your solar energy system and even go off-grid if you live in a rural part of Alaska.
Comparing authorized solar partners
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- Great warranty coverage
- Includes battery installations
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- Limited brands of solar equipment available
- Slightly limited service offerings
- No leases or PPAs
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