Solar Panel Cost in Montana (2022 Local Savings Guide)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Montana:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.54
  • Cost of Average System: $16,002*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $38,049
  • Payback Period: 13 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $15,189

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/27/2022

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Jump to Section:

  1. Cost of Solar Panels in Montana
  2. Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Montana
  3. What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Montana?
  4. Montana Solar Incentives
  5. The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Montana
  6. FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Montana

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Cost of Solar Panels in Montana

The average cost of solar panels in Montana is $2.54 per watt, which is less than the national average of $2.66 per watt. In Montana, the typical homeowner needs a 9-kilowatt system to offset the average monthly electric bill of $96 per month. Using these figures, in Montana, a typical solar panel installation would cost $16,002 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Montana

For most homeowners, the point of incorporating solar energy is to eliminate or drastically reduce their electric bills. With this goal in mind, heavy emphasis falls on the size of the system, which determines whether you can achieve that goal. The chart below offers a quick overview of system costs based on varying system sizes. 

Size of Solar Panel System Montana Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
6 kW $15,240 $10,668
7 kW $17,780 $12,446
8 kW $20,320 $14,224
9 kW $22,860 $16,002
10 kW $25,400 $17,780
11 kW $27,940 $19,558
12 kW $30,480 $21,336

Ready to find the best solar companies in Montana that offer consistently high-quality and affordable systems? Click here.

See also: See how much you can save by going solar with the EcoWatch Solar Calculator

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Montana?

The solar equipment, installation company and financing choices you make will all determine the cost of your solar panels. You must also consider solar incentives offered in Montana when calculating the final cost of your system, like the Montana Solar Property Tax Exemption and Montana’s net metering program.

solar panels on a snowy day

Solar Equipment

Although Montana receives ample sunlight to power solar panels, snowfall and high winds in the state can be a concern for residents with solar systems. We recommend you opt for a brand with high wind and snow load ratings, as well as a warranty that will guarantee power production and cover weather-related damages. 

Highly durable brands with comprehensive warranties often, but don’t always, cost a little more than average. 

In the wintertime, you’ll want to brush off snow and ice that accumulates on your solar panels to keep your panels working and undamaged.

Solar Financing in Montana

Montana residents enjoy solar incentives like net metering, property tax exemptions and the federal solar tax credit. But Montana also offers affordable loans and grants for homeowners looking to switch to renewable energy. Take a look at some of these options:  

Montana Solar Installation Company

Montana has over 40 solar companies, but ranks 49th for solar jobs in the nation, employing fewer than 300 people across the state.1 That means that most solar installation companies in Montana are small, locally owned businesses. 

But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Check out the best solar options in Montana to learn more about our top-ranked Montana solar installers.

Since all installers offer different levels of quality, workmanship, warranty and equipment, you’ll encounter very different prices from various installers. That’s why we always recommend getting multiple quotes. 

Additional Considerations and Costs in Montana

Make sure your bases are covered and take a look at these additional considerations and costs when installing solar in Montana: 

  • Permits: Electrical permits are required for all residential solar PV systems in Montana. However, in some municipalities, you may also need a building or zoning permclose-up of solar detailsit. 
  • Licenses: Montana currently does not require a certification or license to install or work on solar equipment. 
  • Warranties: The majority of solar companies offer a 25-year warranty, but make sure to understand the conditions of each warranty before choosing a provider. 
  • HOAs: Montana does not have established legislation that prevents homeowners associations (HOAs) from forbidding solar panel installations for aesthetic purposes. However, Montana does protect solar easements, meaning you can create a legal agreement guaranteeing your property access to direct sunlight. 
  • Environmental zoning: You may need a zoning permit to install solar panels on your property. Local governments decide the permitting requirements for residential solar panels.

Montana Solar Incentives

From the federal solar tax incentive to local rebates, residents of the Big Sky State have several financial incentives at their disposal to mitigate the overall cost of their solar energy systems. Here are a few of the highlights:

Montana Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Montana
Renewable Energy Systems Exemption This property tax exemption ensures you won’t have to pay extra property taxes because of your solar energy system, even though it adds value to your home
Net Metering Through net metering programs, you can get utility credits for the energy you send back to the grid when your system produces more than you use. Not all states mandate that these credits be valued at the retail rate of electricity, but Montana does, which is good news for residents trying to reduce their energy bills to $0 per month.
Local Solar Rebates & Incentives Many utility companies and municipalities offer their own rebates and incentives for renewable energy systems. Your solar installer should be able to help you identify these, but make sure to research them on your own, too, to make sure you don’t miss out on any money-saving opportunities.
Federal Solar Tax Credit The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is available to homeowners who install solar electric systems across the country, including in Montana. This credit on your federal income taxes is valued at30% of the total system cost, which, in Montana, comes out to an average of $6,858.

It’s worth clarifying that Montana used to offer a Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit that was worth $500. However, this state tax credit was repealed by the state legislature in 2021. 

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Montana

Solar photovoltaic panels are available from a diverse array of brands, which is another component that affects the cost of your solar solution. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact, all-encompassing costs of each solar panel brand, we can offer a general idea. 

The table below gives a price comparison for a few of the best solar brands in Montana. 

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

Do you want to know how much solar panels would cost for your Montana home? Check out our preferred providers below to get a free, no-obligation quote based on your household’s energy needs. 

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FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Montana

From rural homeowners who want to go off-grid to residents of cities like Bozeman and Helena, we get questions about solar energy from many Montanans. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.

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