Cost of Solar Panels in Montana: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

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

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.54
  • Cost of Average System: $16,916*
  • 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 5/19/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in Montana

As a homeowner in Montana, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. 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.

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. Montana Installed Solar System Costs For Panels
  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 $16,916 after claiming the 26% 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 $11,278
7 kW $17,780 $13,157
8 kW $20,320 $15,037
9 kW $22,860 $16,916
10 kW $25,400 $18,796
11 kW $27,940 $20,676
12 kW $30,480 $22,555

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

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Montana?

Calculating the cost of solar panel systems for your Montana home requires input from multiple areas. Three primary categories contribute to the cost of your system: the type of equipment you choose, your solar financing selection, and the solar installation company that handles your project. 

Solar Equipment

The solar equipment you choose plays a considerable role in the final cost of your system. Solar panels range in quality, like most other products. For example, some solar panels are high-wattage and high-efficiency. These panels tend to be substantially pricier than less-efficient or lower-wattage models. 

Some Montana homeowners don’t mind the extra upfront cost of getting the best solar panels. Those working with limited installation space may opt for these panels since fewer are needed to produce the same amount of power. Or, homeowners who have multiple power-hungry appliances or electric vehicles may choose high-efficiency options to meet their higher energy needs. 

Ultimately, the best option for you falls to your particular needs, but the type of equipment you choose will impact the final price you pay for the system.

Solar Financing

When you buy a solar solution for your home, you usually have a few options for payment. Most solar providers offer three main options: cash purchases, solar loans and solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs). 

The option you choose can impact the price you pay overall. How? Consider a solar loan. More often than not, you’ll accrue interest on your loan as time passes. So, when everything is said and done, you’ll have paid more for the system than you would have if you paid cash up front. 

Since many homeowners can’t afford a $15,000+ purchase out of pocket, solar loans are an excellent option. With cash purchases and solar loans, you can take advantage of incentives like the federal tax credit, local rebates, increased home value and more.

If you choose a solar lease, you can’t use these financial incentives. Generally, a solar lease/PPA isn’t the best choice for residents looking to save money on energy costs. 

Solar Installation Company

Finally, the solar installation company that handles your solar project can also impact the final price of your solar solution. As you sift through local and national solar providers servicing your area, you’ll probably notice some degree of pricing variation from one option to another. 

The variation is usually due to different overhead costs that each company contends with. Companies that have higher quotes may also offer more personalized service, longer warranties or higher-quality equipment, which reflects in the price you pay. 

The added price doesn’t make the company more or less worth it, but it might be something to consider. You should always choose a reputable company that you feel comfortable with and look for the best value rather than the cheapest installation. 

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 at 26% of the total system cost, which, in Montana, comes out to an average of $5,944.

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. 

Montana Installed Solar System Costs For Panels

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 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 panels 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 $$$

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People Also Ask 

EcoWatch FAQ: 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. Here are some of the most common queries, as well as our answers:

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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.