Top 7 Best Solar Companies in Utah (2023 Reviews)
By Dan Simms /
In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in Utah, you’ll learn:
This guide has helped thousands of Utahn homeowners save time and money when going solar in the Beehive State. Let’s get started!
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Energy costs in Utah are relatively cheap, but they’re certainly not free. That means converting your home to solar power is still a worthwhile option, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of your panels.
Still, one of the biggest barriers to entry into renewable energy is the initial cost. A typical solar power installation costs more than $21,000, before tax credits and other incentives.
But when you do the math, the money you can save more than makes up for it. In this guide, we’ll discuss the average cost of solar panels in Utah, some factors that can affect your price, how you can save money and maximize your return on investment when converting to clean energy and more to help you decide if solar is a good option for your home.
The average cost of a solar panel system in Utah is $21,440, before you factor in the federal investment tax credit. That brings your net cost down to about $15,008. These numbers assume that your home requires an average amount of electricity.
In general, Utah homes require an 8 kilowatt (kW) system, which is smaller than average in the United States. That’s partially offset by the fact that solar panels in Utah cost an average of $2.68 per watt, slightly over the average in the rest of the country.
However, the size of the solar array you need for your home will depend largely on your monthly energy consumption and your home size. The table below includes some general information that you can use as a guideline to see what size system you need and the price you can expect to pay. Your most recent utility bill will tell you how much energy you’re using each month, so you can find your place on this chart.
|Solar System Size||Energy Use (kWh per month)||House Size (in square feet)||Total Cost||Cost After the Federal ITC||Energy Savings (over 25 years, after system is paid off)|
|5 kW||500 kWh||2,200||$13,400||$9,380||$6,370|
|6 kW||600 kWh||2,400||$16,080||$11,256||$7,644|
|7 kW||700 kWh||2,600||$18,760||$13,132||$8,918|
|8 kW||800 kWh||2,800||$21,440||$15,008||$10,202|
|9 kW||900 kWh||3,000||$24,120||$16,884||$11,466|
|10 kW||1,000 kWh||3,200||$26,800||$18,760||$12,740|
|11 kW||1,100 kWh||3,400||$29,480||$20,636||$14,014|
The average cost per watt for photovoltaic (PV) equipment in Utah — $2.68 — is just above the national average of $2.66 per watt.
Although Utahns pay slightly more on a per-watt basis for solar panels, they pay less overall to convert to this clean energy source because they need smaller systems. The average system size needed in the U.S. is 9 kW, whereas most homeowners in Utah need an 8 kW system.
The smaller size requirements mean Utah solar customers pay $2,500 less than the average U.S. resident to go solar.
Overall, homeowners in the Beehive State find that solar is more affordable than average, although the average payback period in the state — 14 years — is above the typical 12 years, mostly due to the low energy needs and low energy rates. Utahns save less than most Americans over time by adopting solar, even though savings are still significant.
The prices we’ve shared above are just estimates, and your overall cost can fall well below or well above these numbers. Most Utah solar systems cost between $9,380 and $20,636 for their solar power systems, after you factor in the federal solar tax credit. The range is so large because there are quite a few cost factors at play, including the following:
We’ll explain why each of these factors matters so much in the following sections.
Since solar energy systems are usually priced on a per-watt basis, the more wattage you need, the higher your installation costs will be. The primary determining factor for how many watts or kilowatts you need to install is your rate of energy consumption.
The more electricity you use and the higher your power bills are, the more watts you’ll need to install to offset the cost of electricity. Just as an example, a home in Utah that consumes just 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will pay an average of $6,370 for solar panels, while a home that consumes 1,100 kWh each month will pay just over $14,000 on average.
You always have the choice of installing fewer panels to keep your initial costs down. However, this will typically mean your energy bills won’t be 100% offset, which means fewer savings over time.
We recommend making sure your rooftop solar array is sized appropriately for your home and can handle above what you consume each month. This will be more expensive initially but will pay for itself faster and end up saving you more money in the long run.
Many solar customers install solar batteries, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and other add-on products alongside their panels. This usually allows for the add-on equipment to be included in the federal tax credit, which can effectively discount them by 30%.
Solar batteries are particularly popular in Utah because many customers don’t have access to net metering. Net metering allows you to earn credits for the solar energy you produce above and beyond what your home needs, sending the extra power to the grid in exchange for an offset on future electricity bills.
Batteries can provide the same benefits as net metering, which maximizes electricity savings and can also provide power through blackouts.
Batteries and other add-ons will bump up your solar panel installation costs by thousands of dollars in most cases. However, something like a solar battery can improve your solar investment and be worth it if it gives you access to effective net energy metering and allows you to offset more of your energy consumption.
If you do opt for a battery and are a customer of Rocky Mountain Power, you can get a rebate of $400 for each kWh of battery storage you install. Perks like this can help make batteries more valuable overall.
Every solar panel comes with an efficiency rating, which tells you how much of the available sunlight the panel can turn into usable electricity for your home. The higher the efficiency rating, the more power you’ll get per watt you install.
Deciding on your efficiency rating can be tough because the more you pay upfront, the more you’re likely to save over time, thanks to higher rates of production and greater savings.
Choosing high-efficiency panels will drive up your system price. Still, we recommend buying the most efficient panels you can, as this can sometimes mean fewer panels are needed and often means better warranty coverage gets included with your equipment.
You can click the button below to get a free quote from SunPower, the industry leader in solar panel efficiency.
In addition to paying for PV panels, you’ll need to pay for other equipment and services to make your system usable and legal. We’ll explain some other costs that can affect your total conversion cost below.
Watch Below: Is Going Solar Worth It?
In most cases, homeowners who install solar panels will never need panel maintenance, and the same holds true for the majority of customers in Utah.
Some people choose to have their panels professionally cleaned, which can help remove dirt, pollen and other debris from the surface. This can have a small effect on the effective panel efficiency, as less sunlight is blocked from entering the panel and being converted to electricity.
The losses you’d see from dirty panels will usually be minimal. Most solar customers never have panel cleaning done, and those that don’t rarely see any significant downside to a lack of maintenance.
Most other issues — like panel damage and malfunction — will be covered by your solar panel warranty, which lasts an average of 25 years. As such, you should be able to enjoy your panels for decades in Utah without needing any maintenance.
Depending on the solar panel installation company you choose to handle your conversion, you’ll have access to four primary payment options: cash, solar loans, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
A cash purchase requires that you pay the full amount at once, so, of course, this will have the highest initial costs. This does make cash the least accessible option, but it also means you’ll own your panels immediately, and the payback period will be as short as possible. Overall, cash options yield the greatest energy savings in the long run.
Taking out a solar loan is the next best option, in our opinion. With no down payment options available, loans bring your initial costs down to $0 in many cases, making it a more accessible way to convert to renewable energy. You’ll end up paying more for your solar power system overall because of interest, but you’ll still own your panels and see significant savings in most cases.
A lease is less desirable since you won’t ever own your system and, therefore, can’t take the federal tax credit. With a leased system, you pay a fixed monthly rental fee for the panels, which means you won’t ever see a payoff. Leases are super accessible, though, as they don’t require a down payment or a good credit score like a loan might.
A PPA is what we recommend the least often. In this arrangement, you pay nothing initially and agree to pay a reduced per-kWh fee for the energy the panels produce over the contract term. This option also precludes you from taking the solar tax credit, and it saves the least amount of money over time.
SunPower is one of the best solar companies in Utah, in our opinion, and it offers all four of these options. Mynt Solar is another reputable installer, and it accepts cash purchases, loans and leases.
We recommend you use our solar calculator to figure out how much your panels will cost and which solar financing option suits you best. You can also reference the table below to get a general idea of the savings and payback periods you can expect from the different payment options.
|Financing Method||Total 25 Year Savings||Upfront Costs (after the ITC)||Monthly Payments||Payback Period|
The financing method you pick will play a major role in how much you pay initially and how much you end up paying over time for your system. There are some other ways you can save money on your PV system, including the following:
We’ll explain these money-saving strategies below and discuss how much each can save you on your solar system.
First and foremost, we recommend you take advantage of the federal solar tax credit and any other incentives or rebates available in your area. Incentives are the easiest way to bring down your conversion costs.
The federal tax credit can effectively save you an average of nearly $6,500 in Utah, which is the most significant savings you’ll see. We also recommend you look into local incentives, which you can search for on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
You might also have access to the Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit, which is a state tax credit for solar arrays for 25% of the installation cost for residential solar panels.
Overall, incentives are likely to save you between $6,500 and $10,000 in Utah, depending on where you live and which incentives you’re eligible for.
Utah receives 238 sunny days per year, which is well above the national average of 205. In areas that receive abundant sunlight, it’s much easier to get away with lower-efficiency panels. They produce less energy in all conditions, but since the weather is usually sunny, the production of even low-efficiency solar modules should be sufficient.
Choosing a panel brand with a lower efficiency often means lower quality and a less appealing warranty, but it can also mean savings of around $0.50 per watt. For the average 8 kW system required in your area, that’s a potential upfront savings of $500 on your system.
We do recommend making sure your energy consumption is covered, though, which means you shouldn’t necessarily just swap out high-efficiency monocrystalline panels for an equal number of lower-efficiency polycrystalline options.
Unlike in many other states, net energy metering is not mandated in Utah. NEM allows you to overproduce with your panels and bank the excess energy for later use. Those with access to NEM can store energy off-site to offset consumption when their energy usage is higher than production, like at night.
A solar battery provides on-site storage for that excess energy. Not only can a battery allow you to maintain power through blackout conditions, but it also gives you access to effective net metering. Your stored energy can offset consumption whenever production dips, which can be especially helpful in areas like Salt Lake City, which tend to have higher energy costs.
A solar battery can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over its lifespan if you don’t have access to net metering. We recommend you check with your power company and consider a battery if you don’t have a net metering program available to you.
In many states, we recommend oversizing the system a bit to compensate for periods of low production. In areas where there is no net metering, energy demands are high and energy prices are above-average, oversizing makes sense and very quickly pays for itself.
In Utah, the average energy rates are below average, and the typical energy needs per home are also below average. That means oversizing your system isn’t usually necessary. It might still save you some money, but it will be negligible. We instead recommend sizing your system to meet your energy demands and just paying out of pocket for whatever energy you pull from the grid, if any.
Just to be clear, oversizing your system a little will likely save a bit more over time, but the upside isn’t worth the extra cost, in our opinion.
The price you pay for solar panels in Utah will also depend on the installer you choose. Not only does each company charge a different price for labor and equipment, but the quality of the warranties offered by your installer will also play a role in what your conversion costs.
The table below provides a quick look at some relative pricing for what we consider to be the best solar installers in Utah. This should help you choose a provider that is likely to fit into your budget.
|Solar Company||Superlative||EcoWatch Rating (out of 5.0)||BBB Rating||Average Cost ($–$$$$$)|
|SunPower||Best National Provider||5.0||A+||$$$$|
|Blue Raven Solar||Best Solar Financing||4.5||A+||$$|
|ES Solar||Outstanding Local Installer||4.5||A+||$$$$|
|Creative Energies Solar||Solar Veteran||4.5||A+||$$$$|
|Mynt Solar||Outstanding Regional Installer||4.0||B-||$$|
Solar is becoming more and more prevalent as a renewable energy source, and as its popularity increases, the cost of manufacturing the equipment goes down.
The price of solar equipment in Utah has dropped by 53% in the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. We expect that the installation cost will continue to go down in the near future as more competition among installers is created, and production is made even more efficient.
The future of solar incentives is always up in the air, and things in the solar industry can change quickly and without notice. As of right now, though, we don’t anticipate any major changes to the solar incentives in Utah in the next few years.
With that being said, the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) goal does expire in 2025, and this could lead to incentives disappearing or being phased out. If there are negative changes, we’d expect them to be to the net metering policies, which are available from some utility companies and in certain municipalities.
All in all, now is probably the best time to convert to solar in Utah, as equipment prices are lower than ever before, and net energy metering is available for some homeowners. You can use the tool below to get fast quotes to take advantage of the current state of solar incentives in your area.
At EcoWatch, we’re happy to get questions about the process and costs of getting rooftop solar from Utah residents. Below are some of the questions we see most often, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multiple studies have shown that having solar panels on a home increases its value, which makes sense considering the fact that solar panels can save thousands of dollars in power bill savings over decades.
A Zillow study showed that on average, solar panels increase property value in the U.S. by 4.1%.3 Other studies have shown similar property appreciation with solar panels.
Although solar panels succeed in eliminating a portion of your energy costs, the equipment itself is not free. However, residential solar panels have witnessed a whopping 64% reduction in prices since 2010. Additionally, the panels pay themselves off in a few years and save a significant amount over their lifetime, making them a highly profitable investment.
If you hear of a company offering “free solar panels,” it’s likely a marketing tactic to get you to sign a solar lease or power purchase agreement. However, the amount you pay for your lease (plus your monthly utility bill) may not be less than what you were paying each month before you installed your system.
The Utah Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit (RESTC) is an incentive created by the Utah Office of Energy Development to promote clean energy technologies. Any residential or commercial entity that installs one of the eligible renewable energy systems can avail of the tax deduction.
The incentive covers solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, geothermal, hydro, biomass, and certain renewable thermal technologies. However, this credit is phasing out. As of 2022, residential customers can claim 25% of their system cost, or $800, whichever is lower. The value decreases to a maximum of $400 in 2023, and the program will end in 2024.
Commercial solar customers can claim a deduction of 10% of the solar project cost, or $50,000, whichever is lower.
When you consider the combined effect of the federal solar tax credit and the RESTC, the Utah solar panel costs drop notably.
Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian, and North American markets. He is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking.
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