Kansas Solar Panel Buyers Guide (Installation & Efficiency 2023)
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to solar power systems in Kansas:
- How much does solar conversion usually cost in Kansas?
- How much energy will my panels produce in Kansas?
- What solar rebates and benefit programs can I take in Kansas to keep my installation costs down?
How to Get Solar Panels in Kansas
The process of converting to solar in Kansas is relatively simple. You’ll need to start by reaching out to a solar installer to get a free quote for your solar project. The company will size your system based on your monthly energy bills, the size of your home, sunlight availability and more.
Once you approve your system design and the cost, your installer will start pulling permits with your local building department. As soon as those are approved, the company you hired will schedule your installation, install your photovoltaic (PV) equipment and commission your system. The last step is closing out your permits.
Going solar in Kansas is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save on your energy bills and help reduce the strain we put on our nation’s energy infrastructure.
The average Kansan sees solar savings that pay off the upfront cost of the panels in about 11 years — below the national average payback period of 12 years — and then saves an additional $21,455 over the remaining lifespan of the panels.
Blue Raven Solar
What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Kansas?
Solar equipment in Kansas usually costs around $2.59 per watt. Since the energy needs in the Sunflower State demand a system that’s around 9 kilowatts (kW), the average all-in cost of a solar panels in Kansas is $23,310.
After you consider the federal investment tax credit — more on this later — the typical system total is effectively brought down to about $16,317. This is just below the national average and, as mentioned above, should be paid off with the resulting energy savings — a term called the payback period — in around 11 years.
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Kansas
Kansas has a relatively slow adoption rate for solar, ranking 44th in the country in terms of installations according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).1 Despite the relatively low number of installations, the state is still home to about 20 installers, which carry most of the best solar panel brands.
In some states where sunlight is in short supply, high-efficiency panels are necessary to maximize energy savings. Kansans enjoy around 230 sunny days per year, which is more than most states see.2 As such, Kansas homeowners can focus on other factors, like price and warranty coverage.
Below is a list of some of the most popular PV equipment brands in Kansas based on these factors.
- Canadian Solar
- Mission Solar
- JA Solar
Is Kansas a Good State For Solar Panels?
Despite Kansas not having the best rate of solar adoption, the Sunflower State is considered a great place to convert to solar. There are a few key reasons for this, which we’ll discuss below.
- Plenty of sunshine: PV panels only generate energy when they receive direct sunlight, so areas where sunlight is abundant see greater energy production from solar equipment. Kansas gets around 230 days of full sunshine per year, which is well above the national average and ideal for solar production and energy savings.
- Below-average equipment costs: The average cost of solar equipment in the U.S. is around $2.66 per watt, but Kansas homeowners pay just $2.59 per watt, on average. This might seem like a minimal difference, but when you pay for the 9,000 watt (9 kW) system that’s typically needed in KS, that equates to savings of around $630.
- Kansas solar incentives: The State of Kansas offers some solar benefit programs that help increase the value of solar equipment throughout the state. We’ll discuss these in greater depth in a later section, but for now, just understand that the perks available can save you thousands of dollars when you adopt solar energy.
- High rate of power outages: Finally, Kansas is prone to some severe weather, including a high occurrence of tornadoes.3 Unfortunately, that means an above-average risk of power outages, making Kansas the sixth most likely state to see blackouts.4 While panels alone won’t provide power through outages, many Kansas homeowners see immense value in coupling panels with solar batteries to maintain electricity through outages.
How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Kansas?
Energy estimates from PV systems are hard to nail down in any state because there are quite a few factors that can influence production.
The best way to get an accurate estimate for your power generation is to have a professional solar company assess your home, design a system made to meet your energy demands and provide a solar quote. To find a reputable company, you can visit our page on the best solar companies in Kansas.
Still, understanding the factors that influence your solar production can help you understand system sizing and estimate your conversion costs more accurately. We’ll explain some of the most important factors that influence solar energy generation below.
- Shading on your property: PV panels only generate energy when they receive direct sunlight, so shading on your roof can have a negative impact on your production levels. Your installer will consider coverage from trees or shadows cast by nearby buildings, power lines and other obstructions when determining what size system you need for your home. Homes with roofs that aren’t shaded at all throughout the day are the best for PV panels.
- The intensity of sunlight that hits your roof: Along with the amount of sunlight that hits your rooftop solar panels, the intensity of that solar energy makes a difference in your production levels. The angle of your panels matters, as does the direction your roof faces. Southern-facing roofs in the U.S. are best for PV panels, as they receive the most direct sunlight.
- Local weather conditions: Of course, the weather conditions in your area are always considered when sizing your system and determining the rate of production. Luckily, Kansas sees mostly sunny days throughout the year, so cloudy days and thunderstorms have less of an impact on your production than they would in most other states.
- The efficiency rating of the panels you install: Every panel brand and model comes with an efficiency rating, which is a measurement of how efficient your panels are at gathering available sunlight and converting it into electricity. Higher-efficiency panels will generate more power in equal conditions.
- The size of your solar system: The square footage of your system plays a massive role in your energy production as well, with each additional kW you install typically providing an additional 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Larger systems in a similar location and with similar access to the sun will always generate more power and offset more of your energy costs.
Since the size of your system is one of the most important factors to consider for determining your estimated solar production, we’ll include some typical system sizes and their expected output in Kansas in the table below.
|Solar Power System Size||Expected Daily Energy Produced||Expected Monthly Energy Produced||Expected Annual Energy Produced|
|6 kW||20 kWh||600 kWh||7,200 kWh|
|7 kW||23.3 kWh||700 kWh||8,400 kWh|
|8 kW||26.6 kWh||800 kWh||9,600 kWh|
|9 kW||30 kWh||900 kWh||10,800 kWh|
|10 kW||33.3 kWh||1,000 kWh||12,000 kWh|
|11 kW||36.6 kWh||1,100 kWh||13,200 kWh|
|12 kW||40 kWh||1,200 kWh||14,400 kWh|
Need more guidance on sizing your system for your energy needs? You can use our solar calculator to get a better idea of how much energy panels on your roof will generate.
Solar Panel Policy History in Kansas
Kansas has had somewhat of a troubled past when it comes to solar policies. It enacted the first piece of pro-solar legislation in 1999, which was decades behind other states.
That year, the state began offering the Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption, which exempted the value of solar energy systems and other renewable energy equipment from property taxation. This was a great first step for Kansas, although, as you’ll see below, the policy was made less desirable over time.
A year later, in 2000, Kansas enacted its solar easement laws. While these don’t offer any financial benefit to solar customers, they did set an important precedent in the state that solar was an important part of Kansas’ future with clean energy. These laws prevent neighbors and commercial real estate owners from blocking your access to solar.
Nearly a decade later, in 2009, Kansas set its first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. The goal mandated that all public utilities must generate — or purchase — 20% of their energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020.5
Much like it is in other states, the RPS goal in Kansas was a huge win for solar customers. It not only continued to establish solar as a worthwhile investment in the eyes of the state, but it also prompted net energy metering that same year.
Kansas started offering net energy metering and required that all investor-owned utilities (IOUs) provide access to the program to customers. These companies included:
- Westar Energy
- Empire District Electric
- Evergy (formerly Kansas City Power & Light)
Some public utility companies and electric cooperatives in the state also volunteered to provide a net metering policy to push the local solar industry forward. The credit rate was not established by the Kansas Public Utilities Commission (PUC), so most utility companies offered a non-ideal below-retail rate for energy credits.
Unfortunately, the maximum system capacity for net metering was decreased in 2014 from 25 kW to 15 kW for residential solar customers and from 200 kW to 100 kW for commercial customers. Luckily, most home solar systems in KS are well below 15 kW, so most systems were not affected.
Wichita also started the first licensing requirement for solar contractors in 2014, which helped establish reputable and reliable installers in the city. To date, the state as a whole has not followed suit.
2015 was another bad year for solar incentives in Kansas. The RPS goal was made voluntary, which was a huge setback for the local clean energy movement. Additionally, the property tax exemption was made less valuable, as the exemption was capped at ten years.6
Hopefully, KS upgrades its RPS goal and makes compliance mandatory again. If that happens, the likelihood is that the available incentives will become more valuable, and new ones may pop up.
What Are The Solar Panel Incentives in Kansas?
While several of the changes to solar policies in Kansas mentioned above were negative, the state does still offer a handful of solar benefit programs. These can help reduce the upfront cost of solar panels and maximize your savings over time to make solar more valuable overall. We’ll briefly discuss the available incentives in KS below:
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC):The federal solar tax credit is offered to all KS residents via the federal government. It provides a credit to the income taxes you owe for the year you install your system in the amount of 30% of your installation costs. In Kansas, the average credit value is around $6,993. If you can’t take the entire thing, you can roll over unused credit for up to five years. We should note that this perk is not available if you use a solar lease or a power purchase agreement (PPA) to acquire your solar panel system.
- Net Metering: Net metering credits you for all excess energy your panels generate and send to the grid through interconnection. Those credits are applied to future electric bills, which means you can offset electricity rates and consumption even when your panels fail to produce or underproduce — like on cloudy days or at night. Kansas doesn’t mandate that credits sit at the retail value for energy, so most companies offer an avoided-cost rate, which is less beneficial but still helpful.
- Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption: This exempts the value added by your solar power system from your property tax assessment. It prevents your taxes from going up due to solar conversion for ten years following installation.
For more information on these perks or guidance on how to take advantage of them, you can read through our complete guide to saving money on solar in KS using incentives.
Find a Local Installer in Kansas
Choosing a solar installation company in Kansas can be tough, as there are around 20 companies, all offering different prices, services, service areas and panel brands. You can click on the links below to see our company recommendations in major cities throughout Kansas and get free quotes.