Oklahoma Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to Oklahoma solar panels:
- How much energy panels in OK can generate
- What factors determine how large a solar power system you need in OK
- Incentives and rebate programs available to help bring down costs in your area
How to Get Solar Panels in Oklahoma
When you’re ready to ditch fossil fuels and adopt solar energy, you’ll first need to choose an installer and request a solar quote. You’ll provide company reps with a recent energy bill to help them determine user needs and allow them onto your property for an inspection to see if your home is suitable for solar. Next, you’ll have to decide the financing mechanism that’s right for you — cash purchase, loan, lease, or power purchase agreement (PPA).
The installer will then design a system customized to your home. Once you’ve approved the design, the installer will begin pulling permits from your local jurisdiction to put your system in place. Once those are approved, the installation can begin. Finally, your solar provider will schedule final inspections to close out the permits.
Going solar in OK is almost always a wise decision. Solar equipment makes your home more environmentally friendly, but it also saves you big money on your utility bills. The average system in OK will pay for itself and then save you around an additional $14,200.
Shine Solar, LLC
What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Oklahoma?
Photovoltaic (PV) panels and other solar-related equipment can vary a lot in price depending on the brand, efficiency, and several other factors. For the typical 11 kilowatts (kW) system, most homeowners in the Sooner State pay around $2.62 per watt, or just over $20,000, after the federal solar tax credit is taken into account.
While this might seem like a high price tag, it’s important to remember that the majority of systems in OK pay themselves off in solar savings and then go on to save you thousands more in energy costs. The panel payback period in the area averages around 14 years. This is a bit longer than the U.S. average, but it still means solar is a great opportunity for Oklahomans.
You can check out our guide to pricing out solar systems in OK for more system cost information and solar value assessments.
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Oklahoma
OK is home to a decent local solar industry. Many of the largest panel manufacturers provide equipment and solar installation services throughout the area, so you’ll have your pick of multiple equipment options.
In most cases, residents of a given state need to prioritize either panel efficiency (to account for a lack of sunlight) or warranty coverage (because of the risk of extreme weather). OK falls into the latter category, with extreme thunderstorms and tornadoes putting PV systems at risk of damage.
Below are some of the most common solar brands used in OK, primarily because they come with lengthy and robust warranty coverage.
- Maxeon (previously called SunPower)
- Canadian Solar
- LG (solar panels by this brand will be discontinued soon)
- Trina Solar
- Mission Solar
Is Oklahoma a Good State for Solar Panels?
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks OK 45th in the country for solar adoption.1 In some cases, this translates to a low overall solar value, but that’s not the case in the Sooner State. Below, we’ll briefly discuss some of the factors that make solar such a great investment in OK.
- High risk of power outages: OK is ranked ninth in the country for the risk of blackouts.2 This is, in large part, due to the prevalence of extreme weather conditions, including the highest frequency of tornadoes in the country and most of the world.3 This means that systems consisting of panels, inverters, and solar batteries — including Tesla Powerwalls — that have the ability to go off-grid as well as be grid-tied are highly valuable and sought-after in the area.
- Abundant sunlight: OK might experience a lot of extreme weather, but it still averages around 234 sunny days per year, which is far above the U.S. average of 205.4 Areas like OK that get more sunlight to have more opportunity to generate electricity, which means a better chance of offsetting electric bills and saving money.
- Below-average equipment prices: Solar equipment in OK comes in at around $2.62 per watt, which is below the national average. States that enjoy a lower cost of solar panels represent more value for money, which makes solar investment more advantageous overall.
- Above-average energy needs: Oklahomans pay slightly below-average electricity rates, but they consume more energy than most Americans. The average monthly consumption is 1,078 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month — much higher than the U.S. average of 893 kWh each month.5 Having higher energy needs means you have more money on your electric bill to offset, which leads to a greater opportunity to save money.
- Decent solar perks: The State of Oklahoma as a whole lacks solar benefits, but there are a variety of local incentives and programs available to make solar more affordable. We’ll discuss these in greater depth later on.
How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Oklahoma?
Panel production rates depend on a variety of factors, which means generation can fluctuate from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour, so it’s often complicated to estimate your expected production without the help of a professional.
Below are some of the factors your installer will consider when determining your production potential:
- The panel brand you’re installing: The panels you’ll have to choose from all come with different efficiency ratings. These ratings tell you what percentage of the solar energy that hits your panels can be used to produce electricity. The higher the efficiency rating, the more power your system will generate in all situations and conditions.
- The size of your solar energy system: Larger systems with more panels will always generate more energy than smaller ones with equivalent panel brands and sunlight availability. Each panel you add to your solar array should provide an additional 100 kWh per month, approximately.
- Shading on your roof: If you have shade on your panels at any point during the day, the drop in available sunlight will drop power production with it. One of the reasons your installer conducts a property inspection is to look for nearby trees, buildings, utility lines, and other obstructions that can impede the available sunlight.
- The direction your roof faces: The U.S. Department of Energy maintains that south-facing roofs are the best suited for panel installation.6 This is mostly due to the fact that the sun travels across the southern part of the sky in North America, so roofs facing that direction receive the most intense sunlight. More intense sun means more energy production and greater savings.
- The weather: Finally, local weather conditions will have an impact on your production. Cloudy days can cause your production to drop down to around 10%. Luckily, OK weather is predominantly sunny, but the weather is still an important factor that your installer will need to consider.
The chart below provides a quick look at estimated production levels for common system sizes in OK. Actual production can vary widely, so it’s best to use these estimates just to get a general idea of what your panels will produce.
|Solar Power System Size||Expected Daily Energy Produced||Expected Monthly Energy Produced||Expected Annual Energy Produced|
|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|
|13 kW||43.3 kWh||1,300 kWh||15,600 kWh|
|14 kW||46.6 kW||1,400 kWh||16,800 kWh|
If you want to see what panels on your particular property will generate, you can use our solar calculator tool. This uses satellite imaging and local conditions to provide more accurate numbers.
Solar Panel Policy History in Oklahoma
Unfortunately, OK is not the most solar-friendly state, which means there’s been a lack of pro-solar legislation and benefit programs offered by the state government.
It wasn’t until 2000 that OK implemented net metering. This is a policy that lets you overproduce with your panels and bank the excess for later use. You can use the credits you earn to reduce energy bills if you ever pull more power from the electric grid than your panels can generate.
The net metering policy in OK states that all investor-owned utilities (IOUs) must offer this program to solar customers. The rate at which excess energy is credited is a minimum of the wholesale rate (also called the avoided-cost rate). The retail rate is ideal, but any credit is better than none.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) — the agency that initiated net metering — also allowed for companies to impose a charge on customers to use the program. However, it also promotes alternative options to charges that offer a middle ground.
In 2010, OK initiated its first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. The goal was to generate a minimum of 15% of the state’s power via clean energy sources by 2015. The state has yet to set a new RPS goal since the original one expired.
What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Oklahoma?
Despite the relatively few pro-solar measures offered by OK, there are several perks available for local solar customers. We’ll discuss the benefits you can take advantage of below.
- Federal tax credit: The federal tax credit is a perk from the federal government that can save you quite a lot of money on your tax liability. The credit is for 30% of your system total or an average of nearly $8,700. That amount gets credited to your income tax burden for the year your system is installed. This isn’t a rebate, but it can effectively help reduce up-front costs.
- Net metering: As mentioned above, this policy credits you for excess power production via interconnection. Those credits can save you money on electric bills and decrease your panel payback period.
For guidance on how to take advantage of these benefits and to see if there are other local perks or rebates available to you, you can read our guide to Oklahoma solar incentives and tax breaks.
Find a Local Installer in Oklahoma
Choosing a solar installation company to handle your solar project can seem overwhelming. You’ll have many options available to you, and your solar electric system price, value, production capabilities and more will depend on the provider you decide on.
Below, we’ll include links to some reviews of the top solar installers in some of the larger cities in OK.
For more general recommendations throughout other cities in the state, you can refer to our guide to choosing a solar installer in Oklahoma.