Your Guide to Solar Panels in Oklahoma: 7 Steps to Solar Panels in Oklahoma

Oklahoma residents who install solar arrays see a healthy average return on investment (ROI) of over $14,000 after the panels pay for themselves.

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Oklahoma has one of the slowest adoption rates in the country, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).1 Likely because the state is one of the biggest producers of wind energy.

However, the healthy energy savings Oklahomans see by converting to solar is one of the primary reasons clean energy is so beneficial in the Sooner State. Although the local cost of going solar is above average at over $28,000, the Oklahoma solar incentives help make conversion worthwhile in OK.

Additionally, Oklahoma sees well above-average amounts of sunlight every year, and the local energy demands are significantly higher than they are in most other states.2 That means residents can usually generate ample energy and offset abnormally high utility bills to maximize savings.

In this guide, we’ll be walking through the solar conversion process from start to finish. You can also use the links below to skip to a specific step in the process.

Step 1: What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels

Step 2: Getting a Quote from a Solar Provider

Step 3: Signing a Solar Contract

Step 4: What to Expect on Solar Panel Installation Day

Step 5: Final Inspection for Installed Solar Panels

Step 6: Permission to Operate (PTO)

Step 7: Sit Back and Enjoy Your Solar Energy

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Shine Solar, LLC

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Many financing options
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Offers a panel buy-back option
  • Outstanding workmanship


  • Relatively young company
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available
Badge icon

Astrawatt Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Excellent reputation
  • Award-winning company
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach


  • Limited service area
  • Relatively young company
Badge icon

ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area


  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

Step 1: What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels in Oklahoma

Since installing photovoltaic (PV) panels in your area is so expensive, you’ll naturally want to make sure solar is a worthwhile option for your home before you sign any contracts. We’ll explain a few ways to evaluate your home’s solar viability in the following sections.

Research If Solar Panels Are a Good Fit For You in Oklahoma

The first thing we recommend you do is figure out if solar is a good option for your specific home.

A good first step in determining your home’s solar viability is to get an estimate of how many PV panels you need. You can use our solar calculator to get an estimated system size in watts or kilowatts (kW)/1,000 and then multiply by the average cost per watt in your area — $2.62 — to get a total cost.

The average system size in Oklahoma is 11 kW. If your estimated system size is significantly larger than this, then there’s a chance there’s some factor that is limiting your production. Weather and shade on your roof are the two most likely culprits.

Oklahoma as a whole sees an average of 234 sunny days per year, which is well above the national average of 205.3 PV panels generate less energy in cloudy conditions, so you should check your local weather trends to see where your city stands. If it’s well below 234, then your solar system will still be valuable, but not quite as valuable as it would be elsewhere in the state.

You also need to consider shading on your roof, as a panel’s efficiency will drop significantly if a tree or other obstruction blocks the available sunlight.

Another important factor in determining whether or not solar is a good fit for your home is your access to net metering. Net metering — commonly referred to as NEM or net energy metering — is a billing policy through which your utility company credits you for all excess energy your panels generate.

You earn NEM credits for the excess energy sent to the grid, and those credits can pay down electric bills in the future. NEM effectively reduces your electricity costs, and it can help eliminate utility bills altogether.

Thankfully, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) mandates net energy metering for customers of all investor-owned utilities. These include three of the larger power providers in the state:

  • Liberty Utilities (formerly Empire District Electric Company),
  • Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO)
  • Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E)

NEM is widely available in Oklahoma, but the rate at which you’re credited isn’t specified by the OCC. That means you could receive the full retail rate — which is ideal and leads to the greatest long-term savings — or you could receive a much less beneficial avoided-cost rate or wholesale rate.

For example, Liberty Utilities and PSO both use an avoided-cost rate.4,5 OG&E has a superior net metering program that offers the full retail rate to qualifying customers.6

Net energy metering is not mandated for municipal electric companies or electric cooperatives, but some will opt to offer NEM to promote renewable energy. You should check with your provider before deciding if solar is right for you.

The table below includes some solar statistics for Oklahomans and U.S. residents in general. Seeing these compared side-by-side should illustrate how beneficial PV systems are in OK as compared to other states.

Oklahoma State Average United States National Average
Solar Power System Size Required 11 kW 9 kW
Typical Cost Per Watt to Install Photovoltaic (PV) Equipment $2.62 $2.66
Average Total System Cost Before Federal Solar Income Tax Credit $28,820 $23,940
Average Federal Solar Tax Credit Value $8,646 $7,182
Average Total System Cost After Federal Credit $20,174 $16,758
Average Panel Payback Period 14 years 12 years
Average Lifetime Savings of Converting to Solar $14,190 $22,379

As you can see, going solar isn’t quite as valuable in Oklahoma as it is in most other states, but it can still save you over $14,000 after the system pays for itself.

Research How to Finance Solar Panels

Once you figure out if solar is a good option for your home, your next step should be to figure out how to pay for your equipment. Since the typical Oklahoma solar system averages around $28,820 before incentives, finding a solar financing option that works with your budget is a priority.

First, if you haven’t already, you should use our solar calculator to figure out what size system you need. The calculator will also give you an estimated installation cost. This total could be much higher than you’re comfortable with, but remember, your panels should pay for themselves and provide additional savings over time above and beyond the initial cost of solar panels.

You have four primary options when it comes to paying for your solar power system. We’ll discuss these below:

  • Cash purchase: Paying in cash, of course, means you’ll have the highest possible upfront payment. However, paying all at once for your equipment means you won’t pay interest on a loan, so you’ll end up saving money over time. Plus, cash purchases provide the highest ROI due to immediate panel ownership and lack of interest.
  • Solar loan: With a solar loan, you pay a much more manageable down payment upfront and then spread the cost of your system over several years. This option is more accessible, but it does require a credit check. Loans yield lower savings and a higher total cost because of the interest you’ll pay.
  • Solar lease: A solar lease lets you rent your solar panel equipment, which means you pay nothing upfront and instead pay a fixed monthly fee for the use of the panels. Leases don’t let you take the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which is one of the most appealing solar incentives in OK. It also provides much lower savings over time than if you paid in cash or with a loan.
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA): With a PPA, you get panels installed at no cost and then buy your energy from your installer rather than your power company. PPAs come with no initial costs, but they don’t let you take the federal tax credit, and they save you the least over time.

We strongly recommend you consider the PV panel payback period when choosing a financing option. The sooner your panels pay for themselves, the more beneficial that option for paying for solar will be for you in the long run.

Step 2: Getting a Quote from a Solar Provider

New meters allow for net metering, which leads to greater savings
Credit: Portland General Electric / Flickr

Once you’ve confirmed that solar is expected to be a good fit for your home and save you money, you can move on to get quotes from installers in your area. We’ll explain what to look for in a company and how to proceed with this step of the process in the following sections.

Picking a Solar Installer

Choosing a solar system installation company can be intimidating, not only because there are a bunch of installers to choose from in Oklahoma but also because the one you choose will influence your system price, the customer service experience you get and more.

We recommend choosing a provider that meets all of the following criteria to ensure you get a reputable company that provides good value for the money you’re spending:

  • The installer should have at least five years of experience in the solar industry.
  • The installer should have NABCEP-certified (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) technicians on its team.
  • The installer should provide solid warranty coverage, ideally covering equipment, panel efficiency and workmanship.
  • The company should have affordable pricing and accept your preferred payment method.
  • The company should carry high-quality equipment brands.
  • The company should have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau and a history of positive customer reviews.

Below, we’ll include a quick list of some of our most highly recommended solar companies in your area:

  • Shine Solar, LLC — Regional Installer
  • Solar Power of Oklahoma — Local Installer.
  • Sun City Solar — Regional Installer
  • Radical Solar Energy — Local Installer
  • Astrawatt Solar — Regional Installer
  • ADT Solar — National Installer

You can read more about these companies in our guide to the best solar providers in OK.

What to Expect After Requesting a Quote

Within a day or two of providing your contact information to an installer, you should be connected with a sales representative. They will either call or email to set up a formal appointment, and they’ll ask for a copy of a recent energy bill.

Your consultation can usually either be virtual or in person. During the meeting, you’ll need to answer some questions about your energy costs and consumption, like which appliances and systems in your home are powered by electricity. Your representative will then provide that information to the company’s design team.

Once a system is designed for your home, your sales rep will connect with you again, provide a formal solar proposal and set up another call to go over the proposal. Your solar quote contains a lot of information, so we recommend reading through it carefully to make sure you understand all of the details. Below are some of the things you should look for in your quote:

  • A total cost before and after the federal investment tax credit (ITC).
  • The size of your system in kilowatts (kW) and how much energy it’s expected to generate for your home in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • Information for how long it will take your panels to pay for themselves and estimated lifetime savings after that point.
  • The number of panels you need and where all of your equipment will be installed on your home.
  • Payment information, including a payment schedule.
  • Information about your warranty coverage.
  • Any fees included for permits or inspections, if necessary.

It takes some time and effort to get to the point where you have a formal solar quote, but we recommend going through this process with a few different installers in your area. Getting multiple quotes is always a good idea because it lets you choose the best value.

Some companies might offer discounts or deals as well to compete with other providers if they know you’re shopping around.

Consider Purchasing Solar Accessories

While you’re reaching out to solar installers to get quotes, you should be including all of the equipment you want to be installed in your request. All solar systems include panels and inverters, but there are add-on products you can buy as well that expand your system’s capabilities.

Below are some of the more popular add-on products in Oklahoma that you may want to consider:

  • Solar batteries: Solar batteries let you store excess power generated by your panels and use it when you need it. These are more popular in areas without access to NEM, but they’re prevalent in Oklahoma as well because of the high risk of power outages. Additionally, they provide access to effective net metering, which is helpful for homeowners with a below-average NEM credit rate and customers of municipal electric companies or cooperatives that don’t have to offer the policy.
  • Solar carports: The typical system size required in Oklahoma is 11 kW, which is much bigger than the national average. Some homes may not be able to support that many panels, so solar carports offer additional space for solar production.
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations: EVs are becoming more and more popular in the state, and while the public charging infrastructure is good, many Oklahoma residents also choose to install an EV charger to use their own generated solar power for transportation.7
  • Energy efficient home improvements: Oklahomans use more energy than residents of most other states each month, leading to energy bills that are well above average.8 Home improvements that address energy efficiency are popular because they help save money and lead to greater sustainability.

Step 3: Signing a Solar Contract in Oklahoma

Tesla Powerwalls are useful in with Oklahoma solar panel systems because of frequent power outages
Tesla Powerwalls are useful with Oklahoma solar panel systems because of frequent power outages. Courtesy Tesla, Inc.

When you’ve found a solar contract that meets your needs and fits into your budget, you can proceed to sign it and get the installation process underway. We’ll explain some of the most important things to look for in your contract to ensure you get favorable terms below.

How Do Solar Warranties Work in Oklahoma?

Since solar equipment is so expensive, we recommend checking your contract for the warranty terms, which help protect your investment. Three types of warranty coverage can be included, and the best solar companies will offer all three for total peace of mind. Below are the three types and a brief explanation of what they cover:

  • Equipment warranties: Equipment warranties, sometimes called manufacturer warranties, cover defects in your solar equipment that come about from manufacturing issues. Coverage for your equipment usually lasts for 25 years.
  • Efficiency warranties: Efficiency warranties guarantee that your panels won’t lose more than a certain percentage of their energy-generating capabilities over the warranty term. Most guarantee that 80% or more of the original panel efficiency will remain after 20 years.
  • Workmanship warranties: Workmanship warranties cover defects that come about as a result of the installer’s work. The industry standard for these coverages is ten years. Some workmanship warranties include roof leak coverage, but most don’t.

When Can I Expect Solar Service to Go Live?

You should plan on waiting between three and six months between the day you sign your solar contract and the day your panels are commissioned and activated. The actual installation process takes only a day or two in most cases, but other things take some time. The longest delays will usually come as a result of the following:

  • Delays on the part of your installer due to high demand in the area.
  • Delays stemming from your building department as permits are processed and approved.
  • Delays on the part of your power provider, as they will need to complete a final inspection before your panels can officially be connected to the electric grid.
  • Delays in getting equipment delivered — this is typically only an issue with high-demand products, like Tesla Powerwalls.

You might also see weather become a factor, but strong winds and thunderstorms that are prominent in the area should only cause minor delays.

Solar Panel Permits in Oklahoma

An important part of getting your panels installed properly is getting building permits for the installation and the electrical connection. Permits are governed by individual municipalities, so the process for and cost of pulling permits can vary based on where you live.

Your solar contractor should be the one to file and set up any inspections that might be required. However, you will need to pay the fee for the permits, which varies based on your location, and you might need to be home during the inspection to provide interior access.

For example, Oklahoma City only requires an electrical permit, which comes with an average fee of $55.9 The City of Tulsa charges a $50 base fee plus $4 for the electrical fee ($54 total).10 The City of Norman has a free online application for solar permits, but you’ll also need an electrical permit, which averages around $40.11,12

Some municipalities will have fees significantly higher than these, but yours will likely fall between $25 and $200. You can ask your contractor for a fee schedule, or you can check your solar proposal, as the fees should be included there.

Solar & Utility Interconnection

Your solar power system installer should also file for interconnection on your behalf. Interconnection is the policy that governs how your panels interact with the power grid, so it’s required for a grid-tied system and to take advantage of net energy metering.

Most utility companies in Oklahoma will have a simple interconnection application, which rarely comes with an application fee.

Liberty Utilities, for example, has an online application that your installer can fill out.13 There is no application fee, and the company notes that the review process can take between ten and 90 days.

PSO also has a convenient online application that comes with no fees.14 Just about every residential solar system will be under the 25 kW mark, which means they’ll be eligible for an expedited review process that should take minimal time.

OG&E has a lengthy application available online, but your installer will be filling it out for you anyway.15 There is no fee to apply, and the company doesn’t mention expected wait times for review and approval.

After the installation is completed, your utility company will also need to conduct a final inspection to make sure the connection to the grid was done safely and up to code.

Applying for interconnection adds minimal time to your installation timeline, although waiting for the inspection can take weeks in some cases, depending on how backed up your provider is. Still, it’s worth the wait, as interconnection will give you access to NEM, if it’s available, maximizing your savings over time.

Step 4: What to Expect on Solar Panel Installation Day in Oklahoma

After permits and interconnection are all taken care of, your installer will get your installation scheduled. On the day of the installation, your team will arrive in the morning and will likely be there working through the afternoon. Solar installations take between 5 and 10 hours in OK, on average, given the large system size requirements.

Most customers wonder, “do I need to be home for solar panel installation?” The answer is yes; you or another adult should be home for the entirety of the installation. The technicians will need access to your home at some point to make the connection to your electric panel, and they might also need access to install your panels or add-on products.

The company might schedule the inspection with your electric company on the day of your installation to expedite the interconnection approval and commissioning of your system. Solar inspections take about a half hour, on average, so this can add to your installation timeline.

Step 5: Final Inspection for Installed Solar Panels in Oklahoma

When your panels are installed, your solar contractor should schedule the final inspection with your local building department.

This inspection helps your local government keep track of work being completed in the area, and it’s also necessary to close out your permits. Open permits can cause issues with home resale and could lead to building department violations.

This inspection usually doesn’t come with any fee, and your installer should be the one scheduling it. Some building inspectors will do an exterior inspection if you only install panels, while others will request interior access, especially if you have add-on products inside. You might need to be home to provide access, in which case your installer will coordinate the inspection.

The only time you’ll see a fee for an inspection is if you have a scheduled appointment and miss it. The fee can range from $20 up to $100 in most cases, so it’s important to be present so that you don’t have to pay for a re-inspection.

After the inspection is completed, you’re on your own to monitor your Oklahoma solar panel system and make sure things run smoothly. Some panel manufacturers — like Tesla and SunPower — will couple a free monitoring app with their equipment. You can ask your installer if you have access to an app and they should help you get it set up.

Step 6: Permission to Operate (PTO) in Oklahoma

Finally, your utility provider will need to inspect the system to make sure it’s connected to the grid safely. Your installer will schedule this inspection as well and some schedule it on the installation day to expedite the approval.

Once your electric company signs off, you’ll receive permission to operate (PTO), which is your formal approval that you can activate your system.

At this point, your installer should turn your system on, show you the emergency shut-off outside your home, and provide you with information about solar monitoring software, if it’s available to you.

Going forward from this point, you should make sure you have emergency contact information for your energy company. If you experience a life-threatening issue, like an electrical fire or severe system malfunction, you should dial 911 and then call your utility company to report the problem.

Below are emergency numbers for the larger electricity providers in your area:

  • Liberty Utilities: 1-800-206-2300
  • Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO): 833-776-6884
  • Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E): 405-272-9595

Step 7: Sit Back and Enjoy Your Solar Energy in Oklahoma

At this point, your hard work should be paying off. Your system will be providing power to your home and should be generating NEM credits for you if the program is available to you and your system is sized appropriately. You very well could be enjoying the perks of energy independence at this point.

It has likely taken months to get to this point, but you’ve reduced your carbon footprint, cut down on CO2 emissions and have done your part to contribute to the clean energy movement.

You’ll see the highest savings if you continue to live in your home and use your panels to offset your electric bills. However, you should still see an ROI if you sell your home, as panels make your home more valuable.

FAQ: Solar Panels in Oklahoma

Below, we’ll answer some questions we often see from Oklahomans who are considering converting to solar.

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Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
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Expert reviewer
Kristina Zagame is a journalist, editor and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile.

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  • 4.5
    • Many financing options
    • Great warranty coverage
    • Offers a panel buy-back option
    • Outstanding workmanship
    • Relatively young company
    • Limited brands of solar equipment available
    Outstanding Regional Installer

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