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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels in Idaho

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Idaho home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2020 **

The Idaho Public Service Commission UNANIMOUSLY rejected Idaho Power’s late-2019 attempts to destroy net metering, whew! However, we're expecting to see stronger laws that codify protections for solar owners in 2020 and beyond. Read on to learn all you need to know about going solar in Idaho - solar panel policy, incentives, and savings!

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Idaho, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Idaho. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Idaho.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Idaho

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Idaho can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Idaho

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan. Since economic conditions in Idaho don't allow for homeowners to get solar through a third-party agreement like a lease or Power Purchase Agreement, we included two different sizes of solar loans—one for people with a lot of equity, and one for people with just a little.

As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment. If you take a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or solar loan, though, your payments over 15 years will be more than your savings, but you'll still come out thousands of dollars ahead in the end.

Read on to find out more about each option.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

This is the best option in Idaho if you want solar and you've got the cash to spend. An outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. That 30% Federal tax credit, combined with the state tax deduction and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $21,250, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced almost $9,000 in income.

That might sound like a great deal of savings over the years, but it pales in comparison to the potential returns from other states. That's not because Idaho lacks sun—it's because the state has cheap electricity prices and no statewide rebates for solar. The internal rate of return on a solar investment here is just 4.3%, which is not as good as an investment in, sya, the stock market.

Net Present Value: -$2,107

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Idaho's -$2,107 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in stocks over 25 years than in Idaho solar. But check out what happens to NPV if you buy the same system with a loan that you can pay back over time.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Idaho solar purchase with a 5-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 5kW solar system should start at about $21,250. Don’t worry – even without state incentives, you can still knock a big chunk off the price right off the bat.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no state incentives means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $6,375 (30% of $21,250) for a new price of $14,875.
  • After the tax credit, subtract Idaho's tax deduction savings. You can read more below about how this works, but what you need to know now is that it will save you $370 in the first year, reducing costs to $14,505.
  • Don't forget your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $643. That brings your cost after the first year to $13,862.
  • By the time your system pays itself back in year 18, you’ll be seeing over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • When all is said and done, our 25-year estimate shows a total net profit of $9,228, with an internal rate of return of 4.3%. That's actually not bad compared to some investments, but you're probably better off with your money in an exchange-traded fund.
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by just about $15,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 107 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Idaho. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

Usually this is the place where we tell you that taking a loan to pay for solar is a great idea. That's because it's usually true. High electricity prices around the country make a solar panel system into an income-generating asset.

The returns in Idaho are still pretty good, but they miss the excellence of the best solar states by a wide margin. The state enjoys some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation, and that means savings are a little slimmer.

Still, as you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because even though you're not putting any money down, you get the Federal 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system. Then, over the 15-year life of your loan, you'll be spending more than you're saving in electricity costs, essentially investing a total of about $8,800 until you pay the loan off.

But from there, it's up-up-up! After your loan is paid off, you'll be saving $1,000 or more per year in electricity costs from your fully-owned solar panels. You'll end up over $2,185 to the good after 25 years, which is great for an investment where you put nothing down!

Net Present Value: $-379

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Idaho's $-379 NPV on a solar loan means you'd be that much better off investing your money in another investment over 25 years than in solar. But that $379 is so tiny, it seems almost a small price to pay for the beneifts of clean, reliable solar power.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Idaho solar purchase with a solar loan or HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $21,250. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $644, but your loan payments will total $1,886, for a difference of $1,242, or about $104 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $6,745! You'll come out $5,500 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll see some decent returns, to the tune of $2,185, even after all the payments.
  • And the future is going to look a little brighter, since your system will mean green for the environment. It'll be like planting 107 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Idaho. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Idaho does not offer solar Power Purchase Agreements or leases. Perhaps it would be a good idea to contact a solar advocacy organization and ask them to fight for solar in your state!

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Idaho Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Idaho:

Idaho's Renewable Portfolio Standard

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) basically requires utilities in the state to source a percentage of energy from renewable sources by a given date. A strong RPS is important because it forces utility companies to promote conversion to renewable energy. That generally means free money for you in the form of solar power rebates and performance payments when you switch to solar.

Unfortunately, despite being one of the most productive states in the renewable energy game (thanks to hydroelectric), Idaho does not have any RPS at all, not even the voluntary targets we’ve seen in some nearby states that also lack true RPS mandates. No RPS generally translates to little or no solar incentives offered by the utilities, and unfortunately that’s the case here.

No utility incentives means a whole lot of missed opportunity, and wasted solar resources. The southern half of Idaho, in particular, gets a great deal of sun—as much as Florida—and could produce a great deal of clean solar power with the right programs to encourage homeowners like you to make the switch. A strong RPS would force the utilities to pick up a lot of the cost of providing those incentives here.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Idaho's Solar carve-out and SRECs

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Solar Carve-out grade

No RPS means no solar carve out.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Idaho Electricity Prices

$0.10/kWh

Grade: D

Idaho's Electricity cost grade

Idahoans pay an average of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That’s the lowest price in the region and even one of the lowest in the country (chalk it up to the state's beefy hydroelectric dams).

We know you like paying less now, but the long term costs of cheap electricity are through the roof. All that cheap electricity is produced by building massive dams, which are often criticized for damaging nearby ecosystems. The reservoirs required for these large-scale projects eat up sizable areas of biologically rich terrain and negatively affect both upstream and downstream environments. Make the clean and responsible decision with solar -- you can thank us later!

Find out why electricity prices matter

Idaho Net Metering

Most Utilities Offer

Grade: C

Idaho's Net Metering grade

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for any surplus. It’s an essential part of strong solar policy, because it’s a big money saver for you. Idaho currently has no law requiring utilities to offer net metering, or governing interconnection (getting on the grid to get net-metered).

Despite not being required, all three of the state’s three investor-owned utilities — Avista Utilities, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power — have independently decided to offer net metering programs. The framework of all three programs is similar. All of the programs limit individual system size, but those limits won't affect homeowners much.

All three programs also handle residential net metering the same way: all surplus energy produced is applied as a credit to your next month’s bill at the full retail rate. So for every kW extra you produce one month, you pay for one less kW the next. Avista specifies (sadly) that surplus credit reverts back to the utility without compensation after 12 months. Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power do not specifically address “rollover” limits or other annual surplus accounting policies.

Learn more about net metering

Idaho Interconnection Rules

Depends on utility

Grade: F

Idaho's Interconnection Standards grade

While things look pretty standard on the net-metering front, there are fragmented policies in terms of how easy it is to connect to the grid which vary from utility to utility. Idaho could benfit from uniform standards, which would come as a directive from the state capitol.

Regardless, here are the Idaho big three’s interconnection policies:

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Idaho Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Idaho measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

Idaho Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Solar Rebates grade

Idaho lacks any utility rebates for solar power. This is a direct result of the lack of an RPS. With an RPS in place, and the accompanying penalties for utilities that fall short of RPS goals, you can bet the utilities would start offering incentives to switch to solar power. How do we know? Because it’s worked everywhere else. RPS’s inevitably spur the creation of incentives that are cheaper for the utility companies than the penalties of the RPS.

Learn more about solar rebates

Idaho Solar Tax Credits

$370/year for 4 years

Grade: B

Idaho's Solar Tax Credits grade

With no utility incentives to speak of, we have to commend the legislature for stepping up with a pretty strong solar tax credit. The lack of utility incentives is the legislature’s fault for not passing an RPS, of course, but nevertheless, the personal deduction that Idaho has made available is a big step back in the right direction.

When you install a new solar power system in your home, you are entitled to a state income tax deduction for 40% of the cost of the project in the first year, and 20% each year for the next three years. It's important to note that this is a deduction, not a tax credit, which means it simply reduces the amount of your income the state can tax.

A typical 5-kW system will cost about $16,250, which means you can deduct 40% of that in the first year, or $6,500 from your income for Idaho income tax purposes. Given the state's 7.4% tax rate for any income over $22,086 (married couples), a deduction of $6,500 would be worth about $481 in year 1. Using those same numbers, the next 3 years' deductions of 20% would equal $241 per year. All told, you can expect to get back about $1,204 over the four years after you install solar. Cha-ching!

Of course, your Idaho solar tax credit will vary based on the amount you pay for your solar system and the tax bracket you find yourself in. If you make more than, say $40,000 per year as a married couple, you can figure your estimated Idaho solar tax credit by multiplying the cost of the system by 0.0296 for the first year, and 0.0148 for the following three years.

And don't forget: Idahoans benefit from the Federal Solar Tax Credit as well, and that is a direct dollar amount off your federal taxes based on your total solar costs. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and you can claim any amount leftover on subsequent years' tax returns.

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

With that handy solar tax credit in place, we can’t imagine how the other solar friendly tax policies slipped through the cracks. Both a property tax exemption and a sales tax exemption would save you money without ever actually removing a single dollar from the state’s bank account.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

One of the simplest ways for the Idaho state legislature to encourage small scale clean energy adoption is to declare solar panel equipment exempt from state sales taxes as many other progressive states have done. Sadly, there is no such declaration.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Low-income Solar Programs

None

Grade: F

Idaho's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The consensus on Idaho solar power rebates and incentives

We’ve reviewed solar policy in a whole lot of states–all of them in fact–but we’ve never seen a state quite like Idaho before. No RPS, no utility backed solar incentives, heck, no mandatory net metering or interconnection standards! Virtually nothing, except for that mediocre Idaho solar tax credit. And at the end of the day, it’s really the money that talks. With a 16 year payback time frame, Idaho surely has a ways to go regarding its residential solar policy.

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Barry Beckford
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Barry Beckford

Is there anyway to NOT pay the $15 core charge/battery disposal fee when purchasing new batteries for a NEW solar system? I dont have ANY old ones to turn in. Our “politicians” didn’t think of this, and as a result will punish/slow and add expenses to ANYONE who tries to create a new system…DUH!

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

I have five greenhouses I want to hundred amps continuous to each greenhouse this is not attach to the house grid how come nobody can answer me what I need instead they know how many fans are running how many lights are on and what the amperage is why don’t use of these items getting back to the point nobody can answer my question

Jake
Guest
Jake

Hi Wayne, I’d love to point you in the right direction shoot me an email to [email protected] with some information and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

The local electrical utility in Boise, Idaho Power is requesting that the Idaho Public Utility Commission put net metering customers into their own rate class. This is not good for solar customers. Hundreds of Idaho citizens have written comments strongly opposing this switch. Anyone can comment at the IPUCs website under “open electrical rate cases.”

Bruce Allsup
Guest
Bruce Allsup

I’m building a house for my wife and I in New Meadows Idaho and it’s going to be 1950 square feet how much would it cost to get everything done.

Aron Thandroyen
Guest
Aron Thandroyen

Hello Bruce,
I work as a dealer for next energy alliance/solar wholesale. I’d be glad to help you out with figuring pricing, etc. . Please send me how many kWh’s you use per month for a total of 12 months. (Most recent preferred). Please email and we can further discuss additional details.

Meg
Guest
Meg

Charles, we took the Fed 30% tax credit on our off-grid cabin system. After carefully reviewing the Fed IRS form 5695, we found nothing that would exclude the off-grid solar panels and the batteries necessary to store the power. Here is a link to the form for 2012: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf You should be able to add in your labor as well, and yes, you can take the credit on both properties. The instructions on form 5695 state: Qualified solar electric property costs are costs for property that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in your home located in the… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

Can I get state and fed tax credits when I install 23500.00 solar kit, 30 230watt panels, 48 volt 8000 watt inverter 120/240, 16 Trojan 420 amp 6 volt batter, add more batter if I can afford them.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Charles here, can I get the tax credits fed and state when I install off grid system on my cabin and not my primary home?
So far I cannot in stall panels in my subdivision because of the ccr from the hoa rules.
Would like to do both cabin and house” 6.5 kw quoted price is 23870.00
30 230 watt panels, 8000watt inverter 120/240 16 Trojan battery’s 420 amp our in 48 volt system
Again, can I get tax credit for both cabin and home.
Thanks
Charles in IF.

SolarBoise
Guest
SolarBoise

My HOA CCRs also prohibited solar, but allowed for installation if the HOA board approved. I applied and got approval. (Don’t give up!)

Ron Garrett
Guest
Ron Garrett

Started a 3kw PV system in Nov. 2012. Installed my self so took some time. Just about ready to go on line when I got my letter from Idaho Power informing gridtie customers that they were proposing new net-metering fees that increase my monthly fee from $5 to $21!! Also no by back of credits. Also all credits not used by Dec. 31 will be lost. (Ripped Off) I’ve tried to contact my Legislators but no responce to date. Idaho Public Utilities has a web site with comment section for Case # IPC-E-12-27. Needs to pass PUC but we will… Read more »

SolarBoise
Guest
SolarBoise

For those of you shopping in Boise, current prices are affordable…! My 7.2 KW rated system (i.e. 30 x 240W panels) with installation (Oct 2012) and including Enphase microinverters was $22,400. Includes online monitoring and graphing of solar production by panel, by hour, and over time via smartphone. Incredible system. This is my public page showing production:
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Q2xD138936

Mark
Guest
Mark

Please tell me more about your system. I am in Boise and am interested to learn more.

SolarBoise
Guest
SolarBoise

Hi Mark Here’s my system: 30 x Trina TSM-240 PC/PA05.05 panels (black frames!) http://www.trinasolar.com/images/PDF/datasheets/us/TSM-PA05.05_US.pdf Enphase Envoy monitoring system: http://enphase.com/products/envoy/ Enphase M315 Microinverters (these are attached to the back of each panel to invert the electricity from AC to DC) http://enphase.com/products/m215/ As you saw above, you can view my system production here: https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Q2xD138936 The job took 2 days to install (they brought a pretty good-sized crew). Then Idaho Power had to come out to certify connections and install a net meter. (I think that took about a week to complete). After that was done, my contractor had to come back out… Read more »

Jared
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Jared

Your link is great! It really helped me when trying to size my system. I use about 300KWhr/mo in the winter and 600KWhr/mo in the summer. From others on this page, it seems that Idaho Power does credits power, but you lose any extra credits at the end of the calendar year (not so helpful when you really need the KWhr credits in the spring). What direction does your system face… the link seems to imply south-west facing panels. I would be planning on an east-west facing roof… so I don’t know how much I should reduce my numbers. Any… Read more »

SolarBoise
Guest
SolarBoise

The IPUC rejected Idaho Power’s request, so you do NOT lose your extra credits annually. Not sure if you followed the whole process, but the IPUC soundly rejected Idaho Power’s request. HUGE win for renewable energy…! Yes, my panels are facing southwest. The angle of the image in the link is accurate. I’m not sure how to estimate impact of alternate angle…? I am VERY happy with the outcome. The only thing I might have reconsidered is using Sunpower panels which are more efficient (rather than the Trina panels, though they are working exactly as expected). Probably the best part… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Thanks for posting a 2012 update for the state of Idaho. Although its a great incentive, I think you may have over estimated the value of the Idaho State Tax Deduction. You don’t actually get to reduce the total installed cost by the deduction. You DO get to reduce your annual income by the amount of the deduction. So if you make 50k annually, and you installed a $20,000 PV system, you would only have to report an annual earnings of 30k (I’m ignoring the $5,000/year cap for simplicity). At an income tax rate of 7.8% is about a ~$1,500… Read more »

Matthew
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Matthew

Jennifer, over the past year solar PV system costs have fallen dramatically due to steep competition in the manufacturing of solar panels. You can definitely start out small. Solar systems are very modular these days; you could install one panel today and add more in a years time.

David, there are currently no Idaho state rebates for site assessments, however there are a few other credits/ deductions you can take. dsireusa.org is a great resource for more information.

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

I’m starting to look into out options for solar/wind power for my home. I don’t know where to start, and with a one income home I know 30,000 is a bit steep for our current budget, even with the tax breaks. We are located in Canyon County in Middleton. Is there an option to start out small without breaking the bank?

David Fischel
Guest
David Fischel

I appreciate the information posted on your website. We have recently installed a 3200 watt system and are interested in the rebate related to the site assessment. However, I can’t connect to the link listed on your website. Can you tell me how I can get more information on that rebate? Thank you.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

To Mike and Bruce: I agree that the numbers provided for a 3kW system ($49,000)are out of line and if anything retard the growth of solar in Idaho when presenting numbers like that. Most 3kW systems would probably fall under 30k today. I hope anyone looking at this site also looks at others and talks to their local installing group to get up to date info.
Kevin

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

In California where I do business I was provided numbers for a 5kw system costs $30,000 minus a minimal utility rebate of 6 percent and a federal tax credit of 30 percent brings my cost down to 19,200. I fail to see how a smaller 3kw system costing $20,000 more than a 5kw system in CA. Enlighten me

T Barnes
Guest
T Barnes

Same old story… political correctness and indulgent exploitation of the fruits of technology only for the very wealthy.

Marilyn Ellis
Guest
Marilyn Ellis

No touting my own business. I don’t have one in solar power, but I sure would like to know how to get started, especially with my own home.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I would like to do something like this, but I cant see how it is worthwhile. Let make sure I understand. Summery:
It costs me 34000 but only adds 8000 equity.
Cost 34000 / worth 8000.
Takes 20 years to pay for and saves roughly 1 house payment a year. Oddly my payment is 744 a month.
These are the numbers you have for 3 kw in ada county Idaho.
Sadly these numbers are not going to work for me.
Thanks Mike

ed
Guest
ed

i want to build my own soalr panels can’t afford to pay some one and i’m sick of idaho powers high prices and they are cutting my power off on the a5th of april. we leave in centerville id

Stan Craig
Guest
Stan Craig

ID is still a great place with a small population. Our Government officials will listen to us if we write, call and email them about moving in a renewal energy direction more quickly. Do it while we still can.

larry jarrett
Guest
larry jarrett

Hi Bob– Larry Jarrett here- I have spoke with you about a system on the Ranc at stites-

I am interested in a solar wind combo?
I would like to put the solar on the roof and the wind on top of the hill above the place- Can I start with a smaller set of panels and add to them also start with less batteries but have the bigger inverter for the larger system-?

Thanks Larry

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

Explain 25KW criteria?
producing 25KWH a month? year? Very small gauge for a renewable project.
Or 25KW system.! Huge! That just eliminated 99% of the small residential wind projects. Explain.

Stephen Service
Guest
Stephen Service

Ask about our “Rent a Roof” solar option. Under this program, we install the system on your residence and collect a rate equal to 80% of your electrical rate. You SAVE 20% on the cost of your electricity the system replaces. It takes an operation the size of Infinergy to be able to offer a program like this and its nice to be part of their network. I expect installing Solar in Idaho will become a significant part of my business now.

Stephen Service
Guest
Stephen Service

We are in Rigby Idaho and have been installing 3kw systems with some success. We are also part of the Infinergy network. Wind power still makes up the bulk of our renewable energy installations but with the recent drop in panel costs combined with the 30% federal credit, solar is at least a viable option now.

Ken
Guest
Ken

The tax credit lowers your income (before computing taxes), not your taxes due. If you earn $80K/yr, and your solar system costs $100K, you get to take 40% the first year, so that knocks your income down to $40K. You would’ve paid ~8% state income tax on the additional $40K, so you save ~$3200 on your tax bill the first year. After four years, you’d save around $6500 on your taxes.

Ben
Guest
Ben

yr1: 40% tax credit
yr 2-4: 20% tax credit
total: 100% tax credit.
That sounds like “system is free” if you make enough money to use the tax credit. This sounds too good to be true. Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Ben

Rocky Hinten
Guest
Rocky Hinten

You’re only missing something because they are using a completely wrong term. A tax “credit” and a tax “deduction” are two very different things, but they just randomly jump back and forth in this write-up, using both terms, so it’s very misleading. A tax credit is basically a 1-to-1 dollars back in your pocket. So if you have a $5,000 tax credit, that actually is $5,000 less you have to pay in taxes, which is straight up money you get to keep. A $5,000 deduction, means it’s like $5,000 of your income that you don’t have to pay the tax… Read more »

R. C. Brown
Guest
R. C. Brown

I am on Social security, and live off the grid. I don’t get enough money to pay income tax, so tax incentives don’t help. Could I use my energy assistance money to buy solar panels?

Bob Klecha - Idaho County Solar, LLC
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Bob Klecha - Idaho County Solar, LLC

hello, ive been doing renewable energy in idaho for 25 years now, how do i get on your list of installers. also, i think you ought to take away another star from idaho’s effort in promoting solar in idaho. you have mentioned our governor and his preference for nuclear. also the $75 and $150 site assesment program is gone, has been for a while now. No program exists to license solar installers and to me the biggest issue is the small electric co-operatives, they have bad grid tie policies, and most people in remote idaho have co-opertives supplying thier power…last… Read more »

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