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2019 Policy Grade

F

Avg. Yearly Savings

$657

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Oklahoma

2019 Policy Grade

F

Avg. Savings/year

$657

Your 2019 guide to getting solar panels for your home in Oklahoma

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Oklahoma 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 2019 **

Oklahoma, the Sooner state. With the Ozark mountains, Cypress swamps and Grand Lake, not to forget the plains and prairies, Oklahoma needs the sun to keep itself looking good. Solar power and other clean energies could keep the state’s cities and towns bustling while protecting the land and waters that bring life to the Sooners. The state legislature has not done much to promote renewable energy sources, but here’s a guide to what they’ve been working on.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Oklahoma solar incentives you see below.

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma.

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 Oklahoma

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma

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. That might look a little complicated to you, so let's break it down:

The green bars show the return if you pay up front. As you can see, there's a big payment in year 1, which gets slowly reduced over time. The green bars cross the "$0" line at year 16, which is when the system will have paid back your initial investment with electricity savings. Then, our example goes to year 25 (which is when most solar panel warranties end), where you'll end up with just about $11,000 in total profits. Not bad! That's because even though Oklahoma lacks incentives for solar, the difference is just about made up by how much sun the state gets.

The orange bars, on the other had, show what happens if you take a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to pay for the system. You don't put any money down, but you do get the 30% Federal tax credit, meaning you actually come out ahead in year 1. The bars dip below the $0 line, because your loan payments (over a 15-year term) will exceed your energy savings by a little each year. Still, in the end, you'll come out thousands of dollars ahead over the 25-year estimate.

Finally, the blue bars represent a similar HELOC scenario, but for a smaller solar system. The loan and savings will be smaller, but it's a great way to go solar, even of you don't have a lot of cash or equity. Usually this is where we'd show you the savings with a solar lease, but Oklahoma doesn't quite have the right financial mix for that yet.

There's still a lot to love about solar in the Panhandle State. Read on to find out more about each option!

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

Paying up front used to be the only way to get panels on your roof, and it's still the option that allows you the most control. But it isn't the best option from a percentage return on investment standpoint—that award goes to the solar loan.

Still, an outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits—including a Federal solar tax credit of 30% of the costs and some decent energy bill savings.

In our example, you put down $20,000, but by the end of year 1, that tax credit and the energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced more than $10,000 in income.

Net Present Value: -$1,564

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 Oklahoma's -$1,564 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in stocks over 25 years than paying up front for solar in Oklahoma. 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 work for an Oklahoma solar purchase of a 5-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on out-of-pocket costs, no state rebate means more tax relief for you! You'll get $6,000 (30% of the cost) back as a tax credit. Note: you can take the credit over two years if you don't owe $6,000 in Federal taxes this year.
  • Next, subtract your first-year energy savings. That's another $683, and it brings the cost after 1 year to just $13,317. That's just two-thirds of where we started!
  • With those energy bill savings rolling in, your system will pay itself back after 16 years. Once that happens, you’ll be seeing moe than $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 $10,772 with an internal rate of return of 4.8%. That's nearly as good as an investment in the market!
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by just about $10,500, too (the NPV of your expected electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • And speaking of doing good for the environment... your system will create some green for the earth by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 117 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Oklahoma. 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

This is where we tell you that taking a loan for solar panels is a no-brainer, because it means investing in an income-generating asset. And even though Oklahoma doens't have amazing rebates and tax breaks for solar, it's still true! That's because the state gets enough sun to make solar worthwhile, generating a good deal of income for you after you pay your loan off.

Here's the important stuff:

As you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because with a loan, you're not putting any money down, and you get those tax credits just like if you paid $20,000 up front for your system. You'll come out ahead nearly $5,000 after the first year! In the 14 years that follow, your loan payments will actually cost a little more than the money you'll be saving in electricity, but just think of it like a monthly deposit into a savings account.

And that savings account will pay dividends after the loan is paid off in year 15. You'll be saving tons of money every year because you'll own the system outright. At the end of our 25-year example, you'll be $4,144 to the good, which is great for an investment where you put nothing down!

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can qulaify for a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $20,000 with a fixed rate of 4% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You have an appetite for making a little money with a long-term investment, while also producing benefits for the environment.

Net Present Value: $63

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 Oklahoma's $63 NPV on a solar loan means an investmenr in solar here is about as good as a similr investment in the stock market. You can rest easy with an Oklahoma solar loan knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

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

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity bill savings in the first year of operation will total $683, but your loan payments will be $1,775, for a difference of $1,092, or about $91 per month.
  • But here comes the Federal tax credit! Because you've technically "paid" for the system with your loan, you'll get a tax credit of 30% of system costs, or $6,000! That means you'll end up with an extra $4,907 at the end of the first year.
  • When your loan’s paid off after year 15, you’ll start to see over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll see pretty nice returns, to the tune of $4,144 after all the payments. That's a good amount of money for a zero-down investment!
  • Finally, the environmental benefits cannot be overstated. Operating your system will take as much carbon out of the air as planting 127 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Oklahoma. 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)

Oklahoma 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

Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma:

Oklahoma's Renewable Portfolio Standard

15% by 2015 (voluntary)

Grade: D

Oklahoma's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Oklahoma has set a goal of 15% renewable energy by 2015. While that would ordinarily be an adequate first step for an RPS, Oklahoma’s RPS is entirely voluntary. There are no penalties or other sanctions for utility companies that do not meet the 15% goal.

Unfortunately, the pattern we’ve seen elsewhere is repeated in Oklahoma: a voluntary RPS simply is not enough to spark meaningful incentives for solar power. This voluntary status makes an otherwise respectable RPS seem pretty weak in comparison. Additionally, the program lacks a solar carve out. More on that next.

Oklahoma’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them via compliance fees. For Oklahoma’s solar scene to really take off, they’ll need to drop the “voluntary” compliance and crack down on utilities if they don’t step up their solar game.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Oklahoma's RPS solar carve out

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Carve-out grade

As mentioned above, Oklahoma’s RPS lacks a solar carve out, or specified targets for solar production. If the RPS contained specific carve-outs for clean and efficient technologies like solar panels, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, you’d see even stronger incentives for residential solar power.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Oklahoma Electricity Prices

$0.10/kWh

Grade: D

Oklahoma's Electricity cost grade

Oklahoma homeowners pay an average of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That’s definitely on the lower end of the spectrum and well below the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh. 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 burning fossil fuels -- tons and tons of earth-killing fossil fuels. When the astronomical environmental costs start to mount, monthly electricity bills are inevitably going to rise as well. When that happens you’re going to feel pretty darn smart for making the early switch to producing your own clean, efficient solar power.

Find out why electricity prices matter

Oklahoma Net Metering

Voluntary

Grade: F

Oklahoma'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 to make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Oklahoma requires investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to offer net metering to all customers. All systems up to 100kW are eligible; utilities are not allowed to require new liability insurance as a condition for interconnection. While that is pretty solid, overall Oklahoma’s net metering can’t get more than an “F” grade, because the utility companies are not actually required to purchase your excess electricity generation. Customers can request that their utility purchase excess generation, but the decision ultimately rests with the company, not the customer. That is the worst "net metering" law in the country.

Learn more about net metering

Oklahoma Interconnection Rules

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Interconnection Standards grade

Generally a net metering program comes with statewide standards limiting the utilities’ discretion over interconnection standards and associated fees, potential insurance requirements, and redundant external disconnect switches. Because Oklahoma lacks statewide standards, those costs and requirements will vary from utility to utility. Don’t worry, though. The expert installers we partner with can answer all of those questions for you and then some.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Solar Incentives in Oklahoma

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 30% 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 Oklahoma 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.

Oklahoma Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Rebates grade

Oklahoma currently lacks any sort of solar rebate programs. If the RPS set mandatory levels of renewable energy production, we can guarantee the utility companies would offer incentives to help you make the switch to solar. How do we know? It’s worked everywhere that a real RPS has been implemented. Get on it, Oklahoma!

Learn more about solar rebates

Oklahoma Solar Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Tax Credits grade

The legislature isn’t picking up the slack here either; there are no tax credits for installing a solar power system here.

Luckily, you will still benefit from the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and fortunately for Oklahoma, having no state rebate to deduct means a larger tax credit coming your way. Sample calculations follow below -- keep scrolling!

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Oklahoma Solar Performance Payments

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Performance Payments grade

Oklahoma also lacks any utility solar power performance payments. Again, this can be blamed on the voluntary RPS. Mandatory RPS = better solar incentives.

Learn more about SRECs

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

Tax exemptions are a simple, straightforward, and effective way to promote solar power. A property tax exemption would exempt you from paying taxes on the more than $15,000 in property value that installing a solar power system will add to your home -- all without ever actually removing a dime from the state’s bank account! That sounds like a win-win to us. Unfortunately, state lawmakers have yet to see the light (no pun intended), leaving Oklahoma with no property tax exemption.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Oklahoma's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Likewise, a sales tax exemption would save you between 4.5% and 8.5% on your initial investment, depending on where in the state you live. This would cost the state nothing, but again -- no such luck. Oklahoma still lacks a sales tax exemption on renewable projects of any kind.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

The consensus on Oklahoma solar power rebates and incentives

Located in America’s wind tunnel, Oklahoma has made remarkable progress in the development of wind power, boasting six of the largest wind farms in the country. That may be more the result of efforts by its two largest power providers than state legislators, however. Oklahoma Gas & Electric now has a total wind capacity of over 800 MW, comprising 12% of their total energy generation. Interestingly, green pricing customers are now buying wind power at about the same rate as electricity from traditional sources.

However, Oklahoma will have to do some serious work promoting solar power and other clean energy sources to be considered an environmentally responsible state in the 21st century. It looks like exciting policy changes may be on the way, however, as grassroots movements begin demanding better solar policy. If Oklahoma really wants to make a change in its energy market, the legislature needs some renewal; vote in some lawmakers who care about the Sooner State.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply check our installing solar panels page and contact one of our assistant. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

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Jon DoeBen ZientaraGregory SmithSherman LinnParker Recent comment authors
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Jon Doe
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Jon Doe

Of course Oklahoma gets an F on Solar power, that state doesn’t care about the working class, just look at their labor laws, employees have no protections. Oklahoma is still in the slavery mindset. Not only do they pay their teachers and Fireman like shit, look at their roads. Not sure where all of the money goes fromm oil and gas companies but Oklahomans are getting screwed. Why does Alaska pay it’s residents money for the oil and gas that get produced in that state? Something is off if you ask me and that’s exactly why nobody wants to live… Read more »

Gregory Smith
Guest

You honestly need to update your website. A lot of your information is badly out of date and economically understated as to savings and payback values and time of repayment! 14 years is embarassingly wrong by 7 years. That means costs are lower. Recent auctions have been as low as $1 @ watt and installation is lower cost now. Efficiencies are now above 17% and average is now 19% with many at 22%. Oklahoma violates Federal and State Constitutional law violating the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Lawsuits are being considered.

Ben Zientara
Admin

Thanks, Gregory. It seems like you may be talking about large commercial or utility-scale installations. It’s true that at sizes of perhaps 2 MW and larger, the economics of solar in Oklahoma are very good, with an LCOE somewhere close to $.03/kWh, just like in other places. With retail electricity prices around $.10/kWh and no guaranteed net metering or even feed-in tariffs, Oklahoma home solar would have to cost $1.50/watt to provide a 7 year payback timeframe. Of course, if you have specific knowledge of per-watt pricing, please send it along via email to outreach at solarpowerrocks.com. And if you… Read more »

Sherman Linn
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Sherman Linn

I own home, no loan. Some one interested in making a sale, phone number is 918 232 5588 . call me!!!!!

Sherman Linn
Guest
Sherman Linn

I own my home, no loan outstanding. I would like to talk to a solar rep that is interested

Parker
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Parker

I was interested in using solar energy in a Bussiness office in Elgin, OK and am in the early stages of building construction. I was wanting to know the overal amount of potential tax savings and the overal pros and cons and thoughts on doing this as I am uneducated about solar powe installation and use. Thanks.

Rex Reynolds
Guest
Rex Reynolds

I also am not interested in having government involvement in home power generation in the form of incentives; but, I do believe that it is appropriate to have policies for interconnection and utility company buy-back. For small home generation, I believe it would be fair to require a utility to buy back from a connected home generation system at a wholesalerate while charging for electricity used at the retail rate. This should compensate the utility adequately for infrastructure costs.

Jim
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Jim

Why do more people not build earth burmed houses in Oklahoma. Talk about cutting energy cost, and security in tornado alley. You really can’t do underground at a reasonable cost but you can certainly earth burm.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I’m in my 7th year in the solar business – making a nice six figure income and paying taxes in my home state of NJ. Blame you legislators if you are un or under employed because solar jobs CANNOT be outsourced. There are now 220,000 people employed by the solar industry, 2.5 times the number employed by big coal. If you want good clean jobs, a rising tax base and increased home values, change your state’s solar legislation policies before the oil & gas bust drives your state into bankruptcy.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Not only does Oklahoma not support solar energy, they are actually trying to make a LAW that levels the playing field for the poor electric companies that buy back electric from those bleeding heart, heathen, hippie, tree huggers.

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