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Montana solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Montana State 17 solar panels available

  • $0.50/W Average gross price of a solar power system as of May 2022
  • 2 years Average system payback period
  • 44 972 / year Average savings from going solar in Montana
  • 3 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 5.78 kW Recommended system size

Benefit from a PV system
in Montana

Solar panels in Montana

Montana #37 in the US
Solar Ranking

What our happy customers say

The website UI is really intuitive and I figured out what I want pretty quickly. Went for Canadian Solar panels plus a solaredge inverter. I went to their fulfillment center to grab my order, and they were very quick to bring it out. The staff really made sure to warn me that panels are fragile and I appreciate that. Drove the package home safely, unpacked, all good. Right now we’re in the middle of the installation process, they sent a letter asking how I’m doing and asked for a review. Here I am! The panels are nice and it was a pleasure doing business with you.
Lime
Via Trustpilot
Apr 7, 2022
Fantastic company. Everything went smooth and the shipped was fast. The customer service was great.
Joe M.
Via Trustpilot
Apr 5, 2022
So I’m from LA and everybody’s going solar here so though that I should too. But I was really afraid it would be too much of a hassle. Eventually i went on google and soon found a1store. They got a pretty website and lots of articles on solar, and I flicked through a couple. So I decided to contact them, they were very friendly and we scheduled a call with their engineer. He was very patient with me and explained all the basics that I needed to know.

So i made an order, one of their centers is nearby, so i ordered pickup. I drove there, and they warned me to drive the panels carefully and pack them well for the road. seems like it's a recurring thing that people break their panels on the way home. I was real careful and yeah, I got home safely. Panels are in my garage now. I already found the installer. we have to take care of some papers and then it’s on!
Jerry Burton
Via Trustpilot
Mar 23, 2022
Great selection of high quality solar panels, good pricing, fast shipping, everything arrived in great condition.
Paul
Via Trustpilot
Mar 8, 2022
I ordered some solar panels. The top 4 ones were damaged during delivery (A1 had emailed me in advance what to check for before I took delivery which I followed even though the truck driver was pushing not to inspect them as thouroughly) and A1 replaced them in a timely manner and kept me informed. The price on the panels were some of the best on the internet (delivered). I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Google
Nov 27, 2021
I ordered some solar panels but during delivery, the top 4 were broken by the shipping department.

A1 replaced them and kept me informed when the replacements would be in. I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Trustpilot
Nov 27, 2021

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Montana you need to know

Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Save up to $1,000 with Montana’s residential tax credit

This program allows you to recover up to 100% of the costs associated with acquiring a PV system, including installation. The limit is set at $1,000 per household with two married taxpayers, or $500 per individual. The credit may be carried forward for four taxable years. The Residential Alternative Energy System Tax Credit is compatible with all other credits and incentives. It means that you can claim it together with the federal 26% ITC. Before applying, make sure your system is new and meets all relevant safety and performance standards.

Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program

Solar laws in Montana make Net Metering programs available to customers of all investor-owned utilities. Also, a draft Net Metering agreement has been signed by most electric cooperatives in Montana. The program gives households an opportunity to send the excess electricity back to the grid instead of storing it with battery banks. When you sell your solar power to the utility, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. In Montana, their value is equal to full retail electricity price. If you accumulate any unused credits, they will expire at the beginning of the year, either in January, April, July or October. The customer gets to choose when the cycle starts.

Save additional $300 to $1,000 a year trading RECs

Renewable Energy Credits are certificates granted to any person or entity upon generation of each MWh of clean electricity. Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. The value of RECs is always changing, which makes them similar to stock market assets. Based on the available data, selling RECs could mean anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually for a 10 kW solar system. To participate, you have to apply for certification from the Montana Public Service Commission. After that, you can create a REC account with Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) or Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) to begin storing and selling your credits.

Get a solar loan at 3.25% interest rate with the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program

The program allows homeowners in Montana to take a 10-year loan to cover costs associated with acquiring an alternative energy system. The loan amount is limited to $40,000 and no down payment is required. All proposals are assessed and approved by the Department of Environmental Quality. The projects are then ranked according to such criteria as reliability, return on investment (ROI) and avoided fossil fuel consumption. Use this checklist to get ready and apply.

Freeze your property tax with Renewable Energy Systems Tax Exemption

A solar PV system installed in a home increases its value by about 4%, says 2019 Zillow report. In Montana you don't have to pay extra taxes during the first few years. According to the state laws, 100% of the value added as a result of a solar PV system installation shall be exempt from taxation for 10 full assessment years. The maximum amount of added value to be exempt is limited to $20,000. To claim the exemption, use Form AB-14.

Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements

A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to protect a reliable supply of sunlight for your solar panels. A solar easement guards your panels from potential impairments, such as vegetation and structures. It is voluntary and must contain the description of protected space, a list of restrictions and a clause on revision or termination of the contract. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. Any such agreement must be created in written form and must meet the general requirements for easements on real property.

Install your solar panels in Montana with no worries

It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Montana. However, there is no statewide legislation that makes it unlawful to restrict installation of solar PV systems, so it’s best to contact your HOA or study its declaration and rules to find out more. You may have to submit your project for approval before changing the exterior of your house. The board may ask you to hide the system from view, reduce the number of panels or just reject your proposal.

Solar panels help Montana survive wildfires

Montana is threatened by wildfires, floods and severe winter storms. These disasters come hand in hand with infrastructure damages that interfere with both generating plants and power lines. Your PV modules are designed to handle most natural hazards, and that’s good news in case of a blackout. Almost every summer comes with Public Safety Power Shutoffs. As the wind picks up, temperature rises and the trees are getting drier, the electricity in certain high-risk areas is turned off, leaving many Montanans without electricity. The Environmental Protection Agency warns that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and powerful, adding to the list of reasons to opt for solar.

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