Montana solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Last updated 12.01.21
Benefit from a PV system
4.60 hours of peak sunlight
Montana gets enough sunlight to help a PV system pay for your electricity bills or at least make a significant cut
11 years payback period
A solar power system in Montana pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Enjoy free solar energy since year 8
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Freeze your property tax for 10 years
The market value added to your property due to acquiring a PV system will be exempt from the state’s property tax
Montana #37 in the US
- $37 616 Average savings from going solar in Montana
- 10 284 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 291 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Montana
- 11 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Montana
- 23 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $2.23/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of October 2023
What our happy customers say
I am new to using solar and had a great experience with A1Solar. I ordered 6 pcs of Q Cells 400W solar panels from them and delivery was fast / customer service was great! I look forward to buying from them again in the future.
I have ordered 2 solar panels from A1solarstore on pickup, but had some problems paying at the checkout. However, finally it went well.
Ordered panels for my house due to the nice pricing, came at super good quality. Definitely glad I picked here. (For those wondering I ordered 16pcs of Aptos Solar 370W!)
I was new to the Solar Panel Industry, just browsing for information when I came across A1 SolarStore. After doing researching and educating myself on products through their easy to navigate website I made my first purchase. I couldn't be happier by choosing to go through A1. The customer service I received was very beneficial on choosing Suntech 370 W Solar Panel. Best part of A1 is that the pickup locations was extremely convenient only miles from my home.
If you are looking to purchase Solar Panels, I would highly recommend A1 Solar store. I did not have much knowledge on Solar Panels and/or the benefits of them. A1 SolarStore customer service and knowledge of their panels was outstanding. My purchase of the Silfab 400W panels was made easy and quick with a pick up location right in my area.
I recently ordered a 8 piece of Aptos Solar 370W Solar Panels from A1 Solar Store. Everything was great from start to finish. Their website's easy navigation allowed me to compare different panels and view my options. The pick up location was extremely convenient and located close to my home. Overall very impressed with A1 SolarStore and product purchased. I highly recommend it for anyone in the market for Solar Panels.
Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Montana you need to know
Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. 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.