Oklahoma solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
5.38 peak sun hours
Oklahoma residents enjoy 231 clear days a year on average, so a solar system brings in a lot of energy
11 years payback time
A solar power system in Oklahoma pays for itself 2-3 times
Sell excess energy with Net Metering program
Cover your bills with the credits from utility companies
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
Earn up to $1,000 selling PECs
PECs are like a currency your PV system prints as a subproduct. They can be sold for extra profit
Oklahoma #13 in the US
- $44 551 Average savings from going solar in Oklahoma
- 13 392 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 8 265 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Oklahoma
- 10 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Oklahoma
- 21 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $2.28/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of December 2022
What our happy customers say
Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Oklahoma you need to know
Save 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The main solar incentive that works across all United States is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program. By applying to this program, all Americans can deduct 26% of the total cost of their installation from the income tax. The PV system cost doesn’t amount to only how much you’ve spent on your solar panels, but includes the shipping and installation as well. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes. It makes sense to hurry up: in 2023 the Tax credit decreases to 22% and after that it’s 10% for commercial systems only.
Sell excess energy in Oklahoma with Net Metering program
The most straightforward way to make money with your solar system in Oklahoma is to join the Net Metering program. You sell to your utility all the electricity that you generate, but don’t use. In return, electric companies give you Renewable Energy Credits, which you can use to cover your bills. The program is open for all customers, but the installation must be under 300 kW in size. The utilities pay for your net excess generation at their avoided cost rate. Keep in mind that they can charge you an application fee.
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, first you may want to contact the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for relevant details. After that, you can create a REC account with the North American Renewables Registry (NAR) to begin storing and selling your credits.
Increase your buying power with Energy Efficient Mortgages
If you are looking for additional funds to buy a solar system, the Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) program might help you with that. The loans are insured through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) programs.
When you are looking to buy new property with the help of an FHA loan, its amount can be increased to include the cost of your PV solar system. Once you’ve qualified for a home loan, the process of approving an EEM is much simpler and shorter. A standard FHA loan can be increased for energy-efficient upgrades by:
– the cost of upgrades based on the home energy assessment; or
– the lesser of 5% of:
- the Adjusted Value;
- 115 percent of the median area price of a Single Family dwelling; or
- 150 percent of the national conforming mortgage limit.
It means that you can get a loan for the whole system plus its installation and shipment. Read more about the FHA program and apply here.
The Veterans Affairs program offers EEMs for military personnel, reservists and veterans. The size of a loan depends on your status and credit history. Check the guide on how to apply for the VA loan here.
Get a permit to install solar panels in Oklahoma
To build a solar installation in Oklahoma, you usually need to gather some papers first. The exact requirements vary from city to city. For example, here’s what you need in Oklahoma city:
- Any solar project requires an electrical permit.
- Building permit is required when you add panels to a roof or build a new structure for them.
- You'll have to pay fees for these permits, plus there is a minimum fee of $55 for solar.
It is recommended to get in touch with your electric company to discuss your connection to the grid and the net metering program. Most of the time it’s your installer who handles the process of getting a permit and makes sure that it is legal to install solar panels on your house in Oklahoma.
Solar panels help Oklahomans survive tornadoes
Tornadoes are a constant problem in Oklahoma – the state suffers from 52 tornadoes a year on average. While it’s not the record breaker across the US (Texas has twice as many), Oklahoma claims to have the highest number of strong tornadoes per unit area. Solar panels deal with harsh weather well and strong winds usually aren’t a threat for them. A standard solar panel can withstand a 140 mph wind, while the average speed of a tornado is 40-100 mph. Some manufacturers, like Canadian Solar and Solaria, focus on making their PV modules as durable as possible: their panels are able to survive 170-200 mph winds.
While there aren’t any specific solar laws in Oklahoma related to tornadoes, photovoltaics are a safe and wise choice in this state. A solar installation is not going to be destroyed by a natural disaster, and off-grid systems provide you with energy even when power lines are down. Keep in mind, however, that grid-tie solar systems stop working during power outages.