Wyoming solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
5.49 hours of peak sunlight
Wyoming is in Top 10 states with the highest number of peak sun hours, which ensures stable solar harvest
The utility company will buy the excess electricity your PV modules generate, reducing the bills by more than 75%
3 years payback period
A solar power system in Wyoming pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
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
The law is on your side
Wyoming’s Solar Rights Act protects the landowner’s right to access sunlight
Wyoming #10 in the US
- $44 759/year Average savings from going solar in Wyoming
- 10 368 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 8 552 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Wyoming
- 11 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Wyoming
- 23 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.75/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Wyoming 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.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
In Wyoming all investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives must offer net metering. Net Metering allows residential solar owners to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries.
The law doesn’t specify what kind of system the companies should use. Some give the customers standard kWh credits, while others prefer Net Billing – a system that uses different rates for the energy you buy and the energy you sell. Usually, the utility pays a bit less for your energy then they charge for theirs. When you sell your solar power to the grid, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. The value of the credits is calculated by the utility company.
- Rocky Mountain Power is Wyoming’s largest utility with more than 140,000 customers in the state. The company uses kWh credit system, allowing its customers to sell electricity at full retail price. All unused credits are bought by the company at the beginning of each year, based on winter and summer rates. Rocky Mountain power requires its customers to install a lockable switch between their system and the grid. It must be positioned in such a way as to allow for unlimited access by the company’s electricians. This measure is meant to enhance safety in case of emergency.
- Wyrulec Co. credits its customers according to its avoided cost rate – about $0.02 per kWh as of 2021. The company will make a payout if the customer has credits at the end of the year. Wyrulec Co. also requires an installation of a lockable switch on a customer’s property.
Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Rights Act
In Wyoming, access to sunshine is considered a property right. It is defined as a line-of-sight path from a solar device to the sun, allowing the radiation to hit the collectors directly. To check if the right can be attached to your solar panels, imagine a 10-foot wall around your property on a winter solstice day. If your modules get any shade from the wall during the day, they don’t qualify. The right comes into existence upon the issuance of a solar permit. The task of developing a mechanism for getting a permit lies wholly with local governments, so contact them for details. Keep in mind that the law is only valid between 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., when the sun is most active. Outside of this window, the rules may be infringed without compensation.
Install your solar panels in Wyoming with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house. The law does not permit private restrictions on solar energy systems and homeowners associations (HOAs) are no exception. All standard limitations, as described by the Development Code, stay in place. They include safety and health measures, preservation of public views and historic landmarks and the like.
Something you should remember:
- The state doesn’t allow HOAs to restrict installation of a solar system in Wyoming.
- Restrictions may be implemented if your equipment doesn’t meet safety, health, building or performance standards.
- In Wyoming, a permit is required to operate solar panels.