How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
While wind turbines are a popular choice for renewable energy, due to Oklahoma’s location, solar power is quickly growing in popularity in the Sooner State. More and more people are installing solar powered systems, and prices for harnessing this renewable energy source are declining steadily. Oklahoma residents live in one of the best states for thermal energy- they receive plentiful sunshine, especially during the warmer months. If you’re considering installing solar panels on your home or land, or just want more information about Oklahoma solar power, use this guide as a starting point.
Tax Incentives for Solar Power in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma does not provide a state tax credit or incentive for residents who install solar panels on their home. However, Oklahoma residents still qualify for a federal solar tax credit of 30%. If you install solar panels before the end of 2016, you can use that credit on your next tax return. Use Form 5695 when filling out your taxes to claim your credit. If your credit is larger than your income tax due, the credit will roll over for the next year.
Because tax forms can change occasionally, if you have any questions or want to make sure you’re maximizing your solar power credit, consult a tax professional. You’ve harnessed solar power, so don’t miss out on all of the benefits.
Benefits of Solar for Oklahoma’s Climate
Oklahoma’s weather can change drastically in a matter of hours, and its climate varies across the state. However, it does receive ample sunshine, making it one of the states that could benefit the most from harnessing solar power. Winter is considered to be the driest season, and though it can get very cold, the sun is still shining. This is great news for those with solar panels, as that will help take some of the strain off of Oklahoma City’s power grid at a time when every resident is using their heaters.
Thermal energy is still harnessed by solar panels during cloudy days and the amount of energy harnessed depends on the type of cells used in the panel. Some solar panels capture a wider spectrum of the sun’s rays than others. Typically though, during cloudy days, solar panels can produce 10-25% of their normal output, which means your home is still benefiting from solar panels even when it’s overcast.
Where to Install Solar for Your Oklahoma City Home
Solar panels harness the most thermal energy when they are installed in an area where they get the most direct sunlight- not blocked by trees or buildings. Installing a tracking system on the solar panels is an excellent option. This allows the panels to tilt in order to follow the path of sun, increasing their thermal energy output.
On most homes in Oklahoma, the south-facing side of the home receives the most light throughout the day. However, if there is a lot of tree cover, or other cover shading your home, this may not be the best option for you. Ask a solar panel expert or contractor to help you decide upon the ideal placement for solar panels on your home. You’re not limited to your home’s roof, either. Perhaps there is a shed or other shelter near your home that receives direct sunlight- consider utilizing that roof for your solar panels.
Oklahoma Utilities Offer Solar Net-Metering
Oklahoma Corporate Commission, or the OCC, recently ensured that net-metering programs are offered by all investor owned utilities and electric co-ops to the utility systems owners- i.e. you, the homeowners. Years ago this was not the case, however, with solar power in Oklahoma rising in popularity, the OCC has adjusted its stance to make way for renewable energy sources. However, there is a system capacity limit of 100 kW or 25,000 Kwh per year, or whichever is less. Many solar power companies in Oklahoma can help you figure out how much solar energy your home could potentially produce once solar panels are installed.
Per this net-metering order, utility companies cannot charge their customers extra for signing up for net-metering. Oklahoma utility and energy companies are not required to purchase any excess energy residents’ solar panels produce. That being said, customers may still request that the excess energy produced be purchased, and if the utility company agrees to buy back the excess energy, it will be at the utility’s avoided cost rate. While not as high as many other states with similar programs, it is certainly better than it has been for Oklahoma City solar utility owners.
In Oklahoma, if there is a power outage, solar power is also disabled because the inverter that connects the solar energy to the power grid is turned off. What this means is that unfortunately, you will not be able to use stored thermal power if the power goes out. However, solar power eases the burden on Oklahoma City’s power grid, especially during On-Peak hours. This helps avoid brown outs or rolling blackouts in Oklahoma.