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.
Solar Power in Wyoming
Home of Old Faithful, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Jackson Hole, as well as housing stores of natural mineral deposits, Wyomingites are used to counting their state’s vast natural resources as an important part of their heritage. And now, residents here can help preserve their state’s natural beauty in a brand new way: by purchasing and installing solar power for their homes.
In Wyoming, solar energy is just beginning to take off. However, with the price of solar panels becoming more affordable for residents all across the U.S., solar is becoming a real contender for Americans’ energy dollars in the Cowboy State and the U.S. as a whole. When you choose to install solar panels in your Wyoming home, you also have the chance to participate in state and national incentives that can help mitigate costs from the solar equipment you purchase. To get you started, here is a guideline to solar energy in your state—its history, incentives, and productivity—that will help you understand the industry in Wyoming.
Solar Productivity in Wyoming
Beautiful photographic mountains, pristine lakes, and rocky, craggy spires give Wyoming some seriously diverse terrain. That varied topography means that average temperatures here demonstrate quite a wide range, and that has an effect on the productivity of its solar installations. Throughout the state, you can expect productivity levels between 4 to 4.5 kilowatt hours in the mountainous northwest to up to 6 kilowatt hours in the southwest. However, when the National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined the overall average solar productivity of all fifty states, it found that the sun intensity levels of all of Wyoming ranked it seventh in the nation. With an average UV index level of 0.96, solar energy systems all throughout the state show great promise for high generation numbers. That makes it a great state, environmentally-speaking, to invest in a residential solar installation in your home.
Popularity of Solar in Wyoming
There were only 330 kilowatts of solar power installed in Wyoming in 2015, at least according to industry estimates, which is a fairly low number overall. However, despite those small numbers, solar power is on the rise in the area. Those 330 kilowatts of capacity represent an 89 percent increase in solar since 2014. The state’s total 1.5 megawatts of solar power is enough to power 220 homes, ranking it 46th in the nation for solar energy. That means there’s plenty of room for solar power to grow in Wyoming, and the industry is already on its way.
Average Wyoming Residential Electricity Use and Cost
It may not always feel like it, but compared to residents in many other states, Wyoming households are getting a pretty good deal on energy—in 2014, the average price per kilowatt hour here was 10.5 cents, almost 2 cents less than the national average. That added up to a monthly bill of around $90.60 for the average household during that year, significantly lower than many other states in the U.S. Homeowners here are also conscious of their energy consumption, using almost 100 kilowatt hours, on average, less than the U.S. average. As you know if you live in the Cowboy State, there are many rural homes in the area, households located off local natural gas pipelines. That necessitates the use of alternative power sources, like electricity independence, that positions this state perfectly for a switch to solar power.
Installing Solar in Wyoming
There are very few solar installers working in Wyoming. By some estimates, in fact, there may be just one company that can get the job done. However, area electricians may be willing to do the job, and as long as their work is consistent with Wyoming interconnection standards, those contractors should be sufficient. There is no contractor licensing requirement for solar installations in the state. Furthermore, Wyoming households do not have the option of purchasing and installing their solar equipment with large national chains like SolarCity, etc—these companies are not in operation in the state, making alternative purchasing strategies like solar leases more difficult to come by. That means you may want to consult with your bank or with your equipment manufacturer to obtain financing for solar products.
Wyoming State Solar Support
Wyoming’s notoriety as one of the top coal-producing states in the union has given many lawmakers pause when considering renewable energy strategies. In fact, Wyoming is one of several states that has not enforced a renewable energy portfolio standard—a set of goals laying out the state’s’ renewable energy adoption in the near future.
However, solar growth in areas outside the Cowboy State could be a big predictor for its energy future. Texas, which purchased 57 million tons of coal from Wyoming in 2014, is positioned to make a huge transition to solar energy over the next few years, meaning coal purchasing may go down in tandem. Coal buying from the Lone Star State is already down 16 percent in Wyoming since 2007, a trend that may continue as solar gains popularity.
That may put pressure on local lawmakers to search for alternative means of buoying the state’s energy portfolio. And what with Wyoming’s massive solar potential, photovoltaics might just be the way to go. All across the U.S., panel prices are lowering, making solar a much more affordable option for individual homeowners—and leaders would be wise to recognize the technology’s potential, instead of fighting it.
State Wyoming Solar Incentives
Although Wyoming does not support a massive network of state incentives for homeowners opting to install solar energy systems in their homes, it does have one program that can help solar residents save significantly on their energy bills.
Net Metering: Like most U.S. states, Wyoming has established a net metering policy that requires utilities to credit solar-producing households for excess power that they return to the grid. Credits can be rolled over and applied to the homeowner’s next month energy bill. The rate of that credit can be determined by the utility, so check with your local provider for the details of its program.
Additionally, when you install solar power in your Wyoming home, you’re eligible for a generous national rebate as well. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a federal tax incentive that returns solar homeowners up to 30 percent of the costs of their system—as long as said system is powerful enough to cover over half of the home’s energy consumption. To apply for the rebate, complete IRS form 5695 along with your federal income taxes.
Wyoming’s Local Solar Incentives
There are few local incentives on offer in Wyoming, but there is one utility operating in the area that offers its customers a rebate towards the purchase of solar energy heating systems. Here are the details of that program:
Questar Gas Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs: Questar Gas offers its residents a rebate for installing energy-efficient equipment, including qualifying solar hot water heating and solar pool heaters. The rebate is worth $750 for solar water heating systems. Systems must be rated SRCC OG-300 for solar water heaters, and SRCC OG-100 for solar pool heaters.