Solar in Utah: Opportunities and risks to know


May 28, 2021 | 3min read

There are three risks you should be aware of when going solar in Utah. One risk is not understanding the tax rebates that are available. The second risk is not understanding how solar is compensated in Utah. Lastly, you run a risk with the solar system you buy. If it breaks down and stops producing power, you could wind up with an unexpectedly high utility bill.

How the federal and Utah tax rebates for solar work

For tax rebates, both federal and state tax credits are available. To qualify and receive the federal tax credit, you must owe federal income tax. The same is similar for the Utah state tax credit where you must owe Utah state income tax to qualify. The federal tax credit is at 26% currently but it will begin to phase out after 2022. You may want to begin your solar journey as soon as possible to possibly qualify for the full 26% credit.

You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.

The risk of not understanding how solar is compensated in Utah

As of this writing, Rocky Mountain Power Utah pays you approximately $0.05969 per kilowatt-hour in the summer and $0.05639 per kilowatt-hour in the winter, which is less than what you pay for electricity in Utah. You only receive that rate for the first 400 kilowatt-hours of power that you use. After you use more than 400 kilowatt-hours, the rate you pay for power goes even higher. Because of that, there is a risk of having any savings you earn wiped out should you use more than 400 kilowatt-hours of power from the grid. 

The power company doesn’t charge you for the power you use from your solar system. Because of this, it’s a good idea to shift as much of your electricity usage to daylight hours, when your solar system is producing power. You should also plan to size your solar system to produce no more than 60% of your total usage. This way you will use almost all of the power your system produces and export as little power as possible to the grid.

If you already own a solar system that produces more than 60% of your total power consumption, you may wish to install home batteries. The batteries enable you to use more of your own power, and export less to RMP.

The  risk of peak rate power usage on a time of use plan

However, if you are on a time-of-use plan, then Rocky Mountain Power would pay you a little more than the off-peak rate, but you could get charged a lot more for the power you use during on-peak hours. For example, Rocky Mountain Power charges their on-peak rates from 1 PM to 8 PM weekdays. During the daylight hours, you would consume power produced by your system. But once the sun goes down, you would pay a rate that is much higher than you would on Rocky Mountain Power’s flat-rate plan. A time-of-use plan is a good idea only if you can shift much of your energy usage away from the hours of 1 PM to 8 PM.

The risk of a high utility bill if your system breaks down

The third risk of going solar in Utah is what happens if your solar system breaks down and you are not aware that it has stopped producing electricity. If your system stops producing electricity your home will draw all the power you use from the grid. If you aren’t aware of the system stoppage, you would only find out from your next utility bill, which would be unexpectedly higher. To avoid this risk, you would need to regularly monitor your system’s electricity production.

Freedom Forever offers a unique solar production guarantee – on TOP of your system’s standard warranty! If your system produces less power than we say it will, you can get a check to cover the difference covered under our 25-year production guarantee! Thanks to our 25-year performance guarantee, you can go solar without worry.

Ready to go solar? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.