What are the risks of going solar in Utah
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.
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
Updated: On 3 November 2020 the Utah PSC lowered the export rate paid by Rocky Mountain power to summer rate of 5.969 cents/kWh and a winter rate of 5.639 cents/kWh.
As of this writing, Rocky Mountain Power Utah pays you approximately $0.05369 per kilowatt-hour, 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, that is unless your system was built by Freedom Forever.
We guarantee that your solar power system will meet its promised production amount for 25 years. For those 25 years, we will monitor your system and if we detect any shortfall in performance, we’ll contact you and send someone out to fix it. Freedom Forever guarantees that your solar system will produce the electricity promised in your contract with us. We will even pay you for any shortfall resulting from our fault. The amount of compensation you receive will be listed in your contract with us. Thanks to our 25-year performance guarantee, you can go solar without worrying about what would happen if your system stops producing electricity.