Wyoming Solar Incentives: Rebate Cost of Solar Panels in WY, Tax Credit

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | March 18, 2024

Woman with cash on a solar panel used Wyoming solar incentives to reduce the cost of solar panels in Wyoming and net metering for residential solar panels for home installation.

Wyoming solar incentives are vital in reducing the cost of solar panels in Wyoming, especially now that governments are encouraging more and more of their citizens to adopt cleaner energy.

For a while, the state has been very dependent on coal, evident by how it produces more than 40% of the mineral in the country.

But, Wyoming also boasts of a lot of sunshine, and it should be one of the top states when it comes to solar power production. However, it is taking quite some time to achieve this, and sadly, it ranks at number 42 in matters of solar capacity, which is discouraging.

By implementing residential solar energy into your home, you can reduce your energy bills, disconnect from grid power (that isn’t always reliable) and also reduce your household carbon footprint.

Although Wyoming solar incentives are limited, you can still reduce the cost of solar panels in Wyoming by using federal tax credits. 

Solar Power in Wyoming

Wyoming is renowned for being one of the most sparsely populated states, with only less than 600,000 people.

The low population is one of the contributing factors behind the slow adoption of renewable power. However, the daily peak sun light hours in Wyoming are enough to power your home.

Map of the state of Wyoming with each county colored to show the daily peak sun hours in each Wyoming county ranging from 4.1 to 4.8 daily hours of sunlight.

Solar energy in Wyoming ranks at 42, out of all US states, with 143 Megawatts installed, which is minor considering how hard other states are working to achieve energy efficiency.

This state in the northwest is well within the solar belt and has a lot more to offer. But still, it lags behind in terms of solar power, and there are various logical explanations behind that. For one, the low population.

Although it is in the top 10 of the largest states, it has about 600,000 residents, making it sparsely populated, which is a deterrent to such projects.

Being a heavy coal producer in the country doesn’t help either. It makes more sense that the residents rely more on coal for electricity, given that it is in high supply.

If you are thinking future of solar energy in Wyoming, know that it is not a bad idea to install solar panels. Although it is taking a bit longer for people to fully embrace renewable energy, it doesn’t take away from how beneficial solar power is.

Besides, the state receives 208- 236 sunny days a year,5 of which is plenty of time for the panels to soak in the sun. To put it more in perspective, it boasts 4-6 sunlight hours a day, which is way above the national average of 4 hours.

For instance, Lander and Chayenne experience some of the sunniest days in Wyoming,6 at 236 and 233 hours, respectively, while Sheridan and Casper have some of the lowest (208 and 218 hours annually).

How Much Are Solar Panels in Wyoming: Cost of Solar Panels in Wyoming

The average cost of solar panels in Wyoming currently stands at $2.57 a watt for a typical 6kW system.

Installed solar panel in the garden.

(Image: Newpowa12)

This is great news for Wyomingites because it is cheaper for you there, unlike the national average of $3.00 per watt. You are expected to spend around $2.31-$2.82 for every watt you install.

To give you a more clear picture of what this means, you will have to part with $9,703- $11,860, which is minus the tax credit when setting up a standard 6kW solar system in your Wyoming home.3

Also note that, obviously, the average cost per watt will go down based on the size of the system you are going for. For instance, a 4kW installation will cost $2.80 per watt, while a 10kW version will roughly cost $2.46.

Although the upfront cost may seem a bit much, you will save a fortune in the long run in comparison to using grid electricity. To put it simply, over the course of 25 years, solar systems will cost you about 5.7 cents per kWh while the cost of utility is currently at 23.0 cents a kWh, a staggering difference.

This saving calculation accounts for the fact that the electricity cost will increase annually at a compounded rate of 3.5%, but the inflation may be more or less than this, but regardless of what happens to the economy, solar power is still the better way to go.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Solar Panels in Wyoming: Solar Panel Installation Cost Factors

There is no way that the cost of solar panels in Wyoming can be the same, and there are several reasons behind that.

You should answer the following questions to help determine how much your solar system will cost you, with or without Wyoming solar incentives.

You can also use a solar panel calculator to figure the amount.

How Much Energy Do You Need?

This is probably the most important question that you will likely bump into during the entire installation.

It goes without saying that a more massive system will actually hold more power and in the same light, serve more energy needs.

Currently, the state only has one solar power plant (farm), which could change, but by installing solar panels on your roof, you reduce the eco-imapct of mounting the panels on the ground.

Map showing location of solar plant in Wyoming using yellow markers and Wyoming solar panels with a US cut out showing the location of the state of Wyoming.

While a tiny home will only need a cheaper and somewhat standard setup, you will end up with a more intricate system that will cost you more, that is if you have a bigger home or otherwise need solar power for commercial purposes.

Which Solar Panels Do You Want? And How Many?

The panels are technically some of the most expensive equipment in the entire system and obviously need careful selection.

You have two choices at this point, one, go for the cheaper polycrystalline versions that are not that effective, or two, wind up with the highly efficient monocrystalline options.

Also, you should be aware that you may need more panels, which undoubtedly means that you will dig deeper into your pockets.

Which Company Are You Going For? What Is the Quality of the Installation?

Before you buy solar panels,7 note that some brands are ridiculously cheap, and it is easy to fall into the trap considering that you want to lower the cost of your panels.

A man fixing something in the solar panel using tools before they install it.

(Image: Newpowa13)

However, it is vital to note that cheap can be expensive in the long run, and you would rather buy high-quality equipment from reputable brands that you are sure will last over 25 years, that is based on their warranty claims.

How Does Solar Panel Cost Calculator Wyoming Work? How To Estimate the Cost of Solar Panels in Wyoming

There are several factors that come to play in deciding the cost of solar panels in Wyoming. Basically, you will pay more or less depending on where you live, how much you normally spend on your electric bills, and other personal details.

Solar panel cost calculators are online tools that ask you such questions and deploy needful algorithms to tailor the cost for every resident.

You should receive the cost of solar, the number of panels you need, how much you should expect to save, and other details based on the calculator’s design.

But remember, the cost calculators only give you a rough estimate, and you may still end up paying more or less when you get down to the actual process.

Wyoming Solar Panel Programs and Wyoming Solar Incentives

One of the first questions you will ask as a first-time solar owner is why are solar panels so expensive. You have to buy the required components and still pay for the installation, assuming that you are going for high quality all the way.

Luckily, Wyoming solar incentives and federal tax credits are here to ease the pain.

Before delving into the various rebate programs available in the state, it is worth mentioning that in comparison to other states, Wyoming doesn’t have any statewide solar incentives, and neither is there a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for the boosting of clean energy.

However, it is not to say that solar power in the state is not worth it. As you have already noted, the cost of solar panels in Wyoming is cheaper, and the few incentives available only make it more enticing to adopt.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

This is perhaps the biggest and most significant solar rebate program in the US. Being nationwide means that it applies to all the states in the country, not just Wyoming, but still, it is the one you will be looking forward to when hoping for relief from the high solar installation cost; why?

The program offers eligible taxpayers a tax credit of 30% out of the total solar cost, pretty enticing, right?

In simpler terms, this means that if you install your system at any time before the completion of 2032, you get a tax credit of 30% which will be based on how much you spent on the purchasing of the equipment, labor, permitting, and any other related costs.

For a closer look, imagine that you parted with $20,000 when installing solar power; your tax credit will stand at 30% of the amount, which is $6,000,1
which is a pretty huge relief for any first-time solar owner.

However, the federal tax credit will reduce to 26% by the beginning of 2033,8 so the best time to get on it is now.

Net Metering

You get two options as a solar power homeowner; you can use your power alone, day and night, or go for net metering, where you link to the closest grid power in your area.

Net metering is the process where you can connect to a utility grid and, in return, get credits when your panels produce more electricity than you can use.

Instead of letting the surplus go to waste, you can convert them to credits that you can, in turn, use to reduce the cost of your utility when you need power back from your utility provider’s grid.

Wyomingites receive the rolled-over credits monthly and every year, the utility companies are obligated to buy the credits at a particular rate based on the utility.

The providers can determine the cost of the credits; while some give the full rate, others pay lower amounts.

Alternatively, you can also disconnect from net metering, but this usually means that you will have to invest in a battery to help store the surplus and provide power to your home at night and on cloudy or rainy days.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Another nationwide incentive that you can take full advantage of is REAP. This program targets agricultural producers and rural businesses, giving them grants and loans to make the renewable energy dream a reality.

Here, you can save as much as 80% of the project in the form of loans or 40% off the installation as grants.

You will then have to negotiate the interest of the loan with the lender or take a fixed grant which can vary from $2,500 to a whopping $1 million.

Local Wyoming Solar Incentives

Unfortunately, Wyoming doesn’t offer any statewide rebate programs, but local solar power installers have stepped up to provide local rebates.

These facilities vary based on where you live, and if you are lucky, you may end up with rebates or loans for accepting to convert to renewable energy.

You can always check with your local utility provider or solar company to see whether they offer any services of the sort.

Are There Rebates for Solar Panels in Wyoming: Wyoming Solar Incentives

There are currently no statewide Wyoming rebates for solar energy, which also goes to show why the state is one of the slowest in terms of conversion rates.

You are only certain of the state’s federal tax credits, which is the most lucrative of them all, REAP that is tailored to rural settings, net metering programs, and if lucky, local incentives from companies in the region.

A big blow to Wyomingites is the fact that the state doesn’t have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS),9 which is a vital regulation that helps in massive conversion.

This regulation requires utility companies to increase their reliance on renewable energy; otherwise, they have to pay hefty fines.

All you can do at this point is to take advantage of the few available incentives, which require just a little paperwork.

Besides, an advantage is that the state lacks interconnection standards that make net metering easier and faster, which is a huge bonus for those wanting to invest in solar power.4

What To Know About Wyoming Solar Tax Credit

Solar rebates from the government seem to be the game changer when it comes to solar power adoption in Wyoming. The 30% tax credit comes as a relief to many first-time solar owners who would jump at the thought of having their installation cost reduced significantly.10

This credit amount will apply to the amount of income taxes you owe during the year that you install your solar panels. Also, if the amount cannot cover that year’s credit, the remaining amount can roll over to the next year or up to five years.

A pressing concern is now how does the solar tax credit work if I don’t owe taxes? Sadly, this system is carefully tailored to work hand in hand with your tax liability.

Therefore, it is intended to solely serve the tax-paying citizens of the country and, of course, in this case, the residents of Wyoming.

How To Claim Federal Solar Tax Credit in Wyoming

The federal energy credits apply to virtually every new solar panel installer in the country. If you are a newbie and are applying for the first time, it may seem tricky and pretty overwhelming.

Before you fret, you will be glad that all it takes is a few simple steps and a few minutes to get it done. But still, you don’t have to struggle with it if it proves to be a pain; you can always seek expert help.

For starters, the first step is to print Form 5695 when you are filing your taxes; but make sure that you are doing it in the same year that you installed the new solar system.

After that, you will then accurately fill it out using the details that only the solar company that did the job will disclose and other relevant information about your specific system. When all is said and done, you or your accountant can now file the form alongside your taxes, and you are all set.

Do Free Solar Panels Wyoming Exist Given the Cost of Solar Panels in Wyoming?

Are you searching for how to get solar panels for free in Wyoming? To save you the trouble, the clear answer is no. There is no way to get solar panels for free from the government or any solar company in the country.

Anything that is marketed as a free solar panel is actually a solar lease or a Power Purchase Agreement where you sign to have the installation for free from the company, but you will have to pay monthly for the service.

It is kind of like renting out the system or having the solar company as your utility provider.

Benefits of Solar Panels for Home in Wyoming

It is clear by now that solar power is cleaner than coal and all other fossil fuels.

The carbon footprint solar panels is lower in comparison to oil and gas, but the mining, manufacture and disposal of the panels does contribute to a large carbon footprint. The batteries and energy storage elements also have a significant carbon footprint.

Pie chart showing Wyoming renewable energy consumption including Wyoming wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy and solar energy in the state of Wyoming for 2022.

The only problem with solar panels in Wyoming is their disposal. Most of the waste ends up in landfills, and it is expensive to safely and effectively recycle the remaining ones.

The state is coming up with ways to safely dispose of the panels, taking into account the devastating effects that disposing of the chemicals can have on the planet.

Also, note that solar power has an advantage on your home’s value. If you are asking how much does solar increase home value, you will be impressed that the rate can be as much as 4.1%, which gives you an added advantage in the real estate market.

By going all in when it comes to solar power, Wyoming can reduce its coal usage and other power sources.11

Is Wyoming Solar Panel Cost Worth It?

The best part about the cost of solar panels in Wyoming, or any other state, is that it is worth it as long as you put some factors into consideration.

Image of installed solar panels beside the building during a cloudy day.

(Image: Usees Waheed14)

It all depends on your perspective. If you are looking at it in terms of savings, you will realize that you will save a fortune by converting to renewable energy.

On the other hand, if you are looking at it from a climate justice point of view and making the world a better place, it is obvious that solar panels are still worth every cent.

Using it takes the pressure off fossil fuels, and by so doing, there will be less mining, and the environment can take a breather from all the activities.

Besides, you will notice that the cost of solar panels in Wyoming is significantly lower than in many states, which should actually be one of its selling points.

What Is the Near Future of Wyoming Solar Incentives?

At the moment, there is not a lot of push for Wyoming to bring more incentives to its residents. To make it even worse, the market is pretty unfavorable no thanks to its reputation as one of the few states without RPS goals.

But what does this mean for the future of solar energy in Wyoming? Simple, the rate of conversion to renewable energy will be slow, as it is presently.

You may be wondering, can Wyoming switch to solar and wind energy any time soon? Bad news.

You will have to wait a little bit longer for that unless the state implements RPS. This will be the sudden push that utilities need to take renewable energy more seriously.

In addition to that, it will pave the way for more local incentives to come up, which will be a huge bump in lowering the cost of solar panels in Wyoming.2

Wyoming is undoubtedly one of the states with the highest number of sunny days in the country and should basically be boasting one of the highest solar power conversion rates.

Sadly, that is not happening, and there are a number of reasons to back that up, from the massive rate of coal mining to the few available solar incentives.

As a Wyomingite, you only have a few options to work with when it comes to incentives. You have to shift all your focus to the federal tax, net metering, REAP, and a few local rebate programs.

By understanding Wyoming solar incentives and federal tax credits to reduce the cost of solar panels in Wyoming, you can disconnect from the grid and lower your carbon footprint at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wyoming Solar Incentives

What Is the Cost of Solar Panels in Wyoming?

The average cost of a typical 6kW solar system will cost anything between $2.31-$2.82 or an average of $2.57 per watt. However, this rate can go up or down based on the size of the installation, the quality of the materials, the installer’s rates, and several other factors.

Are Wyoming Solar Panels Cheaper?

The solar panels in Wyoming in comparison to other states, are cheaper, at an average of $2.57 against the nationwide average of $3.00 per watt. This makes the state one of the best places to install residential solar panels because the cost is more affordable.

What Are the Available Wyoming Solar Incentives?

Wyoming may not have a state-dedicated solar incentive, but as a first-time solar system owner, you are eligible for the federal tax credit at 30% of the total installation cost. You can also enjoy the cost-saving net metering programs, REAP for rural installations, and other local incentives from utilities near you.

Will Wyoming Increase the Number of Solar Incentives in the Next Year?

Unfortunately, Wyoming doesn’t currently have plans to increase the number of incentives; this hugely affects the solar market. For now, you will only have to make full use of the federal tax credits, REAP, net metering, and other local incentives.


References

1SolarReviews. (2023). Wyoming solar rebates and tax credits calculator. SolarReviews. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.solarreviews.com/solar-incentives/wyoming>

2Bhor, A. (2023, May 16). Wyoming Solar Incentives (Rebates, Tax Credits & More in 2023). EcoWatch. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.ecowatch.com/solar/incentives/wy>

3SolarReviews. (2023). How much will solar panels cost to install on your specific home in 2022?. SolarReviews. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.solarreviews.com/solar-panel-cost/wyoming>

4Solar Action Alliance. Wyoming Solar Panels: Why Solar Energy Is Now Super Cheap in Wyoming. Solar Action Alliance. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://solaractionalliance.org/solar-panel-installation/wyoming/>

5DASolar. (2023). Wyoming – Energy Tax Credit, Solar Rebates And Incentives. DASolar. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.dasolar.com/energytaxcredit-rebates-grants/wyoming/>

6Stalnaker, D. (2014, April 10). Sunny Days. UA NEWS CENTER. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://news.ua.edu/2014/04/sunny-days/>

7City Of Glendale California. (2023). Know Before You Buy. Glendale CALIFORNIA. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/glendale-water-and-power/solar-education/know-before-you-buy>

8Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics. Office of ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLE ENERGY. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/homeowners-guide-federal-tax-credit-solar-photovoltaics>

9National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2023). Renewable Portfolio Standards. NREL Transforming Energy. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.nrel.gov/state-local-tribal/basics-portfolio-standards.html>

10IRS. (2023, April 27). Residential Clean Energy Credit. IRS. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/residential-clean-energy-credit>

11U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2023, May 18). WYOMING State Profile and Energy Estimates. EIA. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from <https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=WY>

12Photo by Newpowa. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/Y-sU9vO-73I>

13Photo by Newpowa. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/5ViMSDdjwB4>

14Photo by Usees Waheed. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/MwrzuaGyZ6A>