Thinking about switching to Solar energy? Now’s the time! With new technology constantly emerging, awesome incentives, creative financing options, and tons of qualified contractors in your area of Utah, going solar has never been easier. We cover the best solar companies in Utah based on their ratings, service, and cost structures.
Incentives, and More Incentives in Utah for Solar
In addition to the 26% federal tax credit, Utah residents also enjoy a 25% state tax credit of up to $1,600! These are dollar-to-dollar credits that come directly off your tax bill, as opposed to just deductions. A deduction lowers your tax liability, a credit absorbs it. This means that to anyone with income tax liability, this is real money. Enticing, right?
No-Money-Down Options Galore
No tax liability? No problem! Many solar companies offer alternatives to purchasing the system, like a lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (or PPA). By leasing the equipment, you can get a low monthly payment right off the bat. The leasing company gets to keep the tax credits, so you’re effectively making payments on the net investment, instead of the upfront cost of installation.
Right about here is where you’ll start asking yourself “what if I want to keep the credits, own the equipment myself, but I don’t want to come up with the cash to purchase it all upfront?” The solar industry has you covered there, too! With plenty of different financing options available these days, owning your own clean energy is more attainable than ever.
A few financing ideas you might want to look into include:
- Personal, or Signature Loans from your local bank or credit union
- Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit (HELOC)
- Service Financing, or Deferred Interest Loans – the most common being GreenSky or Synchrony
- Property Accessed Clean Energy Loans (PACE Loans)
Net Metering in Utah
How your local utility bills solar customers might be the most important question to ask. Your energy’s worth is determined entirely by the value of the energy it is replacing. (Fiscally speaking, of course. The value of creating a more sustainable planet for our children to inherit has nothing to do with inflation rates or cost per watt.)
Many of the United States’ utility companies are transitioning to a time-of-use based billing structure. That means that the cost of the energy you buy from them varies depending on what time of the day you use it. For solar customers, that also means that the value of your energy varies depending on what time of day it is being generated. A traditional Net-Metered billing structure allows solar customers to settle up once a year on the net difference between what has been generated and what has been used. In that traditional sense, you could liken the utility company to a giant battery that you would “charge” by over-producing in the summer and “discharge” in the winter when your house uses more energy than your system produces.
In a time-of-use billing structure, solar customers are using their utility companies less like a battery and more like a bank account that you feed at one set cost, and you pull from at a different cost that is determined by the time of the day, and the time of the year.
Rocky Mountain Power serves most of the state of Utah and is leading the way in renewable energy billing structures. They’ve got one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective billing structures available for solar customers. If you happen to live in one of their serviceable areas, lucky you! Your energy will be worth more than if your utility company offered a less inclusive net metering agreement, or – Gulp – no net metering at all.
Best Solar Companies in Utah: Top Picks
With a good billing structure and some great government incentives, switching to renewable energy just makes sense. Installing solar panels helps reduce your carbon footprint, so it’s good for the environment. The solar industry employs the people in your own community, so it’s good for your local economy. And of course, it saves you money! So it’s good for you and your family.
All in all, going solar is a no-brainer. However, many homeowners get overwhelmed when they start in on the researching phase. Finding the right company to work with is step number one.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of our favorites to help you get started.
Utah Solar Company Pick Number One: Neerings Solar Experts. These guys are just what you’re looking for. If you aren’t in the Park City area, try to find a company that checks all of the same boxes:
- A+ Rating with Better Business Bureau.
- They’ve been in business for a really long time – since 1935!
- They have other streams of revenue supporting your solar warranty. Solar, by nature, is a pretty volatile market. It heavily depends on government subsidies and utility commissioners’ policies. Heating, air conditioning, and plumbing are far on the other side of the spectrum – they are among the most stable markets in the world. A solar company with one foot set safely in the service industry is far less likely to go out of business before your solar warranties expire.
- Local, family owned and operated companies tend to have better customer service than the big-box corporate companies – they are your neighbors.
Greenify Energy Savers is a close second place to Neerings. While they don’t check all of the same boxes, they hit on something extremely important: Reduce Before You Produce. Looking at the home as a system and reducing your energy use as much as you can before you install your system is a fantastic way to increase your return-on-investment. Plus, a more energy efficient home is efficient all year long – not just while the sun is shining. Kudos, Greenify Energy Savers, for seeing the whole picture!
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- In business since 2012
- Full-Spectrum Energy Efficiency Services – including energy audits by certified professionals.
- Multiple streams of revenue, same sustainable concept.
Intermountain Wind and Solar is also hitting a key concept that is growing rapidly in today’s climate: Self-Sufficiency. Generating your own electricity is step number one – storing that energy yourself is the next level. These guys are ahead of the curve.
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- In business since 2008
- Specialize in self-sufficiency, also offering back-up generators and batteries.
- Large client base, ample experience, and multiple locations suggest a lower chance of going out of business before your warranties expire.
Everyone seems to be raving about Blue Raven Solar. Especially for being as big as they are, their online reviews are impressive. They must be doing something right!
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- In business since 2014
- Spanning multiple different states with several locations gives the company more financial stability – just be sure that your representative can easily explain how the billing and incentives work with your specific utility company.
RoofTek earns our 5th place seat for a few reasons. The most likely issue you’ll have when installing solar panels on your roof is your roof. Having an elite roofer doing the installation reduces the chances of an issue later. Installing your panels at the same time as a new roof is the easiest way to get a nice solid seal on the stanchions (the part of the racking system that actually attaches to the rafters in the roof).
Plus – and this may be a huge bonus – some CPAs and Tax Advisors consider the roof an essential part of the install and will include it as part of the cost to install when filing for your tax credits. That may be even easier to justify if the same company doing your solar is doing your roof. Absolutely check with your own CPA or Tax Advisor regarding all credits, benefits, and deductions – roof or no roof.
- A+ Rating with the BBB
- In business since 2016. This is the only reason they didn’t come in higher on the list. Give them another few years in business and we’ll no doubt see them climb to the top of the charts.
- They’re Roofers! That gives them a second, more stable stream of revenue and reduces the risk of going out of business due to the ebbs and flows of the solar industry. A roofer is less likely to make a roof-related mistake during install, and more likely to be able to identify it quickly if there is an issue. A roofer can do the solar install at the same time as a roof replacement, which decreases the likelihood of roof-related issues and may have some huge tax benefits.
Whoever you choose to go solar with should have a valid license, be bonded and insured, and be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Warranties are only ever as strong as the company backing them – so try to choose a company that is least likely to go out of business and take your warranty with them.
Schedule consultations with a few different companies. The rule of threes is a good guideline, but ultimately follow your own intuition and common sense. If after the third quote you don’t feel like you’ve found the right one, keep going! Contrarily, if the first or second company you meet with sends a qualified professional Solar Advisor (and not just a good salesman) who can thoroughly explain your billing structure, offers the type of equipment you’re looking for, and can help get you the right loan or lease to fit your needs – do it! The sooner you do, the more you’ll save.