Solar energy to power the Magic City

The state of solar in Billings

With 205 sunny days per year and 83% of its rooftops solar viable,* clean energy adoption in Billings is on the rise. Based on reports from the Environment America Research & Policy Center, the city more than doubled its installed solar capacity per capita between 2018 and 2019, bringing up its nationwide rank an impressive seven points, from 59th to 52nd.

How much solar energy does Billings produce?

Billings has a total installed solar capacity of 1.16 MW, equating to around 10.54 Watts per capita. However, Billings’ solar capacity is about to get a boost. The 20 MW Meadowlark Solar project is set to go online in October 2021, producing enough electricity to power 4,900 homes.* A second 80 MW solar farm, MTSun, is also in the works near Billings and is expected to be operational around July 2022.*

What are the advantages of going solar in Billings?

With electricity rates in Billings sitting about 15% higher than the state average, the potential for electricity cost savings is among the most significant benefits of going solar.* A 5 kW solar system could save you as much as $33,000 over 20 years of use, potentially paying for itself within 11 to 12 years.*

The return on investment for solar installation is also higher than that of most other property upgrades. According to the online real estate site Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more on average.* Even better, up to $20,000 of the value your solar system adds to your home is exempt from your property taxes for the first ten years of use.

Grid independence is another advantage of going solar. A solar system with a backup battery will provide power during blackouts and shield you from rising electricity rates in the future. Montana has the second-highest per capita energy consumption rate in the U.S., and residential electricity rates are on the rise, with a total increase of nearly 4.5% in the last five years.

Last but not least, solar is a clean energy source that is freely available, unlike fossil fuels. A solar system won’t generate harmful greenhouse gas emissions, reducing your households' carbon footprint and helping to prevent climate change.

How much does solar cost in Billings?billings

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:

  • Household's energy needs

  • Quality of the solar system's panels and parts

  • Roof space

  • Weather

  • Angle of the roof

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.* In Billings, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system is $15,650, or in other words, $3.13 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

The cost of solar in Montana has dropped 43% over the last five years,* and various rebates and incentives are available to further reduce solar installation costs. The federal solar investment income tax credit (ITC), in particular, can have a significant impact.

Currently, the ITC is 26% of your solar PV system's cost, including installation, permitting, and equipment.* However, note that you must purchase rather than lease your system to claim this tax credit. Montana also offers a 100% residential alternative energy system state income tax credit of up to:

  • $500 for individuals

  • $1,000 for households with two or more taxpayers

Additionally, under Montana state law, all investor-owned utilities in the state must offer net metering. With this billing mechanism, you can export your system’s excess electricity to the grid in exchange for a credit on your bill that can be used in times of low production.*

What's the best way to go solar in Billings?

Every solar PV system is unique in terms of quality, capacity, appearance, and durability. The performance and longevity of your system will vary based on the solar provider you choose.

The best solar system for your home will depend on various factors, including your household's energy needs, budget, and available roof space. A reputable solar installer can help you determine the correct solar system specifications for your electricity production goals.

At SunPower, we’ve served as an industry leader for over 35 years and are happy to assist you in going solar. If you’re ready to get started, request a consultation, and we’ll follow up with a quick call to schedule a time. You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Billings?

SunPower is the top commercial solar provider in the U.S.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Best Places. Climate in Billings, MT. July 2021. Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).
  • *. Q2 News. Billings solar developer talks vision, jobs and the future of energy in Montana. July 2019.
  • *. PV Magazine. Greenbacker buys one of Montana’s largest solar projects. May 2021.
  • *. Utilities Local. Billings, MT Utilities: Electricity, Gas & Solar. July 2021.
  • *. EnergySage. Solar Panels in Billings, MT. July 2021.
  • *. Zillow. Homes With Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More. April 2019.
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. Solar Energy Industries Association. Montana Solar. Q1 2021.
  • *. Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood Mackenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020
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