What it costs

Our program negotiated a tiered and discounted pricing system that is described in the table below. Note that the rows represent the size of your individual system and the columns represent the final tier of contracted solar capacity that our program achieves before the August 15 deadline.

System size (kW) Tier 1 (< 50 kW) Tier 2 (50-100 kW) Tier 3 (100-200 kW) Tier 4 (200 + kW)
3 – 3.99 $4.60 $4.10 $3.85 $3.70
4 – 4.99 $4.10 $3.90 $3.75 $3.60
5 – 6.99 $4.00 $3.80 $3.65 $3.50
7 + $3.90 $3.70 $3.55 $3.40

The prices above represent base pricing and do not include any additional adders. Your system may be more expensive if you upgrade to American-made panels, have a steep or unusual roof, ground-mount your system, use specialized equipment, add battery storage, require a wiring update, or need to move vent pipes on your roof.

System size (kW) Tier 1 (< 50 kW)
10-19 $2.95
20-29 $2.85
30-39 $2.75
40-49 $2.70
50-100 $2.65

After you fill out the Assessment Form, we will look at your information to see if solar can save you money. Solar will make the most financial sense, if you:

  • have a suitable rooftop for solar
  • have tax liability to take advantage of the tax incentives
  • spend at least $60-$80 per month on electricity
  • have cash or are able to finance your system with equity in your home

Most solar systems are connected to the grid using an arrangement called net metering. Nine times out of ten this arrangement makes the most financial sense for a homeowner because it allows you to send the excess power that your panels produce back onto the grid. In exchange you receive a credit that you can apply towards later electricity usage. The utility charges customers only for the “net” power that they consume.  In this arrangement, you don’t need any batteries for your solar system.

Idaho Power offers a great net metering program to its customers. Your installer will advise you on this and handle all of the necessary paperwork and fees to switch you over. Here’s how the process works:

  • Your installer will fill out an Application for you and pay a $100 fee
  • Idaho Power will conduct a feasibility review within 7 days of receiving your application
  • After your system is installed, your installer will submit a System Verification Form and a state electrical inspection will be conducted within 10 days of receipt
  • Idaho Power will conduct a final inspection and install a new meter at your site

For more information on Idaho Net-Metering look here.

Yes. Homeowners can choose to sell all of their solar power back to Idaho Power, however, it rarely makes financial sense. Your installer will help you figure out which option is best for you.

A taxpayer can get up to 30% of the final cost of their system back through the federal tax credit.

Go here for the nitty-gritty. In the meantime, here’s a summary:

-Federal personal income tax credit = 30%

-No cap on PV or thermal systems

-Excess credit may be carried over to the next tax year

-Credit is reported on Form 5695

The state of Idaho offers an additional incentive called the Energy Tax Deduction. This allows taxpayers an income tax deduction of 40% of the total cost of a solar system installation. Taxpayers can apply this 40% deduction in the year in which the system is installed and can also deduct 20% of the cost each year for three years thereafter.

For example, if your PV system cost $20,000 you would be able deduct $5,000 from your income the first year, and further deduct $4,000 for the next three years. Shielding $17,000 of your hard earned income from taxation. Here’s a summary:

-No cap on PV or Solar Thermal systems

-Both principal and second homes qualify

-Excess credit may be carried over to next tax year

Again, go here for all the details, and apply here.

Business owners can recover as much as 60% of the total cost of their solar system back through the following incentives:

-Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (up to 30%)

-Federal and state depreciation benefit (up to 40%)

For all the details go here and for the application go here.

The typical payback for a commercial solar system is 6-10 years.

Yes. Farms and rural small businesses may also qualify for a 25% grant from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Your installer will help you determine if you qualify for this.

The deadline to apply for this grant is in April. There is some initial paperwork, but no ongoing or annual paperwork after that. If you are approved for this grant you will receive a check in the mail within 4 weeks.

Purchasing your system with cash is the cheapest way to purchase solar. However, homeowners may also choose to finance their system and spread the up-front cost over time. There are two ways that a homeowner can finance a solar system in Idaho, and your installer can help you figure out which option makes the most sense for you. The two options are:

  1. A low-interest loan from the Idaho State Energy Loan Program
  2. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) through your bank

Please see the next two questions for more information on Idaho’s State Energy Loan program and a HELOC.

The Idaho State Energy Loan Program provides a low and fixed interest rate for renewable energy projects in Idaho. Applications are evaluated using specific project specifications and a credit analysis. Here are the details of this program:

-4% fixed interest rate

-5 Year Loan Repayment

-Residential Loans up to $15,000

-Commercial Loans up to $100,000

Your installer will help you navigate this option. To find out more about this program go here.

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a great way to finance a solar project and can take place through almost any lending institution. Interest rates are tied to the prime interest rate and are variable, ranging from 4 – 9%. Your specific rate will depend on your credit score, loan-to-value ratio, and the term of the loan. Generally, HELOCs have no (or very low) origination fees, closing costs, and penalties.

To qualify for a HELOC, a homeowner must have equity in their home and can typically borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of the home.

A nonprofit may purchase solar the same way as anybody else, but is not eligible for the federal tax credit.

In addition to purchasing directly or financing with a commercial solar loan, a nonprofit may fundraise and use donations to purchase solar. Solarize Blaine will assist any nonprofit with fundraising or grant efforts to purchase solar.