Montana ranks #41 in America for savings from installing solar panels on your home

Solar power in Montana

Last fact checked on July 29, 2019 by Catherine Lane

Going solar in Montana is a great investment for your home. State law requires privately-owned utilities to offer full retail net metering to their customers. Montana also has a personal tax credit that residents can claim when they install a renewable energy system on their property. 

Full net metering, the state tax credit, and the 30% federal tax credit make going solar an excellent choice for Montana homeowners.


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Solar power in Montana

Montana solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

8 Years 8 Months

Average payback time


Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


levelized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5.56kW system

This 5.56kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in Montana is $86, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Solar companies in Montana that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace


Best solar offers currently available in Montana

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How much do solar panels cost in Montana

$2.62 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$2.87 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

N/A cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Montana

The advantage of installing solar panels in Montana is the state-mandated net metering requirement. Privately owned utilities must offer kilowatt hour (kWh) credits for excess energy generated by solar systems. The state also offers a tax credit to homeowners who install renewable energy systems. This tax credit is capped at $500. Montana law also offers property tax exemptions for solar energy systems. 

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels in Montana is that there is very little in the way of utility-based rebates. Also, Montana does not receive as much sunshine as other states so a solar system here will produce less than a system in a sunnier state, like Arizona. 

However, the available state-based incentives combined with the federal tax credit more than make up for what the state lacks in sunshine. With the incentives that are currently available, now is the best time to go solar in Montana!

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you can expect when installing solar panels for your home.

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Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so while solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.


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How much electricity will solar panels produce in Montana

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Helena area solar panels installed on a south facing 30 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,358kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your zipcode below.


See how much electricity your solar panels could produce

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits, and other solar incentives are available in Montana?

Net metering in Montana

Solar, by its nature, generates the most power during the middle of the day when most people are at work or school and little power is being used in the home. The net metering policy in Montana mandates that for every surplus kWh generated by solar (like the excess energy your system creates during the day) utilities must provide a credit that is equal to the full retail rate of electricity that will be applied to future bills to offset costs. However, at the end of the annual billing cycle, any excess credits on your bill will expire without compensation. 



Residential Alternative Energy System tax credit

Montana offers residents a tax credit when they install a renewable energy system on their property. The tax credit is equal to 100% of the costs, up to $500. If there are two taxpayers living in a household, the two can file jointly for a $1,000 tax credit. The credit is then applied to the homeowner’s income taxes. This is a great opportunity to save on the installation of a solar system. 



Property tax exemption

Montana homeowners save big on their property taxes when they install residential solar panels. Installing a solar system on one’s property would usually cause an increase in property taxes, however, the property tax exemption excludes 100% of the assessed costs associated with the solar system from the homeowner’s property taxes. The exemption lasts for 10 years. 


Montana Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Montana we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in Montana using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Montana solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.


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Going solar in Montana

Check out all of the ways energy providers of Montana can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Net Metering State Net Metering
Residential Alternative Energy System Tax Credit State Personal Tax Credit
Renewable Energy Systems Exemption State Property Tax Incentive
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.