Why is Idaho one of the Nations’ Fastest per Capita Growing Solar Markets in the US?

  1. Idaho’s ranked 6th in the country for solar sun radiance with an average of 281 sunny days per year! Most people would not guess that fact as we often have some pretty rough winter months where solar systems are admittedly limited on what they can produce. However, Idaho, as you know, has very long summer days where solar systems are producing oftentimes past 10 pm, which makes up for lower production points in the winter. We also all know that Idaho has 4 true seasons and historically power bills in our shoulder months where we are not relying on AC/Heat but rather using our mild outdoor temperatures are usually the lowest power usage months of the year. Coincidentally solar works better in mild temperature climates thus these months are also very great producing months for any solar system.

  2. Solar simply makes great financial sense for any household. Solar component prices have plummeted over the last 10 years alongside the evolution of many great zero down financing options, making solar a viable option for nearly any household. Solar creates the highest rate of return on investment vs. any other investment option we have as consumers and also does that without any risk or downside as the sun will always shine. Solar averages above a 15% ROI on your money in a very conservative estimate and has a built-in increase every time the utility raises rates and fees on your power bill. This concept is very simple and is best depicted in the graph below:

    Idaho fastest growing solar market graph of utility charges vs solar investment

  3. As you can see the average Idaho Power customer is paying just over $0.10/KWH today when all the junk fees are appropriately factored into the equation as the Energy Efficiency Services and the Power Cost Adjustment are most often where the rate increase is accounted for, not always on the base rate for power charges. The reason solar is still an expensive endeavor is a consumer is purchasing at minimum their next 25 years’ worth of power production in one transaction.

    When this happens the amortized cost per KWH is roughly 50% less from day one, and the quicker utility rates rise from the time a solar system is turned on the faster that client is paid back his/her investment. All components are warrantied for 25 years with an expected production life of 40-50 years so an 8-10 year payback sounds like a long time until you consider that once it's paid off you don’t have any power expenses at your home for 20+ years, other than your meter fee which is currently $5/month with Idaho Power. Anyone reading this has made the financial decision to purchase their home vs. renting it, and most also purchase cars and other vehicles vs. leasing them. Electricity being the largest month to month recurring expense in any Idaho home should not be any different. Why rent it when you can own it for much less expensive long term vs. the utility?

  4. Valuable Tax Credits have been the primary driver of solar growth across the nation. There simply is no other investment that can you make into your home that the government will pay 26% of the total costs. This tax credit can be used to avoid owed IRS federal tax liability dollar for dollar. It has a 5-year carryforward structure where clients can use the entire credit amount in any given tax year within that 5-year period. This is a great way to minimize or eliminate tax liability and gives more flexibility in how you can accelerate the payoff of any financing used for the solar project.

  5. Another common question asked here in the local Idaho solar market is "will adding converting to solar increase the value of my home?” The simple answer to this is ABSOLUTELY! The National Association of Realtors released a study clear back in 2015 which indicated that homes with solar on average were selling for 17% higher value and experienced a 20% faster sales cycle vs. comparable homes without solar. We understand that is a national average and Idaho usually lags a bit behind, however consistently since mid-2018, southern Idaho appraisers are now required to have had continuing education on how to properly value solar prior to accepting an appraisal request. This has prompted the local MLS to also include solar and solar thermal into their programs to ensure that appraisers are in fact accounting for that added value. Over EGT’s 10-year business history they have had 34 clients sell their homes with solar on them and all of those 34 clients have been quite happy with the value add of the solar at the time of sale. The reality here is in a comp market like Idaho there is now enough solar installed to easily find a sold comp to property value the solar system, and this will continue to get better and trend toward that national average with more and more Idahoan's converting to solar energy moving forward.

  6. We can all agree that solar may not be right for every household, but when you look at all the aspects of this potential investment it checks all the boxes on being a very lucrative and sound investment to fix your long term power expenses and retire with more money in your pocket!