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

May 24, 2023

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.

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:

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?

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.

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.

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!

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EGT Solar

Jed Thomas

Jed has been an integral part of the EGT team since 2017 and is a tremendous asset to our project management and installation crews. His knowledge of electrical code and experience with Solar and battery systems allows EGT to take on any challenge from complex residential projects to large-scale utility farms and sizable commercial and agricultural installations. Jed assumed the role of lead foreman in early 2020 and has played a significant role in the immense growth of EGT in the last few years. From project management to planning and preparation Jed takes part in each and every project, giving our installation crews and team of electricians the direction they need to execute work at the highest level of quality and care.

Jed is highly respected by his team and our staff as well as every client he comes in contact with. His willingness to pursue all client requests, however complicated they may be, is just one of the many reasons Jed has received so much praise from our clients and from the local jurisdictions/inspectors. Jed’s unmatched knowledge and on-the-job experience with Solar and complicated electrical work makes it easy to see why EGT has had so much success over the last several years and will continue to drive the Solar market in southern Idaho for decades to come.

Austin Quapp.

Austin Quapp

Austin is EGT’s most tenured and experienced employee having joined the team in 2015. As service demand rapidly increased with accelerated growth Austin was a key part of EGT’s success in the early years. Austin is extremely knowledgeable and experienced with the majority of Solar systems on the market and is currently accredited with over 10 different battery manufacturers. With his extensive experience in all things Solar Austin manages all client interactions for service needs and system monitoring, is in constant communication with system and battery manufacturers providing them with much-needed feedback on the true results of product performance and assists all other departments with insight and expectations to make sure our messaging is consistent and accurate throughout the entire process.

Austin is regularly a client favorite and usually the last face our clients see to complete their projects which is critical to protecting the overall client experience and future referrals. His sincere demeanor and empathy for our clients’ needs is why Austin has grown to be a true leader within EGT and will be a tremendous asset and resource for many years to come.

Caitlin Trojacek.

Caitlin Trojacek

Caitlin Joined EGT in 2023 after three years of managing internal operations for one of EGT’s well-known competitors. Caitlin brings a vast amount of experience to our team with knowledge of each aspect from sales and customer acquisition to project processing and installation. She is proficient in project planning, resource allocation, and risk management, ensuring seamless project execution from inception to completion. Caitlin is well-versed in industry best practices, regulations, and jurisdictional and utility requirements. Her work ethic and incredible organizational skills have simplified and expedited much of the day-to-day tasks for project processing and scheduling, allowing EGT to take on more projects and maintain the standard of service that has been paramount to EGT’s continued success. As she develops and implements structured processes for our electricians and installation crews and provides fine-tuning of the flow and management of internal and external communication we know that our clients, our partners, and our staff are receiving the best possible experience. 

Caitlin is known for her bright spirit and collaborative leadership style in fostering teamwork and communication. She believes in building strong relationships with our internal and external stakeholders to ensure a harmonious working environment and successful project outcomes. Her attention to detail, organization, and ability to navigate complex challenges is why Caitlin will be a critical factor in EGT’s continued growth and success.

Dan Bennett.

Dan Bennett

Dan left his twelve-year career in the spring of 2022 as General Manager of one of the largest furniture retail locations in the country to take on this role as Director of Sales, Marketing, and Design for EGT. Dan’s extensive experience in managing sales, service, and operations ensures integrity and a customer-first commitment in all facets of project processing. As consistent, honest, and transparent messaging is vital to the Solar industry Dan has developed and implemented a rigorous training regimen for our sales and design consultants to effectively and accurately provide information to our clients and the Solar community in southern Idaho. Dan has undertaken the study and execution of all internal and external processes to better understand an ever-changing Solar market affected by innovation, legislation, utility-level policy, and financial targets of our consumers. Dan uses this continued education and research to provide our clients, staff, and the southern Idaho Solar community with information regarding new product offerings, proposed changes to policy, and potential effects of incoming legislation that gives our base a unique advantage in battling for-profit utilities and mitigating inflation whilst generating clean, green solar energy for themselves their families, employees and neighbors.

Dan is committed to the growth and development of EGT Solar and we are pleased to have his level of dedication and work ethic shine through in our education, sales, and marketing efforts now and for many years ahead.

Rob Black.

Rob Black

Rob started in the solar industry with EGT in 2015 and quickly became a huge asset to the team, leading the charge for revenue growth and providing education to our community; Rob was tasked with learning all facets of this industry and implementing core procedures into the daily operations of EGT Solar, including but not limited to internal processes from permitting, finance, design, and battery integration as well as sales management and project intake. Rob was promoted to Vice President in 2019 and was responsible for all internal operations while maintaining a robust sales portfolio. Shortly thereafter Rob married his wife, Adrienne in 2020. Adrienne has provided a solid foundation of support and understanding, allowing Rob to make the sacrifices an INC. 5000 company demands of its executive management and key revenue producers.

Rob’s financial background prior to joining the solar industry has been a remarkable benefit to our clients as he continually strives to keep the cost to install solar as inexpensive and fruitful as possible. EGT Solar would not be where we are today without Rob’s tremendous dedication and work ethic and we are pleased to have Rob take on the CEO position and lead this company and this industry in Southern Idaho towards the tremendous growth we are sure to see in years to come.

Bryan Lawley.

Bryan M. Lawley

Bryan founded EvenGreen Technology Inc. (DBA EGT Solar) in 2010 when alternative energy products had a very small market in southern Idaho; with a mere fifty-four (54) Solar installations in the state.  Bryan knew the latest changes in technology would allow for growth in demand. As his intuition became a reality and the market started quickly growing in 2013 Bryan made a commitment to his community and his staff that above all else, honesty and transparency in all facets is the mode of operation for this company. This foundational culture quickly lifted EGT to the top-rated solar company in Idaho and it is still in this position today.

Bryan, born and raised in southern Idaho, has a true commitment to the strength and longevity of the Idaho solar market. Bryan is proud to offer a truly local option for Idahoans and prioritizes giving back to local community charities each year. Because of how he chose to operate EGT Solar, Bryan was nominated Idaho CEO of the Year (2016) and again in 2018. He is truly committed to his employees and ensures that EGT is an unbeatable company to work for. EGT has 5-star ratings on all social media platforms and is BBB A+ accredited since 2015. EGT has been named a Top 500 Solar Contractor 2015-2022; one of the only single branch operations to carry this accolade and the only Idaho-based solar company. In the last two years, EGT Solar has been listed among the INC. 5000 fastest-growing companies nationwide and continues to grow to this day thanks to Bryan’s continued commitment to his employees and this community.