Is floating in Homestead Crater the most relaxing day imaginable? Can a Pronghorn outrun a Cheetah? Do all the best films come out of Sundance?
Yes, yes and yes. And yes, solar panels are worth it in Utah!
Whether it’s taking in the grandeur of Moab, imagining yourself in an unspoiled time during a hike on Antelope Island, or enjoying the nightlife in Salt Lake City, there’s always something fun to do in Utah. And nothing helps you enjoy Utah more than knowing you are helping keep it beautiful while saving money with solar energy.
Utah’s state flag features a beehive, and those busy bees go right along with the state’s motto of “Industry.” Another sign of Utah’s industriousness is its love of solar. Utah ranks 12th in the nation for value of solar investments, coming in with over $4.1 billion. For that money, the state has 2,735 megawatts of solar panels installed, generating enough electricity to power over half a million homes.
Utah likes its solar energy, but are solar panels worth it for you? Let’s look at some of the best reasons so many Utahns have already gone solar.
Top 5 reasons to go solar in Utah
1. Solar panels can help protect homes from power outages
When the weather is good in Utah, it’s the best place to be in the world. Skiing in Deer Valley or Park City is a dream. Hiking through Canyonland National Park on a warm spring day is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and there’s nothing like the feeling of floating in the Great Salt Lake.
But then there are the other days. Does any other state rack up the variety of crazy weather that Utah gets?1 With a statewide record high of 117° F and an all-time low of -50°F, the state has a total range of 167° F! Just wow.
But that’s nothing, really. In 1983, a canyon wind of 103 mph was recorded in Layton. The town of Alta once recorded more than thirty-eight inches of snow in 24 hours. In a near-biblical event, it snowed non-stop for six days in Salt Lake City in 1993.
Utah gets floods, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, ice storms, and everything else. Once, lightning struck 835 sheep all at one time, killing all but fifteen of them.
What does all this extreme weather mean to you? Power outages. Lots of them. And what’s a terrific way to protect your home from a power outage? A solar energy system with battery backup. By storing the energy you generate with your rooftop solar panels during the day and releasing it after the sun goes down, a backup battery is a kind of insurance policy for your power. And yes, solar panels can even work when it snows.
2. The Federal Tax Credit can save you money in Utah
Everybody has been talking about the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s a landmark piece of legislation that makes going solar much more affordable for most homeowners. For qualifying buyers, this federal program is good for a federal income tax credit worth 30% of the cost of your new solar energy system*. And the credit doesn’t just apply to solar panels—it’s also good for stuff like batteries and the cost of installation. That’s a huge deal!
3. The State of Utah offers its own tax credit
For years, the State of Utah has supplemented the federal tax credit by kicking in credits for your solar panels.2 The program offers a 25% offset rate but has been phasing out the credit for the past few years by lowering the cap on the bonus. Until January 1, 2024, you’ll be able to score up to a $400 credit for a solar energy system. After that, the program goes away.
4. Abundance of sunshine
Utah gets a lot of sun. A lot. In fact, Utah ranks #9 in the U.S. for the amount of sun it gets annually, with 238 days per year.3 And although solar panels can generate some power when it’s cloudy or even snowing, they do best on those beautiful sunny Utah days.
Solar panels can generate power on cloudy days, but they are at their best and most efficient on clear, sunny days. Utah has more than almost any other state, and that means your panels will get you a lot of power.
5. Good for the environment
Utah is famous for its spectacular landscape and many natural wonders, but it is also known for being polluted. Utah has a long history of having bad air quality. In August, The University of Utah published a history of Utah’s air pollution titled, “Air you can chew”.4 And one of the biggest contributors to bad air quality are coal-fired power plants. And Utah’s largest utility, Rocky Mountain Power, gets lots and lots of its electricity from burning coal.
Rocky Mountain Power’s Hunter Plant not only contributes to bad air quality but also poisons the state’s water supply. The Environmental Integrity Project lists Hunter as the 8th most polluted coal ash site in the country.5 Groundwater around the plant has dangerous levels of molybdenum, cobalt, and lithium. Lithium measurements are 228 times the recommended levels. And that’s because of coal energy production.
But powering your home through clean solar energy means that you are doing your part to stop that process while keeping Utah safe for generations to come. The more clean solar energy the industry state produces, the quicker we can stop burning coal and polluting the air and water.
Are solar panels worth it in Utah?
More and more people in Utah say “yes!” solar panels are worth it in Utah. With great incentives from both the state and federal government, more sunshine than almost any other state in the country, and the environmental costs of fossil-fuel generated energy, generating your own power makes lots of sense.
ADT Solar is a trusted solar company across the nation, and soon to be in Utah as well. Look for us soon in your neighborhood!