Solar panels Kentucky:

Prices, incentives and best companies 2021

Avg KY solar panel cost:

$8,702 - $10,636*

Avg 25 year savings:

$40,920 - $50,013

Avg payback period:

5.2 - 6.3 years

Estimate cost and savings based on your location and power usage

* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.

Kentucky solar panels guide 2021

Updated August 18, 2020

Kentucky residents don’t have access to as many solar incentives as residents in other states. Although there is room for improvement in the realm of solar incentives, Kentucky does have a great net metering policy that gives customers a credit on their utility bill for the full retail value of each excess kWh their solar system produces. 

The combination of the 26% federal tax credit and net metering creates the potential for a ton of savings on solar system installations in Kentucky.

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Solar power prices, savings and payback in your part of Kentucky

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Kentucky is currently $10,398 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.34 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 4.9kW system

Are solar panels worth it in Kentucky

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Levelized cost of solar energy
Levelized cost per kWh is the cost of the solar system divided by the total number of kWh produced by a solar system over it’s lifetime

6¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

23¢ /kWh

(forecast avg Kentucky electric rates over the next 25 years)

KY solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar installers in your part of Kentucky


Kentucky solar incentives & tax credits

Federal solar tax credit

The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses in Kentucky is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation. 

Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Kentucky is now.

Net metering

Kentucky law used to require utilities to offer full retail net metering to their customers, which meant that customers received the full retail value for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy their solar panel systems produced. 

However, in 2019, Kentucky passed a senate bill that could dramatically change the future of net metering. The new bill allows the Public Service Commission to determine the rate at which excess generation will be credited. This means that there is now no guarantee that customers will receive the full retail rate.

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: State incentive
Type: Net Metering

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Top models of solar panel installed in Kentucky 2021

Average cost of solar panel installation in Kentucky by system size

System size*
Cash purchase

(After tax credit)

Financed purchase

(After tax credit)

4kW $10,232 $10,948
5kW $12,250 $13,108
6kW $14,052 $15,036
7kW $16,205 $17,339
8kW $18,640 $19,945
9kW $20,430 $21,860
10kW $22,430 $24,000

Best solar companies in the main cities of Kentucky

Different types of solar companies

Solar company reviews

Home solar basics

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Kentucky

You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.

How long do solar panels last?

Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more

How do solar panels work on a home?

Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2021 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.

Hybrid solar system

In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.

Read more about types of home solar systems.

Do solar panels require regular maintenance?

No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.

Will residential solar power system cost fall in Kentucky in 2021?

Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Kentucky will fall during 2021.

How much electricity do solar panel systems generate in Kentucky?

Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.

A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 30-degree pitch roof Kentucky will generate 1,550kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in Kentucky.

Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.

What are the pros and cons of installing solar panels in Kentucky?

The advantage of installing solar panels in Kentucky is the state-mandated net metering requirement. Utilities must offer kilowatt hour (kWh) credits to their solar customers for excess energy generated by their solar systems.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels in Kentucky is that there is very little in the way of state and utility-based incentives. Also, Kentucky recently enacted a new law that drastically changes the future of net metering. Starting in 2020, new net metering customers will not receive the full retail rate for excess energy their solar system produces.

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

What you can learn from our state solar panel 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 Kentucky 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.

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

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