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Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

2017 Policy Grade

F

Avg. Yearly Savings

$624

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Arkansas

2017 Policy Grade

F

Avg. Savings/year

$624

Welcome to the 2017 Arkansas solar power information page!

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

Like most states, Arkansas has initiated loan programs and other initiatives that reward energy efficiency in residential and commercial construction. Renewable energy programs, however, are notably lacking. From the lush delta and river valley to the breathtaking beauty of Ouachita and the Ozarks, Arkansas has a whole lot of natural beauty to protect. Legislators here are squandering a valuable opportunity to do just that by continuing to ignore the ever-developing potential of solar power. In fact, in early 2013, they failed to get a renewable energy bill out of a committee on energy, and it the issue hasn’t yet come up again.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Arkansas solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Arkansas

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Arkansas. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Arkansas. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Arkansas. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Arkansas is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Arkansas

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Arkansas can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

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Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Arkansas

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan. As you can see, the purchase option is really the only one that produces returns. That's because Arkansas has cheap electricity and no statewide incentives for solar, meaning it's only a little—not a lot—better than buying electricity from the grid.

The downside is that buying a solar system with cash requires a big up-front investment. If you're more interested in saving the planet than saving a ton of money with solar, you can take a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay, but your loan payments over 15 years will be offset only in the last year of our 25-year estimate. We've included two different levels of HELOC estimates, so you can get an accurate picture of what you can expect, whether you have a lot of equity or a little.

Read on to find out more about each option.

Net Present Value of Solar in Arkansas

“Net Present What?!” Don’t panic, this isn’t an economics test. NPV is just a tool used to compare investments. Basically, it asks, “if you had X dollars to invest, which investment would get you the best return?” It relies on the idea that getting a return on your investment sooner is better than later, because you can reinvest your early profits and keep the gain train going.

We compare an investment in solar to a “what-if” investment in a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 stock index fund, which has seen growth of about 7% per year over the past 25 years. We use the cost of solar in Arkansas and ask “how much better or worse (in 2017 dollars) is an investment in solar than stocks?” Here's what we found for the most popular ways of going solar in Arkansas:

Well, it could be worse. Actually, if you look above, getting solar with a loan in Arkansas is an investment that's just a little bit better than putting your money in stocks. Here's some more about how we got these numbers:

Solar Loan NPV: -$1,846

As we’re fond of saying, taking a loan for solar is a no-brainer, because it’s like agreeing to pay over time for something that is also making you money, plus you get 30% of the loan value as a tax credit (cash in your pocket) after making payments for only 1 year. Unfortunately, in the case of Arkansas, even that tax credit windfall can't push NPV into positive territory. That's indicative of the state's low electricity prices and poor policy. In Arkansas, you should only go solar if the environmental benefits are worth at least $1,846 to you. Read more about solar loans below

Solar Purchase NPV: -$5,917

A solar purchase in Arkansas has a huge negative NPV because electricity prices here are so cheap. You're much better off with a solar loan, but even that is tough here. Try calling your state representatives and asking them to support solar with smart policy. Read more about solar purchases below.

green square  Buying Solar in Arkansas

This is the best option in Arkansas if you want solar and you've got the cash to spend. An outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. That 30% Federal tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $21,250, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced almost $9,500 in income.

That might sound like a great deal of savings over the years, but it pales in comparison to the potential returns from other states. That's not because Arkansas lacks sun—it's because the state has cheap electricity prices and no statewide incentives for solar. The internal rate of return on a solar investment here is just 3.9%, which is pretty darn good compared to some other long term investments, anyway.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Alaska solar purchase with a 5-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 5kW solar system should start at about $21,250. Don’t worry – even without state incentives, you can still knock a big chunk off the price right off the bat.
  • Since the feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no state incentives means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $6,375 (30% of $21,250) for a new price of $14,875.
  • After the tax credit, subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $624. That brings your cost after the first year to $14,251.
  • By the time your system pays itself back in year 18, you’ll be seeing over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • When all is said and done, our 25-year estimate shows a total net profit of $9,430.
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by more than $12,500, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 113 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arkansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

orange square  Solar Loans in Arkansas

Usually this is the place where we tell you that taking a loan to pay for solar is a great idea. That's because it's usually true. High electricity prices around the country make a solar panel system into an income-generating asset.

Sadly, that's not exactly true in Arkansas, because your state enjoys some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation. As you can see from the chart above, your loan will cost more over the 15-year payback period than your energy bill savings, and once it's paid off, your savings will basically see you making your money back by year 25.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $21,250, with a fixed rate of 5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You love the environment so much that you're willing to pay a monthly fee to protect it, with the likelihood of making all that money back over time.

The reason this works well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get the federal tax credit and energy savings that go along with buying solar. The bad news is your loan payments will be higher than those energy bill savings, so you'll end up spending about $116/month for solar in the first year. That difference will come down each year as electricity prices rise, but your system will keep on producing about the same amount of electricity.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Alaska solar purchase with a HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $21,250. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $624, but your loan payments will total $2,017, for a difference of $1,393, or about $116 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $6,375! You'll come out nearly $5,000 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $1,000 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll basically break even, with a total net savings of just $432 after all the payments.
  • But the future is going to look a little brighter, since your system will mean green for the environment. It'll be like planting 113 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arkansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

blue square  Small Rooftop Systems in Arkansas

Let's say you don't have a ton of extra cash laying around, but you do have a bit of equity in your home. Can you get solar panels? YES! Is it a good idea in Arkansas? PROBABLY NOT!

Here's the thing: electricity in Arkansas is priced close to the cheapest in the nation. The way solar saves you money is by producing energy that you would have paid for. Trouble is, paying for solar with a loan costs just about the same over 25 years as paying for electricity.

That means solar isn't the brilliant investment it can be in other states with high energy prices and cash-back incentives, but it might still be a good idea for you if you really, really want solar for environmental reasons. Here are the factors we'll look at for this example:

  • A 2-kW rooftop system that will cost around $9,563 installed.
  • A HELOC for that amount with a 15-year payback at 5% interest.

Just like with the big system, you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get the big federal tax credit for buying solar. You'll get the 30% of your solar costs back as a tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. Your loan payments will be about $76 per month while your energy bill savings will be about $20—a difference of $56. Basically, for the cost of monthly internet service, you do your part to save the planet from carbon pollution.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Arkansas solar purchase with a small rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 2-kW solar system should cost about $9,563. Your loan should be for this amount.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $250, while your loan payments will cost $907.
  • At the end of the year, the federal government will give you a 30% tax credit based on the cost of your system after the rebate. That's $2,869 that you won't owe this year. You can take the credit over two years if you don't owe $2,869 in federal taxes this year.
  • When your loan’s paid off in year 15, you’ll start see over $400 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll actually end up paying more for solar than you would have paid in electric bills—but only about $350, total.
  • Your system will remove as much carbon from the air as planting 45 trees per year, which is a pretty great thing, we'd say.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Arkansas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Arkansas Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Arkansas:

RPS

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) basically requires utilities in the state to source a percentage of energy from renewable sources by a given date. A strong RPS is important because it forces utility companies to promote conversion to renewable energy. That generally means free money for you in the form of solar power rebates and performance payments when you switch to solar.

Sadly, we have no RPS here in The Natural State. Even more unfortunately, the pattern we’ve seen elsewhere is repeated: no RPS means no state or utility backed incentives for solar power…

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Carve-out grade

Without an RPS, there can be no solar carve out. Just another way Arkansas is lagging behind the best states for solar.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Arkansas Electricity Prices

$0.10/kwh

Grade: D

Arkansas's Electricity cost grade

Arkansas pays an average of 10.07 cents per kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) of electricity. That’s nearly three cents below the national average of 12.84 cents/kwh, and over a penny cheaper than the regional average. In fact, we pay less for electricity here than almost anywhere else in the country. We know you like paying less now, but the long term costs of cheap electricity are through the roof. Remember where all that cheap energy comes from. Fossil fuels. Lots and lots of dirty-burning fossil fuels. When the inevitable environmental costs start to mount, monthly electricity bills are going to rise, and SRECs are likely to be putting even more money in your pocket.When that happens you’re going to feel pretty darn smart for making the early switch to producing your own clean, efficient solar power. Just remember to thank us…

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Arkansas Net Metering

B

Grade: A

Arkansas's Net Metering grade

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and to make sure you get credit for any surplus. Net Metering is offered in Arkansas through all utility companies. Provisions apply to solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, and geothermal, and in virtually all sectors: residential, commercial, industrial, government, institutional, and non-profit organizations. Systems can be up to 25 kW for residential applications and 300 kW for commercial use. The net excess of power generated by the customer is applied as a credit to the next month’s bill; any excess remaining at the end of a 12-month billing cycle reverts to the utility company. That’s pretty cool, because it means you can generate tons of electricity in the long summer days and use that electricity in the winter. You don’t have to worry about the size of your system exceeding your summer usage, you can size it to replace your entire year’s electricity needs.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Arkansas Interconnection Rules

None

Arkansas's Interconnection Standards grade

Arkansas’ net metering law includes basic interconnection requirements, but does not establish any set any actual interconnection rules beyond those basic safety compliance requirements. As a result, there is no standard interconnection process here. The net metering law does not address insurance requirements. Sadly, the law does require a redundant external disconnect switch, though many inverter-based systems (as yours almost certainly will be) can qualify for an exemption if other safety shutdown features are in place.

Arkansans: All hope is not lost! If you’re ready for some personalized assistance to see just how you can make the sun work for you, get in touch with us and we’ll have an expert contact you in a jiffy.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Arkansas

Arkansas Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Rebates grade

Arkansas has no solar power rebates or performance payments. That’s right, none! We get a decent amount of sun here (as much as most of Florida) but all that potential is currently being wasted. If an RPS were implemented with mandated levels of renewable energy production, we can guarantee the utility companies would offer incentives to help you make the switch to solar. How do we know? It’s worked everywhere that’s passed an RPS! That doesn’t mean it won’t get passed in the future, or that another state won’t decide to allow Arkansas solar production to count for their state. You’ll want to ensure you use a certified installer so that when the time comes, you can reap the rewards. By having your system already installed, you will be able to take advantage of the highest initial rates too!

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Arkansas Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Tax Credits grade

The legislature hasn’t been much help bringing down the cost of solar power here either; they won’t give you a tax credit for switching to clean, renewable energy production, but they sure will charge you extra tax to get a tattoo or electrolysis.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Performance Payments grade

With no RPS and no solar carve out, utilities in Arkansas don’t have a reason to offer payments above the going electric rate for you to produce solar power.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

Unfortunately we’re behind the curve on taxes altogether, with neither a sales tax nor a property exemption in place. Legislators are missing an easy one here; we’ve seen tax exemptions help support solar power conversion elsewhere, even without large utility incentives. Luckily Arkansas is a pretty sunny state, so the lack of tax exemptions doesn’t really hurt you much in the overall picture.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Arkansas's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Without a sales tax exemption, we Arkansas residents pay more up-front for our solar installations. Make sure the quote you get includes sales tax, so you know in advance the total cost of the system, particularly if you are comparing quotes from two different installers.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

Switch to solar and save $36.44/mo on avg ($0 installations available) - Click Here

The consensus on Arkansas solar power rebates and incentives

State legislators are missing a golden opportunity; Arkansas gets plenty of sun, and solar power could saving almost all of us money here. But without the right incentives in place, it’s still more expensive than it should be to set up a residential solar power system and start saving all that cash (and stop burning all those fossil fuels). Until we have at least some meaningful incentives in place, we can’t give Arkansas anything but a failing grade on solar policy.

47 thoughts on “Arkansas Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Don Freeland says:

    Much like the state of Arkansas being unconcerned with incentives, the state is also slow on certifications for installers. As a licensed electrician in Mountain Home AR. with 14 years experience and 7 years in business installing solar, I’ve realized there are loop holes. As a suggestion, use caution when using any contractor. Some are not specialized in any electrical field, let alone solar installations. Some will have to hire a licensed electrician to obtain permits for them. Another consideration should be general liability and workman’s compensation insurance. The whole point is “change is good”, I just hope I can help. Thanks!

  2. Drew B. says:

    Dave, in your calculation, does the initial cost of $25,000 include professional installation? Thanks, man!

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Yes definitely – and prices are in the high $3 or low $4 per watt now – we’ll be redoing all of these pages in mar/feb 2013

      1. Anonymous says:

        Dave,
        We appreciate your information. Public awareness of all of these subjects helps the solar industry. We are planning a “Friendship Solar Festival” May 25,26 & 27th 2013 in Friendship for this purpose. We are looking for Solar Industry experts, key note speakers, vendors and suppliers. Let us know if you are interested, we will forward our Festival flyer to distribute.

        Cheers,
        Leonard s. O’Donovan
        Imagine Energy, LLC
        Email: pvpwrlsod@aol.com or lsod8205@gmail.com
        Cell: 870-260-5292

      2. Leonard S. O'Donovan says:

        Dave,
        Your as well as others,information and comments are welcome and will contribute to public awareness of the solar industry.
        We will be having a public awareness solar festival ” Friendship Solar Festival” May 25,26 & 27 here in Friendship.
        industry experts, key note speakers, solar equipment vendors and suppliers are welcome to attend.
        We can expand on details if you are interested. Please forward this information to any interested parties…

        Cheers,
        Leonard S. O’Donovan
        Imagine Energy, LLC
        Emails; pvpwrlsod@aol.com or lsod8205@gmail.com
        Cell: 870-260-5292

  3. Andrew says:

    Happy New Year! Does anyone know whether the federal tax credit has been renewed for 2013?

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      should be good till 2016 – but i’m not a tax expert so please consult one.

  4. Cody Randall says:

    Does anyone know if I can still achieve a rebate when using the sol-solution “Solman” movable solar?

  5. Aaron says:

    Greetings,

    I live in Arkadelphia and am in the process of installing a 4 kwh system on my home. Yes, incentives are needed, but solar is getting cheap enough thanks to the chinese dumping panels. My home will cost $15,840 before the federal rebate, and $11,200 after. It will pay for itself in 6 years, and after that it is free, courtesy of our star.

  6. Bill says:

    Appreciate all the comments. I am considering solar for my house in NLR. Where do I look for a good product and a good installer?

  7. Ed says:

    I have read most of the comments here and I am interested in helping AR reach new heights in renewable energy. I am a business owner an am willing to do my part for the state. I welcome a dialog with all concerned parties. elove@alternativel-p.com

  8. MEG says:

    Will someone please post a list of certified installers in Arkansas. We live in Southeast Delta.

  9. Jo says:

    We used an NABCEP certified installer and we were very pleased with the installation of our solar panels. We are not pleased with Entergy!!! Because of their billing cycles we do not get credit for energy we produced from Dec. 7th to Dec. 31th. And we “DONATED” over 4000kwh to Entergy after the calendar year. We all must contact our AR legislators and voice our opinions on changing the legislation to force the utility companies to “BUY” our green energy. I did enjoy the benefits of the Federal Tax Credit, but I do not feel it is the tax payers responsibility to pay for my solar panels. That should be the utility company that is selling my excess production of “Clean” energy!!

  10. Mark says:

    I need a Solar panel 50 pcs

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Hi Mark,

      We don’t sell solar panels, we only connect people with quotes for turnkey installations. Sorry I can’t help. Try an online retailer.

  11. Flint Richter says:

    A license should be mandatory for anyone installing solar arrays. Even a master electrician should have at least two weeks worth of training and several jobs under their belt before attempting any PV jobs. In the ten years I have been installing PV some of the worst, most dangerous jobs have been done by untrained master electricians who applied AC training to DC electricity. I would not trust anyone who won’t take the time to educate themselves and get NABCEP certified – it is the only cert. that recognizes the need for experience.

  12. Don Freeland says:

    I think it is a goog thing to have a licence to do solar projects. Having a Master electrical license is required before the State contractors license, Nabcep certification is not really valid at all. I mean what state even recognizes that anyway? Arkansas State contractors licensing Board needs to regulate people who think they have found a loop hole.

  13. Keith says:

    The bad thing about Arkansas and trying to start a solar business is that you have to have a contractors lisence to do any work

  14. keith ebert says:

    I can install solar syatems for half of what everybody else is doing it for, but cant do it in Arkansas because you have to have a contractors lisence..

  15. Patty says:

    Check out http://WWW.arkansasenergy.org for the current rebate program for solar and wind.
    this program expires at the end of 2010.

    We have neighbors who are entirely off the grid, with no energy company back up. They do use some gas appliances.

    We are planning to build our own solar system soon if our research pans out.

  16. John says:

    Is there an efficient and economic way to store the energy that Solar panels generate that is a better option than being in a “grid connect” system? I mean if we aren’t credited by the power company for any energy that we might produce over the amount we use could we not just decrease the amount of energy we use from the power company altogether. In other words could we make a Solar Energy system our primary energy source and the energy company as a back up? Thought is, if I were to build a home from the start that had a solar system that also had some form of energy storage for the evening then I wouldn’t be dependent on the power company for anything. OR what if I built the home with the solar system and a back up butane generator for the evening. Would it be efficient enough to not need to be dependent on a power company?

  17. Brian Graves says:

    I am the Arkansas manager for soltility based in Bentonville. On comercial accounts we often can get customers free solar if they agree to buy back the energy produced. They have to own the building of course. We are just getting started and have a few businesses that have agreed to the program. I am a master electrician and have a strong desire to bring solar to my home state of Ark in a big way.

  18. JGG, good luck building your panels. Please make sure you have safe components,please be safe with the electric hook up, please make sure you have enough sun, that the panels are at the right angle and that they are oriented optimally towards true south, not magnetic south. Or you could go with a pro who does this stuff every day.

    That’s not to say you can’t do it. It’s just a lot of work. Be safe and have fun.

  19. JGG says:

    We as a people here in Arkansa are smart enough to learn how to build our own systems for solar panels!!! look it up on the Web that is were I am going, yes some trial and errors but in the end it will be worth it to be off the grid or at least a push in what they charge. I feel that if one start and others follow soon these Goliath will learn there lesson where they feel it the most , their profits, that come from our wallets.

  20. Michael Walker says:

    Entergy services SE Texas, LA, MS, and AR. At present, Entergy gives Texas residents a check for $2.50 per WATT for solar panels installed. So a panel array of $50,000.00 would get you a check in the amount of $12,500.00 up front. In addition to that you would get a $15,000.00 federal tax credit on your taxes for the tax year installed. My question is, if Entergy TExaas gives the $2.50 per WATT credit why not Arkansas, too? Should we start a petition to get Entergy of Arkansas to follow suit?

  21. Candy says:

    I live in Arkansas near the Louisiana state line. Louisiana gives a 50% tax credit. Wake up Arkansas.

  22. Dana says:

    I cant beleive we live in such a wonderful State that offers no incentive programs to go green. I would love to install a geothermal system but need a little help to offset the cost. We need to do something in order to start saving the world.

  23. Heather Mendez says:

    I am planing on building a solar panel for my home, does anyone know any persons or companies that may be willing to sell or give away damaged or out-dated solar cells?

  24. Dewayne says:

    I would like to have a solar unit installed if I can afford it. I have contacted some contractors on line just now but probably won’t hear from them for a few days. I’m almost ready to retire and would like for my utilities to be as low as possible at that time!

  25. Ashley says:

    Arby – that makes more sense than anything I’ve heard.

  26. Harold Butler says:

    See http://www.solarenergysupply.net They are a trainer and supplier of solar equipment. Terry wanted to see about becoming an installer. Go to that website.

  27. terry says:

    I am trying to find out what education / background is needed to get started as an solar panel installer. I feel this may be a booming business in the coming years and would be interested in pursuing this career.

  28. jeff says:

    Interested in installing solar systems in N. central Arkansas. Looking for some one to train with.

    jeff@ozarkrustiques dot com

  29. ARW says:

    I wonder if there are any serious explorations of geothermal (like @ Hot Springs) as a replacement for coal-fired plants.

    It appears that several countries have developed usable technology for geothermal plants.

  30. Arby says:

    Most of Arkansas does not have the wind necessary to produce electricity( Northwest Arkansas is the exception) . This make solar the most likely option for green thinking Arkansas’s, however as the above article indicates the good old boys at the state capital has once again let us down. At very little cost to the state they could mandate that utility companies operating in the state generate a portion of their power from green/ renewable sources ,in the state. The capital investment associated with solar and wind is much higher than coal and natural gas. The utility company most like avenue to achieve the new goal would be to look to residential and small businesses via the net metering arrangement (Net metering allows the consumer to generate power and sell it back to their utility company) The utility companies would come up with low cost loan and rebate program to encourage their consumers to install grid connected wind and or solar system. End result forward and green thinking Arkansas’s would benefit from lower utility bills and Arkansas would be a cleaner place to live. That’s how I see it

  31. John says:

    Hang tight you bunch of whiners. As soon as Walmart (or Sams) starts to sell solar panels and/or systems we will all join the solar (green) band wagon and get to enjoy the fruits of our beloved Walmart.

    I agree with the clown that states the obvious on Arkansas taxation and will add that any help by the State will only enrich the already rich and suck more from the poor (I am not complaining because I am one of the rich who would benefit.)

    So hang tight until Sam comes to the rescue!

  32. Greg says:

    I think its time the people of arkansasget on board an go green. I would like to go solar ,but I cannot aford $45,000.00 investment for my home or family.

  33. Stephanie says:

    We plan on building a new home in the next few years. We’d always assumed we would install as much solar as we could afford.
    After using the handy dandy online solar estimate and mopping the coffee off the monitor; there is simply no way we’d be able to afford to go solar, $61,000 for a mid level estimate? That’s AFTER the $2000 Fed rebate. That estimate only figures 50% of our monthly power! It would take close to 50 years to re-coup the initial cost. I don’t have plans on living another 50 years to pay for it.
    Don’t get me wrong; I’m the greenest person I know in Perry County. I’m a fiend to recycle, my 10, 11 and 12 yr old kids know more about making good compost than most adults they know and we conserve as much as we possibly can. But this really worries me. What happend to the thought of the longer something is around the cheaper it is? On the “green” network I heard someone say, “why doesn’t every home in the nation have solar panels?” DUH! Who can afford them?
    I’ll personally be glad when being “green” isn’t the “in” thing to do anymore and prices start to drop again.
    End of rant.

  34. MVP says:

    What is wrong with this generation. How come everyone EXPECTS the government, local or national, to pay for everything that we want. Isn’t taxes high enough. If the legislators in Arkansas were to pass an incentive to help pay for solar pawer for our homes they will use that as an excuse to tax the HECK out of us. Probably 10 times more than the incentives would cost the state. I had much rather see the legislators reduce taxes than to have another excuse to raise them. Go back and read OY NOT SOLAR’s post, he is exactly right. We need to do all we can to conserve and join in and fight the politicians to make our goverments smaller.

  35. T.E. Williams says:

    When will Arkansas power suppliers create a win/win situation that benefits all of the state? There are millions of energy conserving families with middle to low income that would love to employ solar energy if only it was more affordable. ARansas is at the bottom of every list in the nation that aspires to progression in health/safety, and at the top of every list that is less than cost effective for its citizens. This should be a wake-up call to those with the power to implement and effect changes for the good of all.
    Wake up legislators, APL and Entergy, Help us to help you!

  36. Gubner Goober says:

    The elec co-ops in AR are more concerned with their coal supplies from Wyoming and the train lines between, than any major push to truly get people off the fossil fuels (where they pay lip service to consumer alternatives but that’s about it, and the notion of retail wheeling makes them simply freak out) — where a combination of solar, geo, and nuke power are the best long-term ways to go, versus expanding the gas and coal plants that are the norm here and many other places. For the Natural State, the natural political state is unfortunately the FDR relic penchant for blaming somebody else instead of doing something better. Sad, but true. Not too hopeful.

  37. tony chamberlain says:

    TC
    Where and when in May will you give your seminar?

  38. OY Not Solar says:

    I noticed that someone said the cost was to much and someone else said you had to give the utility any extra power you produce.

    First thing yu need to understand is if you are renting your electric from the public utility you have no return on your investment at all. Just payment stubs. A solar electric system will last 30 plus years and if your current electric bill is 100 dollars a month that is $36,000. But you know your bill will increase by the rate of inflation, a min of 3.5% but at current energy rates are a lot higher. Check the gas pumps and that pass on to everything else. So over the next 30 years you will pay around $100,000.oo if still renting electric from the utility.

    If you go solar your rates don’t change so you end up making money no matter if the state pays for half your install or not.

    And for the part of giving the utility free power.. Don’t get a system bigger then what you need. Any Solar dealer in Arkansas can size you a system to meet your needs. One other thing in the state of Arkansas is you are able to rollover your over production for up to one year.

    So far all the utilities in Northwest Arkansas have been easy to deal with on netmetering. You give them the form with all 4 sections (name and address and account number and system info) filled out and they will come out test the system and give you a new meter.

    I do wish the State of Arkansas would help a little. But that day will come.

  39. TC says:

    In the state of Arkansas, we have a long way to go. I have been sending e-mails to Rep. Marion Berry, who is on the Appropriations committee on Renewable Energy, to try and drum up some incentives for people on the fence about Solar Power. I personally am installing Solar Panels on some rental houses my family owns. With the knowledge I have gained I am slowly starting Solargy Services. I have alot to learn, and I’m sure I’ll have to be patient, and keep wiring houses until it catches on, not for my lack of trying. I plan on holding an information seminar in Mt.Home,AR. in May. The State Gov. needs to re-examine the decision to do Nothing for residents/business owners to help with the Very high prices of Solar Systems. Any help would be appreciated, I have many questions.
    TC

  40. Geannine says:

    The sad part about all of this is we are distorying our plant and those who are trying to do something to inprove it have to spend a arm and a leg to do so.(does this seem backwards to you).Solar power is a extreem renewable source of power and the bottom line comes down to how much money one can make.(on something they do not own to begin with).what needs to happen is insteed of getting goverment rebates and loans to buy the system, make the system affordable to the masses and put the money hog out of the busisness of killing our one and only world. untill then those who have the money rule the world and will contiune to distroy it.
    Tring to do my best in Arkansas, Geannine

  41. Lionne says:

    What can we do to get renewables in the spotlight? I am a new resident here in the state and want to create government subsidies for solar in the state of Arkansas. We must let our legislators know that we want our energy generation to be recognized and rewarded.

    sincerely, lionne

  42. clint says:

    I have been researching solar power for my residence and when I checked on the rebates and discounts on a system I found out that if I produce more than i can use in a year I have to give it to the electric company, Well thats just wrong what have they ever given me besides a bill or price increase. Why should I spend all of this money to get set up and not be payed for the service I provide them. I don’t see a reason for anyone to want to go solar and until they come up with a better system than giving my energy away then I guess I will have to keep going the way I am going.

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