Solar Power Options

Rooftop Solar

Thinking about adding solar power on your property?

These Tips for Choosing a Solar Installer can help you make the best choice for your home or business. Idaho Power works with all solar companies and does not partner with or recommend specific installers. There are misconceptions out there—Idaho Power encourages customers to learn the facts before deciding to invest in solar power.

This Solar Checklist can help you navigate the decision-making process.

Find more information about solar on-site generation in our Frequently Asked Questions. Here’s a printer-friendly version of the information below and the FAQs.

Curious to know what an investment in solar looks like?

Google’s Project Sunroof – an online solar estimator – can give you an estimate of the cost to install a system and years until payback. Estimates provided by Google’s Project Sunroof are based on current electric rates. Future changes in rates will impact the estimated net savings and payback. Project Sunroof is not functional for all of Idaho Power’s service area, so we’ve provided three Project Sunroof examples of a typical home below.

Examples for using solar on-site generation to match nearly 100% of a home’s energy use
illustration of a small houseThe Jones’ House illustration of a medium sized houseThe Zhang’s House illustration of a large sized houseThe Jackson’s House
Average monthly electric use: 500 kWh 1,000 kWh 1,950 kWh
Average monthly bill:  $45  $90  $175
Solar system size needed:  3.75 kW  8.25 kW  15.75 kW
Estimated upfront cost:  $13,300 ($3.55 per watt)  $27,500 ($3.33 per watt)  $51,000 ($3.23 per watt)
Net cost after tax credit:  $8,400  $17,200  $31,900
Upfront Payment (no financing, no interest fees)
Simple Savings1 calculation
Estimated payback: 17 years 16 years 14 years
 Total 20 year savings: $1,500  $5,800  $14,800
Net Present Value1 calculation
 Estimated payback:  Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years
Total 20 year savings:  -$1,700 (loss)  -$1,600 (loss)  -$293 (loss)
Loan (financing that includes interest fees)
Simple Savings1 calculation
Estimated payback: Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years
Total 20 year savings:  -$6,400 (loss)  -$10,300 (loss)  -$15,100 (loss)
Net Present Value1 calculation
 Estimated payback:  Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years Beyond 20 years
Total 20 year savings:  -$4,200 (loss)  -$6,800 (loss)  -$9,800 (loss)

*Average monthly bill costs are based on Idaho Power residential Schedule 01 rates as of 11/1/2018. System production estimates are from PVWatts default system settings for Boise ID.  All other estimates regarding cost and payback are from Google’s Project Sunroof, which are based on current electric rates. Future changes in rates will impact the estimated net savings and payback. Project Sunroof uses a 20-year loan term and 6.6 percent interest rate. Actual costs, system production and tax credits will vary. For a personalized estimate, Idaho Power recommends getting several bids from certified installers.

1Why does Project Sunroof provide two different 20-year values?

Simple savings, or the payback method, and net present value are different ways of looking at the long-term value of a purchase. Payback tells you how long it takes to recoup your money. Net present value determines if it is a good financial investment compared to other things you could do with your money—like earning interest in your bank account or investing in stocks and bonds.

Other Green Choices

You have options when it comes to renewable energy and using energy wisely. We have programs and tools to help you decide which green choices are best for you.

For assistance with a PDF on this page or to request a PDF in an alternate format, please contact Customer Service at 208-388-2323 or 1-800-488-6151