Kansas solar rebates and incentives: 2024 guide

The average Kansas solar shopper will save $4,663 on solar panels with rebates and incentives.

Updated May 7, 2024

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    Written by: Alix Langone

    The Sunflower state doesn’t offer any state-specific incentives for going solar, but it does have a reliable net metering program—that is, most utility companies are required to give customers credit for sharing their solar power with the grid. That policy, combined with the federal solar tax credit, can help you save thousands on the cost of solar panels and your long-term energy costs.

    See how much solar costs in Kansas.

    As a Kansas homeowner, you don’t have access to any local incentives, but you can still save 30% of the total cost of your solar array through the federal solar tax credit. Also known as the investment tax credit or ITC, this typically cuts the cost of going solar by thousands of dollars.

    Incentive
    Average savings in Kansas
    Description

    Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

    $4,663

    Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

    Residential Clean Energy Credit

    The Residential Clean Energy Credit, formerly known as the federal investment tax credit (ITC), can reduce your solar panel system's cost by 30%. Your entire system qualifies for this incentive, including equipment, labor, permitting, and sales tax. 

    The average cost for a 5 kW solar panel system is around $15,544 in Kansas. Once you factor in the 30% credit, the cost comes down to $10,881.

    When you file your federal income taxes, you can claim this incentive as a credit towards your federal tax bill. Just keep in mind that to qualify for the ITC, you need to purchase your system either with cash or a solar loan–if you lease your system, you won't be eligible. 

    You also need a high enough tax bill, though you can roll over any remaining credit year-to-year until 2035 when the ITC expires. The only time you might be eligible for a direct payment for the ITC is if you're a tax-exempt entity, like a nonprofit organization. 

    Yes, Kansas has a property tax exemption. Installing solar panels will typically increase the value of your home, but this exemption means you will not owe additional taxes based on the higher valuation

    If you filed for your exemption on or before Dec. 2016, you’re permanently exempt from those taxes. If you filed after Dec. 2016, your tax exemption is only in effect for the 10 taxable years directly following the year you filed, and it expires after that.

    While many states also offer a solar sales tax exemption, unfortunately there is no relief from sales tax in Kansas when you go solar.

    Tax exemption
    Description

    Kansas solar property tax exemption

    If you installed solar power after Dec. 2016, you’re exempt from your increased property taxes for 10 years. The average property tax in Kansas is 1.33%

    If you connect your solar panel system to the grid, you can benefit from net metering—a solar buyback program, and arguably the best kind of solar incentive. 

    Under net metering, the sun doesn’t need to shine all the time to make the most of your solar panels, because your utility company works sort of like a bank account for solar power.

    When the sun is shining, your home’s electrical system first takes as much power as it needs from your solar panels. Any excess solar power that your home doesn’t need gets sent back onto the grid, and the utility company gives you a credit for each kWh they get.

    When the sun isn’t shining, and your home needs to draw electricity from the grid, the utility starts counting that energy use against your banked credits. 

    Depending on the weather, your energy use, and your solar array, you could end up owing very little, or even nothing, on your electricity bills—and net metering makes that a lot more likely than other kinds of solar billing arrangements. 

    A few nuances to keep in mind about net metering in Kansas:

    • The maximum system size for residential customers is 15 kW. Most rooftop systems are smaller than this, but many are not. This is something you and your installer will need to keep in mind when you design an array.

    • At the end of each billing cycle, leftover energy credits are converted to dollar-based bill credits. The excess credits aren’t converted at quite the retail rate of electricity, but it’s something very close—the “monthly system average cost” per kWh.

    • Leftover bill credits carry forward from month to month, but expire annually on March 31. You can bank your bill credits throughout the summer, and use them to help offset your costs during the winter months, when there’s typically not enough sun to cover normal electricity use. But if you don’t use up the credits by the end of the winter, you’ll lose them.

    • Not all utilities offer net metering—but the big ones do. Kansas has two main investor-owned utilities (IOUs), Evergy (formerly Westar and KCP&L) and the Empire District Electric Company, and they’re both required to offer their customers net metering. Municipal or cooperative electric utilities in the state aren’t required to offer net metering, but many of them do, on similar terms as the larger companies.

    • All utilities offer a different type of solar buyback policy. While small utility companies aren’t required to offer net metering, they are required to offer a “parallel generation” program—or what we typically call net billing. If you're an IOU customer, you can choose this over net metering, but we don't recommend it. The utility company won’t bank your energy credits (in kWh), but they do still pay you a bill credit (in dollars) for all the solar power that you send to the grid. As far as net billing programs go, the terms are pretty good: For every kWh you export, they’ll pay you 1.5 times the avoided cost rate (what your utility pays for electricity).

    Kansas doesn't offer any state-specific incentives for solar batteries. However, all batteries above 3 kWh in size are eligible for the 30% federal tax credit. 

    Since Kansas has such a solid net metering policy, there’s not a strong financial case for owning a solar battery—but you can still use one for backup power, like a cleaner version of a gas generator that increases your energy independence.

    Learn more about battery incentives and rebates See the complete list of solar companies in Kansas

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