What is the Empire Electric Solar Rebate?

By Matt Price | Solar Financing

Jul 11

Solar Rebate For Joplin area and SW Missouri Residents

Are you thinking about going solar and your utility company is Empire Electric? If so, you’ve got a golden opportunity in front of you that won’t be here for long. Empire Electric District is offering a “once-in-a-lifetime” solar rebate to everyone who installs solar and connects it to their grid. Why would they do such a thing and how does it help you?

Proposition C in Missouri

Back in 2008, Missouri voters got to vote on the Missouri Clean Energy Act, which was also known as Proposition C. This ballot measure, asked Missourians if they wanted to support a renewable electricity standard for the state. This measure required utilities in Missouri to gradually increase their share of renewable energy to 15% by 2020. The measure passed with almost two-thirds of voters supporting it.

Solar Rebate Program

As part of this renewable energy standard, a rebate program for solar energy installations was created. The rebate program required investor-owned utilities to start a rebate program that paid homeowners and businesses a rebate for installing a solar energy system on their property.  The rebate program was designed to step down gradually until it goes away in 2020.

Empire Rebate Implementation

At the time, the other two investor-owned utilities in Missouri (Ameren and KCP&L) went ahead and started their solar rebate programs. They were so successful that they ran out of money in just a few years.

Before the ballot measure passed, Empire worked with state legislators to get an exemption for them passed, so that they did not have to comply with Proposition C. A lawsuit was filed by Renew MO which eventually made its way to the Missouri Supreme Court. In 2015, Renew MO won their lawsuit, which meant that Empire had to comply with the rebate program guidelines from Proposition C.

They began paying out solar rebates in May of 2015 and have been ever since. The current available for homeowners through the program is $.50/W of installed solar. That means that you can get up to $12,500 of rebate money handed to you right from the start to go solar. How much does the average homeowner get through this program?

Example of the Solar Rebate in Missouri

Let’s look at a typical house and see how much this rebate program could save you on solar.

Typical system = 8KW

Approximate cost before incentives = $24,000

Empire rebate = $4,000

Federal Tax Credit = $6,000

Net Cost = $14,000

In this example, thanks to the federal tax credit and Empire rebate, you’d only be paying $14,000 for a solar system that will generate electricity for the next 30 years plus. That means it would only cost you $14,000 for a system that could save you $50,000 or more on electricity costs. When you combine that with our flexible financing options, you can often get a payment that’s the same or less than your current electric bill right from the start.

Don’t Miss Out

The Empire District Electric Solar Rebate is a fantastic opportunity for those on the Empire grid. It’s only going to be available for a few short years and then it’s gone forever. The rebate will also be decreasing from $.50/w to $.25/w at the end of 2018. Are you waiting for prices to go down before you pull the trigger? Chances are, you’ll wait too long and miss out on the rebate. Solar equipment prices have leveled out and this is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to go solar in Southwest Missouri. Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity!

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About the Author

Matt is the director of marketing at Simple Solar and is passionate about helping his fellow SW Missourians go solar! Check out more articles and content on the blog or by visiting the Simple Solar Facebook Page!