Solar Considerations for Arkansas

Solar panels for a home in Arkansas is a great benefit, and we want our customers to know why.

15 Minute Read

Your Goals

Are you interested in lowering and having predictable monthly bills, hedging against increasing electric rates, saving money in the long run, helping the environment, increasing the value of your home, planning on consuming more electricity, or all of these? Peak Power Solar starts with understanding your goals to ensure that our recommendations and solutions help you achieve them. Our aim is to constantly remain one of the best solar companies in Little Rock, Arkansas and that means putting our customers’ needs first.

Your Plans

Ideally, you should be planning on living in or keeping your home for at least as many years as it will take to recoup your investment in the solar panel system. (We recommend 5-10 years) After you recoup your investment on your solar power system for home, you can view your subsequent savings as income or profit. Even if you are planning to live in your home for a shorter period or need to relocate, you may be able to recoup the cost based on your solar system’s potential increase in home value (since the new homeowner will be paying a reduced electric bill). Peak Power Solar will help you analyze your current situation and plans to determine if and how best you should go solar. Solar power systems for home should be uniquely designed to your specific situation, especially in Arkansas.

Current Consumption and Payments

Generally, the higher your consumption or electric bills, the more it makes sense to go solar. You should also consider solar panels if your consumption may increase. For example, with an addition to your family, installing a swimming pool, or purchasing an electric vehicle, you can expect your rates to rise in the future. Keep in mind that there is no magic threshold that your current monthly electric bill must be above or below to determine if you should go solar. Peak Power Solar will help you analyze your current and future consumption, electric rates, and net metering rules to determine if and how going solar will benefit you.

Rate Plans and Consumption Pattern

Some customers found that by learning about and switching to another rate plan (e.g., from tiered to time-of-use) and changing their energy use patterns (e.g., doing laundry during evenings or weekends), they could save enough money so as not to go solar – and that is okay. At Peak Power Solar, we want to do what is right for you. We will help you look at going solar as part of an overall energy plan, including consumption monitoring, efficiency, and conservation. All while maintaining or improving your lifestyle.

Roof Space and Orientation

When considering solar panel installation, roofing is a main factor. To generate the most electricity from solar, you should have sufficient usable roof space that faces the right direction – preferably south or southwest. If that is not the case, Peak Power Solar can provide options such as reverse-tilt mounting or high-efficiency panels to maximize energy production from the available roof space and orientation. If no such roof space is available, mounting panels on your garage, carport, awning, or the ground could be other options that Peak Power Solar will help you to consider.


Shading from adjacent buildings, chimneys, roofs, trees, and other obstructions will prevent sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Many times, the shading is temporary within a day (e.g., shading from a tree during morning hours) or within a year (shading from an obstruction during the winter months). The shading may be permanent (e.g., building) or removable (e.g., trimming a tree). Depending on your situation, Peak Power Solar will design the best solution to maximize the energy output, recommend ways to remove or reduce shading, or even suggest that going solar is not viable.

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Electric Main Panel

Going solar will require that your electric main panel handle the extra load from the solar system and the additional breakers. If it cannot, then the electric main panel will need to be upgraded. Peak Power Solar can upgrade your electric main panel as part of the solar installation.


For quickest payback and to take the most advantage of available incentive programs, it is best to own your solar system – either cash or financed. If you finance, then your payback period will increase due to the interest payment, but you will have a very low upfront payment. In either case, owning your solar system allows you to take advantage of the rebates and tax credits. It also places no encumbrances when selling your home.  

Incentives and Rebates

If you are considering going solar, you should decide early. The earlier you decide, the more you can benefit from the higher incentive levels. Solar power systems for home greatly help your financial load, and you will benefit from your decision to use renewable energy here in Arkansas.


The benefits of solar panels are directly proportional to the amount of energy generated by the system. The longer it is in production, the more energy it will generate. If you are considering going solar, the earlier you decide, the more days your system will generate electricity and contribute to your savings. Peak Power Solar will inform you of the currently available incentives, current levels, and planned reductions in Arkansas so you can make an informed decision. 

Warranties and Guarantees

Any solar panel warranty or guarantees should be carefully reviewed. The quality of a company’s warranties and guarantees signifies the company’s confidence, willingness, and ability to stand behind its work.

Solar panel warranty and guarantees are important for protecting your solar investment. The details of the solar panel warranty and guarantees are very important – the terms, the support process, the inclusion of replacement parts and labor, and other specifics should be known upfront and included in the total system offering and price considerations.


Once deciding that going solar is the right choice, most of our customers’ biggest consideration is choosing the installer who will complete solar panel installation. It is important to take solar panel installation seriously. Solar panel installation should be completed by a certified professional. These are the traits most often sought: integrity, reputation, quality, price, choice, warranty, in-house expertise, support, and relationship. At Peak Power Solar, we have built our business from the customer’s viewpoint and needs. We are not interested in selling you a solar system – we want to provide you with a solution that meets your goals and needs. We don’t seek for big quantity but high quality. That’s why we strive to be one of the best solar contractors in Little Rock and the entire state of Arkansas.


In addition to considerations, our customers had “what if” questions and concerns about going solar. Solar panel installation is a big decision, and we want to help customers plan accordingly. Solar power systems for home have huge benefits, and we want to encourage all customers to take advantage of those benefits.

Future Price Decline

Although the cost of solar systems and solar panel installations have been dropping and may continue to do so, the question is how much will the price drop and how quickly? Since the total system cost is comprised primarily of material and labor, it is possible that the material cost may see future price declines. However, the cost of labor will likely not decline unless more efficient means are  to developedreduce installation labor.

This is actively being worked on by Peak Power Solar

If prices decline but incentives decline at similar rates, the net cost will remain essentially the same.

If prices decline or remain the same, but the electric utility rates increase, then the system cost declines since the energy generated has increased in value.

The sooner the system is in operation and generating energy, the quicker the savings will start to offset the costs. Unless the future anticipated cost decline will be greater than the savings, then waiting for a future price decline may not be beneficial.

Technology Obsolescence

Today, almost all technology and products are constantly advancing and upgrading. The most relevant solar technological advance is the conversion efficiency from sunlight to electricity. Currently, the most efficient and mass-produced residential solar cells have efficiency ratios in the low 20% range.

The highest efficiency recently obtained from silicon-based cells is about 26%. The maximum theoretical efficiency of silicon-based cells is about 29%. The most efficient solar cells of any technology are about 46% efficient [source: NREL]. Although the range between the low 20’s to the high 20’s (theoretical high for silicon-based cells) is not much, the price difference between the two is relatively high, especially for residential applications. Therefore, at a high level, current technology and products will not be obsolesced in the near future when higher prices of the newer products are considered.

Ultimately, deciding not to install solar panels because something better may come out tomorrow is a personal choice. In practicality, though, waiting may not be warranted. The longer you wait for an uncertain future, the less time your current system has to generate electricity and provide benefits.

Expiration/Decrease of Federal Tax Credit

As of 2019, the federal solar tax credit (Investment Tax Credit – ITC) allowed the homeowner to claim a federal tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of an installed solar power system for home. By 2020 the ITC had already decreased to 26%. For residential homeowners, the credit will reduce from the current level of 26% to 22% in 2021. It will tend to decrease to zero by 2022 unless the Congress prolongs it for a few additional years. As for now the timetable remains known – allowing you to make an informed decision. Please consult your tax adviser regarding income tax credit eligibility.

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Net-Metering Changes

Net metering is the key that translates the electricity generated by the solar panel system to tangible financial benefits. If the net metering rules change, your financial benefits will change and possibly affect your payback period and return-on-investment. If the net meter rules do change, there is forewarning, and existing customers are usually grandfathered in for a long enough period, so they are not adversely affected.

No Production at night

Solar panels require sunlight to generate electricity. Therefore, a solar system does not generate electricity at night, and generation is reduced in low light conditions such as during cloudy weather. Based on historical data, the average amount of annual useable sunlight for a given geographical location is well known. This data will be used to design and size the solar system properly – i.e., non-production at night and adverse weather are already factored into the projected production of your system. Since the solar panels will not generate electricity in low light conditions, electricity will be consumed from the utility company when more electricity is needed than is generated, and you will be charged at the rate in effect of your usage. This should not be an issue since your usage from the utility will be reduced by the amount of electricity that you do produce. Additionally, depending on your rate plan, the utility’s charge is lower at night when the solar system is not producing. If desired, you can install storage batteries to store any additional electricity that you produce. You can then use that stored energy, when needed, instead of consuming from the electric company.