Solar Panels Cost Data: Solar Choice Price Index
Solar Choice has been publishing the Solar Price Index for residential solar & commercial-scale solar since 2012 and 2014, respectively. We regularly compile pricing & product and warranty information from our pre-vetted network of over 200 installers to produce the Residential Solar PV Price Index and Commercial Solar Price Index.
Our price index is used frequently as a benchmark to residential customers and businesses as Australias best guide on how much solar panels cost and is included in reports derived by industry experts such as SunWiz and Bloomberg NEF.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Cost Of Solar
Solar energy cost has plummeted in the past decade. The average cost of solar panels is less than half what it was ten years ago.
As of the time we updated this page , most solar panel prices fall in the range of 60 cents to 70 cents per watt. Premium panels can climb above $1 per watt depending on their size, quality, and where they are manufactured. Our solar panel calculator uses standard size panels to estimate the cost of your system.
Solar panel installation cost varies by provider. A turnkey solution will charge 100-200% the cost of equipment to perform the installation.
If your 6.6 kW system costs $10k in equipment, they may charge you $20k for the installation, bringing the grand total for the project to $30,000.
The other option is to buy direct from a distributor and either install it yourself or hire a local contractor to do it for you. If you choose the self-install solar panels, we have instructional videos and a brilliant tech support team to walk you through the project. Some people spend less than $1000 installing their own system .
Even if you hire a local contractor, theyll charge you somewhere between 75 cents and $1.25 per watt. Theyd install the system above for around $6000-$7000, which is less than half the amount youd pay to a turnkey installer.
Thats why youre here! Our solar power calculator takes the information you provide about your energy usage patterns and returns our best guess about how much solar energy you might need to generate.
Federal Solar Tax Credits And State Solar Incentives
When you own the home solar system, you are eligible to apply for up to 100% of the available federal and state incentives and rebates.
As this recent article in Forbes magazine explains, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit , which was scheduled to drop from 26% to 22% in 2021, will stay at 26% for two more years and not drop to 22% until 2023. For a $20,000 system, the 26% federal credit would be $5,200, compared to $4,400 under the 22% credit.
Several states also offer solar tax credits and solar tax rebates. People who own their solar system and/or battery in participating states may be able to claim these expenses on their local taxes or receive cashback on their installation. While you may be eligible for a solar tax credit or a solar tax rebate with the purchase of a home solar system, please remember that tax incentives are subject to change.
You May Like: How To Get The Best Solar Deal
How Much Will A 1000kwh Solar System Save Me
This ones easy.
In order to know how much your 1000kWh solar system will save you, you need to know how much you pay for electricity in your country.
If you install a solar system that offsets 100% of your electricity consumption, you will essentially save the amount you would of spent on electricity each month.
So for someone living in the USA spending an average of $0.150 per kWh. You would save approximately $150 every month with a 1000kWh solar installation.
Assuming you spent $12,500 on your solar panels, you would make back your solar investment within 6,9 years.
From that point on you will literally be saving $150 for the next 23 years .
So in 23 years, your 1000kWh solar system will save you a whopping $41,400 in total!
Worth it? We think so.
Connecting To The Grid
Most solar kits are designed for off-grid systems, which wouldn’t demand as much energy as the average home, such as tiny houses or sheds. A typical off-grid PV system costs about $2.50 per watt.
Grid-tied packages range from $2.00 to $3.50 per watt. The grid can be very useful, providing electricity at night or in times of low sunlight. Being connected requires more components, such as meters and safety equipment. You will need to consult your local utility company about regulations and hire a licensed electrical contractor to connect you.
Read Also: How Much Power Does A 100 Watt Solar Panel Produce
Make Your Solar Panel Installation Easy And Sound
There has never been a better time to go solar, considering the attractive incentives and credits, and the ever-falling solar panel prices. As you seek to put the panels on the roof, there is a process to follow. Unfortunately, many homeowners get confused when they face a wide range of options and a lot of technical stuff. In some areas, there are thousands of solar panel installers. Amidst all this commotion, does answering the question How much does one solar panel cost ? solve everything? No, you need to look at more than just your budget.
Solar Panel Cost By State
As interesting as it is to look at the average solar panel cost in the United States, its also very helpful to understand what solar will cost in each state, as prices can vary significantly depending on where you live. Why? There are a number of reasons, but one important factor to keep in mind is system size.
In general, states where homeowners need to use air conditioning more often have more average electricity used per household. As such, some of the largest solar panel systems are installed in sunny, warm states like Arizona and Florida. Why does this matter? For solar installers, the larger your system, the less they will usually charge per kilowatt-hour . Its like buying in bulk at Costco you might pay a higher sticker price, but your per-unit costs are lower when you buy more at one time. Well dive into this phenomenon more below.
Back to solar panels. In the end, this very roughly translates to lower $/W pricing in warm states and higher $/W pricing in cold states. But in the end, total pricing is usually close to a wash warm states have a lower price per watt, but larger system sizes, and cold states have a higher price per watt, but smaller system sizes.
Cost of solar panels by state
|$14,160 $16,800||$23,600 $28,000|
You May Like: How Much To Install Solar Power System
Solar Panel Cost Calculations
To calculate average purchase and installation costs by system size and electricity needs, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors analyses costs from a variety of sources, including surveys, online quotes and retailer pricing information. It combines these with quotes from specialist subcontractors to give the most accurate average prices.
The prices include everything necessary to carry out the installation. This includes materials, labour, preliminary work, contractor costs, VAT and profit.
Materials costs are based on the best trade prices from a range of suppliers across the UK, which are then benchmarked to reveal the best national average. Labour rates are based on the current Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council wage agreement. RICS then uses this data in a standardised model. Data copyright RICS 2020 and reproduced with permission. Prices are correct as of October 2020.
*Which? conducted an online survey in June 2021 with 1,116 Which? Connect members who have solar panels.
How Much Do You Save With Solar Panels
You can cut down on your electricity bills with the use of solar panels. The electricity that you use when your panels are active is entirely free, and it can result in annual savings of £160-£430. Of course, the specifications of every household are necessary in order to be precise in the estimation.
Overall, how much you can save with solar panels will depend on a few factors:
- Your household electricity consumption
- How efficient your type of solar panel is
- If you generate an income from solar panel funding schemes
You can increase the savings on your bills by using your appliances during the day, when your solar panels are active. Those small changes can result in big savings on the energy bill.
In addition, how efficient your solar panels are will also play a part in how much you can save. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient , while polycrystalline panels are less efficient . The more efficient your system is, the more electricity it can generate in a given time.
You May Like: How To Get Certified In Solar Panel Installation
In Conclusion: Are Solar Panels Worth It
At the end of the day, the cost of solar is only as important as the return youll get from installing solar panels. For most homeowners, solar is a worthwhile investment, and you can break even in as few as 7 or 8 years. From that point on, youre essentially generating free electricity and racking up the savings. During those 7 to 8 years, youll be generating your own electricity instead of paying for electricity from the grid, and any extra electricity you produce you might be able to get credit for thanks to net metering policies .
Of course, just like the cost of solar panels varies by state, your payback period with solar will also vary depending on where you live. As a general rule, places where electricity is most expensive will lead to the most lifetime savings from a solar panel system. Check out our article about electricity rates and solar savings for a more in-depth explanation of how this actually works.
You can read more about the payback and cost-benefit of solar in our article, Are solar panels worth it?. Or, head to our solar calculator for an instant estimate of your savings potential!
How Many People Are Having Solar Panels Installed
Residential solar panel installations saw a huge peak in the 2015/16 financial year, with 95,122 0-4kW solar systems installed. Installations have dropped off a bit since then but are beginning to rise again with 32,370 installed in 2018/19 compared to 19,708 the year before.
With prices at a much lower level than they were around 10 years ago, its no surprise that the number of installations is beginning to rise again. If youre interested in generating your own renewable solar energy then you can get free quotes from up to 3 solar installers using Solar Guide. All you have to do is complete our simple online form.
Recommended Reading: How Many Amps Does A 300 Watt Solar Panel Produce
The Impact Of Geography
Now depending on where you live, this payback period could vary significantly. Here’s a chart of “peak sun hours” in the U.S. :
Say you bought a standard 224 watt solar panel and stuck it on your roof in an optimal location with no shadows. The panel is rated to produce 224 watts of power in 1 hour of peak solar intensity. So if you live in Santa Fe, New Mexico you would generate 6 x 224 watts = 1.33 kWh in one day with that one panel. You have to shave off about 10% for efficiency losses so in Santa Fe you’re looking at 1.2 kWh of production per panel per day, or 438 kWh’s per year.
In Cooperstown, New York you have roughly half the solar intensity, approximately 3 hours per day of peak, so there you would expect to produce 0.6 kWh with the same panel each day, or 219 kWh’s per year. The national average is somewhere in the middle so on average in the U.S. a 224 watt panel creates 0.9 kWh per day or 328 kWh’s per year. Over a typical 25 year lifespan that panel would produce about 8,200 kWh’s.
Stockholm, Sweden where the Vattenfall study was performed, gets 3 peak sun hours just like Upstate New York, producing about 5,500 kWh’s over its typical 25 year life span. According to the study, a solar panel in Sweden generates 50g of CO2 per kWh so that is a total of 274 kg of CO2, or 600 lbs of CO2.
If you want to get really exact efficiencies for your area check out the awesome PVwatts calculator.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels In The Uk
In 2021 solar panels cost around £6,000 £7,000 for the average sized residential home, this is over 60% cheaper compared to what they were in 2010. It means solar panels are now more affordable than ever. And thats great news for homeowners!
Even though theres never been a better time to invest in solar energy, solar panels are a considered purchase. Its not like nipping out to the shop to buy a new pair of shoes. Although prices have dropped a lot, systems still cost several thousands of pounds. So its important to do your home work around not only which are the best solar panels, but also how long it could take to recoup your investment through energy savings and government payback. Use our solar PV calculator to find out how much payback you can expect.
To get the best solar panel deal you should compare multiple solar PV quotes from MCS certified solar installers to ensure you get the best possible price and the right number of solar panels to meet your requirements.
To put these prices into context, the cost of solar panels for a 3 bedroom house will be around £5520 £6040 as they’ll need to install a 3-4kW system to meet the higher electricity demands.
As we mentioned earlier, the price of solar panels has dropped pretty significantly. In fact, solar panel prices are 70% cheaper than in 2010. We’ve included a chart below to illustrate just how much prices have dropped for a typical 4kW system in the UK.
You May Like: How Often Do You Need To Clean Solar Panels
What Is The Largest Solar Farm In The World
The largest solar system installed in the world is the Pavagada Solar Park, which was fully completed in 2019 in India. The 2,050 MW array can supply energy to hundreds of thousands of households.
It should be clarified that these massive solar plants are more commonly referred to as solar farms than smaller ground mount arrays often see with community solar projects. Solar systems at the scale of the Pavagada Solar Park are the size of entire towns and thus take on the name solar farm to reference the size of the install . The term more commonly used with community solar is solar gardens due to the fact that the system could be only a few acres and could even live in someones backyard.
Cost Of Solar Panel Mounts
Solar panel mounts cost anywhere from $10 to $3,000 each, depending on if its fixed, adjustable or a motorized tracking mount. Similar to the panel types, the least expensive option is the least efficient and the more expensive options are more effective.
- Fixed: $10-$15 each. These are completely stationary and cannot be adjusted to capture more or less sunlight depending on weather and season. They are the least expensive type of mount. Installing this mount is optimal in regions where continuous sunlight can be expected, as adjustments wouldn’t be as necessary in order to maximize on energy production.
- Adjustable: $50 each. These can be tilted depending on the intensity of the sun or the season. They are more expensive than the fixed mounts but will have more energy efficiency. Adjusting the panels to soak up more sun in varying seasons will equate to greater energy production. These adjustments can also be useful when the weather turns, as you can lay them flat to avoid damage from wind.
- Tracking: $500-$3,000+ each. Follows the arch of the sun and provides maximum efficiency. The amount of energy you will be able to generate depends not only on panel construction and mounting, but your location. Though the initial cost for tracking is higher than other mounts, these can often get you the highest return on investment, as they make the most of every ray of sunlight. Track mounting may add 45% energy production.
Also Check: Can I Add More Batteries To My Solar System
Cost Per Installed Watt
As stated, the cost per installed watt is one of just two pieces of information that you need to determine the total cost of your solar system.
Here is the average cost per installed watt broken down by province:
Its important to note that these numbers represent average costs. Systems can cost more or less than the average depending on the size and the type of equipment used.
As a general rule, a solar system in your province will be priced:
- Higher for premium equipment and installers, or if your required size is below 7.5kW
- Lower for standard equipment and discount installers, or if your required size is above 7.5kW
What About Solar Panel Costs In The Future
Many people in the solar industry expect the price of solar systems to continue to decline, albeit at a much slower pace. Manufacturers continue to progressively release improvements in cell efficiency and panel designs which are now edging leading Solar Panels towards 1,000W of power. However a lot of the early step change efficiencies of production have already been achieved in robotic-driven factories of enourmous scale. Additionally in Australia the STC rebate reduces each year until it is scheduled to phase out completely in 2030. This upward driver in solar prices has led to pricing level out over the last 12 months which can be seen in the above graph.
You May Like: How Much Does Solar Energy Save