A Note About Pricing: Gross Vs Net Costs
Throughout this article , we usually talk about solar panel pricing in terms of gross cost, aka the cost before any solar rebates and incentives that can reduce the upfront cost of solar, or even get you some money back over time. For example, our cost per Watt figures throughout the rest of this article are always the gross cost. This is because solar rebates and incentives arent always available to everyone. Even the 26 percent federal solar tax credit isnt always available for everyone to take full advantage of you need to have enough tax liability to claim the credit.
Solar installations are a unique product just based on your state and the manufacturer of your chosen solar panels, average solar panel costs can vary widely.
Solar Panel Costs By Electricity Generation
The more electricity the system can generate, the greater the savings on your electricity bill can be but the bigger the initial cost.
Its important that your system is sized correctly for your households electricity use, so that you dont overpay.
If you’re not sure what size solar panel system is appropriate for your home, weve also listed prices you should expect to pay based on your annual electricity usage. You can find this on your annual energy statement or in your online account.
|Solar panel cost by electricity use|
|Annual electricity use|
But keep in mind that solar panels generate most of their electricity during the day, so you may not be around to use it . In fact, our survey of solar panel owners* found that:
- 12% use less than a quarter of their solar electricity
- 34% use between a quarter and half
- 22% use between half and three quarters
- 13% use more than three quarters.
So you’ll still need to buy electricity from the grid, especially on dark winter evenings.
Battery storage lets you bank electricity generated by your solar panels until you need it, but buying a battery will mean it takes longer for your system to pay for itself. Find out more about solar panels and battery storage. The cost of a battery is not included in the prices above.
Cost Of Solar Panels By State
There is a wide range in price of solar panels, both in the starting cost for a 6-kilowatt system and cents per kilowatt-hour across the country. Prices can vary greatly from state to state, due in part to the average electricity bill in the area. Hawaii has the highest costs, while Louisiana has the lowest costs. The national average cost is 10.53 cents per kilowatt-hour.
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.
Solar Panel Monthly Cost
If you purchase your solar panel system, they have no ongoing monthly costs. However, if you do not want to purchase the system upfront, you have the option of leasing your panels monthly. This costs between $50 and $250 a month, depending on the system size. It is only advisable if your electric bill is considerably higher than these figures to offset your monthly energy costs. Otherwise, you may find that purchasing gives you a better overall return on your investment.
Solar power might appear expensive, but you are paying for power anyway. The difference is after several year with solar your system is paid for. After several years of paying your electric bill, month after month, with power costs going up year after year, the only thing you have earned is the right to continuing doing it for the rest of your life.
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Power Dimensions Number Of Cells
These parameters significantly affect how much solar panels for an apartment or a house will cost in the end. For example, the price of solar panels can vary, even if they are the same type, equal in size and area. And most likely, it will be a matter of power the amount of energy that the system provides, in fact its capacity. This situation can be due to differences in the production of the panels, such as the use of different impurities to the silicon. In this case, even with the same size of photovoltaic cells, their output power will be different, and this is one of the most important performance indicators for a solar panel. And despite the higher price, it is worth choosing a more powerful panel with otherwise identical characteristics.
Another influence on the price is the number of cells and the size of the solar panel. As a rule, they are directly proportional to the power, but you should not forget about the difference in the type of photovoltaic cells, as we wrote above. It is important to consider all of these parameters in order to properly combine the energy needs of the solar panel and your budget.
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
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Estimate Residential Solar Panel Cost
The brunt of the expense with solar panels is in installation and the purchase of the actual panels.
» MORE: Compare solar loans and apply
Minimal long-term expenses can make up for the upfront costs. Most systems dont require much maintenance and are designed to last for 20 years or more with little change to the amount of electricity produced, Nilsen says.
When calculating the total price, consider how much energy you regularly consume your usage is listed on your monthly utility bill and what size system will generate the amount needed. Some tools, like the SolarReviews calculator, estimate the system size for you.
With installation, an average residential 5kW size system costs between $3 and $5 per watt, according to the CSE, which results in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. That cost is before any tax credits and incentives.
If you know your current energy usage, you can calculate how much youll need to pay for solar panels.
Then comparison shop for solar panels as you would other big-ticket items, such as a car or TV, says Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of the solar marketplace EnergySage. Some companies lower installation costs through rebates and other programs.
Aggarwal recommends getting quotes from three to five contractors. EnergySage compiles solar companies customer reviews, certifications, Better Business Bureau profiles and other information to help you find reputable providers.
How Does Solar Panel Installation Work
The process for switching to solar doesnt happen overnight. It may take weeks or even months to decide on a solar provider and an additional several weeks to six months before your system is fully operational. The amount of time it takes depends on a companys availability and schedule, as well as the permitting and inspection processes where you live. The size and type of solar panels you choose can also affect the length of this process.
In general, though, solar panel installation occurs in five steps: survey, design, permitting, installation and connection.
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State Solar Panel Rebates & Deductions
Individual states and cities offer their own policies, incentives and credits, as well. Some utility companies will even offer 10 to 20% rebates on your installation. With these incentives, combined with the ITC, you may be able to save as much as 50%.
- Washington: Utility companies offer rebates up to $2,000
- Massachusetts: Utility companies which offer rebates of $0.50/watt and up to $625/kW.
- New York State: Tax credit of 25% for PV systems.
- Florida: Permanent sales tax exemption for solar energy products. Also several utility companies offering $500 rebates on solar water heating systems, which cost an average of just over $3,500.
Leave Solar Panel Installation to the Pros
How Many Watts Do You Use
When looking at your utility bill, you should be able to see kilowatt-hours . KWH for homes can vary greatly depending on location. A home in the south is more likely to draw massive amounts of energy from air conditioner units.
Finding the average daily energy usage will help you calculate your solar needs. Once you have your usage you can look at how much wattage youll need to be able to run everything.
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What Do Solar Panels Cost And Are They Worth It
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.
The rising cost of electricity from traditional sources makes solar installation seem like a no-brainer for many homeowners.
But the true cost of solar panels, and whether they’ll help you save money, depends on a few key factors. On average, installation and the system together can run between $15,000 and $25,000, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy.
Location largely affects electricity rates. The national average is about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to year-to-date 2021 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Before you make the leap, learn how your electric bill, location and incentives can impact your wallet over time. Here are six steps to take to determine whether youll save more than you spend on solar panels.
How Much Does Solar Installation Cost A Look Into Average Prices For Solar Panels
In 2010, an average homeowner in the United States would have paid around $40,000 for a full-size solar panel system for their home. Fast forward to 2021, the average cost for a solar panel installation has fallen 50% to roughly $20,000 .
Breaking down math is pretty simple. Just multiply the price per watt by the size of the system you need for your home: $3.20 per watt times 6,000 watts equals $19,200 there you have the average cost of a solar panel installation for your home. But where exactly do those numbers come from? And are there any local incentives available to slash that price tag even further? Thats what were here to help you understand.
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Is Solar Getting Cheaper And Should I Wait
Solar is getting cheaper as every year passes due to the large spike in Chinese production, and market hyper-consumption. This along with the Australian governments Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has meant that installers have struggled to keep up with the demand of the last few years, and for good reason.
Should you wait? Not really. With the cost of power steadily on the rise in Australia and the interest-free finance available specifically for solar installs, there is no reason why you should not get a solar system installed taking advantage now of this far cheaper form of energy production.
Can Solar Panels Power A Whole House
Solar panels are a huge investment and can allow any home or building to step into the 21st Century in style. On top of the energy benefits, they can save you thousands of dollars a year in costs off your bills.
However, theyre not cheap and youll want reassurances that theyre going to do the job that youre expecting them to do. Depending on the size and the number of solar panels at your disposal, you can expect them to fulfill different workloads.
What’s In This Article
Some may only be suitable to power small areas, whereas, some people will need whole buildings and structures powered. Weve researched whether solar panels can power whole houses, so you can decide whether you want to invest in solar energy.
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Understanding The Solar Investment Tax Credit
As we alluded to earlier, the ITC has been an overall boon to the expansion and health of the solar industry. As of 2021, the ITC reduces the cost of installing solar panels by 26%, and its a large reason the solar industry has consistently experienced a 42% annual growth rate for the past decade.
Unfortunately, the residential ITC is set to completely expire by 2024, with the ramp down already happening now. Thankfully, solar panel installations costs overall have decreased during the life of the ITC, but the solar panel industry is still preparing for a slowdown in installations in the short-term future. Therefore, if there was any time to consider solar panels for your home, the time is now. The discount is only going to decrease.
How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost
Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
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Solar Panel Service Life And Durability Indicators
Quality solar panels tend to last quite a long time, which means that such modules cost more than their counterparts. On average, their service life of solar panels is about 30 years. But as practice shows, high-quality panels can be used even longer, but if the panel was originally defective, degradation will begin more quickly. Proper use, type and class of module, installation system, level of maintenance, operating conditions of the device also affect the service life of the panels and their durability. In addition, there is a direct correlation between the quality of the panels and the responsibility of the manufacturer, as discussed below.
Yes You Can Afford To Go Solar
Its the number one question everyone asks when considering solar panel installation: How much do solar panels cost?
The good news is that the cost to install home solar power saw a 70% decrease from 2010 to 2016 according to statistics from the Solar Energy Industry Association . Thats huge! No other electricity generation technology has been able to keep up with such a rapid pace of cost reduction.
In fact, can you think of anything else, anything, thats experienced such a decline in cost? Neither can we!
While costs have continued to decrease since 2016, it has been at a slower pace, so the cost to go solar has pretty much stabilized. Meaning there is no better time than now to go solar. Any cost savings you may see by delaying your decision is not likely to offset the savings you would forego by waiting.
A number of factors determine the final price of a PV system, including its size, component options and configuration, labor costs, local permitting costs and available incentives and tax credits. The cost of a solar electric system is measured in dollars per watt. The cost of a residential solar system is currently averaging $3-5 per watt, depending on the state you live in. That means the average 5-kW residential system will cost $15,000-$25,000, prior to tax credits or incentives.
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Can Solar Panels Help Sell A House
Throwing some facts into the mix, 2017 research by Which?* found that installing solar panels on your home does not negatively impact the value of the property. Eight per cent of estate agents involved in this research said they thought solar panels increased property value. Particularly as they are considered to be an extra/additional feature adding value to a property due to the cheaper energy it provides.