Off Grid Solar System Cost (What Can You Expect to Pay?)
Taking your home completely off-grid with solar is a much more involved and expensive of a process than many people first think. The setup requires various different components, some of which are much more complex than the more common grid-tied solar installation. However, going completely off-grid with solar may be the only viable solution for a home that’s located in the middle of nowhere, or when the owner wants to rely solely on their own energy solutions. If this sounds like you, you may be curious about how much off grid solar system cost? Assuming electric consumption is that of the U.S. national average, an off-grid solar system would cost between 30,392 – 48,048. The major price fluctuation is largely due to battery bank type, with LFP batteries costing much more than flooded lead-acid. Lastly, before we continue going into detail on each off-grid solar system component and its cost, we need to make sure you understand something. Solar system cost is largely dictated by 3 things. Your country, peak sun hours, and electricity consumption. The average price we gave above assumes you live in the United States. Costs in Australia for example would be much different.
What Components Are Typically Used in an Off grid Solar Power System?
In this section we will outline all the different components that make up an off-grid solar system and how each will influence the overall cost of your system. Keep in mind each component that makes up an off-grid solar system varies in cost based on its size and brand. For example, if your home uses a lot of electricity it is going to need a larger-sized battery bank to offset your consumption on overcast days. The larger the battery bank, the higher the costs. We will factor in location in the next section, here we want to talk about each of the main components that make up an off-grid solar system and what you can expect their costs to be.
#2 Charge Controller
Charge controllers regulate the rate at which electric current is added to or drawn from the electric batteries.
The type/power rating of these devices generally determines the price.
We recommend installing MPPT charge controllers, Victron is a fantastic brand.
#3 Hybrid Power Inverter
Inverters are pretty much the life force behind your off-grid solar system. Without them, your setup won’t work.
They essentially transform the DC electricity from your batteries into useable AC electricity which you can use to power your appliances around the house.
#4 Battery Bank
Perhaps the most expensive component of your entire off-grid solar system setup.
Battery banks are one of the defining components of an off-grid solar system.
They allow your home to be powered during periods of overcast conditions or at night time.
Battery technology is still quite expensive, particularly lithium-ion technology.
For the most part we have covered the main components in an off-grid solar system.
However, there are of course a few more smaller components that will add to your cost. We have chosen to leave them out as they really all depend on the individual setup.
Off Grid Solar Systems: Estimated Costs Table
|Solar Panels||5,000. 30,000|
|Charge Controller||50. 1,000|
|Hybrid Inverter||3,000. 13,000|
|Battery Bank||10,000. 30,000|
The overall cost of your system really all comes down to what size you have installed.
The larger the size the more expensive.
The size you require all comes down to your energy consumption and your offset requirements.
For this reason we have included averages instead of exact amounts as the cost of an off-grid solar system varies way too much person to person.
Solar Tax Credits
One perk available to those of you who live in the U.S. is the solar tax credit. Our averages do not take into account your ability to claim solar incentives for your solar installation.
Congress passed an extension of the ITC, which provides a 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022, and 22% for systems installed in 2023. (Systems installed before December 31, 2019 were eligible for a 30% tax credit.) The tax credit expires starting in 2024 unless Congress renews it Energy.Gov
Taking these credits into consideration, our average amounts get reduced to:
Off Grid Solar Systems: Complete Costs Table
|1.30 kW||Daily Summer: 5.80 Daily Winter: 2.90||Price: 8,349. 14,220|
|2.90 kW||Daily Summer: 13.00 Daily Winter: 6.50||Price: 11,559. 16,921|
|3.80 kW||Daily Summer: 17.30 Daily Winter: 8.60||Price: 13,916. 23,571|
|4.80 kW||Daily Summer: 21.60 Daily Winter: 10.80||Price: 15,634. 25,289|
|5.80 kW||Daily Summer: 25.90 Daily Winter: 13.00||Price: 18,303. 27,958|
|6.40 kW||Daily Summer: 28.80 Daily Winter: 14.40||Price: 22,654. 32,699|
|7.70 kW||Daily Summer: 34.60 Daily Winter: 17.30||Price: 24,451. 34,496|
|9.60 kW||Daily Summer: 43.20 Daily Winter: 21.60||Price: 33,462. 54,111|
|10.20 kW||Daily Summer: 46.10 Daily Winter: 23.00||Price: 32,065. 48,565|
|11.50 kW||Daily Summer: 51.80 Daily Winter: 25.90||Price: 32,815. 53,464|
|12.80 kW||Daily Summer: 57.60 Daily Winter: 28.80||Price: 35,653. 52,154|
|14.40 kW||Daily Summer: 64.80 Daily Winter: 32.40||Price: 47,263. 76,984|
|17.30 kW||Daily Summer: 77.80 Daily Winter: 38.90||Price: 51,180. 80,900|
(Table courtesy of Unbound Solar)
You may use the above table to figure out your estimated costs based on your homes solar requirements.
Final Off Grid Power Thoughts
Understanding the costs involved with your off-grid solar system is the first step in figuring out whether this is a viable option for your household.
An off-grid solar system may allow you to live in more isolated areas, ones closer to nature without grid-tied electricity supply.
This in itself would generally reduce the overall purchase cost of your household. Perhaps this is some incentive to justify the large cost of an off-grid solar system.
Is Off Grid solar expensive? Off-grid solar systems are expensive. A solar panel setup that supplies all the energy needs of a home tends to be very expensive. Compared to a grid-connected solar system, an off-grid solar system requires more panels, an inverter with a higher voltage capacity, and a large amount of solar battery storage.
Does solar increase home value? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that every dollar saved on energy through solar increases home value by 20. That’s a return on investment of 20 to 1 According to Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for approximately 4 percent higher on average than homes without solar energy.
How much does a 100kW solar system cost? The average commercial solar panel cost for 100kW solar system in the US is about 325,000 with average ranging from 50,000 for a 25kW system to 600,000 for a 250kW solar system.
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18kW Commercial Solar Installation
May Constructions are a commercial contracting and development group. As an Australian company for the past 25 years, they understand the importance of operating efficiently and reducing their impact on the environment. This has led to the installation of a commercial solar system to save on energy and operating costs thus benefiting May Constructions, and the customers they serve. Commercial solar is an affordable energy option that creates a sustainable future.
Given the ever increasing cost of power, May Constructions called on Solar Link Australia’s expertise to provide a power saving Solar Power Solution. May Constructions elected to install 70 Solar PV Modules for 18kW solar system. The panels have a positive tolerance providing reliable output and a guaranteed tolerance of 3%. They also have high module efficiency of up to 15.22%. over, they are certified to withstand 2400 Pa of wind and snow loads of up to 5400P as well as withstand a direct hail hit due to its tempered glass cover that is tested to TUV Standards (25mm diameter ice ball at 23.0m/s), keeping users worry-free at times of harsh weather.
SMA Inverters are German made and built to precision. They are robust in their build offer unmatched after sales technical support. Furthermore, with inbuilt comms functionality, May Constructions’ Solar power investment can be monitored via phone, tablet or laptop from anywhere in the world with a simple login.
Solar Link Australia is proud to supply install the industry’s leading solar brands to May Constructions. Now they will not only save money by using solar but will also lead the way in their social and corporate responsibility to reduce its own carbon footprint.
- 18kW System Size
- 1 x SMA 3-Phase Inverter, 70 x 260W Solar Panels
- Malvern, Victoria
- 26 Megawatts Annual Production
- 27 Tonnes/year C02 Emission Savings
- 4 Years Return of Investments
How Long Can Solar Battery Power a House During an Outage?
When you install a home battery, what you are really doing is providing your home with a backup energy reserve in the case of an outage.
Whether you have a solar panel system at your home or not, a home battery can be used to store electricity and deliver it to your home appliances and devices. The benefits of a home battery are clear, especially during short or long-term outages, or in areas with Time-of-Use (TOU) rates that make electricity more expensive during peak use hours.
In this article, we’ll show you how to calculate how long a battery paired with solar can power your house during a power outage, and give you some tips for maximizing your battery usage.
How long can a solar battery power a house?
Without running AC or electric heat, a 10 kWh battery alone can power the basic operations of a house for at least 24 hours, and longer with careful budgeting. When paired with solar, battery storage can power more electrical systems and provide backup electricity for even longer.
In fact, a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that when heating and cooling are excluded:
“(A) small PVESS with just 10 kWh of storage (at the lower end of sizes currently observed in the market) can fully meet backup needs over a 3-day outage in virtually all U.S. counties and any month of the year.”
PVESS stands for photovoltaics and energy storage system.
But exactly how long you can power your home with solar battery storage varies for each home and depends on three main things:
- Your battery storage capacity
- The output of your solar system
- Your electricity needs during an outage
We’ll show you how to budget your electricity to meet your solar and battery capacity below. First, let’s start with identifying your battery storage capacity.
Home battery capacity
Capacity — the amount of energy a battery can story — is one of the main features that influence how long a battery can power a house during a power outage.
Battery storage capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and can vary from as little as 1 kWh to over 10 kWh. Multiple batteries can be combined together to add even more capacity, but a 10 kWh home battery is typical for most homes.
Check out this video to know more about Kilowatt hours (kWh).
During a power outage, assuming you have a fully charged home battery, you will be able to use most of the 10 kWh of stored energy. You’ll want to leave a minimum charge of 5-10% on your battery for a couple main reasons:
- To maintain the health of your battery
- To start your solar inverters in the morning so you can recharge your battery with solar power
For a 10 kWh battery, you’ll want to leave at least 0.5 kWh of capacity in reserve at all times. That leaves you with 9.5 kWh to power your home during a power outage.
On it’s own, 9.5 kWh of battery storage can power essential electrical systems for a day or two. But central air conditioning uses around 3 kWh per hour, which would eat up the entire battery in just over three hours. Let’s see pairing battery with solar can expand your options during a power outage.
Solar system output
The beauty of pairing battery storage with solar is that you essentially create your own miniature utility to power your home. This is especially useful during prolonged power outages because unless you have battery storage, your solar system will be turned off by the local utility to prevent the backflow of electricity from injuring workers trying to repair the grid.
But if you have battery storage, your system can operate independently when the grid is down. This is called “islanding.”
How electricity does a solar system produce?
Solar panel systems are measured in kilowatts (kW) that represent the amount of energy the system can produce in an hour of peak sunlight. So a 5 kW solar system can produce 5 kWh of electricity per hour in ideal conditions. But since conditions aren’t always ideal, we typically assume a performance ratio of 75%.
The average number of peak sunlight hours per day varies from 3.5 to 5.5 in the US. Multiple the system capacity by sunlight hours and 0.75 to find the daily output of a solar system.
For example, here’s how you would find the daily output of a 5 kW solar system getting 4.5 peak sunlight hours per day equals:
5 kW solar system x 4.5 sunlight hours per day x 0.75 performance rating = 16.875 kWh per day
In many cases, that’s more than enough to power essential electrical systems and recharge a 10 kW battery to use overnight. But electricity needs vary from home to home, so let’s run through a some common appliances and how much energy they use.
Your electricity needs during a power outage
How long solar battery storage can run your home depends how much electricity you use. And how much electricity you use depends on which appliances and systems you’re running.
During a power outage, it’s recommended to budget electricity for the most necessary things first and then make a plan for the remainder capacity. For many homeowners, the list of priorities includes:
- Kitchen and cooking
- Water heating
- TV and device charging
- Heating and cooling
Now, heating and cooling is last on the list not because it isn’t important, but because these operations take so much electricity they’ll likely have to be limited regardless of your battery capacity. So the wise move here is to budget your essentials first, and then get a sense of how much battery capacity is left for heating and cooling.
Note: If you have a gas furnace, you won’t need much electricity to keep the heat on.
Let’s run through an example scenario of powering essential systems during a 24-hour power outage to get an idea of how much solar and battery capacity you’ll need.
Use the tables below as an a la carte menu to create your own battery storage budget.
Refrigerator: 1.5 kWh per day
|“>Older 15-cubic foot unit (1996)||“>5 kWh per day|
|“>Newer ENERGY STAR 17-cubic foot unit||“>1.16 kWh per day|
A refrigerator is among most important things to power during an outage so that you can avoid having your food and drink go to waste.
If you have a modern, energy star approved model, your refrigerator is using around 1-2 kWh of electricity a day. If your fridge lived through Y2K, you might be looking at closer to 5 kWh per day.
Refrigerator electricity usage can be minimized by opening the door less and raising the temperature slightly. If you are preparing for a planned Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), set the temperature very low before the shutoff event, and then set it to a higher temperature once the grid power goes out. That way the fridge starts cold and you can devote less battery capacity to power it during the outage.
Let’s say you have a relatively modern ENERGY STAR certified fridge that uses 1.5 kWh per day.
Running total: 1.5 kWh
Kitchen and cooking: 1 kWh per day
|“>Electric oven||“>2.3 kWh per hour|
|“>Oven: surface||“>1.1.5 kWh per hour|
|“>Microwave oven||“>0.12 kWh per 5 minutes|
Even during a power outage, people gotta eat. And in a large enough outage, it may not be practical to eat out or order delivery.
Let’s say you make a pot of coffee and toast in the morning (0.2 kWh), microwaved some leftovers for lunch (.12 kWh), and baked a frozen pizza for dinner (0.75 kWh) because your trying to clear out the freezer. That amounts to just over 1 kWh throughout the day.
Running total: 2.5 kWh
Electric water heating: 2.5 kWh a day
|“>Electric water heater||“>4-5 kWh per day (running 2-3 hours)|
|“>Heat pump water heater (50-75 gallon)||“>~2.5 kWh per day|
Water heating accounts for an average of 18% of the total energy used in the household. or around 162 kWh per month. On a normal day, a water heater runs for around 2 to 3 hours a day, which means that it will consume roughly 4-5 kWh of electricity a day. Heat pump water heaters are more efficient and can run on around 2.5 kWh per day.
But power outages are not normal days. To save electricity, you may want to skip or shorten your shower, wash your hands and rise your dishes with cold water, and hold off on laundry for a day or two.
And if you have a gas-powered water heater, water heating is a non-issue in terms of battery use.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say you put on some extra deodorant and limit your water heating use to 2.5 kWh per day.
Running total: 5 kWh
Lights: 1 kWh per day
|Bulb type||Energy use|
|CFL/LED (8 W) equivalent to 25 W incandescent||0.008 kWh per hour|
|CFL/LED (15 W) equivalent to 60 W incandescent||0.015 kWh per hour|
|CFL/LED (27 W) equivalent to 100 W incandescent||0.027 kWh per hour|
|CFL/LED (38 W) equivalent to 150 W incandescent||0.038 kWh per hour|
Compared to larger appliances, lights require very little electricity, especially if you have compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs. Even at the high end, a 38W LED bulb or 150 W incandescent bulb uses just 0.038 kWh per hour.
So if you budget 1 kWh of battery storage per day to lighting, you could run 26 bulbs for 1 hour each — more than enough to provide light for trips to the bathroom, closet, and getting ready for bed.
Remaining battery budget: 6 kWh
TV and device charging: 2 kWh
|Wi-Fi router||0.024 kWh per day|
|“>Modern TV: LED/OLED 4k or 1080P HDTV (20″ to 70″)||“>0.014 to 0.18 kWh per hour|
|“>TV: Plasma (40″ to 50″)||“>0.4 to 0.48 kWh per hour|
|“>Desktop computer||“>0.06 kWh per hour|
|“>Laptop computer||“>0.02-0.05 kWh per hour|
|“>Tablet||“>0.032 kWh per day|
Let’s be honest, one of the worst parts of power outages is going without internet and TV. Sure, you try to read a book for an hour or two, but that familiar glow is calling your name.
To keep the Wi-Fi on, you’ll need about 0.024 kWh. If you work from home, you can run your laptop for 8 hours for another 0.4 kWh. And if you want to wind-down with a movie or 3-hour Netflix binge, you’ll need another 0.54 kWh.
That adds up to 1.18 kWh, but we’ll round up to 2 kWh to account for phone charging and multiple devices running at once.
Remaining battery budget: 8 kWh
Air Heating and Cooling: Variable
|“>Electric furnace (with fan)||“>10.5 kWh per hour|
|“>Portable heater||“>1.5 kWh per hour|
|“>Baseboard heater (6-foot unit)||“>1.5 kWh per hour|
|“>Window/Wall AC (8k to 18k BTU)||“>0.73 to 1.8 kWh per hour|
|“>Central AC (3 ton – 12 SEER)||“>3.0 kWh per hour|
|“>Pedestal fan||“>0.03 kWh per hour|
|“>Ceiling fan||“>0.025-0.075 kWh per hour|
As you can see from the table, heating and cooling take a lot of electricity. So if you only had a 10 kWh battery and no solar, you’d have maybe 2 kWh to budget for running fans or space heaters.
But with a battery charged by solar, you would have much more electricity to spare for fans and space heaters — perhaps even enough to run central AC for a few hours, depending on your equipment.
|“>Nebulizer||“>1 kWh per hour|
|“>Oxygen concentrator||“>0.46 kWh per hour|
|“>Sleep apnea machine (CPAP)||“>0.2 kWh per hour|
Another thing to consider is powering medical equipment during a power outage. Certain equipment, like a nebulizer, requires a significant amount of electricity and could eat through 10kWh of battery very quickly.
Is getting a solar battery worth it?
Weather-related power outages in the US increased roughly 78% from 2011 to 2021, and are becoming a reality for more homeowners. If you like clean, quiet, and hands-free backup energy that can power your home for several days during outages, then solar and battery are totally worth it. Not only can battery keep your home powered, it can keep your local grid running, as we saw in California in September 2022.
In addition to providing backup power during outages, solar and battery can reduce your energy costs by shifting your power usage to off-peak hours when electricity is much cheaper (up to 20 cents per kWh!)
And, of course, there are the local and global impacts of reducing fossil fuel that pollute the air and contribute to climate change.
Click here or enter your zipcode above to see how much you can save with solar and battery.
,600 – 26,500 6 to 12 kW system cost installed
Average cost of solar panels
The average cost to install solar panels is 10,600 to 26,500 (after 30% tax credit) for a 6kW to 12kW system to power an entire house. Solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt installed for residential systems. Solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh to produce on average. The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years. Solar energy saves 600 to 2,000 per year on electricity costs.
|National Average Cost|
|Average Range||10,600 to 26,500|
- Most solar panels last up to 50 years, have a 25-year warranty, and start generating a return on investment after 8 years.
- Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity over their lifetime.
- Solar panel savings are 10,000 to 30,000 over 20 years depending on your location and the cost of electricity.
Use our solar calculators below to assess your total costs, or get free estimates from solar installers near you.
Solar panel cost calculator
The average residential solar installation is 3 kW to 10 kW, depending on your home’s size, location, and energy needs.
The federal solar tax credit reduces your overall costs by 30%. Many states and solar manufacturers offer additional incentives and rebates to further reduce your costs.
|2 kW||5,060 – 6,300||3,542 – 4,410|
|3 kW||7,590 – 9,540||5,313 – 6,615|
|4 kW||10,120 – 12,600||7,084 – 8,820|
|5 kW||12,650 – 15,750||8,855 – 11,025|
|6 kW||15,180 – 18,900||10,626 – 13,230|
|7 kW||17,710 – 22,050||12,397 – 15,435|
|8 kW||20,240 – 25,200||14,168 – 17,640|
|10 kW||25,300 – 31,500||17,710 – 22,050|
|12 kW||30,360 – 37,800||21,252 – 26,460|
|15 kW||37,950 – 47,250||26,565 – 33,075|
|20 kW||50,600 – 63,000||35,420 – 44,100|
|25 kW||63,250 – 78,750||44,275 – 55,125|
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
The average family uses 11,000 kWh per year and needs 26 to 33 solar panels to power the whole house. One solar thermal panel generates enough energy to power a hot water heater for a family of four.
The total number of panels needed depends on your location, roof size, and energy needs. To calculate how many solar panels you need, look at your annual kWh (kilowatt-hours) usage on your utility bills and referenced the table and map below.
|2 kW||6 – 8||2,652|
|3 kW||10 – 12||3,978|
|5 kW||16 – 21||6,630|
|6 kW||20 – 25||7,956|
|10 kW||33 – 41||13,260|
|12 kW||40 – 49||15,912|
|15 kW||50 – 61||19,890|
|18 kW||59 – 73||23,868|
Table based on 250 watt panels at average solar production ratios of 1.3 to 1.6.
Your home’s location is a significant factor when estimating how many solar panels you need to power your house. Regions with less sunlight require larger systems to handle 100% of their energy needs.
- Multiply the number in your shaded region by the estimated size of your system in kW.
- Then, multiply the result by 0.78 to account for inefficiencies and energy conversion losses.
For example, if you live in Texas with a score of 1700 and install an 8 kW system, your system will produce approximately 10,608 kWh annually:
1700 × 8 kW × 0.78 = 10,608 kWh
The table below shows the approximate system size needed in each region to produce 11,000 kWh for the average home.
Solar Panel Cost Per Watt
Residential solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt with installation, before any tax credits or incentives. Commercial solar costs 1.06 to 1.83 per watt. Solar systems have ratings based on the electricity produced annually in average conditions.
Solar Energy Cost Per kWh
Residential solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh on average, and commercial or utility-scale solar power costs 0.06 to 0.08 per kWh. include the federal solar tax credit and vary drastically based on the amount of sunlight and type of solar panels installed.
|Per kWh||0.08 – 0.10||0.06 – 0.08|
|Per Watt||2.53 – 3.15||1.06 – 1.83|
These figures represent the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), which is the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of the solar panels over their life expectancy.
Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot
The cost of solar panels to power your house are 4 to 10 per square foot with installation. However, most installers estimate solar costs by the amount of energy needed, or 2.53 to 3.15 per watt before any tax credits or incentives.
Below are cost estimates based on home size. Overall costs depend on the solar panel type, the roof’s size and design, and your energy needs.
|1,000||4,760 – 5,950|
|1,500||7,140 – 8,925|
|2,000||9,520 – 11,900|
|2,500||11,900 – 14,875|
|3,000||14,280 – 17,850|
Residential Cost of Solar Panels By State
The average cost of solar varies significantly per state, depending on the local cost of electricity. Below are the average per watt and by system size across the United States after subtracting the 30% federal solar tax credit.
|Alabama||2.02 – 2.85||12,120 – 17,100||20,200 – 28,500|
|Alaska||2.23 – 3.13||13,380 – 18,780||22,300 – 31,300|
|Arizona||1.88 – 2.35||11,286 – 14,118||18,810 – 23,530|
|Arkansas||2.42 – 2.74||14,520 – 16,440||24,200 – 27,400|
|California||1.82 – 2.29||10,926 – 13,758||18,210 – 22,930|
|Colorado||1.96 – 2.39||11,730 – 14,310||19,550 – 23,850|
|Connecticut||1.99 – 2.49||11,994 – 14,994||19,990 – 24,990|
|Washington D.C.||1.75 – 2.57||10,518 – 15,450||17,530 – 25,750|
|Delaware||1.95 – 2.13||11,742 – 12,810||19,570 – 21,350|
|Florida||1.48 – 2.09||8,880 – 12,552||14,800 – 20,920|
|Georgia||1.91 – 2.14||11,448 – 12,852||19,080 – 21,420|
|Idaho||2.03 – 2.22||12,162 – 13,314||20,270 – 22,190|
|Illinois||2.01 – 2.52||12,078 – 15,162||20,130 – 25,270|
|Indiana||2.07 – 2.49||12,444 – 14,940||20,740 – 24,900|
|Iowa||2.20 – 2.38||13,200 – 14,268||22,000 – 23,780|
|Kansas||1.49 – 2.06||8,940 – 12,360||14,900 – 20,600|
|Kentucky||2.35 – 3.04||14,100 – 18,240||23,500 – 30,400|
|Louisiana||1.77 – 2.33||10,644 – 13,980||17,740 – 23,300|
|Maine||1.85 – 2.35||11,100 – 14,100||18,500 – 23,500|
|Maryland||1.67 – 2.16||10,026 – 12,942||16,710 – 21,570|
|Massachusetts||1.94 – 2.37||11,628 – 14,376||19,380 – 23,960|
|Michigan||1.99 – 2.50||11,976 – 14,976||19,960 – 24,960|
|Minnesota||2.01 – 2.37||12,000 – 14,244||20,000 – 23,740|
|Mississippi||1.98 – 2.75||11,880 – 16,500||19,800 – 27,500|
|Missouri||1.71 – 2.42||10,260 – 14,520||17,100 – 24,200|
|Montana||1.86 – 2.34||11,148 – 14,064||18,580 – 23,440|
|Nebraska||1.74 – 2.88||10,440 – 17,280||17,400 – 28,800|
|Nevada||1.92 – 2.13||11,526 – 12,762||19,210 – 21,270|
|New Hampshire||1.97 – 2.55||11,796 – 15,300||19,660 – 25,500|
|New Jersey||1.76 – 2.35||10,530 – 14,118||17,550 – 23,530|
|New Mexico||2.02 – 2.73||12,102 – 16,362||20,170 – 27,270|
|New York||1.80 – 2.64||10,824 – 15,840||18,040 – 26,400|
|North Carolina||1.73 – 2.27||10,380 – 13,632||17,300 – 22,720|
|North Dakota||1.39 – 1.97||8,340 – 11,820||13,900 – 19,700|
|Ohio||1.79 – 2.29||10,740 – 13,740||17,900 – 22,900|
|Oklahoma||1.88 – 3.34||11,280 – 20,040||18,800 – 33,400|
|Oregon||1.63 – 2.20||9,804 – 13,224||16,340 – 22,040|
|Pennsylvania||1.80 – 2.60||10,782 – 15,630||17,970 – 26,050|
|Rhode Island||2.08 – 2.44||12,492 – 14,652||20,820 – 24,420|
|South Carolina||1.92 – 2.38||11,544 – 14,292||19,240 – 23,820|
|South Dakota||1.88 – 2.93||11,280 – 17,580||18,800 – 29,300|
|Tennessee||1.30 – 1.97||7,800 – 11,820||13,000 – 19,700|
|Texas||1.75 – 2.15||10,494 – 12,906||17,490 – 21,510|
|Utah||1.83 – 2.41||10,950 – 14,454||18,250 – 24,090|
|Vermont||1.79 – 2.58||10,716 – 15,480||17,860 – 25,800|
|Virginia||1.69 – 2.11||10,134 – 12,630||16,890 – 21,050|
|Washington||1.71 – 2.19||10,278 – 13,110||17,130 – 21,850|
|West Virginia||2.17 – 3.38||13,020 – 20,280||21,700 – 33,800|
|Wisconson||2.11 – 2.42||12,666 – 14,490||21,110 – 24,150|
|Wyoming||2.39 – 2.78||14,340 – 16,680||23,900 – 27,800|
Cost after subtracting the 30% federal tax credit.
Average Solar Panel Installation Costs By Brand
Below are total installation costs for 6kW and 10kW residential solar systems by brand after subtracting the 30% tax credit. Most solar manufacturers offer similar pricing. However, the price is typically reflective of panel quality.
|Axitec||1.57 – 2.10||9,450 – 12,642||15,750 – 21,070|
|Astronergy||1.85 – 2.35||11,130 – 14,154||18,550 – 23,590|
|Canadian Solar Inc.||1.65 – 2.26||9,954 – 13,566||16,590 – 22,610|
|CertainTeed Solar||2.06 – 2.48||12,390 – 14,910||20,650 – 24,850|
|Hanwha Q CELLS||1.73 – 2.31||10,416 – 13,860||17,360 – 23,100|
|Heliene||1.71 – 2.28||10,290 – 13,692||17,150 – 22,820|
|Hyundai||1.87 – 2.14||11,256 – 12,894||18,760 – 21,490|
|JA Solar||1.72 – 2.29||10,374 – 13,776||17,290 – 22,960|
|JinkoSolar||1.98 – 2.58||11,928 – 15,498||19,880 – 25,830|
|LG Solar||1.89 – 2.47||11,340 – 14,868||18,900 – 24,780|
|LONGi Solar||1.69 – 2.07||10,164 – 12,474||16,940 – 20,790|
|Mission Solar Energy||1.52 – 2.06||9,156 – 12,390||15,260 – 20,650|
|Panasonic||1.89 – 2.45||11,340 – 14,700||18,900 – 24,500|
|Peimar Group||1.86 – 2.24||11,172 – 13,440||18,620 – 22,400|
|Phono Solar||2.10 – 2.49||12,642 – 14,952||21,070 – 24,920|
|REC Group||1.92 – 2.32||11,550 – 13,944||19,250 – 23,240|
|RGS Energy||2.31 – 3.47||13,860 – 20,874||23,100 – 34,790|
|Renogy Solar||2.10 – 2.39||12,642 – 14,364||21,070 – 23,940|
|S-Energy||1.77 – 2.35||10,668 – 14,112||17,780 – 23,520|
|Seraphim Solar||1.85 – 2.24||11,130 – 13,482||18,550 – 22,470|
|Silfab Solar||1.70 – 2.45||10,206 – 14,700||17,010 – 24,500|
|SolarTech Universal||1.72 – 2.21||10,374 – 13,272||17,290 – 22,120|
|SolarWorld||1.73 – 2.15||10,416 – 12,936||17,360 – 21,560|
|Solaria||2.06 – 2.35||12,390 – 14,154||20,650 – 23,590|
|SunPower Corporation||2.01 – 2.77||12,096 – 16,674||20,160 – 27,790|
|Trina Solar||1.72 – 2.22||10,374 – 13,356||17,290 – 22,260|
|Tesla||2.33 – 3.10||13,986 – 18,606||23,310 – 31,010|
|Winaico||1.92 – 2.21||11,550 – 13,314||19,250 – 22,190|
|Yingli Solar||1.70 – 2.21||10,206 – 13,272||17,010 – 22,120|
include 30% tax credit and reflect installation costs from solar contractors. Total costs depend on the location, installers experience, inverter, and other equipment.
How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost?
One 150 to 300-watt solar panel costs 112 to 450 on average or between 0.75 to 1.50 per watt, depending on the panel type, size, and energy-efficiency rating. Solar companies that purchase in bulk typically spend 0.75 per watt, while homeowners spend 1 per watt.
Most distributors only sell solar panels to local contractors at bulk wholesale prices. Hiring a solar installer will drastically reduce your equipment costs.
The following table shows for the panels only. Additional installation costs include inverters, batteries, mounting hardware, wiring, and more.
|14 Panel System (4.2 kW)||2,600 – 4,200|
|16 Panel System (4.8 kW)||3,000 – 4,800|
|18 Panel System (5.4 kW)||3,350 – 5,400|
|20 Panel System (6.0 kW)||3,750 – 6,000|
|24 Panel System (7.2 kW)||4,450 – 7,200|
|28 Panel System (8.4 kW)||5,236 – 8,400|
|32 Panel System (9.6 kW)||5,984 – 9,600|
|36 Panel System (10.8 kW)||6,732 – 10,800|
Solar Panel Lease Cost
A solar panel lease costs 50 and 250 per month, depending on your location and energy needs. Leasing solar panels is cost-effective and typically saves 50 to 100 per month on your electricity bills with little to no down payment.
Solar leasing companies are responsible for the installation and maintenance fees for the duration of your contract. If you move, expect to pay additional fees to end your leasing agreement because transferring the lease to another buyer can be difficult.
If you own a solar system outright that generates 100% of your power, the monthly cost is less than 10 per month for minor grid-tied connection fees. An off-grid system has no monthly costs other than general maintenance.
Tesla Solar Roof Cost
A Tesla solar roof costs 22 to 45 per square foot, which includes the solar roof tiles, a Powerwall, roof and site repairs, and complete system installation. A 9.45 kW solar system installed on a 1,800 square foot roof costs between 39,600 and 81,000.
On average, solar shingles cost up to 8,000 more than installing a new roof with traditional PV solar panels. Glass-faced solar shingles mimic the appearance of a tiled roof and cover more surface area than mounted PV panels to catch more sunlight.
Solar tiles have a lower efficiency rating than solar panels. They may not last as long as PV panels because their design doesn’t allow much room for ventilation, which can lead to overheating.
Commercial Solar Panel Cost
A 10 kW to 2 MW commercial solar panel system costs 1.83 per watt before any tax rebates or incentives. Larger fixed-tilt or one-axis tracking utility-scale systems greater than 2 MW cost 1.06 per watt on average.
Commercial solar installation costs for small and mid-sized businesses range from 43,000 for a 25 kW system to 175,000 for a 100 kW system. Businesses recover about 45 percent of solar panel costs within the first year through tax credits and rebate programs.
|25 kW||43,500 to 56,000|
|50 kW||87,500 to 113,000|
|100 kW||175,000 to 225,500|
|250 kW||437,000 to 563,500|
Solar Savings Estimator
The solar payback information below covers the average break-even period, which is when your power supply becomes free, and the projected savings over 20 years.
Solar Panel Return On Investment (ROI)
The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years, depending on where you live and the cost of electricity. Upfront costs are 11,000 on average, with savings of 1,400 per year on foregone energy bills. You’ll break even after 8 years and start generating a return on your investment.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save?
Over 20 years, solar panel savings range from 10,000 to 30,000, depending on your location and the cost of electricity.
Solar energy saves 600 to 2,000 per year by reducing your electricity bills and selling your solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).
|Albuquerque, NM||17,576 – 25,109||15.06|
|Austin, TX||14,627 – 20,896||7.04|
|Baltimore, MD||16,349 – 23,356||6.90|
|Boston, MA||17,449 – 24,928||9.66|
|Charlotte, NC||15,035 – 21,479||8.20|
|Chicago, IL||14,591 – 20,844||11.85|
|Denver, CO||15,035 – 21,479||13.30|
|Honolulu, HI||34,104 – 48,720||6.55|
|Houston, TX||14,627 – 20,896||7.57|
|Indianapolis, IN||11,637 – 16,625||14.60|
|Jersey City, NJ||18,349 – 26,214||9.95|
|Las Vegas, NV||13,918 – 19,883||9.05|
|Los Angeles, CA||25,414 – 36,306||11.99|
|New York, NY||17,247 – 24,639||10.58|
|Philadelphia, PA||13,689 – 19,556||9.35|
|Phoenix, AZ||18,325 – 26,179||7.50|
|Portland, OR||11,351 – 16,216||11.66|
|San Francisco, CA||14,700 – 21,000||11.34|
|Seattle, WA||6,863 – 12,805||11.26|
|Washington, DC||21,840 – 31,200||6.78|
6kW system powering 70% to 100% of your energy needs.
Here’s a more granular look at solar savings on power bills per year by location.
|Jersey City, NJ||1,762|
|Los Angeles, CA||2,477|
|New York, NY||1,404|
|San Francisco, CA||1,822|
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity in most locations, making them worth it over their lifetime. The 30% federal solar tax credit and state incentives make solar energy more affordable.
The average residential electricity rate from utility companies is 16.4 cents per kWh, depending on the location. An 8 kW solar system costs 15,000 and generates 11,000 kWh annually or 880 to 1,100 worth of energy. Over the lifetime of the solar panels, this equates to 8 to 10 cents per kWh, which makes solar panels worth it after the hefty upfront cost.
Solar Panel Installation Cost Factors
The cost to convert a house to solar power depends on your location, energy needs, type of solar panels, inverter and equipment options, permits, inspection, tax credits, and labor costs.
Use the national averages in the following table to calculate a cost-benefit analysis for solar PV installation.
|Solar Panels, Inverter Parts||30%||3,188 – 3,969|
|Balance of System||20%||2,125 – 2,646|
|Labor||15%||1,594 – 1,985|
|Permits and Inspection||15%||1,594 – 1,985|
|Operational||20%||2,125 – 2,646|
Cost of Solar Panels Over Time
The average cost of solar panels fell 65% from 7.34 per watt in 2010, to 2.53 per watt in 2019 and continues to drop. A standard 6 kW residential solar system has dropped from 44,000 down to 15,200 over the past decade (not including the federal solar tax credit).
Estimates are based on the average rate of decline.
Labor Costs To Install Solar Panels
The average labor cost to install solar panels is 0.27 per watt, or around 15% of the total system cost. A standard 6 kW system with 20 to 25 panels costs about 1,600 for installation labor before applying the 30% federal solar tax credit.
Labor costs increase if your home has multiple stories, skylights, dormers, or a problematic 45° roof pitch. Contractors may need to design a unique system to make sure the panels receive enough sunlight to be efficient.
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