The Cost of Installing Solar Panels in New York State
There’s no one-size-fits-all solar system, which makes nailing down the average cost of solar in New York a little tricky. Every solar system we install is a custom solution.
Pricing varies with the amount of electricity you use, the system’s size, the components you choose, and the solar incentives available.
From Syracuse in Central New York to Rochester, the Finger Lakes, and Mohawk Valley, solar panel systems can be a profitable investment for homes, businesses, and farms alike.
While renewable energy is more affordable now than ever, going solar still requires an upfront investment. Over time, the free electricity generated by your system will make up for the costs and then some, but laying out that money in the beginning can be a difficult hurdle without an understanding of what is involved.
The good news is the return on a solar investment is front-loaded. Meaning all the tax credits and grants can be used to recoup the installation cost within the first few years of energizing your system.
How Much Does It Cost for Solar in New York?
The cost of a solar system will vary based on a few factors. These include things like the size of your system, whether you install a ground-mounted or roof-mounted system, and the type of equipment you install.
The Average Price of a Roof Mount vs. Ground Mount
There are two ways to install solar panels: as a roof mount, or as a ground mount. The option you choose will impact the system cost.
Roof mounts utilize the roof of an existing building to support the solar panels. Ground mounts require constructing a separate, free-standing structure to which the solar panels are attached.
Ground mounts tend to be more expensive because of that new supporting structure. However, it offers the freedom to install your system at the perfect tilt facing the best direction to maximize production.
The Cost of Installing Solar Panels for New York Homes
The following chart shows the average cost for homeowners to install solar panels in New York. As cost varies with the kilowatts (kW) size of your system, we broke it down based on how much you typically spend on electricity each month.
If you’re looking for a home improvement project that will not only reduce your monthly expenses but will also increase your property’s value, solar energy can be a great option. Below is a chart showing the installation cost of an average system at the specified size.
For incentives, we’ve included the 30% solar investment tax credit, along with the 25% NY State Energy System Equipment Tax Credit (which caps out at 5,000), and the NYSERDA grant. These figures take into account only the most widely available incentives. Depending on your circumstances, the net cost will vary.
Average Monthly Electric Bill
Solar System Size
Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives)
Cost After the Tax Credits and NY-Sun
The Cost of Installing Solar Energy for New York Businesses Farms
The chart below show the average installation cost of a commercial or agricultural solar system in New York. It takes into account the three widely available incentives, the federal tax credit, bonus depreciation, and the NY-Sun incentive.
It does not include savings from the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program, as availability will vary with location and year. It also excludes the National Grid Grant.
We include the 30% federal tax credit, bonus depreciation savings, and the NYSERDA grant in our post-incentive costs. It’s possible you could qualify for other incentives ( USDA REAP Grant covers up to 40% of the cost), which would bring the price down further, but these two are the most widely available for farms and businesses in New York.
Solar Installation Cost for NY Businesses and Farmers
Average Monthly Electric Bill
Solar System Size
Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives)
Cost After the Tax Incentives and the NY-Sun
The Cost of On-Going Solar Maintenance
How much does it cost to maintain a solar system over the 30 plus years you’ll have your panels?
Relative to other renewable energy options, keeping your solar system performing takes little upkeep. There are no moving parts and no need for regular maintenance. Cleaning of dirt and grime and snow removal are mostly optional and, for most systems, unnecessary.
However, while it’s unlikely, there’s always the potential for issues with your equipment. To help mitigate unforeseen costs, you’ll want to opt for reliable equipment manufactured by trusted companies. Often, this means investing slightly more in your equipment, but your future self will thank you.
Your solar installer should help you determine which equipment is best in the long run. However, always do your own research to find the best solar panel brands and the best inverter brands.
Quality solar equipment will come with substantial product warranties that protect your investment against manufacturing or material errors. To further protect your investment, opt for a solar installer with their own warranty.
Manufacturer warranties don’t cover anything when it comes to the installation of the panels. That’s up to the individual installer. You’ll want to choose one that offers a comprehensive workmanship warranty.
At Paradise Energy, we provide a 10-year workmanship warranty, in addition to our ten-year performance warranty and ten years of free monitoring through our Triple Ten Guarantee.
To sum things up, we can’t promise you’ll never spend money on maintenance for your solar system. However, it isn’t the norm, and there are various measures and protections available to mitigate this expense.
Local NY and Federal Solar Incentives
There are various federal, state, and local incentives that can help shave thousands off the installation cost. However, the amount you’ll save depends on which incentives you qualify for.
In addition to the decades of free electricity solar power provides, various incentives help sweeten the pot. These incentive programs are offered both on a federal and state level to encourage the installation of renewable energy by reducing installation costs.
On a federal level, there’s the solar investment tax credit (ITC). This allows you to recoup 30% of the installation cost through a tax credit. This credit is available to everyone. If you don’t have the tax liability to use it, you’re now able to sell the credit to recoup a portion of the 30% credit.
There’s also accelerated depreciation, which allows businesses to accelerate 80% of the federal depreciation to the first year the system is placed in service. The remaining 20% will follow the MACRS schedule. This helps to further frontload the solar investment.
On a state level, the NY State Solar Energy System Equipment Tax Credit offers a 25% tax credit for residential solar systems which caps out at 5,000. There’s also the NY-Sun Megawatt (MW) Block Program (NYSERDA incentive), which offers up to 1,000/kW installed by both homes and businesses.
If you’re a National Grid customer and are installing solar on a food-producing property, like a farm, vineyard, or orchard, you can qualify for this additional grant. The amount varies based on the cost of the system:
- 25K Investment – 5K Grant
- 25 – 100K Investment – 10K Grant
- 100 – 500K Investment – 25K Grant
- Over 500K Investment – 50K Grant
Lastly, your solar system may be exempt from sales and property taxes. New York offers a sales tax exemption on purchases related to the installation of solar systems. And because solar increases the value of your property, the state also waives any increase in your property taxes related to solar.
However, municipalities are able to forgo this exemption, so it won’t be available everywhere in the state. Here’s more information on the available solar incentives in New York.
Is Solar Energy Worth the Cost in New York?
There’s a mentality that solar energy is only practical and worthwhile in sunny climates. So given New York’s cloudy, snowy weather, is spending several thousand dollars to install an energy source reliant on the sun a good investment?
Time and time again, we see that, yes, it is a good investment.
New Yorkers don’t enjoy consistent sunny weather, whether they’re in the Finger Lakes Region, Central New York Region, or further west in Buffalo. However, solar energy has proven itself to thousands of homes and businesses in the state as a profitable and reliable renewable energy source.
Solar power pays for itself by offsetting your electric bill. Electricity rates in New York are consistently among the highest in the country. So while your system may generate a bit less electricity, that electricity will have a greater value.
And as the cost of solar system components decreases, it’s becoming more and more affordable to slightly increase the size of your solar system to make up for any lost production due to poor weather.
Need more convincing? Check out the average payback and return on investment for both homeowners and Businesses/Farms based on systems Paradise Energy Solutions has installed for real customers across New York and the Mid-Atlantic region.
The average commercial or agricultural system in New York will pay for itself in 6.3 years. That’s better than the average for all states, which is 8.15 years.
The average New York home will pay their system back in 15.6 years, which is slightly faster than the overall average of 15.9 years.
To put those numbers in perspective, most solar panels are guaranteed for 25 or even 30 or more years, meaning your system will be working and producing free electricity for at least that long. Both of these payback periods leave years of free electricity.
Make the Change to Solar Energy
New York, a solar panel installation can cost anywhere between 24,000 to 90,000 for homeowners and 100,000 to upwards of 500,000 or more for businesses before utilizing incentives.
That said, this initial investment in a solar system can lead to tax savings and free electricity for your home, business, or farm for upwards of 30 years, saving you thousands of dollars. Even in New York’s cloudy climate, high electricity and falling installation costs make solar a low-maintenance investment that can save you a substantial amount of money. It can also help you save the environment!
At Paradise Energy, we provide full-service solar installations throughout New York and beyond. If you’re researching solar energy, feel free to take a look at our other educational blogs. use our Solar Savings Calculator. or request custom pricing using the button below.
Average cost solar roof
“Having solar panels has given me reassurance that my bills will stay manageable.”
— Kerrie Lane, Egg Harbor City, NJ
With Sunrun, you can take control of your own electricity, and not be left at the whims of your utility company with the next inevitable rate hike. Join the more than a quarter of a million American households who have gone solar with Sunrun.
Whenever you’re ready, our solar advisors are here to help. We can provide you with a free quote. Feel free to try our Cost of Solar Calculator.
A single solar panel costs between 2.67 and 3.43 to buy and install. 4 The price of the whole system is based on its capacity, measured in watts. How big a system you need will be based on how much energy you use, your roof’s sunlight exposure and panel efficiency.
The amount you save will rely on several factors, including: 18
- Region’s sunlight exposure
- Cost of solar system (including battery, where available)
- Cost of electricity
- Energy use
- Local rebates and incentives
The average payback period for a residential solar system is between six to nine years, depending on the cost of your system, incentives and savings from your energy bill. 19
Here’s a closer look at some of the things that determine your system costs.
Here’s a breakdown of installation costs, based on findings from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory: 10
|0.30 per watt
|0.19–0.27/Wdc (Varies by inverter option)
|Sales tax varies by location; weighted national average: 6.9%
|19.74–38.96 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
|12.88–25.57 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
|(% of direct labor) Total nationwide average: 31.8%
Figures based on the average 6.2 kilowatt residential solar system.
These figures are based on the average 6.2 kilowatt solar system. The cost of each system will vary based on panel manufacturer, inverter option, location and equipment.
Maintenance of solar panels ranges from routine cleaning to major repairs. On average, households pay 150 for one solar panel cleaning. 11 Companies charge between 3 to 10 per panel based on roof slant, home height and system size. 11 Some firms charge a flat rate fee for a system cleaning. If you clean your system twice a year, as recommended, you can expect an annual bill of about 300.
If your system is damaged, you may incur additional expenses. Repairs to your system will include the of equipment and labor. Labor is typically priced at 100 per hour. Materials for solar repairs could be as little as 180 but may also be greater than 1,000. Your combined, total bill may range from 200 to 3,000. 11
The four most common types of damage to a home solar system and the costs of repairs area: 11
|Broken glass panel
|20 – 350, plus labor
|100 – 400
|100 – 2,500
Like cleaning costs, the amount you pay for repairs is affected by things like roof steepness, system type and system size. And if your panels have extensive damage, it may be cheaper to replace them. 11
When you own your system, you are responsible for the cost of maintenance and repairs. Your warranty should cover specific system failures; contact your installer before you begin repairs. A Sunrun solar lease, lets you save thousands of dollars in maintenance and repairs. You simply pay for the power, and we take care of the rest. Our comprehensive service package features the Sunrun Guarantee, which includes best-in-class monitoring, free equipment replacement, and system repairs including parts and labor, and routine maintenance.
If you’re set on buying your own home solar system, you can also purchase our full-service package, Protection Plus. While the system is yours, we’ll give you the same comprehensive support that comes with our Sunrun Guarantee.
The price of your panels will depend on the manufacturer. Sunrun partners with LG, a world leader in solar technology and panels. Striking the right balance between quality, efficiency and affordability, LG offers some of the best solar panels on the market today. 14
For a given manufacturer, higher efficiency panels cost more. 5 The good news is that the highest efficiency panels aren’t always needed, especially if your roof gets plenty of sun.
Another factor in determining your total home solar system cost is where you live. Here are the states with the lowest and highest average solar system costs:
|Florida: 9,198 – 11,970
|Rhode Island: 13,104 – 15,792
|Arizona: 10,332 – 12,096
|New York: 12,264 – 16,044
|Maryland: 10,332 – 12,768
after 30% federal solar tax credit 5
Just because a residential solar system costs more in a given state doesn’t mean it’s any less cost effective. 5 Local incentives can make a huge dent in solar installation costs even in the most expensive states.
The three most common kinds of solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. 6 Here are the essential features of each:
|Monocrystalline are the most efficient on the market today, which means you need less panels to fulfill your energy needs. Monocrystalline solar cells are single-crystal silicon, giving electrons greater freedom to move and create electricity. 7 These panels are typically black, giving your roof a sleeker aesthetic. Monocrystalline panels also maintain their efficiency for longer and usually come with a 20 to 25 year guarantee. 6
|Polycrystalline panels are made with many fragments of silicon. 7 While this makes them less efficient, it creates less waste in production and are more affordable. 6 They also tend to have a blue tint, likely the most recognizable feature of solar panels today.
|Unlike monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, thin-film isn’t made of silicon. Instead, it’s layered with photovoltaic materials on metal or glass. 8 While the least expensive option, thin-film isn’t as efficient and likely won’t cover the average household’s energy needs without taking up lots of space. 6
The type of solar panel you choose will factor into the price of the system. But remember that if you decide to lease, you’ll be paying for the power rather than the panels. The cost of solar will come down to the amount of solar power you’re projected to use under your lease agreement.
Solar panel mount types
While solar panels are the main component of a solar system, how you mount the panels will also affect the cost. There are three mount types: 6
|10–15 per mount
|Fixed-mount are stationary and can’t be moved to capture more sunlight, making them less efficient than other mounts. However, they’re also the least expensive. In addition, states with consistent sunlight such as Arizona and California are the least affected by this.
|50 per mount
|Adjustable-mounts can be tilted to maximize solar energy production. This mount type can also lay your panels flat during a storm to avoid wind damage. While they’re more expensive than fixed mounts, adjustable-mounts might make the most sense for regions with more seasonal climates and less space to maximize energy production.
|500–3,000 per mount
|Tracking-mount follows the sun’s arch for maximum energy production. Even though they’re the most expensive, track-mounting could add 45% in energy production and might be worth considering based on your location. However, track mounting also requires more attention and will be much more costly to maintain.
How Much Do Tesla Solar Panels Cost For Your Home
A top EV car maker, Tesla is understandably synonymous with renewable technology. But its eco-friendly product line is not limited to cars as Tesla also offers solar panels. Knowing Tesla’s high-end luxury status, it’s natural to wonder, how much do Tesla solar panels cost for your home?
Solar panels are a major investment, so it makes sense to do your research. You’re not only paying for the solar panel itself, but you must also account for racking equipment, performance monitoring equipment, and inverters. Plus, you might want to purchase an energy store system too.
How much does all of this cost? Our handy guide will provide you with the answers.
A Brief History of Tesla Solar Panels
Tesla first ventured into the solar panel industry by acquiring SolarCity in 2016. The company aimed to streamline battery storage and solar panel manufacturing. Although Tesa successfully retained SolarCity’s marketing infrastructure and sales, it could not produce solar panels per demand.
That’s when Tesla partnered with Panasonic in its NewYork gigafactory. Panasonic provided solar cells for Tesla’s solar roof tiles and panels in this partnership. The collaboration allowed Tesla to substantially reduce its manufacturing costs and eventually lower the cost of its solar products.
But this partnership came to an end in 2020 due to low product demand from Tesla. Panasonic still produces solar batteries for the company’s electric vehicles and Tesla Powerwalls. But the solar cell side of the partnership has ended.
Tesla then started getting third-party-manufactured solar panels from companies like Q Cells, a Korean solar giant. Later, Tesla introduced two lines of self-manufacturer solar panels for residential spaces.
Currently, there are two Tesla solar panel lines for residential installation, namely the S-series and the H-series. Check out their specifications and performance warranties in the table below.
|Solar Panel Model
|Performance Warranty (25-year)
The federal government introduced Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in 2006 to give tax relief to those who invest in solar energy systems. Homeowners that buy a solar energy system get a Federal Solar Tax Credit. They can use this credit on their federal income taxes to reduce their total liability.
In 2021, this tax credit was 26%, but it has been increased to 30%. The federal tax credit covers 30% of the following:
- Solar equipment costs, such as mounting hardware, wiring, and inverters
- Solar panel costs
- Labor costs
- Inspection and permitting fees
- Storage equipment costs (for batteries with at least 3kWh capacity rating)
Besides federal incentives, you may also get state incentives. Check the State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency database to learn more. Some states also offer upfront rebates when you install a solar power system. However, these rebates may only be available as long as the state has funds.
You should check your state’s rebates to get incentives before they run out. These rebates can lower solar panel purchase and installation costs by 10% to 20%.
Besides rebates and tax credits, you may also get other incentives. We explain them below.
- Local Utility Rebates: Some local utilities incentivize homeowners to install solar energy systems. For instance, you might get rebates on your energy bill depending on the energy production of your solar panels. Similarly, some localities offer one-time subsidies to homeowners who want to install solar energy systems.
- Tax Exemptions: Solar panel installation increases your home’s value and price. But most municipalities do not include this additional value when calculating property taxes. Some states also give you sales tax exemptions for purchasing solar panels.
- Subsidized Loans: Check if your local utility or state offers subsidized loans to finance your solar panel purchase. Some non-government organizations may also provide such loans to homeowners.
As you can see, a couple of things determine the final Tesla solar panels cost. Make sure you do your research and discuss all options with a local installer before making a final decision.
Tesla Solar Panels Cost: Financing Options
The average cost of solar panel installation is 16,000 but can be as high as 35,000. That’s a lot of money to spend upfront. Here are some financing options to cover Tesla solar panels cost.
Tesla Solar Loan
Tesla solar panel financing covers the entire cost of purchase and installation. This offer is not available for commercial, business, or trust organizations.
Plus, Tesla solar loan is only available to residents in these states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
Customers should apply for credit the day their solar panel payment is confirmed. If approved, your acceptance will be valid for 180 days. You can make payments through your phone or online.
You have to make your first payment 35 days from the PTO (Permission to Operate) date and make monthly payments on the same date from then on. Learn more here.
While paying a huge amount upfront is daunting for some, cash payments are the most beneficial. For one, you don’t have to pay interest on top of your solar panel purchase. Second, you only get federal tax incentives and rebates right away if you pay for the solar panels in cash.
Solar Leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)
Some states offer PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) that allow homeowners to lease solar panels. While some PPAs have a set rate, others have a payment schedule with annual increments.
The downside to PPAs is that you do not own the solar panels; a third party does. You make payments to the third party for a set period.
Home Equity Loans
Using your home equity can help you finance Tesla solar panels. In this case, your home is the collateral for the loan. You’re only eligible if there’s enough equity in your home to get the loan amount.
Since home equity loans have single-digit APRs, they’re more affordable than personal loans. The repayment payment can range from 15 to 20 years, depending on your preference.
Tesla Solar Panels Cost vs. Tesla Solar Roofs Cost
Besides solar panels, Tesla offers solar roofs with 24/7 outage protection and a 25-year tile warranty. Because roofs have more components, such as flashing and underlayment, they cost more than solar panels.
Consumer Reports says solar roofs should typically cost 24.50 per square foot to be more cost-competitive than regular roofs. Tesla’s solar roofs meet the criteria, costing 21.85 per square foot on average.
The cost of a Tesla solar roof can vary depending on the number of solar tiles you choose. For instance, homes with higher energy needs will require more solar tiles than those with fewer needs or occupants.
Like solar panels, Tesla also has a calculator for estimating solar roof costs. Type your home address and average electricity bill in this calculator, and Tesla will give you an estimate based on your information.
Forbes estimated the cost of a 1,000-square-foot single-story roof with 6.31kW of power to be 46,425. The figure also includes 1 Powerwall. The cost of a 2,000-square-foot roof with 12.57kW power and 2 Powerwalls is 64,193.
Evidently, even the cheapest Tesla solar roof is more expensive than the company’s solar panels. As mentioned earlier, Tesla solar panels cost 20,147 to 39,441, depending on their size.
Large systems with 36 panels are cheaper than installing a whole solar roof. Even better, this price does not account for the tax incentives and rebate discounts.
Tesla Solar is an option for those switching to clean energy. Regardless of the quotes Tesla provides, you have to account for the equipment rates, incentives, and tax rebates in your state to calculate the total cost of installing a solar energy system. Costs vary depending on your location and home energy needs.
How Much Do Tesla Solar Panels Cost For Your Home FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is Tesla Powerwall worth it?
Tesla Powerwall is a decent investment as it lets you get the most out of your solar energy system. The system stores power for usage at night.
How many solar panels are enough to power a home?
An average home requires 17 to 21 panels for enough energy production to offset their whole electric bill.
How much do Tesla solar panels cost?
Tesla solar panels cost between 20,147 to 39,441 before state and federal incentives.
Does Tesla offer a warranty for solar panels?
Tesla solar panels come with a guarantee that they will retain 80% of their power capacity for 25 years. During this period, Tesla processes customer claims and performs eligible repairs for zero labor costs.
How long do Tesla solar panels last?
Like all reputed companies, Tesla solar panels also last 25 to 30 years. You reach the break-even point for this investment at the end of about six to 10 years.
Solar Panel Cost
Affiliate Disclaimer: All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Solar panels are a considerable investment—not just for the sake of your community and planet, but for your home’s value. Various factors influence how much a solar system costs. including the panels you choose, your home’s energy needs. and applicable state and federal tax incentives.
We have conducted in-depth research on the best solar companies in the United States and the industry overall. This guide breaks down the significant factors that influence what solar panels cost, as well as the national average for a solar energy system.
Compare Solar Companies
Available in 50 states Has been in the industry since 1985 Provides its own monocrystalline solar panels
Available in 23 states 25-year warranties for the product, labor, and inverter Power protection guarantee
25-year workmanship and product warranty Perks for new construction homeowners Available in 20 states
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Each State?
Solar panel costs can vary according to your state’s energy rates and access to solar technology. Check the table below to get an idea of what solar panels might cost you in your state.
This cost data was based on the national average from multiple sources including EnergySage, SolarReviews, and Ecowatch.
Solar Panel Cost Breakdown
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that the national average cost for a typical 6-kilowatt (kW, or 6,000 watts) residential rooftop solar system is roughly 18,000 before any federal tax credits or local incentives. Overall, you should expect to pay anywhere between 10,000 and 24,000, depending on your system size and location. The total cost of a solar system includes solar panel. which vary in price by brand and type, installation labor, and additional equipment. A solar installation company will charge a combination of labor costs and a price per watt for each solar panel. Based on a May 2019 report
Types of Solar Panels
- Monocrystalline: The most popular solar panel on the market today, monocrystalline panels offer the highest efficiency rate, at an average of 24%. However, they are also the most costly. The average cost for monocrystalline solar panels is 1 to 1.50 per watt. Therefore, a standard 6kW system costs between 6,000 and 9,000.
- Polycrystalline: Polycrystalline panels are a more cost-effective option up front. However, they feature a lower efficiency rate than mono panels, at an average of 20%. The average cost for polycrystalline solar panels is 0.90 to 1 per watt, or 5,400 to 6,000 total.
- Thin-film: Thin-film solar panels are less popular for residential solar systems. They tend to cost around 1 to 1.50 per watt.
Solar Panel Installation Cost
Installation costs range between 100% and 200% of the cost of the solar panel system itself. So, for example, if you purchase a 6kW monocrystalline solar panel system for 9,000, then a solar installation company will likely charge approximately 18,000 to 27,000 for the system and the installation, combined. The installation of a larger system will naturally increase labor costs.
Residential solar systems also typically require a battery to store energy and an inverter, which converts the variable direct current (DC) output of your PV solar panel s into alternating current (AC). Most solar companies will include these components in your solar system’s design. However, if you request specific brands of inverters or batteries, they may come at a premium.
Other Factors to Consider About Solar Panel Costs
In addition to the cost per watt for each solar panel, other factors influence the overall cost of a solar power system. We have listed some of the most critical factors for you below.
Take note of your current cost of electricity. as switching to solar may or may not save you money on your energy costs. The larger your home and higher your monthly electric bill. the more benefits you are likely to see from switching to solar. A solar system can eliminate a homeowner ’s electricity bill in some instances.
On the other hand, if you already have relatively low utility bills. you may not see enough savings to justify the expense of installing a home solar system.
The location of your home plays a vital role in how much money solar panels can save you. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the data analysis site Stacker determined that the following 10 states are the sunniest in the continental United States:
You can use a solar panel system even if you don’t live in these blue-sky states. Most solar panel installers use photovoltaic (PV) panels, which can absorb both direct and indirect sunlight. However, these solar panels generate the most energy on angled roofs that allow maximum sun exposure. On the other hand, a flat roof will require the construction of angled platforms, which will add to your labor costs and increase the overall cost of your solar system installation.
Additionally, south-, west- or southwest-facing roofs get more sun exposure. For example, a home that experiences less shade and has a south-facing roof with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees will receive the most sunlight. Therefore, these homes receive and retain more solar energy. On the other hand, a home with trees around it or in a less sunny region, like the Pacific Northwest, may not save as much money as a homeowner in Arizona or California.
Your roof’s age and structural soundness will also influence the overall cost of solar panel installation. Repairing your roof or upgrading your roofing material to support panels will come at an additional expense ahead of installation and affect your total cost.
Both state and federal governments provide solar incentives to help offset the up-front costs of switching to solar. Namely, the federal solar tax credit, or solar investment tax credit ( ITC ), plays a significant role in helping to make residential solar panels a better investment. This tax credit provides 30% off your total price of solar panel installation.
Local incentives vary by state. For example, some states allow you to earn and sell credits for the electricity your solar system produces through a net metering program. Others offer solar rebates. We recommend using the Database of State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency to see what rebates and state tax credits you can receive.
Solar providers offer various payment methods that influence how cost-effective your investment in solar is. Here are the four payment options you can choose from with most solar companies :
- Purchase: Paying for your solar system up-front is the most cost-effective payment method for a solar system. Not only will you avoid paying interest over time, but you will also be eligible to file for the federal tax credit at your next income-tax filing.
- Solar Loan: Solar companies understand that not every homeowner is willing or able to pay for their system up-front. so they partner with a lending company to provide loan options. As with all bank loans, your interest rate will depend on your credit score.
- Solar Lease: Some homeowners may elect to lease their solar panel systems. With this arrangement, the solar company still owns the system, and you pay a set monthly amount for the installed solar panels. This option is not as cost-effective over time as purchasing or financing your system, as you are not eligible to receive state or federal incentives. However, you avoid paying hefty up-front sums.
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): A solar PPA lets you pay little to nothing for the actual installation of the PV system. Instead, you pay monthly payments to a utility company based on the energy generated by the system. Think of this as if you are paying for your usual electricity bill. As with a lease, you don’t own the system and are thus ineligible for tax incentives.
Residential solar panels help you cut both your electricity costs and carbon emissions. To ensure switching to solar is a sound investment for you, pay attention to your current utility rates. If you notice that your utility bill tends to be on the mid to upper end of your state’s average, you are nearly guaranteed to save money with solar in the long run.
In addition, if you can purchase or finance your solar system. you are making a more cost-effective decision than if you lease or sign a PPA.
We suggest using the tool below to see which solar installation companies service your zip code and get a sense of what a solar provider near you charges for installation.
The True Cost to Install Solar Panels in 2023
In the United States, the national average cost for a residential solar energy system ranges between 16,870 and 23,170 after federal tax incentives.
Before you get discouraged by the price tag, remember that this number can vary depending on several factors:
- Your location
- The number of solar panels
- Solar panel brands
- Solar panel efficiency
- Professional installation vs. DIY installation
This article will cover the specifics of solar panel installation costs. Additionally, we’ll also share some tips on saving money with your solar system and installation.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels?
Your total cost for installing solar panels breaks down into a few different components. Here’s what you can expect:
- Solar panels are approximately 25% of your total cost
- Inverters are approximately 10% of your total cost
- Racking, mounting and BOS are approximately 10% of your total cost
- Installation and soft costs are approximately 55% of your total cost.
Let’s take a closer look at the costs of each component.
Solar Panels: 25% of Solar Installation Cost
The cost of solar panels varies from 70 to 1.50 per watt. While the difference seems nominal on paper, you’ll need to multiply that per-watt cost by the total wattage of all your solar panels combined.
Here’s what impacts the cost per watt of a solar panel:
- Solar Panel Manufacturer: Factors like the brand’s reputation, its number of years in business and the quality standards they employ in the manufacturing process will all affect solar panel costs.
- Solar Panel Warranty: Extended warranties or warranties with more benefits will result in a higher cost per watt. It’s up to you to decide if a generous warranty is worth the higher price. Learn more about warranties before making a decision.
- Solar Panel Efficiency:Higher efficiency means higher power output in a smaller space, but these panels are more expensive. We advise using high-efficiency solar panels only if you have limited space for your solar panel installation. Otherwise, you’ll be able to save quite a bit of money.
- Type of Solar Panels: There are three main types of solar panels to choose from. Thin-film solar panels are cost-friendly but take up the most space. Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient, but generally more expensive. And finally, polycrystalline solar panels, which are less efficient than mono, but also cost less. Today, most consumers opt for monocrystalline panels.
- Solar Panel Aesthetics:Solar panels with black backsheets and frames look great on your roof, but they cost more. Opt for aesthetic solar panels if you’re planning to install them on the front of your home or if you have limitations with your neighborhood or HOA.
- Number of Solar Panels: The number of solar panels you need doesn’t affect the cost per watt but will affect the overall cost of your solar system. Check out our Solar Calculator to determine how many solar panels you need and find the best system size.
Inverters: 10% of Solar Installation Cost
Inverters convert DC power into usable AC power for your home’s energy needs. Expect to pay around 30. 40 per watt for your inverter(s). Factors that affect cost include the inverter brand and solar system size.
Some solar inverters, like the latest Enphase microinverters, cost a little more but come with excellent features and benefits and are easy to install.
Racking, Mounting and BOS: 10% of Solar Installation Cost
Every solar energy system must include either a roof racking or ground mounting system, plus its attachments. The cost of these parts will vary based on your home’s roof material or the racking and mounting option you choose.
You’ll also need BOS or balance of system pieces. These include grounding hardware, system labels, junction boxes, disconnects, combiner boxes, wires and conduit, which you can obtain from your local home improvement store.
The cost of racking and BOS pieces are specific to your location but generally run about 25. 50 per watt.
Installation and Soft Costs: 55% of Solar Installation Cost
Over half of your total cost — often up to 2.00 per watt — might go to the professional solar installer. These costs cover things like:
- Labor and wages
- Worker’s compensation insurance
- Permitting fees
- Interconnection fees
- Indirect corporate costs, especially if you’re working with a major solar company primarily looking to profit.
You can save a significant amount of money if you opt for a do-it-yourself solar panel installation. on this below.
Average Solar Panel Installation Costs by Location
When it comes to determining your solar panel installation cost, geography matters too. Here is the typical cost range for a solar installation in some states before considering the federal tax credit.
|2.50. 3.75 per watt
|2.50. 4.50 per watt
|2.75. 5.00 per watt
|2.50. 4.00 per watt
|2.50. 3.75 per watt
|2.50. 4.50 per watt
|2.75. 4.50 per watt
|2.50. 4.25 per watt
|2.50. 4.00 per watt
How to Reduce the Cost of Solar Installation
There are several ways to cut back solar installation expenses. Let’s review them.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Rebates
The US government offers a 30% solar tax credit that can be claimed on your federal income taxes. It applies to all solar installations between 2022 and 2032.
Remember, if you want to finance your solar panel installation, choose a financing option that allows you to take advantage of the federal tax credit. Most solar lease options don’t offer this benefit.
Lastly, check for state or local rebates for solar installations.
Carefully Evaluate Financing
It’s best to pay for your entire solar system upfront, but you can finance your solar system if you’re unable to.
Remember, there is always interest associated with borrowing money and financing items. Solar leases and loans often span 20 years, so read the fine print regarding interest rates and whether or not you’ll even get the federal tax credit. You may want to consider a home equity loan versus a solar-specific loan instead.
Opt for DIY Installation
A DIY solar installation is a great way to save nearly half of your total solar costs.
Keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay for things like permitting and interconnection fees. However, you can significantly reduce or eliminate labor costs and corporate costs, which will make a major difference in the total cost of your system.
Try a Hybrid DIY Installation
Not comfortable doing a complete installation all by yourself? You can still save money by doing some parts yourself and getting help from a contractor when needed. Some DIYers install the racking and panels first, then hire a contractor to complete the electrical work.
Get Expert Help
When it comes to solar panel installation, you’ll want to do it correctly the first time. Using incompatible equipment or making errors during installation is dangerous and can add to your solar panel installation cost.
To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, work with a skilled and knowledgeable solar company like GoGreenSolar.
The folks at GoGreenSolar are industry veterans and DIY experts. If you’re looking to save money with your installation but want expert help by your side, reach out to GoGreenSolar today.
- Customers receive free technical support from certified NABCEP professionals via phone or email
- Permitting service and interconnection service available — we’ll handle the paperwork, so you don’t have to!
By choosing GoGreenSolar for your system and DIY installation, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars and feel confident about installing your system right the first time!