Home solar quote. Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot

# Home solar quote. Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot

## How much do solar panels cost?

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 5000.53 to 3.15 per watt installed for residential systems. Solar energy costs

## 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.

### 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.

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.

.08 to

## 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 450,400 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 5000,000 per year by reducing your electricity bills and selling your solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

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.

### 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.

.10 per kWh to produce on average. The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years. Solar energy saves 600 to 5000,000 per year on electricity costs.

• 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 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.

### Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

The average cost of solar panels fell 65% from 7.34 per watt in 2010, to 5000.53 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 27 per watt, or around 15% of the total system cost. A standard 6 kW system with 20 to 25 panels costs about 450,600 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.

## How Much Does It Cost to Go Solar, Anyway?

It’s exciting to think about the savings you can get by switching to clean solar energy, but when it’s time to actually install solar panels on your roof one of the first questions is this: how much does it cost to go solar, anyway? Let’s take a look at the average price of solar in Colorado and what that means for different sized residential solar systems.

Average Cost of Solar Panel Systems

At Namasté Solar, we see home solar panel installation costs range from approximately 20,000 to 50,000 based on a variety of factors. The size of the solar panel system is the most heavily weighted factor in determining cost. The size of your recommended system is based on your electricity usage and is measured in kilowatts (kW). A properly sized solar panel system will maximize your savings and return on investment (ROI).

Rather than FOCUS on the cost of your system, it’s best to look at the projected return on your investment. How much will you save over the life of your system? When compared to the cost of your current electricity bill, solar panels often show thousands of dollars in savings over their lifetime – sometimes paying for themselves twice over! That’s on top of the increase in home value and environmental benefits of solar.

## Beware Online Calculators

Most online solar calculators are based on “average” homes and can’t accurately assess the cost and overall savings potential of solar for your specific home. We’ve checked many of them and found that they don’t provide accurate information, and in many cases are way off. Contact a local solar provider for a customized quote. It’s free and it’ll provide you with the most accurate information.

There are a variety of ways to pay for your residential solar system, and your local solar company will help you find the option that’s best for you. One option, of course, is to pay cash up front. This option will allow you to skip interest payments and put the maximum cash savings in your immediately.

A solar loan is also a great option because you can use attractive, low-interest loans and even

## Solar Savings

The cost of the solar system is important, but there’s also the savings it generates. Each month your system will save you money on your electricity bill, paying for itself and putting cash back in your The closer your solar panel system can come to offsetting all of your electric usage, the better, and many of our customers are able to offset 100% of their electricity usage with solar.

Residential electricity increased by 21% between 2007 and 2017 and this upward trend is likely to continue, but your electricity cost is locked in at a much lower rate when your produce your own power. That’s how home solar systems give you independence from rising and unpredictable energy costs while saving you money over time.

down financing that allows you to go solar with no upfront cost. Want to get the benefits of your federal solar tax credit immediately without waiting to file your taxes? That’s possible, too. In addition to working with a solar lending partner, there’s also an option to use your own financing options, like a home equity line of credit.

Lastly, some solar installers offer leasing options, meaning you’re essentially renting your own solar panel system. Namaste Solar doesn’t offer or recommend leasing because we don’t think it’s a good financial deal for most customers. Owning your system allows you to capture more of the savings that solar provides.

## Finding Out What You Could Save With Solar

Selecting the right solar company is an important step in the process. To ensure a smooth switch to clean solar, we strongly recommend checking with friends who’ve gone solar and/or reading online reviews. Also, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples with competitive quotes, namely in the system size and kWh production estimates.

The Namaste Solar sales team does not work on commission, so our free quotes are a quick, easy way to find out how much solar can save you. If you decide to work with us, your expert home solar advisor will help you assess the cost and benefits of solar and act as your guide through the design, installation, and activation process. Start a conversation to learn more about solar for your home and to see how much you could save.

## 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.

## Solar Panel Cost Breakdown

EnergySage estimates that the national average cost for a typical 6-kilowatt (kW, or 6,000 watts) residential rooftop solar system is roughly 20,650 before any federal tax credits or local incentives. Overall, you should expect to pay anywhere between 17,430 and 23,870, 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 June 2023 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 450 to 450.50 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

## 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.

### Energy Needs

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.

### Location

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:

### Roof Type

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.

### Solar Incentives

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.

### Payment Options

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.

.90 to 450 per watt, or 5,400 to 6, total for a 6 kW system.

• Thin-film: Thin-film solar panels are less popular for residential solar systems. They tend to cost around

## Our Recommendation

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.

.70 to 450 per watt. That’s roughly 4,200 to 6,000 total for a 6 kW system.

• ### Solar Panel Installation Cost

Installation costs—including labor and permits—average around 25% of the cost of the solar panel system itself. So, for example, if you purchase a 6-kW monocrystalline solar panel system for 20,000, then a solar installation company will likely charge approximately around 25,000 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.

## Solar Panel Installation Cost

Here’s an exciting number. The cost for residential solar panel systems has dropped a remarkable 61 percent since 2010. That’s according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) 2017 solar cost benchmark report.

A solar panel system is comprised of many pieces. You might already know the cost of a solar panel system before and after tax credits, in broad strokes.

Here’s an example on how we can breakdown solar panel cost and what it typically costs for installing a system.

Current industry average cost = between 3 to 4 per watt

Average size solar panel system = between 5 and 6 kilowatts (a kilowatt is 1000 watts)

3.26 (per watt) x 5,000 (watts) = 16,300 per system (before the 30% ITC tax credit)

But let’s get a little more granular. In the chart below, you can see that while the overall costs have gone down, the reduction comes mostly from hard costs such as solar panels themselves.

Whereas the soft costs haven’t changed much, now typically accounting for around 64 percent of a new solar system.

Let’s take a closer look at the breakdown of hard costs vs. soft costs associated with installing residential solar panels.

### Hard Costs for Residential Solar Panel Installation

Think of hard costs in terms of hardware: the physical products installed to get your new solar panel system up and running.

This is what you’ll pay for the solar panels themselves, inverters, solar mounting racks, a battery for storage, etc.

Solar panels can account for about 25 to 30 percent of the total solar panel system cost.

• A solar inverter, which can account for about 10% of hard costs
• Solar mounting and electrical equipment, which can be another 10%

Here’s a useful pie graph sourced from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

See those “other” costs and installation? Those are soft costs, which we’ll address next.

## Solar Panel Installation Cost – Soft Costs

Soft costs include administration costs for the company, customer acquisition and marketing, system design, permits and fees for connecting to the grid, and labor for installation.

Here’s a soft costs breakdown from the Department of Energy.

You’ll notice the percentages for each of these soft costs is smaller but, as they say, it adds up.

In fact, the Solar Industry Information Association (SEIA) just released a report putting the number for soft costs at 68 percent!

To some degree, soft costs are simply part of running a business. In order to keep their doors open, solar energy companies have to pay employees, attract new customers and make a profit.

## Soft Cost Reduction Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO) launched an initiative called Sunshot in 2011. The goal is to put solar energy financially on par with other energy sources by the year 2020.

Various permitting, entities and laws throughout various jurisdictions can slow down the process of solar installation and raise costs. Through systematizing and unifying solar, SETO is working to cut red tape and prices.

They also fund research for new ways to streamline solar company operations. Better software and processes to help solar companies reach new customers and run more smoothly helps tame soft costs. Through these efforts, the savings can be passed on to solar customers.

## Solar Panel Installation Costs Near You

At Solar.com, we’re connecting solar customers with valuable information and vetted solar companies.

We’re proud to be doing our part to make the switch to solar more understandable and affordable, particularly by eliminating the soft costs of salespeople and customer acquisition with our online marketplace.

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