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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Your State? (Hidden Fees, Tax Credits). Solar…

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Your State? (Hidden Fees, Tax Credits). Solar…

    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Your State? (Hidden Fees, Tax Credits)

    As many residents of the United States begin to pivot towards renewable energy sources, you might be asking: how much do solar panels cost and how do I get started?

    In 2022, installing solar panels on your home can cost as little as ten thousand dollars. While this is certainly a lot of money, any argument against solar energy being too expensive is ultimately undone by the fact that by installing solar panels on your home, you can effectively reduce your electric bills to zero.

    Although the exact cost of a solar panel system in your state will vary, understanding the hidden fees as well as the tax credits you can earn if you do decide to go green with your home power, can make the decision much easier.

    Not to mention the benefits it has on the planet by lowering your carbon emissions and your eco-footprint!

    Average Solar Panel Installation Cost by State

    The price of a solar panel system differs by state, but on average, a 6 kilowatt (KW) system will cost you anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000. Many people argue the financial and environmental benefits of a solar panel system far outweigh the initial installation cost.

    While solar panels effectively generate free electricity, there is an upfront cost for the materials and installation process.

    This table shows the average residential solar panel system (about 6 kilowatts or 6 kW) cost to purchase and install, but it doesn’t factor in U.S. federal solar tax credits. (Additional information below)

    View this chart as a rough estimation of how much you will pay upfront, because it presumes several factors, including:

    Keep in mind, it does not include additional battery capacity for areas that get less sunlight during the day. 1. 2

    State Approx. Cost of Solar Panel (6 KW System) Installation
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Alabama 12,120 – 17,100
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Alaska 13,380 – 18,780
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Arizona 12,900 – 15,180
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Arkansas 14,520 – 16,440
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in California 14,460 – 19,260
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Colorado 16,740 – 21,180
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Connecticut 15,240 – 18,480
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in District of Columbia 15,600 – 24,840
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Delaware 12,540 – 16,740
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Florida 13,380 – 17,220
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Georgia 16,020 – 19,740
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Hawaii 11,830 – 20,280
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Idaho 14,400 – 24,480
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Illinois 16,500 – 20,100
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Indiana 14,760 – 19,080
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Iowa 19,440 – 20,400
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Kansas 8,940 – 12,360
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Kentucky 14,100 – 18,240
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Louisiana 16,020 – 20,100
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Maine 14,760 – 17,400
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Maryland 15,180 – 20,340
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Massachusetts 16,020 – 19,860
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Michigan 15,540 – 20,580
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Minnesota 16,860 – 20,340
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Mississippi 11,880 – 16,500
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Missouri 10,260 – 14,520
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Montana 15,060 – 19,380
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Nebraska 10,440 – 17,280
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Nevada 12,420 – 15,300
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New Hampshire 16,860 – 20,460
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New Jersey 12,780 – 16,980
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New Mexico 14,760 – 20,880
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New York 16,380 – 21,060
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in North Carolina 13,800 – 18,480
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in North Dakota 8,340 – 11,820
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Ohio 14,580 – 17,460
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Oklahoma 11,280 – 20,040
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Oregon 14,760 – 18,840
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Pennsylvania 14,640 – 19,560
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Rhode Island 15,780 – 20,220
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in South Carolina 16,380 – 19,620
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in South Dakota 11,280 – 17,580
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Tennessee 7,800 – 11,820
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Texas 14,280 – 18,840
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Utah 13,800 – 17,880
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Vermont 12,900 – 20,820
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Virginia 15,540 – 19,500
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Washington 14,100 – 17,700
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in West Virginia 13,020 – 20,280
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Wisconsin 16,800 – 19,800
    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Wyoming 14,340 – 16,680

    As solar technology continues to evolve, the are expected to drop as units become more efficiently produced. For now, however, this is about how much a solar panel system will initially set you back in your state. 3. 4

    Energy Cost Per State (How Much You Could Save with Solar Panels)

    To understand just how much money you’ll be saving by installing a solar panel system, you first need to know about how much money you currently spend on energy.

    This number varies on a state-by-state basis due to how each state gets the majority of their energy, but the average cost of one kilowatt-hour (kwh) in the U.S. is 10.59 cents.

    The reason for the difference is the way energy is produced. In some areas, hydropower plants generate most electricity, while others are fueled by coal burning in other regions of the country.

    The table below shows the average retail price of one kwh in cents per state:

    U.S. State and District Average Retail Price of Electricity Kilowatt-Hour in Cents
    Alabama 9.84
    Alaska 19.82
    Arizona 10.44
    Arkansas 8.32
    California 18.00
    Colorado 10.27
    Connecticut 19.13
    District of Columbia 11.90
    Delaware 10.24
    Florida 10.06
    Georgia 9.93
    Hawaii 27.55
    Idaho 7.99
    Illinois 9.75
    Indiana 9.92
    Iowa 8.97
    Kansas 10.38
    Kentucky 8.58
    Louisiana 7.51
    Maine 13.54
    Maryland 11.15
    Massachusetts 18.19
    Michigan 12.21
    Minnesota 10.57
    Mississippi 9.13
    Missouri 9.64
    Montana 9.13
    Nebraska 8.97
    Nevada 8.33
    New Hampshire 16.63
    New Jersey 13.63
    New Mexico 9.33
    New York 14.87
    North Carolina 9.43
    North Dakota 8.53
    Ohio 9.44
    Oklahoma 7.63
    Oregon 8.82
    Pennsylvania 9.70
    Rhode Island 18.54
    South Carolina 9.90
    South Dakota 10.06
    Tennessee 9.52
    Texas 8.36
    Utah 8.27
    Vermont 16.33
    Virginia 9.16
    Washington 8.33
    West Virginia 8.75
    Wisconsin 10.82
    Wyoming 8.27

    History of Green Energy

    Human application of solar thermal energy has a long and storied past. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians are now commonly known as being some of the first people to truly harness solar energy on a large scale.

    They were by no means the only ones. Thanks to recent discoveries, it is now known that the Ancient Egyptians used solar to heat their homes. Similar techniques were also incorporated by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who designed their homes and common spaces to be kept warm by the sun. (Incidentally, these civilizations also used water fountains and eco-friendly architectural designs to cool their homes during the summer!)

    One such example is the Roman bathhouses. Often, the southernmost wall of a bathhouse would act as a window so that passive solar energy could help heat the baths and lessen the amount of firewood that needed to be burned.

    Similar techniques were employed by Native American tribes, with Mesa Verde’s well-known cliff houses being another perfect example of using solar power as a method for indoor heating. The same is also true of traditional Chinese buildings. All of these cultures and many more used solar energy in innovative ways. 5

    And now, in the twenty-first century, engineers and scientists are designing systems like solar panels and other methods of capturing and harnessing solar energy. And while these systems have only recently become affordable, their success is a testament to how much people desire clean, renewable energy.

    So, if you’re wondering how much do solar panels cost, you need to first ascertain whether they will be used for commercial or residential use, and then understand how they work in order to find the exact price.

    What Is a Solar Panel?

    According to the United States Office of Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy, the amount of solar radiation (light) that strikes the earth in approximately an hour and a half is enough to support a full year of global energy consumption.

    By allowing that solar radiation to pass through photovoltaic (PV) panels, also known as solar panels, it is possible to convert that light spectrum into usable electrical energy. This renewable energy can be used immediately, or be stored in batteries to be used when it is needed.

    If you take a more granular approach, you will see that solar panels are made up of PV cells. These cells capture energy when sunlight is absorbed, and this energy is then converted to electrical charges.

    But, how many solar panels do you need and how much power do they generate?

    How Many Solar Panels Should You Install:

    In 2022, an average solar panel produces about one kilowatt-hour (kWh) per day. However, an average American household (regardless of state) uses about 30 kWh of electricity a day.

    So, you will need about 30 solar panels to generate all of that electrical energy, for an average dwelling. However, your energy use may be more or less from the national average. Fortunately, most electricity bills print the exact amount of kilowatt hours used in daily, monthly, and yearly amounts.

    To determine how many solar panels you will need, carefully consider each of the following factors:

    Consider Your Home’s Sunlight Exposure:

    In areas of the U.S. that receive more sunlight throughout the year, the cost of a solar panel system will more quickly be surpassed by how much is saved on residential energy consumption.

    So, before you buy a solar panel system, consider how advantageous it is for your location. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cataloged the Average Annual Daily Potential Solar Energy. Depending on where you live, the number of peak sun hours that it averages will impact how much do solar panels cost.

    (Image: Billy J. Roberts, National Renewable Energy Laborator 12 )

    You can also contact your local weather service to find out the peak sun hours for your specific area.

    Calculate Your Daily Energy Usage:

    To determine your daily energy usage, use this simple calculator:

    • Find your most recent utility bill. It’s best if you have the last 12 months so you can calculate your average monthly energy usage.
    • Add up the numbers recorded beneath “kWh” used on each bill. Then divide this number by 12. This is your monthly average.
    • Divide your monthly average by 30 to get your daily kWh average.
    • You will now have all the information needed to buy the correct number of solar panels for your home.

    Research Federal and State Incentives

    The U.S. federal government and many state governments offer lucrative incentives for installing solar panel systems on your home or business, in the form of tax deductions and credits. In many cases, this establishes a substantial reduction in how much out-of- you’ll need to spend. The drawback is that you have to wait to get the benefit until your taxes are filed.

    The reason for the incentives is based on the current climate crisis and the greenhouse gasses generated by traditional electricity production. In the U.S., hydro-power plants provide energy to many regions, but globally, coal-fired generators are the norm.

    This burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is responsible for massive amounts of carbon emissions being added to the atmosphere every day. In fact, just five power plants around the world were responsible for generating 73 percent of global electricity emissions in 2018.

    Installing a solar panel system on your business or home is one of the best ways to lessen your carbon footprint because they reduce the need for electricity provided by non-renewable sources.

    Solar Energy: Solar Panel Benefits and Drawbacks

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the last decade, an increasing number of families and individuals have chosen to install solar panels on their houses. This is partly due to the fact that residential solar panels have become more affordable and the financial benefits are impressive.

    Although your decision to install solar panels may stem from a desire to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll also be able to reduce your home (or business) yearly expenses.

    Benefits of Choosing Solar Power

    • It reduces your carbon footprint.
    • It reduces your electrical bills. The initial monetary investment is quickly surpassed by the amount of money you save on electricity.
    • It reduces your dependence on fossil fuels.
    • It can improve the value of your residence.
    • Low maintenance costs.
    • Excess energy is stored and used during the night.
    • If you have an electric car, you can charge it directly off your new grid.
    • If there is an outage in your area, you will still have electricity because your energy is being produced and used on-site.
    • It stimulates interest and investment in solar technologies which often leads to new employment opportunities.
    • Depending on your living situation, you may be able to live entirely off the grid and use only solar energy.
    • The federal government offers grants, tax incentives, and rebate programs to help with the installation cost.
    much, solar, panels, cost, your

    Drawbacks to Solar Power

    • Space: the biggest drawback of solar is the sheer amount of space that needs to be dedicated to it. Luckily, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Most residential solar panels are installed on roofs, though you can also install them in a yard. You will also need to set aside space for the power bank so that you will have power during the night.
    • Cloudy days and winter months lower the amount of energy you can produce. Also, if your house is surrounded by large trees, solar panels may simply not be viable (but there are ways to get around that).
    • The initial monetary investment can be quite large. While your solar panels will pay off in the long run, buying the materials and paying contractors to install them can seem daunting.
    • Solar panel efficiency is not yet at 100 percent. Solar technologies are still being improved, so the current generation of solar panels may not be as efficient as those in the future.
    • Your geographical location may also change the efficiency of your solar panel system. You may need more to supply enough power for your home or business. 6

    Additional Costs Associated With Solar Panel Systems

    A standard 6 kW solar system will cost around 20,000 with parts and installation, but there are additional costs that you should also consider. Panels last for approximately 25 years before you’ll need to upgrade or replace them, but there are also batteries, site evaluations, and an inverter to factor into the cost equation.

    There are two primary components to a system: panels and inverters. The panel is the part you see on rooftops and is located on the ground, featuring the PV cells that grab energy from the sun. The inverter is the device that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC).

    Solar panels (like almost every generator) produce DC which then needs to be converted into AC in order to be used by your home’s appliances, electronics, and heating and cooling system. If you are running your solar panels directly into your house’s electrical panel, you must install an inverter before using the panels.

    This is where a contractor is needed. Before installing solar panels, you will need to set up a general site visit and an engineer visit. The general site visit allows a contractor to evaluate how best to install solar panels in your place of residence, and many of these individuals will perform the initial site visit for no charge. They will also provide you with additional information on what exactly you need to order and (if the contractor doesn’t have an engineer on the payroll) provide names of reputable engineering services who can evaluate the structure for feasibility.

    An engineer should also visit the site and evaluate the structural integrity of your roof, as well as test the capacity of the electrical panel, and determine whether it needs to be upgraded or updated. In some instances an upgrade is required because newer solar panels may require more amps of current.

    After these two visits are completed, you can sign the contract and purchase the materials.

    Additional costs also include:

    • Changes to your home insurance policy (in some cases, the policy amount may decrease).
    • Site ‘surprises’… as with any major home improvement project, the unexpected does happen, so be prepared for ‘change orders’ to the contract, which may increase the labor or installation amount.

    Defining the Federal Solar Tax Credit

    If you install a solar panel system on your home or business in the United States, you can claim a tax credit on federal income taxes for a percent of the cost of a PV system. This is also true for other renewable energy technologies.

    The primary qualification for this solar tax credit is that you have installed and are generating electricity with solar panels. While there are sometimes additional requirements, this fact will almost always qualify you for a tax exemption.

    This is particularly important for homeowners looking to install a system by the end of the 2023 tax year. If you choose to install solar panels before then, you are eligible for a 22% solar tax credit, but this is subject to change.

    Right now, the tax credit is set to expire in 2024. However, Congress has the opportunity to renew it.

    If you have already paid for solar panel installation and are currently using them to produce some percentage of the energy you use every day, then you may also be eligible to receive a solar tax credit.

    You can even receive a partial tax credit if you invest in a local solar project. These are off-site projects which act as solar energy lenders. You pay a specific price to receive a certain amount of your energy from renewable sources.

    You may wish to contact a legal advisor to gain a better understanding of exactly how you can qualify for the solar tax credit. 7

    What Is a Solar Tax Credit: Are You Eligible to Claim It?

    The primary qualification for receiving the federal solar tax credit is by generating electricity, but there are some additional ways to decide whether you qualify for the tax bonus, including:

    • Installation of your solar panel system took place between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2023.
    • The solar panel installation was done to your primary or secondary residence in the United States and the electricity generated by the system does not exceed the electricity usage of your home or business.
    • You own the PV system and either paid for or financed the solar panel installation.
    • The PV system is either new or being used for the first time. The solar tax credit must only be claimed on the initial installation.

    Solar Panels Cost Lessened

    The following tables show the value of federal tax credits in your state based on when you have installed, or have decided to install a solar panel system.

    The first shows the value of a solar tax credit during the 2021 and 2022 tax years, while the second table shows the value of a solar tax credit during the 2023 tax year.

    As with the actual installation, alternate per state and may continue to change throughout 2022 and 2023 so please seek out an advisor for more information. 7

    State 2021-2022 Solar Tax Credit Value (26%)
    Alabama 3,564
    Alaska 3,498
    Arizona 3,557
    Arkansas 3,825
    California 3,962
    Colorado 4,446
    Connecticut 4,040
    District of Columbia 4,087
    Delaware 3,978
    Florida 3,619
    Georgia 4,118
    Hawaii 5,086
    Idaho 4,446
    Illinois 4,352
    Indiana 3,978
    Iowa 3,682
    Kansas 3,472
    Kentucky 3,406
    Louisiana 4,072
    Maine 4,179
    Maryland 4,040
    Massachusetts 4,274
    Michigan 4,165
    Minnesota 4,493
    Mississippi 3,838
    Missouri 3,760
    Montana 4,306
    Nebraska 4,113
    Nevada 3,838
    New Hampshire 4,540
    New Jersey 3,775
    New Mexico 4,337
    New York 4,134
    North Carolina 3,650
    North Dakota 3,524
    Ohio 3,744
    Oklahoma 3,813
    Oregon 3,916
    Pennsylvania 4,009
    Rhode Island 4,212
    South Carolina 4,290
    South Dakota 3,519
    Tennessee 3,616
    Texas 3,853
    Utah 4,009
    Vermont 4,321
    Virginia 4,103
    Washington 3,650
    West Virginia 3,838
    Wisconsin 4,571
    Wyoming 3,734

    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost for a 1500 Square Foot House?

    It can depend, but that won’t impact the amount of your tax credit value for 2023.

    State 2023 Solar Tax Credit Value (22%)
    Alabama 3,015
    Alaska 2,960
    Arizona 3,010
    Arkansas 3,237
    California 3,353
    Colorado 3,762
    Connecticut 3,419
    District of Columbia 3,458
    Delaware 3,366
    Florida 3,062
    Georgia 3,485
    Hawaii 4,303
    Idaho 3,762
    Illinois 3,683
    Indiana 3,366
    Iowa 3,115
    Kansas 2,882
    Kentucky 2,882
    Louisiana 3,445
    Maine 3,536
    Maryland 3,419
    Massachusetts 3,617
    Michigan 3,524
    Minnesota 3,802
    Mississippi 3,248
    Missouri 3,181
    Montana 3,643
    Nebraska 3,480
    Nevada 3,247
    New Hampshire 3,841
    New Jersey 3,194
    New Mexico 3,670
    New York 3,498
    North Carolina 3,089
    North Dakota 2,982
    Ohio 3,168
    Oklahoma 3,227
    Oregon 3,313
    Pennsylvania 3,392
    Rhode Island 3,564
    South Carolina 3,630
    South Dakota 2,978
    Tennessee 3,060
    Texas 3,260
    Utah 3,392
    Vermont 3,656
    Virginia 3,472
    Washington 3,089
    West Virginia 3,248
    Wisconsin 3,868
    Wyoming 3,159

    Should You Install Solar Panels?

    Solar energy and other clean, renewable energy sources, have the potential to make fossil fuels all but obsolete, which would drastically reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. Although it won’t impact other nation’s use of coal-burning generators, it can make a big difference in your personal carbon footprint or your business carbon footprint… and every little bit helps.

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    over, this isn’t a distant pipe-dream or the plot of a science fiction novel. Right now, there are nations that get almost one hundred percent of their energy from renewable sources. Countries like Iceland, Sweden, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua have made it their goal to become free of fossil fuels, while countries like Germany produce over 65% of their energy from predominantly solar energy.

    There are so many benefits to installing a solar system on your home or business, and those benefits will only increase as engineers and scientists continue to innovate and expand the solar energy field. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in 2018, a new set of panels was installed every 100 seconds in the United States and they hypothesized that that number would continue as more and more people committed to renewable energy sources.

    Additionally, the solar industry has also seen an expansion. According to SEIA, in 2020, approximately 230,000 people were working in the solar industry. They were divided between 10,000 companies, all looking to improve and innovate on existing technologies. 9

    This expansion has been the product of falling prices. The cost of installing solar panels on a residential building has dropped more than 70% in the last decade and it looks like will continue to fall.

    While the pandemic has certainly impacted both the industry and its consumers, leading experts are confident that this is just the beginning of a solar energy boom.

    Of course, certain will not change. At least for now, you will still need to pay engineers and other contractors to install solar panels on your home, but the actual technology will continue to become more affordable.

    For now in most states, it only costs around 10,000 to 15,000 to get started with solar, and once you’ve got your own system set up, then you will start to see the difference it can make. Your utility bills will dramatically decrease, the value of your home will increase, and your lifestyle will become increasingly sustainable.

    This is the case even if you only receive some of your power from solar. It makes a difference and dramatically improves your relationship with the environment.

    That’s the promise of solar. So if you’ve been asking, “how much do solar panels cost,” now you know. 10

    Solar house installation cost

    Customer Testimonials

    “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

    Category Cost Breakdown
    Labor 0.30 per watt
    Panels 0.47/Wdc
    Inverter 0.12/Wdc. 0.39/Wdc
    Permit/Inspection 0.06/Wdc
    Structural BOS 0.10/Wdc
    Electrical BOS 0.19–0.27/Wdc (Varies by inverter option)
    Sales tax Sales tax varies by location; weighted national average: 6.9%
    Electrician 19.74–38.96 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
    Laborer 12.88–25.57 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
    Burden rates (% 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

    Category Cost Breakdown
    Broken glass panel 20 – 350, plus labor
    Cracked panel 100 – 400
    Loose connection 100
    Replacement inverter 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.

    Panel manufacturer

    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.

    Your state

    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:

    Least expensive solar install Most expensive solar install
    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:

    Solar panel type Description
    Monocrystalline 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 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.
    Thin-film 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

    Mount type Cost Description
    Fix-mount 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.
    Adjustable-mount 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.
    Tracking-mount 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.

    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.

    Arizona 2.50. 3.75 per watt
    California 2.50. 4.50 per watt
    Colorado 2.75. 5.00 per watt
    Connecticut 2.50. 4.00 per watt
    Florida 2.50. 3.75 per watt
    New Mexico 2.50. 4.50 per watt
    New York 2.75. 4.50 per watt
    Oregon 2.50. 4.25 per watt
    Texas 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!

    What is the Average Cost of Solar Panels?

    The average cost of solar panels as of Spring 2023 was 3.30 per watt, excluding financing. This price includes hard costs, like hardware and equipment, and soft costs, like installation labor and required permitting.

    This cost data comes from a March 2023 Report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in partnership with Wood Mackenzie Power Renewables.

    All that to say, there is no set price for a solar panel system, despite what the internet may say. In reality, your system price will be custom to your specific situation and will depend upon a variety of factors that each solar installation company accounts for a bit differently, including:

    • Your energy usage and electricity bill
    • System size and efficiency
    • Solar panel make and model
    • Your location within the U.S.
    • Eligible tax credits, incentives, and solar rebates
    • Local permitting and utility requirements
    • Condition and layout of your roof

    Now, we introduced lots of concepts in the first two paragraphs: price per watt, incentives, hard costs, soft costs. It can be a lot to take in. In the rest of this article, we’ll break down these ideas and key terms so you can understand them better. We’ll even provide you with an average savings amount per state so you can get a better sense of how much money you could potentially save on monthly costs should you make the decision to go solar.

    If you’re ready to estimate your costs now, head on over to our solar panel cost calculator. Using proprietary Mapdwell technology, we analyze the solar potential of your specific roof to provide you with a preliminary system size recommendation, along with cost and savings estimates.

    How Are Solar Energy Systems Typically Priced?

    There are many ways solar companies share the price of solar panels. The three most popular include:

    In our opinion, the most comprehensive method for pricing solar panels is the gross cost. Let’s explain why and then discuss each pricing model in detail.

    Gross Cost

    A lot of work goes into ensuring that you can safely turn on your solar power system–much more than simply attaching solar panels to your roof. The gross or total cost of solar panels will typically encompass everything you need to lawfully turn your system on before financial incentives, such as the Federal Solar Tax Credit, are applied.

    Yes—that’s right. You cannot lawfully install or power on your system without getting permission from the “authority having jurisdictions” (AHJs) for your area, which are often government entities. Other entities requiring permission may include your local building department and utility company, though the specifics will vary by location. If your home is part of a homeowners association or HOA, there may be additional approvals required.

    Other costs not often mentioned but necessary to the successful completion of your solar panel system include:

    • System design and engineering
    • Equipment and hardware (e.g. module, inverter, racking, and electrical wiring)
    • Permitting and inspections
    • Installation cost and labor

    At Palmetto, our solar estimate factors in these costs so you can better understand what it takes to begin generating electricity with your solar panels.

    Price Per Watt

    While we prefer using gross cost as our metric, we cannot discount the importance of price per watt. Price Per Watt—or PPW—is based on the maximum power output of a solar energy system, and is shown as the dollar amount per watt of solar energy a system can produce.

    Because solar panels vary in both size and efficiency, this allows homeowners to compare costs based on overall system performance, rather than the number of panels or square feet of roof space. PPW is calculated by taking the gross cost of a solar panel system and dividing it by the total wattage, or power capability, of that system.

    How do you calculate the size of the solar system you’ll need? That will depend on your energy usage (which you can see on your electricity bill) and how much of that electricity you want to come from solar panels. This is called solar offset, or the percentage of your total energy needs that can be offset by the electricity your solar panels generate in optimal conditions.

    Many homeowners target a 100% solar offset when selecting the right system size for their home. The ability to do this will depend on preference, roof specifications, and utility guidelines. To calculate yours, you can use our free solar design and savings estimator tool.

    The difference between gross cost and PPW is that the former already factors in system size, while the latter does not. Using PPW, you’ll be able to measure the comparable value of several solar power system quotes that may differ in solar panel types, wattage, and more.

    Price Per Panel

    You might also see solar panel systems priced by the panel. This metric is often used to price DIY solar panel kits, which we may recommend for your RV or boat, but not for your home.

    It’s true that panels do differ in price depending on their make, model, and efficiency. Higher efficiency panels will likely cost more; however, you will not need as many of those panels to generate the same amount of energy created by a larger system that uses cheaper, low-efficiency panels. You could even spend more on those lower efficiency panels because you need to buy more panels for the same amount of electricity.

    We rarely see this metric used to price residential solar energy systems because it leaves a lot of valuable information out of the equation.

    Understanding the Hard and Soft Costs of Solar

    It’s important to understand that the price tag of solar almost always includes more than just the equipment costs. It includes the costs necessary to install and get your system online. Let’s go over hard costs and soft costs so you can better understand them.

    Hard Costs of Solar

    The hard costs of solar refer to the physical equipment of your solar panel system, including the following:

    • Solar panels
    • Solar inverter
    • Electrical panel
    • Mounting and racking
    • Electrical equipment

    These will vary by solar company, as not all installers offer the same equipment.

    Soft Costs of Solar

    The soft costs of solar include labor and time taken to make sure you have all the relevant permits and licenses needed to operate your system. This may include but is not limited to the following:

    • Permitting fees
    • Inspection fees
    • Interconnection fees
    • Sales taxes (if applicable)
    • Supply chain costs
    • Installation costs
    • Customer acquisition costs
    • Transactional fees

    The benefit of choosing a solar installer like Palmetto is that we factor these services into the cost of our system. We work on behalf of our customers to make sure their installations meet strict quality standards and that their system receives the correct permits in order to lawfully operate.

    What Does It Cost to Lease Solar Panels?

    A solar lease is a financial arrangement where the company that installs your solar panel system retains ownership, and you pay a fixed monthly amount to use any electricity the solar panels produce. Leasing solar also helps you lower your utility bill, and is often ideal for homeowners who are on fixed incomes and/or may not be eligible for the solar tax credit.

    With this arrangement, you typically don’t pay any upfront costs for the residential solar installation, and your costs are just the subsequent monthly rent. You’ll make that monthly payment for the duration of your lease, and the solar installer is fully responsible for installation and maintenance.

    To learn more about solar leases, visit our article that compares leasing vs. buying solar panels.

    How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

    Because savings may vary by state, we’ve compiled a table of Palmetto customers’ median system size and median estimated total savings. We sorted the data by state, and forecasted savings based on a 25-year lifetime of the system, before breaking that down into monthly savings.

    State Median System Size (kW) Median Estimated 25-Year Savings Equivalent Monthly Savings
    Arizona 9.6 10,779 35.93
    California 6.715 64,403 214.68
    Colorado 7.2 9,281 30.94
    Connecticut 8.69 35,865 119.55
    Florida 10.53 12,740 42.47
    Georgia 6.48 6,753 22.51
    Illinois 9.2 17,130 57.10
    Maryland 7.6 7,794 25.98
    Massachusetts 9.085 67,009 223.36
    Michigan 5.6 6,114 20.38
    Missouri 10.8 12,793 42.64
    Nevada 8 19,321 64.40
    New Jersey 8 30,856 102.85
    New Mexico 8.4 36,465 121.55
    New York 8.295 6,378 21.26
    North Carolina 7.695 7,161 23.87
    Ohio 8 9,029 30.10
    Pennsylvania 8.91 13,529 45.10
    Rhode Island 6.715 10,499 35.00
    South Caronlina 7.695 13,680 45.60
    Texas 10.125 17,518 58.39
    Virginia 8.8 12,991 43.30
    Wisconsin 6 10,804 36.01

    Monthly savings figures are based on median estimated total savings over 25 years for recent Palmetto customers. Actual savings may vary. This information is current as of March 2023.

    Calculate the Cost of Going Solar with Palmetto

    Want to see how much you could save by installing solar panels on your home? Using Mapdwell technology, Palmetto has mapped the solar potential of more than half of all rooftops in the United States. To see what your roof could look like with solar panels, and to get a custom quote, use our free solar design tool and cost calculator. You can begin your journey toward a cleaner energy future today!

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