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Solar panel costs vary by the type of solar panel you use, how many panels are installed, and other factors like solar inverters and solar tax incentives in your area. We will break down the average solar panel system cost based on common system types and sizes.
If you want to get a better idea of what solar would cost for your home you can use your solar calculator to get a solar estimate for your home.
The average 10 kilowatt (kW) residential solar panel system costs $20,000 - $25,000 after the federal solar tax credit is applied. Smaller systems are cheaper but there are some upfront costs that to make any solar system work like an inverter(s) and utility fees or inspections.
There is a fixed cost associated with installing a solar panel system. Some equipment you will need to purchase no matter how big your system. After that fixed portion of the system, it costs about $1,500 per kW you add.
Your location will be a large factor for how much solar panels will cost. Your state's solar incentives and labor costs are the main drivers.
The costs of solar panels will depend on the type of panel (monocrystalline vs polycrystalline) brand and its watt rating. Generally, monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive than polycrystalline and are regarded as the premium type of solar panel.
The best way to compare the pricing of solar panels is to calculate the cost per watt. Simply take the cost of the solar panel and divide it by the rated wattage. For example:
Looking to save money by investing in a solar panel system for your home? Before you buy or lease a solar panel system you should consider several factors to determine if it makes financial sense, or use our solar calculator to compare the cost vs return on investment.
Here are 4 steps you should take to decide if solar is right for you.
The first step to determine if the cost of solar panels makes sense is to calculate how much you are currently paying for electricity. Your electric bill should include your historical usage by month. Simply find your average monthly usage and multiply it by your electric rate to see how much you are paying for electricity per month and year.
You should also see how much electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use in a typical month. This will help you determine how much electricity your solar panel system should generate to cover your usage.
Next, you should find out how much it would cost to purchase a solar panel system. You will need to think about if you are paying all of the costs upfront, financing or leasing your solar system. Our solar calculator can help you get a rough estimate of what a system for your home would cost.
While all new residential solar systems are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, your state, municipality, or utility may have additional incentives that can drastically lower the cost of your solar panel system. The DSIRE database allows you to search through various local incentives.
Additionally, you should find out if your home is an area that allows net metering. Net metering is a billing system that allows utilities to apply credits to your electricity bill for the extra energy you put back into the grid.
While some people are only interested in going solar if they are able to save money, others are willing to pay a little extra for the other benefits of solar. Common reasons people invest in solar include: