How Much Does a Solar Panel Cost? (2023)

How much does a solar panel cost? It will be irresponsible to offer a mere figure for this question, as to set up a completesolar power system requires more than just a solar panel. While the panels are the components that harvest the sun’s energy, it takes an entire system to create reliable clean energy your home uses. The intention of this question is palpable: they want to know how much it costs to go solar for home.

Before we break down the cost of going solar, we hope you can understand that there are two types of solar power systems, the grid-tied and the off-grid. The cost for the respective system will not be the same, as they consist of different units. In addition, every element of the system and the choices you make as a consumer will impact the total cost. Below we’ll share how equipment, installation and your energy needs affect the costs of going solar.

How much does it cost to install a solar panel?

Table of content

  • How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?
  • Costs of the Equipment of A Solar Panel System
  • Installation Costs
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Financial Incentives
  • Commonly Asked Questions
  • Next Step

How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels?

According to EnergySage,in 2022, the average cost of a residential solar system withinstallation in the U.S. is $20,498, after the federal solar income tax credit. But prices can vary widely. That’s why we recommend getting multiple bids from solar companies before you make a purchase.

Before reviewing solar proposals, it’s important to understand the three parts involving buyinga residential solar system, which can help understand what goes into thesolar panel cost.

  • Equipment
  • Installation
  • Financial Incentives

Costs of the Equipment of A Solar Panel System

Breaking down the cost to install solar panels first requires you to know that different types of solar panels have varied pricing. Solar panels account for only about one-quarter of the cost of a solar project.There are three types of solar panels each with different construction, performance and cost.

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Polycrystalline:These panels are blue in color and use multiple silicon crystals melted together. They are a bit less efficient than monocrystalline but are a more affordable option.

Monocrystalline: Monocrystalline are made from a single silicon crystal and typically have better efficiency and are smaller in size than polycrystalline. They also tend to be the higher cost option.

Amorphous solar panels: They are lightweight, flexible and have portable options, buthave much lower efficiency than Polycrystalline or Monocrystalline. They are also larger and require twice the space than monocrystalline panels.

Clickmonocrystalline vs polycrystalline to learn their differences.

System size

The number of panels you’ll need for a system is determined by how much energy your home uses. Typically, consumers aim to offset 100 percent of their electricity usage with solar to get their energy bills as low as possible. For example, a typical 2,000 square foot three-bedroom home will require a system with about (20) 350-watt panels with a cost of $15,000 and $40,000 including installation.

Most American homes need about 30 panels to cover 100 percent of their energy usage. Where you live may also impact how many panels you need. In areas where there are more peak sunlight hours, you may require fewer panels to generate the energy you need or vice versa for areas with fewer peak sunlight hours.

Inverters

Inverters are solar components that convert the DC power your panels produce to the AC power your home uses. There are a few types of power inverters with varying equipment and installation costs. Inverters typically account for about 5-10 percent of a project’s cost.

Grid tied vs. offgrid systems

Grid Tied Solar Systemsare tied to the electric grid. That means your home remains connected to the power grid and draws energy when solar panels or batteries are not producing. Grid tied systems also allow your home to send excess energy produced by solar back onto the grid, which means you can sell extra solar power for extra income to offset the solar cost. These systems need to be installed by professional installers, which means you have to pay the installation fees.

Off-Grid Solar Systems are, in most cases, only an option where there is no access to electricity from the grid. These systems are fully self-reliant and require batteries to provide power at night or when the sun isn’t out. Off-grid systems can be installed DIY, but you have to buy a solar battery.

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Installation Costs

Installation fees includes the cost of:

  • Labor
  • Additional equipment like mounting brackets and cabling
  • Fees for permitting and inspection

If using a professional installer, installation represents a sizable portion of the cost of a solar project.

The material your roof is made of will also impact installation costs. Materials such as asphalt shingle tend to have lower installation costs, while materials like clay tile have higher installation costs. A flat roof surface requires supplementary brackets.

Grid connected systems will need to be permitted and inspected by either the local housing jurisdiction, the utility, or both. That’s why grid-tied systems are typically installed by professionals.

Permitting and inspection require fees that are bundled into installers’ estimates in most cases. There will also be an ongoing interconnection fee from the utilities to remain connected to the grid.

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Maintenance Costs

Solar panel maintenance is typically not a significant expense. Modern panels are nearly self- cleaning with natural rainfall usually sufficient to keep them clean. At times you may need to clear your panels of tree debris or dust. You may want to hire a professional to do this.

As for repairs and replacements,residential solar systems don’t have moving parts so equipment failures are relatively uncommon. However most solar equipment comes with 20-30 warranties that cover equipment failures and defects.

Financial Incentives

Incentive and rebates

Through 2022, thefederal solar tax credit is 26 percent of system costs. In 2023 the credit goes down to 22 percent. Various other financial incentives are available to make solar more affordable forresidential customers. Incentives vary depending on where you live and are available through government agencies, utilities or both. To learn more about incentives, visit dsireusa.org.

During our research, we find that some professional incentive terms can lead to misunderstanding easily. In this regard, we make the chart below to offer you a clear overview and you can compare which policy can offer you real benefits in reducing your solar cost.

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*Information source: energysage, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy, and Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

If you are interested in learning more details about solar tax credit, clickEverything You Need To Know About Solar Tax Credit.

How much do solar panels cost in Texas and in Pennsylvania?

According to official industry data for 2022, the average cost of solar panels in Texas is $2.77 per watt making a typical 6000 watt (6 kW) solar system $11,647 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit now available. Also, as to the cost of solar panels in PA, the average cost of a solar in Pennsylvania is $12,281 to $20,216 before applying for solar incentives. That means the average cost per watt for solar panel installation in PA ranges from $2.64 to $3.56 per watt.

Commonly Asked Questions

How many solar panels do I need?

How to calculate how many solar panels i need?You have to know how much residential electricity to keep your house appliances running before deciding how many solar panels are needed. Here is a simple method: check out your electricity bill. From the bill history, you can easily find out your daily electricity consumption. Then plug the figure, as well as your appliances working hours, charge controller efficiency and average sun hours per day, into the RenogySolar Calculator, you can get the answers in a flash!

Find more information onYou Will Need How Many Solar Panels to Power a House?

How long to recoup costs?

It’s easy to calculate return on investment or ROI for solar. Just divide the total cost of your system (after incentives)by your average energy savings per month. ROI or “payback” time is measured in months and years. It tells you how long it will take to recoup your solar investment.

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Even though solar may come with a substantial upfront investment, those costs can often be recouped in as few as 5 to 15 years. In that time, not only are you saving on energy, but you’re reducing your carbon footprint. That should be enough to get anyone excited about joining the clean energy community.

Next Step

Solar power, as one of the most affordable, accessible and reliable electricity for households, offers the best electricity alternative for faraway areas that cannot connect to the grid, as well as families that are longing to reduce their electricity bills. Installing an off grid solar power system or grid tied system will be the best practice to go solar.

If you’ve been ready to join the clean energy community,Renogy will be your first stop to start the solar journey. Renogy is an aspirant in solar panel industry, dedicated to push forward the sustainable living and energy independence.We are confident that our DIY friendly and reliable renewable energy products will enable the energy independence of 50 million people by 2030. We have the off grid solar kit, portable solar panels for home, MPPT solar charge controllers, and solar batteries for sale!

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