Electric bills are soaring. Frequent power outages are hitting many parts of the county. More and more reports are coming out about how vulnerable our current electric grid is.
It’s no wonder so many people are looking for other ways to power their homes and lives. And the most common option people are looking into is solar electricity.
Not just because it’s clean, renewable energy. But because solar costs are going down every year. And it’s becoming much cheaper to get your energy with solar than by paying the local power company.
Because of this solar panels are popping up on homes, businesses and in communities all across the U.S. Heck, even the Kentucky Coal Museum installed solar panels to lower their energy costs!
If you are thinking about going solar, probably the biggest question you have comes down to money. You want to know how much does solar cost?
Every situation is different. The best way to find out how much solar will cost and, more importantly, how much you can save, is by using a solar calculator like the one here to get a customized estimate based on your home address.
However, if you’re looking for some average costs for what it will cost you to go solar, you’ll find some numbers below.
How Much Does Solar Cost: Average Costs of Residential Solar in the U.S.
While costs vary widely, currently the average cost of installing solar panels on a home in the U.S. is around $15,000. The range is typically from around $5,000 on the low end to $40,000 or more for a high-end system.
These averages are for the solar panels themselves, labor costs for installation and other required equipment such as inverters and control circuitry. This does not include extras like a battery backup.
7 Factors That Affect Your Solar Installation Costs
As you might imagine, there are a number of factors that will affect how much does solar cost in your situation. Here are the ones that have the biggest impact.
The #1 biggest factor is how many solar panels you will need. We take a look at this question in more detail in this article. But the short (and pretty obvious) thing here is, the more panels you need, the more it will cost you.
If you only need a 2kW size system, the costs will be around $5,000 on average. For a 10kW system, it will be around $20,000.
Here are the rest of the key factors that will affect how much your solar installation will cost include:
2. The type/brand of equipment you get
3. The company you use to install your panels
4. Where you live (though this typically doesn’t make a huge difference and may be more due to differences in system size, incentives and installation companies)
5. Your roof (ie. a single roof plane vs a roof with multiple levels, skylights, etc.)
7. Local incentives, rebates or other discounts
Cost vs Investment
Whether it’s $5K or $40K, installing solar on your home is not cheap. So is it worth it?
With the costs of solar going down and electric bills going up the answer for many is yes. Solar is totally worth it.
On average, homeowners will break even on their up-front costs after 7 to 8 years after installing solar due to their electric bill savings.
That doesn’t even factor in the increase in your home’s value with solar panels on the roof. There are multiple studies that show solar will improve your property value so you’ll get a higher price when it’s time to sell.
One caveat with that though. If you lease your solar panels, that could cause some issues when it comes time to sell your home. Some potential buyers may not want to take over the lease. And some lenders may make it more difficult for people to get a loan for a home that has leased solar panels.
So if you think you’ll move in the next few years, it may make more sense for you to buy your solar panels instead of leasing them.
Overall, for more and more people, solar makes a lot of sense. Especially with the tax incentives and rebates currently available.
If you want to know how much you can save and how much does solar cost in your area, we recommend checking out the UnderstandSolar.com site.
This company is the #1 solar advisor in the United States. They’ve helped over 200,000 people out with solar and have earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies (and they are the #1 solar company on the list).