What is the cost to install solar panels? This is the most common question we get. If you’re new to shopping for solar, you’re likely looking for a ballpark price.
As with most home services projects of this scale, you can probably guess that the price varies widely from home to home.
But this is a good question to get you started understanding the variables of a solar energy installation. The average cost of solar systems we sold last year was $32,000 (that’s $22,400 after applying the Federal Tax Credit for solar). While that is an average, we’ve also sold solar energy systems that range anywhere between $15,000 – $100,000 in recent years! We say this to remind you that the price can vary tremendously from system to system.
The cost of going solar depends on several factors, including the size of your system and the cost of components. Keep reading to understand what goes into a solar energy system sizing, how much solar costs, and what other financial payback considerations you should evaluate.
Size of System
The size of your system is based on how much energy you use.
Compare two 1,500 square foot houses for example. One could have a family with three kids and a hot tub. The other could be home to a retired couple who volunteer outside of their home all week and do everything they can to conserve electricity. You can imagine the electricity bills at each home would be significantly different.
The footprint of a house actually tells us very little about the actual energy consumption of the home.
As a home service provider, it’s our goal to help you meet 100% of your electricity needs with your solar system.
That’s why we ask for an electric bill at the very beginning. We must understand how much energy you need to offset each year with solar energy. Looking at the annual usage graph on your bill, we can determine how much energy you use in a year. Once we know your average kilowatt hours used in a year, we model a system on your home that will meet that need.
As you probably guessed, the family with a hot tub living in the 1,500 square foot home will need a bigger solar energy system than the retired couple that doesn’t use much electricity.
Cost to Install Solar Panels
There are a few different costs that go into your solar system.
First there is the cost of components. A solar system is made of panels, racking, an inverter, conduit, wires and bolts. If you’re adding battery backup to your system, this adds a large cost to the overall solar system price.
Second is the team behind the install – all the way from the designers, engineers, project managers, and permitters to installers and electricians whom you will meet on installation day.
Type of Installation
Ground mounted systems usually add between 10 – 15% to the system cost due to trenching and additional material costs to build the mounting system.
Batteries & Generators
Batteries and generator costs vary widely and could add 10 – 100% to your project costs, depending on the size and number of units required.
Don’t Forget About Incentives!
Don’t forget to evaluate these as you weigh the Cost to Install Solar Panels
- Future cost of energy – energy prices are set to increase in Ohio
- The Federal Tax Credit for solar allows you to recoup 30% of the solar system costs on taxes owed. You can claim this benefit over multiple years.
- Using clean, reliable solar energy is a good move for the environment and the future energy grid.