How much does solar panel installation cost?

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Price guide

$3,500 - $40,000

low

$3,500

median

$15,000

high

$40,000

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

Last Updated on

Whether you want to pay lower bills or live sustainably, installing a solar panel makes your home more energy-efficient. But how much does solar panel installation cost?

The average cost of solar panels is $3,500 to $40,000depending on their size, type, and efficiency. Through our price guide, you can determine exactly how much solar panel installation costs and make an informed choice for your home.

Solar panel installation prices in the US

Check out the table below to compare the costs of installing a solar panel in various states:

State

Estimated cost (6-kW system)

Arizona

$13,000 to $15,000

California

$14,500 to $19,300

Colorado

$16,700 to $21,100

Connecticut

$15,200 to $18,500

Washington, D.C.

$15,600 to $24,800

Delaware

$12,500 to $16,700

Florida

$13,400 to $17,200

Georgia

$16,000 to $19,700

Iowa

$19,400 to $20,400

Idaho

$14,400 to $24,500

Illinois

$16,500 to $20,100

Indiana

$14,700 to $19,100

Louisiana

$16,000 to $20,100

Massachusetts

$16,000 to $19,800

Maryland

$15,200 to $20,300

Maine

$14,700 to $17,400

Michigan

$15,500 to $20,600

Minnesota

$16,900 to $20,300

Montana

$15,000 to $19,400

North Carolina

$13,800 to $18,500

New Hampshire

$16,800 to $20,500

New Jersey

$12,800 to $17,000

New Mexico

$14,800 to $20,900

Nevada

$12,400 to $15,300

New York

$16,400 to $21,100

Ohio

$14,600 to $17,500

Oregon

$14,800 to $18,800

Pennsylvania

$14,600 to $19,600

Rhode Island

$15,800 to $20,200

South Carolina

$16,400 to $19,600

Texas

$14,300 to $18,800

Utah

$13,800 to $17,900

Virginia

$15,500 to $19,500

Vermont

$12,900 to $20,800

Washington

$14,100 to $17,700

Wisconsin

$16,800 to $19,800


Different solar panels and their costs

System type (PV)

Estimated cost (before tax credit)

Estimated household size

2-kW (6 panels)

$5,000 to $7,000

2

3-kW (9 panels)

$7,500 to $10,000

3

4-kW (11 panels)

$10,000 to $14,000

4+

5-kW (15 panels)

$13,000 to $17,000

6+

6-kW (17 panels)

$15,000 to $19,000

6+

7-kW (20 panels)

$19,000 to $21,000

6+


Factors affecting the cost of solar panel installation

an electrician installing solar panels

Different things affect the cost of installing solar panels. To help you with budgeting, we’ve listed some of them below:

System size

The cost of a solar panel differs per system size. A solar panel system is usually measured by kWp or kilowatt peak. This pertains to the amount of energy produced by the cell during summer. The lower the kWp, the fewer panels are needed and the lower the final cost.


The number of solar panels

Solar panel costs vary depending on the number of solar panels needed. For a household of two, six panels (a 2-kWp system) are the best. This costs around $5,000 to $7,000. For bigger homes with more than four occupants, 12 panels with a 4-kWp system are ideal and cost around $10,000.


Solar panel type

The type of solar panel to be bought will also affect how much solar panels cost. The three most popular types are monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and thin-film solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive but durable and efficient. Thin-film solar panels are the cheapest but take up the most space and have lower durability.


Solar panel efficiency

Aside from size and type, efficiency determines how much solar panels cost. The higher the efficiency rate, the lower the number of panels needed to provide your household's energy. 

With this, the cost of high-efficiency solar panel systems is also higher. Of all the three types, monocrystalline has the highest efficiency level, at 15% to 23%, followed by polycrystalline, around 13% to 16%. Thin-film is the least efficient, at 11% to 114%.


Labor costs

When installing a solar panel, the average labor cost is around $1,000 to $5,000. This can still go higher or lower depending on your location, the date of installation, and the size of your system.


Installation method

How much solar panels cost also depends on the method of installation. Although solar panel installation may seem straightforward, it requires strategizing and planning to get it right. Once you hire an electrician or tradesman, they need to consider the house's structure, the size and number of panels, and the angle of the panels. The more complex the situation is, the higher the cost.

Other factors affecting solar panel installation costs

While installing your new solar panels, you might encounter some issues or upgrades that can increase your expenses. To help you avoid surprises, we’ve listed other things affecting the cost of installing solar panels:an electrician performing solar panel installation

Roof replacement 

Solar panels can last around 25 to 30 years. If your roof has been installed longer than 30 years, you might need to consult with a specialist to have your roof replaced. Roof replacements cost around $5,000 to $10,000 on average and will help you save on replacing, repairing, and reinstalling your solar panels in the long run.

Pigeon-proofing

Your solar panels can be an attractive home to some animals like pigeons. This can become an issue moving forward as they can cause dirt to accumulate and damage your solar panels. Pigeon proofing costs around $60 to $200 and will help save you and the pigeons future stress and inconvenience.

Solar batteries

Adding solar batteries can increase costs by $7,000 to $14,000 but can be a lifesaver at night or during gloomier, cloudier days.

The benefits of installing solar panels

Lower energy bills

Since you're not relying on the National Grid for power, installing a solar panel helps you save $1,500 annually on your energy bills. Your savings depends on your energy usage and the efficiency of your solar panels. Use heavy-duty duty appliances, like washing machines, vacuum cleaners, or dishwashers, during the day when the sun is at its peak.


Convenience

After installation, there is little to no maintenance on your solar panels. The only thing you need to do is replace the inverter, which takes place every 25 to 30 years and costs around $100 to $2,500. 

It just needs a little cleaning from time to time, and it’s good to go for another decade. No more queueing up to pay electricity bills and no more credit card charges that add up to your expenses.


Sustainability

Aside from savings and convenience, installing solar panels is more environmentally friendly. They use clean and sustainable energy from the sun. In addition to this, solar panels reduce your carbon footprint and do not produce harmful by-products in the process.


Tax credits and rebates

As more countries become more conscious of their carbon emissions, more programs are being implemented to help citizens live sustainably. In the US, around 22% to 26% of tax credits are offered by the government to encourage people to use solar energy. 

Consult your local authorities on other incentives and rebates, like cashback, waived fees, and exemptions, to make the most out of your purchase.


Higher home value

Lastly, solar panels can also increase the value of your home. Having an energy-efficient house appeals to consumers who want to save on energy costs while maintaining a more sustainable lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want free electricity when you move into your new home, right?


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Do you want to achieve more efficiency through solar power? Skip scouring the web for cost calculators and get personalized solar panel installation quotes when you post a task on Airtasker!

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FAQs

The best way to maintain a solar panel is to have it cleaned every six months. Clean solar panels ensure that your home is receiving the highest energy output with the best efficiency possible. Panels that have accumulated dirt over time are more susceptible to damage, leading to more costly repairs.

In dustier and drier countries, dirt can accumulate in the solar panels and will need regular cleaning. The cost to have solar panels cleaned is around $8 per panel.

Solar panel installation takes around one to two days to accomplish. However, this could still change depending on the type of your house, the size of the solar panels to be installed, and additional roof repairs that need to be done.

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