How much does solar panel installation cost?

Price guide

$3,500 - $40,000

low

$3,500

median

$15,000

high

$40,000

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much does solar panel installation cost?

Whether you want to save up on energy costs or just want to 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 ranges from $3,500 to $40,000. The cost varies depending on the size, type, and efficiency of the solar panel.

There are two main cost factors when installing a new solar panel:

  • The cost of the solar panel

  • Labor costs (one to two days)

With these factors, costs can increase and may go beyond the budget. Through our price guide, you can find out exactly how much solar panels cost and make an informed choice for your home.

Factors that affect the cost to install a solar panel

Different factors affect the cost of installing solar panels. To help in your budgeting process, we’ve listed the top factors to consider below.

Size of system

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 cheaper the final cost.

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) would work the best. This costs around $5,000 to $7,000. For bigger homes with more than four occupants, 11 panels with a 4 kWp system are ideal and cost around $10,000.

Type of solar panel

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. Within the three types, monocrystalline is the most expensive but is the most durable and efficient. Thin-film is the cheapest but takes up the most space and has lower durability.

Solar panel efficiency

Aside from size and type, the efficiency of the solar panel will also determine how much solar panels cost. The higher the efficiency rate, the lower the number of panels needed to provide the energy your household needs. 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

The average cost of labor when installing a solar panel 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.

Method of installation

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

Different types of solar panels by system size and their costs

Solar panels vary in cost depending on the system size. It can go as low as $5,600 for a 2 kW system to $14,000 for a 5 kW system. The cost can still go down to as much as $3,000 less due to government tax credits.

Solar 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+


Other factors that affect solar panel installation costs

While installing your new solar panels, you might encounter some issues or upgrades that can increase the costs. To avoid any surprises, we’ve listed other factors that can affect the cost to install a solar panel.

The first is 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 the cost of replacing, repairing, and reinstalling your solar panels in the long run.

Another factor is 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.

Lastly, consider adding solar batteries. This can increase the cost by $7,000 to $14,000 but can be a lifesaver at night or during gloomier, cloudier days.

Benefits of installing a solar panel

Save up on energy costs

Since you are not relying on electricity grids, installing a solar panel would help you save an average of $1,500 annually on your energy bills. Your savings would differ depending on your energy usage habits and the efficiency of your solar panels. It’s recommended to use heavy 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 would need to do is replace the inverter, which takes place every 25 to 30 years and costs around $100 to $2,500. Other than this, 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.

Environment-friendly option

Aside from savings and convenience, having solar panels installed is also more environmentally friendly. It uses energy from the sun that is clean and sustainable. In addition to this, it helps reduce your carbon footprint and does not produce any 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 more sustainably. In the US, around 22% to 26% of tax credits are offered by the government to encourage people to adopt more solar energy. Make sure to consult your local authorities on other incentives and rebates like cash backs, waived fees, and other exemptions to make the most out of your purchase.

Increase the value of your home

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

Solar panel installation price list in the US

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

State

Estimated cost (6kW 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



Want to achieve more efficiency through solar powered energy? Skip scouring the web for solar panel cost calculators and get a personalized quote when you put up a task on Airtasker!

Price guide

$3,500 - $40,000

low

$3,500

median

$15,000

high

$40,000

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

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FAQs

How do I maintain my solar panels?

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.

How much does solar panel cleaning cost?

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.

How long does it take to install a solar 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.

It takes less than 2 minutes. And it's free.