How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

How much do solar panels cost?

Ready for everyone’s favorite answer? It depends!

Before you run away, hear us out. Solar panel systems for your home can cost $10,000 to $100,000 or more – lots of factors impact how much a system costs. 

Most solar companies calculate the cost of solar panel systems in cost per watt. Panels are usually 25-30 percent of the overall system cost. In addition to solar panels, the cost per watt includes inverters, mountings, components, warranties and installation labor costs.

The cost of installing a solar system on your home depends on how much power you hope to produce – the bigger the system, the more equipment you’ll need and labor to install it. Your solar panel system cost also varies based on location. Some states and local entities offer rebates or incentives to reduce the cost of your system (in addition to a 30 percent federal tax credit!).

Good news: you’ll never have to change your lifestyle to switch to solar with solar financing. With $0 down payments, your solar payment can be about what you’re paying for power right now or even less than that! Solar will not bust your budget. If you’d like, you can accelerate your payments to pay off your system faster.

Can you find solar panels for less per watt on eBay and Amazon? Sure, but we advise working with expert solar providers. A lot more goes into a safe and efficient solar power system than just plugging it in.

We know you’re probably visiting this page because you are curious about upfront costs, but don’t forget that while a solar power system is a large investment, it has a great return on investment (more on that below!).

Cost breakdown

Solar Cost Breakdown-01.png

Solar panels

Solar panels usually make up around 30 percent of the solar power system cost. How much an individual panel costs depends on how powerful it is and who is buying it. Lower-wattage panels have fewer solar cells, so they are less expensive. Higher-wattage panels cost more, but they generate more electricity for you to use. Solar retailers pay less for panels than individual buyers because they purchase in bulk.

Inverters

Inverters are about 10 percent of the overall cost. They convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), the usable electricity you use to power your home.

Balance of system (BoS)

All of the additional components except the panels and inverters make up the balance of system. Usually there are mountings, wiring, and other electrical components and hardware. This makes up about 10 percent of the solar panel system cost.

Installation

This can vary depending on where you live, but labor will be about 15 percent and permitting and inspection fees will be another 15 percent of the cost of your system.

Operational costs

Monitoring, maintenance, warranty support and overhead costs will comprise about 20 percent of your system cost. Just like with any business, solar providers have behind-the-scenes costs associated with running a business.

Going solar is an investment. Make sure you understand where the costs are coming from when you’re looking at bids.

Solar savings

When you switch to solar, you’ll replace some or all of your power bill with a solar loan payment. Most people think they have to pay for power in perpetuity; once you’ve paid the final payment on a solar panel system, you can enjoy years of free, clean energy. 

Ready to get started? Schedule a free energy consultation today.