What is the average cost to install solar panels for your home or business? Solar is an exciting way to take charge of your home or business energy generation while saving money on utility costs and benefitting the environment at the same time.

Solar is Modular

Solar is a scaled business; the more you need, the cheaper it gets. Unlike other types of energy generation, solar is entirely modular. As clients’ needs get larger, additional panels, inverters, and racking are purchased. There is technically no minimum or maximum size to a solar energy system, so providing an “average cost” is not cut and dry.

Instead, we look at cost-per-watt and determine a cost from there. Of course, if you want a more specific look into your needs, you can always utilize our solar cost calculator or call our team.

The cost per watt of a solar system is a great way to keep an eye on a system’s overall cost. Cost per watt is made of both soft and hard costs.

Soft & Hard Costs

Hard costs with solar include panels, inverters, meters, wiring, racking, and installation machinery. These components typically make up around half of the cost per watt of a system.

Soft costs include labor, development costs, and overall company overhead. These costs comprise 40-50% of the system’s costs.

The average cost per watt of solar varies from state to state and is mostly due to differences in soft costs. Soft costs can increase drastically in communities where solar permitting is challenging, utility infrastructure is sub-par, or labor is expensive.

The average cost per watt of solar in New York State is around $3 a watt, whereas that same system cost in California is more than $3.50 a watt. It pays to speak with your local solar contractor to see where you fall on the spectrum.

Incentives & Tax Credits

An additional factor to consider when determining the cost of a solar system is available incentives.

Currently, all United States residents can leverage the 26% (effective 1/1/20) Investment Tax Credit for solar. Individual states have different programs that can drastically decrease the post-incentive cost of a system. Some programs are delivered through tax breaks, while others are provided through incentives and grants.

All in all, it pays to know your market. When asking yourself the average cost to install solar panels, start with a local company willing to give quotes and continue your research from there!

Save With Solar Without Installing Panels

Community solar allows you to save money every month on your electric bills without actually installing panels on your roof or property. Instead, you subscribe to one of our community solar farms and receive credits on your regular electric bill for the clean energy produced. If you pay an electric bill, you can participate in community solar and save money every month. There are far fewer upfront costs associated with community solar than installing solar on your roof or property.