More people than ever are considering installing solar panels. There’s the hot topic of global warming, and recent world affairs are becoming worrisome; the cost of utilities in the last year has left many wondering if now is a good time to invest in solar.
While solar energy is free, there is that pesky little installment and equipment cost to factor into the investment equation. Is it worth it based on efficiency, location, and production?
Applying the solar tax credit offsets the initial cost output. According to recent Consumer Affairs statistics, the average cost of installing a basic solar system in your home averages between $11,000 to $15,000 (type & wattage not defined) to offset your power costs.
What is the solar panel cost for homes per watt with that baseline price? Using averages, expect to pay $2.33 to $2.88 per watt. For smaller supplementary solar, panels costs average about $100 to $400.
Solar panel costs for homes have drastically reduced, making solar energy a better alternative.
How Much Does a Solar Panel Cost Per Sq Foot in Your Region?
Solar panel costs, including equipment and installation, range for the average home, and a 6kW system, ranges between $13,000 to $19,000 before appliance tax credits and state incentives.
That’s a possible starting cost, and once you apply for all the state-funded clean energy programs, solar energy becomes that affordable alternative.
Washington leads the pack as the greenest state, followed by Oregon and New Hampshire. While Kentucky has the least expensive solar energy costs, and Hawaii has the most costly.
Now that we have a cost starting point let’s dig deeper. How much do solar panels cost for an average 2500 sq ft home, and how do size and style fluctuations apply to your home.
What Affects the Cost of Solar Installations in Your Area?
Solar panel costs and installation costs are determined by where you live and the labor expenses that affect installation costs. Also, we’ll touch on this again later, but sources from the Department of Energy suggest that cost averages are decreasing.
Cost determinators include:
- State and local green energy plan incentives, tax credits and rebates,
- Demand for local solar panel installations
- Labor cost
- Suntrap harvest depends on your roof or property space
- Your overall consumption rate (check your utility bill)
What Costs Are Typically Included?
Most solar panel companies and installers include the basics equipment, permit, and inspection costs, and sales taxes.
These are all susceptible to change based on your solar company provider. Here is a breakdown:
- Energy storage units
- Solar PV panels, mounting racks, and solar inverters
- Labor costs, including onsite assembly and mounting
How Many Solar Panels For my Average 2500 Sq Ft Home?
The answer is complex as it depends on how much electricity you consume and the types of solar panels you install to absorb the available sunlight in your area. Prepare to use 24 to 30 panels.
Obviously, if you live in the sunshine state, you’ll get more power over the year.
Experts calculate that the average household consumes 900kWh (kilowatt-hours) every month. Consumption increases in peak months like July when air conditioning draws on the supply. Or Thanksgiving and Christmas when the entire family is at home, and the lights are on.
Examine your electrical bill and review your consumption rates to calculate an estimate. Solar panels cost on average $4,000-$6,000.
This cost fluctuates according to the system parameters and types of panels. (Solar panel cost per square meter is roughly $43 to $107.)
Kilowatt guideline based on solar panel system size:
- 3kWh produces 3,600 to 4,800kWh annually
- 5kWh produces 6,000 to 8,000kWh annually
- 10kWh produces 12,000kWh to 16,000kWh annually
Solar panel cost is one factor. Batteries and additional equipment are another. Potential solar energy consumers need to understand that a 10kWh system should more than cover all of their consumption needs based on average household consumption. Batteries are not included.
However, a 5 or 6 kWh system is a perfect supplement to diminish your high consumption cost during peak times.
Consumers need to answer whether they want to become completely self-reliant on their solar panels and batteries or do they want to supplement their current utility provider.
State Solar Panel Costs and State Credit
Kentucky is the least expensive state for solar panel costs, based on Consumer Affairs, while Hawaii is the most expensive.
One of the main reasons for installing a solar panel system is that the ITC allows for a 26% tax credit on systems installed between 2020-and 2022. The credit expires in 2024 unless Congress grants another credit.
Consult the homeowner’s tax credit to review all the possible tax credits or rebates in our area.
Switching and installing a solar energy system could save approximately 75% in electricity costs.
|State||6kWh system installment cost (average)||Tax credit rebate amount (26%)|
So, How much do Solar Panels Cost for 2,000 Square Foot homes?
To drill these numbers down further, let’s look at Arizona, where a typical 2000 sq ft home has the sixth-highest electric power bills in the country. The average cost in Arizona for a solar panel system installation is around $13,706.
They average around $130 per month but reach a peak of $450 per month during the oppressive heat in summer.
Once you apply for the tax credit, minus $3557, the cost is around $10,149 per system. (There is no maximum amount on the tax credit.)
Arizonans pay around $15600 in electrical costs over ten years. This figure does not consider the rising cost of traditional energy costs. The cost of Arizona electricity alone covers the installment of efficient solar energy with the power to spare.
Another way to look at the ten-year cost of electricity expenses is to apply the 75% savings toward your electrical bill, which will drop from $15600 to $3900.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run a 1500 Square Foot House?
It’s a complex question, and many factors determine the answer. On average expect to install 14-17 boards.
Let’s explore solar panel types and which is right for your roof and state. The basic concept for solar energy is the same but technology has caught up to the solar panel and solar battery industry.
Popular solar panel types:
- Solar shingles
Perhaps you’re wondering, does it matter?
A solar panel does one thing and converts sunshine into energy.
The choice you make for your home depends on your budget, the roof space, the direction of the sunlight facing your roofline, and what energy goal you set for your family. There is also an aesthetic appeal.
These sleek shingles are becoming the trend in solar energy on rooflines. They have a sophisticated look, mimic regular shingles, and are as durable as asphalt shingles; they convert sunlight into energy to power your house.
Depending on light conditions and angles, each shingle can produce 13 to 67 watts of usable energy. They’re weather resistant. They’re energy-efficient in two ways: they insulate and produce. They’re more costly for a few reasons, but you can take them with you if you move.
- Look sleek and add energy efficiency
- Transportable (not unlike other roofing materials)
- Add value to your home
- 20-30 year lifespan
- Not as productive as standard solar panels
- Require specific roof slope for optimum exposure
- Degrade faster
- Not as readily available
The disadvantage is the high cost. Solar shingles cost between $60,000 to $75,000 to install. This cost is reflective of your roofline, size, local availability, and contractor rates.
This price tag may influence your decision, but having an attractive power source option at your fingertips may persuade others who detest the unattractive look of standard solar panels.
Polycrystalline panels are what we associate with solar energy and are the original panels developed in the solar industry. They look similar to monocrystalline, but cost differences, space considerations, and energy output set them apart.
These rectangular panels or cells are made of melted silicon, and as the industry has perfected and improved production methods, costs have decreased.
However, polycrystalline panels are not as efficient at converting sunlight into energy as their ‘mono’ sister panels and will influence the amount of energy your solar panels produce.
- Easily installed
- Contractors are familiar with installation methods
- Produce reliable solar energy
- Less attractive
- Produce less energy than other types
Polycrystalline solar panels are a less expensive option. Contact your local solar energy panel supplier to see what type they provide and their cost differences alongside the panel’s kWh generation.
At a glance, monocrystalline panels look very similar to polycrystalline panels but they are made from pure silicon. Once you study them, one of the prominent differences is the uniform color.
Both types rely on photovoltaic cells, but the silicon is altered to create a more efficient solar cell in monocrystalline panels.
This altered cylindrical shape is responsible for producing a more efficient panel. To understand which type of crystalline panel is better for your home, consult a sun score calculator.
Monocrystalline panels are more effective because of the innovative technology behind their design. This design improvement allows them to capture more light and produce more energy.
This efficiency per panel means that you will require fewer panels to receive the same result and can be a better solution. If you have a smaller roof space and wonder how many panels do I need for a 1200 square foot house and can it manage? It can.
- More efficient & capture more energy
- Require fewer panels & less roof space
- Better results & durability
- More expensive
- Not attractive
Monocrystalline panels may cost more than poly but you will need fewer panels to achieve the same results. Cost is relative as monocrystalline panels not only outperform, they have a longer lifespan and maybe a better alternative in the long run.
Poly vs. Mono Solar Panels
Solar panel sizes depend on the brand, but average dimensions are 65” x 39” (17.9 sq ft panel), but mono panels produce 350W while polys generate 300W for the same size.
If you’re calculating your home’s roof space, consider this: 20 mono panels produce 7kW, and poly’s produce 6kW of power.
So, how many solar panels do you need to run a 1500 sq ft house? Expect to use between 12-18 panels, again depending on the type of panel, the amount of energy you want to produce, and the amount of direct sunlight.
The math doesn’t work out into exact measures when calculating smaller or larger spaces, so how much do solar panels cost for a 1,000 square foot house? You’ll need about eight panels and can expect to spend about $9,000 upward.
To answer how much does a 1000 kW solar system cost? Expect to spend $11,000 on the low spectrum, but depending on the extras, you can spend up to $60,000.
To keep things interesting, have you considered investing in storage batteries? Combining panels with batteries creates a hybrid solar system that allows you to store the energy your panels generate.
Batteries are a wise addition. Your panels generate more power in the middle of the day when consumption is the lowest. Storing it for later use is ideal.
Batteries to complement your panels cost anywhere from $200 upward to $15,000. Before you commit to installing solar panels, you should understand how the two systems work together.
Most residential grid-tied systems use lithium-ion batteries that cost between $7000 and 14,000 to install. The bonus here is that what energy you don’t consume is stored in batteries or sold back to the power grid.
- Tesla Powercell costs $8,500
- Electriq PowerPod 2 costs $13,000
- Sonnencore costs $9,500
Solar batteries also qualify for the 26% tax credit and many states offer additional battery-saving rebates. If you’re wondering how long solar panels take to pay off? Typical investment repays per household average of eight years in the USA.
Solar Panel Cost FAQs
Calculating the cost of going solar depends on many variables. Here are a few answers that will make deciding easier if going solar is suitable for your family.
How many solar panels do I need to create 1000kWh per month?
The average consumption is around 900kWh per household, and 300W panels like polycrystalline will need about 27 boards, which includes a conversion loss of 23%.
How many solar panels do I need for a 3 bedroom house?
Simple answer, at least ten panels. It all depends on how much power you want to harness.
According to house size, how many solar panels do I need to generate 1500kWh each month?
- 3000 sq ft home requires 27-38 panels
- 2500 sq ft home requires 24-30 panels
- 2000 sq ft home requires 19-25 panels
- 1500 sq ft home requires 14-17 panels
- 1200 sq ft home requires 10-12 panels (or 6kWh need 330 sq ft)
Based on industry standards.