In Solar Buzz

From Understand Solar

The cost of solar has never been lower than it is right now.

Spurred on by falling installation prices and high incentives (which will soon decrease) the time to go solar is now. Below we explore the average cost of solar installations, just how far prices have dropped, and what factors do you need to consider before calculating the costs of going solar.


  1. Total installation cost
    • Incentives
    • Installation cost breakdown
  2. Cost of solar dropping constantly
    • Onsite installation cost dropping annually
    • Solar panel cost decreasing
  3. Scenarios that can increase total solar cost
    • Premium Products
    • Financing
    • Reroofing
    • Ground-mounted installations
    • Battery backup
    • Maintenance costs
  4. Tips to ensure a great deal
    • Install energy efficiency measures
    • Shop around
    • Read everything carefully
  5. Bottom line on solar panel costs

#1 Total installation cost

Installing solar currently costs around $3 to $4 per watt before incentives. That before incentives bit is important, as all the federal and state tax credits and rebates that are available can significantly drop your total cost to go solar.

Don’t believe us? Check out the table below, where we’ve estimated the installation costs –both before and after applying incentives – in 10 solar-friendly states.

Total installation cost for a 5kW installation:

State/City Average Cost per Watt Cost Before Incentives Cost After Incentives Total Discount After Incentives (% off)
Arizona $3.86 $19,283 $13,498 30%
Austin, Texas $3.64 $18,200 $9,240 49%
Florida $3.32 $16,600 $11,620 30%
North Carolina $3.71 $18,550 $12,985 30%
South Carolina $3.50 $17,516 $8,761 50%
Los Angeles, California $3.61 $18,033 $11,123 38%
Oregon $3.67 $18,350 $7,031 62%
Minnesota $3.53 $17,650 $12,355 30%
New York $3.38 $16,900 $6,872 59%
Utah $3.53 $17,650 $12,355 30%

As you can see, costs hover around $3.50 per watt, totaling $17,000 to $19,000 for an average-sized 5kW installation. After taking into account all the available incentives, that price drops to between $7,000 to $13,500 – a decrease of 30% to 60%!

Pretty amazing, right? Want to know who offers these huge incentives? Read the next section to find out!

Read the article here.

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