Solar Panel Cost In 2024 (Homeowner's Installation Savings Guide)

Solar Panel Cost In 2024 (Homeowner's Installation Savings Guide)

In this EcoWatch guide on solar panel costs, you’ll learn:

  • What the average solar pv costs are
  • What the 5 contributing factors of solar costs are
  • Which states have the best solar prices
  • Which solar financing options are the best

EcoWatch guide has helped thousands of homeowners save time and money when going solar by breaking down exactly what they need to know in 2024.

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What is the All-In Price to Install Solar Panels?

Even though the average cost of solar panels has dropped 80% in the last decade, the upfront cost is still significant. When selecting the best solar company for your home installation, price is one of the largest factors.

To answer this question, let’s take a look at the basic price range for solar panel installations. The average cost for solar equipment in the U.S., based on our analysis, is around $3.33 per watt.

To put this in perspective, this means that after the 30% federal tax credit is applied, a 5-kW system would cost $11,655 and a 10-kW system would cost $23,310. An average residential solar system would sit somewhere between those figures.

Next, you might rightly wonder: What exactly am I paying for? The solar panels themselves usually make up just about a quarter of the total system cost. Remaining expenses include labor costs, solar maintenance and additional parts and equipment (such as inverters, racking, wiring, electric vehicle chargers or batteries).

Cost of Solar Panel Maintenance

In general, solar systems are designed to run smoothly for decades without requiring much maintenance or upkeep. However, even the best systems require routine solar panel cleaning and checkups as grime, dirt and debris can accumulate over the solar cells.

Any sizable costs associated with malfunctioning panels should be covered by your panels’ warranty, but it’s not a bad idea to factor in the costs of a simple few cleanings and occasional maintenance.

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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation


  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
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Momentum Solar

Best Regional Coverage

Regional Service

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Average cost

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  • Great warranty coverage
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Representatives are experts on local policies


  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • Only available in 11 states
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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Read full review


  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation


  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

What Solar Financing Options are Available?

Different solar installers may offer different financing plans, allowing you some flexibility. With that said, there are three standard options for paying for your solar energy system:

    1. Purchase your solar energy system outright (that is, pay in cash).

    1. Take out a solar loan to purchase the system, then pay it back with interest.

    1. Lease your solar system; you will pay less month to month but won’t actually own the system yourself.
    2. Take on a solar PPA, simialr to a lease but you don’t own any of the system but benefit from solar energy it creates at a small cost.

Our solar financing guide breaks down each of these options to help you make the decision that best fits your needs and our solar leasing vs buying guide can help you decided if either of those options is right for your solar needs.

How to Find the Lowest-Price Solar Panels?

Again, the best way to assess the cost of solar is to get a quote from a certified installer near you. In addition to receiving an installation price, you can learn your estimated 25-year energy costs, how compatible your home is for solar and even compare quotes to find the best offer. The simple process of getting quotes from multiple providers can save you thousands in the long run.

What Are the 5 Key Factors of the Price of Solar Panels?

There are a few key factors that lead to variation in solar installation costs. Understanding these can help you decide whether solar panels are worth the investment for your home. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.

System Size Needs

The size of your residential solar system will depend primarily on the amount of electricity you currently use. You can roughly estimate how many photovoltaic (PV) solar panels you’ll need based on past utility bills, your available roof space and the amount of sunlight in your area, but to get an accurate system size, you’ll need a consultation with a local solar provider.

Your installer will evaluate your home energy needs based on irradiance maps, energy bills, satellite imagery of your roof, your utility company and more. It can then recommend a custom solar panel system size to accommodate your energy needs. The larger the system, the more expensive it will be.

Type of Solar Panels and Other Equipment Costs

There are three basic types of solar panels, two of which are commonly used residentially: monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline panels tend to be more energy-efficient, which can lead to greater savings in the long run, but they’re also a bit pricier on the front end.

That being said, solar panel efficiency is the name of the game for most homeowners who aim to install a system on their roof, as they’ll likely have less space to work with than commercial solar projects or ground-mounted solar panel systems will.

Other components you may need to purchase include inverters, wiring, charge controllers, mounts, solar batteries and more. Consider how much backup power is a priority for your home – backup batteries will add some costs on the front end, but additional safety and savings on the back.

Geographic Location

Another factor that can have a big impact on solar pricing? Where you live. Unsurprisingly, solar installation tends to be most cost-effective in parts of the country that get a lot of sun exposure, and therefore more energy to convert into electricity. This basically means that solar panels will operate more efficiently and, in many cases, means that you’ll need fewer panels overall to power your home.

Those who live in states like California, Florida and Arizona — or really any areas of the Sun Belt or Southwest — will likely get the most out of their home solar power systems. Other factors like the direction of your home and how much shade your house gets will also impact your home’s sun exposure, and therefore the efficiency of your system. Also, keep in mind that the further your company is from your home, the more expensive the overall installation will be. Find your state in our hub for solar panels installation guides where we detail the 7 steps to installing solar panels in your state.

Solar Incentives

Both state and federal governments have established incentive programs to encourage homeowners to buy solar panels. There is currently a 30% federal solar tax credit, called the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), available for homeowners who install residential solar panels through 2032. It is scheduled to reduce to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.

Your solar system cost will also depend on the net metering policy of your local utility company. Most utilities vary in their buyback rates and feed-in tariffs, but policies can have a big effect on the overall value from your solar system and your solar payback period. Be sure to ask your solar installation company about how cooperative your utility provider is with solar energy installations.

State incentives, rebates, and solar tax exemptions can certainly vary based on where you live, but most solar panel installers should help you identify and apply for the programs in your area. However, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local incentives that might be available to you.

solar panel costs

Additional Factors of Solar Panel Installation Prices

There are plenty of other factors that can impact solar panel installation costs. These include (but are not limited to):

    • The availability of solar panels in your area

    • Your monthly electricity bill/energy usage

    • The current cost of shipping

    • The number of providers competing for your business

    • Supply chain issues

    • Local electricity rates

The bottom line? You can learn the most by shopping around. Get a few different proposals from local companies, evaluate what services you might be interested in and ask about sales or specials. Familiarize yourself with the best brands of affordable solar panels if budget is your priority.

Make the Best Choice About Solar Energy

Solar energy is not right for every homeowner, nor for every home. With that said, many homeowners will find that the total cost of solar is more than offset by long-term, recurring energy savings that provide a sizable return on investment. Make sure you factor in cost, energy needs, tax incentives, home value, energy storage options, and more as you seek to make a fully informed decision about whether to make the switch to renewable energy with solar.

Which States Have the Best Solar Panel Costs?

One of the broadest ways to gauge the overall cost of solar is by looking at the average price of solar panels by state. Our statewide average prices are calculated using market research and data from top brands. These prices can help convey a better understanding of what solar might cost in your area.

Average Cost of Solar By State Average Cost of Solar Per Watt Average Cost of a 5 kW System After 30% Tax Credit*
Alabama $3.72 $13,020.00
Alaska $3.13 $10,955.00
Arizona $3.01 $10,535.00
Arkansas $3.17 $11,095.00
California $3.33 $11,655.00
Colorado $3.52 $12,320.00
Connecticut $3.49 $12,215.00
Delaware $3.06 $10,710.00
Washington, DC $2.28 $7,980.00
Florida $3.04 $10,640.00
Georgia $3.29 $11,515.00
Hawaii $3.39 $11,865.00
Idaho $3.26 $11,410.00
Illinois $3.44 $12,040.00
Indiana $3.66 $12,810.00
Iowa $3.67 $12,845.00
Kansas $3.20 $11,200.00
Kentucky $3.06 $10,710.00
Louisiana $3.39 $11,865.00
Maine $3.64 $12,740.00
Maryland $3.37 $11,795.00
Massachusetts $3.72 $13,020.00
Michigan $3.62 $12,670.00
Minnesota $3.60 $12,600.00
Mississippi $3.27 $11,445.00
Missouri $3.12 $10,920.00
Montana $3.22 $11,270.00
Nebraska $3.55 $12,425.00
Nevada $3.04 $10,640.00
New Hampshire $3.77 $13,195.00
New Jersey $3.37 $11,795.00
New Mexico $3.45 $12,075.00
New York $3.52 $12,320.00
North Carolina $3.21 $11,235.00
North Dakota $3.14 $10,990.00
Ohio $3.19 $11,165.00
Oklahoma $3.34 $11,690.00
Oregon $3.28 $11,480.00
Pennsylvania $3.26 $11,410.00
Rhode Island $3.68 $12,880.00
South Carolina $3.27 $11,445.00
South Dakota $3.11 $10,885.00
Tennessee $3.21 $11,235.00
Texas $3.18 $11,130.00
Utah $3.15 $11,025.00
Vermont $3.59 $12,565.00
Virginia $3.35 $11,725.00
Washington $3.36 $11,760.00
West Virginia $3.36 $11,760.00
Wisconsin $3.32 $11,620.00
Wyoming $3.29 $11,515.00
*solar panel system sizes are measured in kilowatts (kW), which indicates the maximum amount of energy they can produce at a given time

Keep in mind that 5 kW is a baseline size and near the smaller end of most solar panel installations. Larger homes may require 6 kW systems, or larger.

The cost information presented in this article is derived from a comprehensive analysis, incorporating data from multiple industry sources. The average cost per watt per state was calculated based on figures from Consumer Affairs, Energy Sage, and Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department. Additionally, monthly energy consumption and the average monthly cost of electricity were sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, ensuring a well-rounded and accurate representation of the information presented.

Solar Panel Costs FAQ's

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Article author
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
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Expert reviewer
Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.

Solar Panel Costs By States

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
BBB Rating
Year founded
Service Area
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
Warranty Coverage
  • 4.5
    • Industry-leading in-house financing
    • Competitive pricing
    • Excellent reputation
    • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
    Best Solar Financing
    Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, SolarEdge, Silfab, SunPower
    25-year manufacturer warranty; 10-year workmanship warranty, 2-year production guarantee

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