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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power My Home?

Last updated 05/06/2022

Get an estimate of solar cost and savings at your home.

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Key Points

  • The average household in the U.S. needs 15-25 solar panels to power the home
  • Your electricity consumption is a critical factor in determining the size of a solar system that fits your home.
  • More efficient solar panels will produce more power per square foot of your roof’s space

Ready to go solar? Call 877-307-7668 to be connected with a solar expert today!

Home Size Average Energy Use Per Month (kWh)
2,000 sq ft 967 kWh
2,500 sq ft967 kWh
3,000 sq ft1,184 kWh

Source: Energy Information Administration’s 2015 study on energy consumption by home size in the U.S.


The average daily power consumption on your electric bill can help you estimate the number of solar panels you need. A utility bill typically shows electricity use per kWh. Reference a full year of electricity consumption, spanning every season, to calculate the most accurate solar estimate. The average home in the U.S. needs 15 to 25 solar panels to fully satisfy its energy needs. Larger-sized houses tend to use more electricity than smaller ones. And they typically require more solar panels. 


A 5-kW system is around the average size of solar installations in the U.S. To figure out the number of solar panels that would make up the desired system size, you need to divide the latter by a panel’s wattage, which can be an average of 320 watts. So, if you want to install a 5-kW system, you divide 5 kW (or 5,000 watts) by 320 watts. It gives you 15.6, which rounds up to 16 panels for your home. Even if your house is far from the U.S. average, this is how you can calculate the number of panels your house may need.

System Size Average Panel WattageRecommended Number of Solar Panels
5 kW 320 5 kW (5,000 watts): 320 = 16
Solar Panel Type Energy RatingCost
Monocrystalline 17% - 22.8% $1 to $1.50 per watt
Polycrystalline 13% - 17% $0.90 to $1 per watt
Thin-film 10% - 13% $0.70 to $1 per watt

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