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Solar Panel Cost in 2024: Is Solar Worth It?

Written by Caitlin Ritchie/

Edited by Jamie Cesanek

Last updated 12/1/2023

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

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Key Points

  • The average cost of solar panels in 2024 is $31,558 before incentives and rebates.
  • Your location, energy usage, and solar components are several factors that will determine the total cost of your solar system.
  • While the upfront cost of solar panels in the U.S. remains high, federal and local incentive programs can help you recover thousands from the initial price tag.

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Monocrystalline panels are made from a single piece of silicon. These panels are normally the most expensive option and are typically the most efficient. Monocrystalline panels last between 25–30 years.

Solar panel cost FAQs

  • Solar panels have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. However, improving solar technology is extending that lifespan even further. If you keep your solar panels well-maintained, they could last for years after their payback period.

  • Yes, solar panels tend to increase the value of your home. A study from Zillow found that homes with solar panels sold for 4.1% more (an estimated additional $9,274) than comparable homes without installed solar. According to the Department of Energy, home buyers were willing to pay up to $15,000 more for a home with solar panels.

  • Your typical electricity usage will determine the best system size and, therefore, the solar panel cost for your home. Depending on your energy goals, your solar array should generate enough electricity to meet your monthly needs. Often, panels produce excess power, which you can either store for later consumption or send back to the grid through net metering.

  • Solar panels and inverters make up about 18% of the total solar panel price. The rest of the installation costs include operational, labor, permitting and inspection, and system balance (i.e., wiring, mounting equipment, a battery bank and charger, and switches). Installation of solar panels on ground mounts and carports instead of a roof can require additional labor and component costs. In general, labor costs for solar installation depend on your location, the experience of specific installers, and the solar system size. Be sure to research different solar installation companies in your area and get several quotes to find the right fit.

  • The type, condition, age, and orientation of your roof can affect the cost of solar and how much electricity your panels will generate. A roof with limited space will accommodate fewer solar panels. According to the Department of Energy, solar panels can generate more electricity when installed on a south-facing roof with a slope between 15–40 degrees. A roof that is not south-facing or has too steep or too low of a pitch may generate less electricity.

  • Yes, solar panel brands and their quality can impact your total solar panel cost. Research different solar panel manufacturer brands to compare specifications and ask installers if they carry the one you like. Each installer is likely to offer several brand choices.

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