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Cost of Solar Panels in 2023

Edited by Hannah Hillson

Last updated 02/09/2023

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

Solar energy
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Key Points

  • The average cost of residential solar panels in 2023 is $31,558 before incentives and rebates
  • Your location, energy usage, and the type of panels you want determine the total cost of solar
  • While the up-front costs of solar panels in the U.S. can still be high, federal and local incentive programs can help reduce them by at least 30%

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Average Solar System Cost 30% Savings with Clean Energy Credit Cost after Clean Energy Credit
$31,558 $9,467 $22,091

State incentive programs can also help you reduce the up-front cost of installing solar. Local rebates and tax credits will differ between states, but all 50 states offer some form of solar energy incentives, such as state tax credits, corporate tax credits, grant programs, local cash rebates, performance-based incentives, sales and property tax exemptions, and solar renewable energy certificates. Bear in mind that state-based solar incentive programs also have different expiration dates. For detailed information on state incentives, visit our solar incentives and rebates by state guide or select your state on the map below.

Solar panel cost FAQs

  • Yes. The larger the solar system, the higher the costs. In addition, your past electricity usage will determine the best system size and, therefore, the cost of solar panels for your home. Your electricity bill is determined by your monthly electricity consumption and the rate your utility charges you for the number of kWh used from the power grid. Your solar panels should generate enough electricity to meet your monthly needs. Often, panels produce excess power, which you can either store for later consumption or feedback into the grid and get credits if your state allows it.

  • There are three major types of solar panels on the market: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. They have different characteristics impacting their prices. Monocrystalline is the most efficient and longest-lasting compared to other solar panels on the market, with the panel cost of $1 and $1.50 per watt. Polycrystalline is less efficient than mono panels and more efficient than thin-film, and their price ranges between $0.90 and $1 per watt. Thin-film solar panels are cheap, lightweight, flexible, and portable and range between $0.70 and $1 per watt.

  • Solar panels and a solar inverter make up about 30%, or between $3,000 and $4,000, of the total price of a solar project. 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.

  • Yes, the type, condition, age, and orientation of your roof can affect the cost of solar and how much electricity your solar panels will generate. Each roof type can require varying components and labor to install solar panels. A roof with limited space will accommodate fewer solar panels. A smaller-sized solar system will be cheaper to install than a larger one, but it will generate less electricity. The most optimal orientation for rooftop solar power generation in the U.S. is a south-facing position. A roof that is not south-facing or has too steep or too low of a pitch will be less efficient. If your roof is older or in poor condition, you may need to factor in the cost of repairing or replacing it before installing solar panels.

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

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