Solar Panel Installation Cost Guide for Homeowners

When considering solar energy for your home, the solar panel installation cost is a significant factor in the decision-making process. This quick-reference guide will give you a better idea of the average cost of solar panels based on your location.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?

Depending on the size of your home and your location, and after taking tax credits into account, the solar installation cost can be anywhere between $17,000 and $40,000.

According to solar marketplace website EnergySage, here is a breakdown of the solar panel installation cost for a 10-kilowatt solar energy system by U.S. state:

  • Arkansas: $21,600–$28,200
  • Arizona: $21,000–$25,600
  • California: $23,900–$29,300
  • Colorado: $28,900–$33,500
  • Connecticut: $26,800–$35,400
  • Washington, D.C.: $26,500–$42,100
  • Delaware: $24,300–$27,900
  • Florida: $21,600–$27,600
  • Georgia: $27,300–$32,900
  • Iowa: $25,100–$28,900
  • Idaho: $23,200–$30,000
  • Illinois: $25,200–$32,400
  • Indiana: $26,300–$33,300
  • Louisiana: $28,100–$33,900
  • Massachusetts: $27,000–$33,800
  • Maryland: $26,100–$33,700
  • Maine: $24,800–$27,400
  • Michigan: $25,800–$34,400
  • Minnesota: $27,200–$33,600
  • Montana: $24,500–$30,900
  • North Carolina: $24,300–$31,700
  • New Hampshire: $27,600–$33,800
  • New Jersey: $23,000–$30,400
  • New Mexico: $27,000–$36,000
  • Nevada: $21,300–$25,500
  • New York: $27,100–$35,700
  • Ohio: $24,500–$28,900
  • Oregon: $25,400–$30,800
  • Pennsylvania: $26,000–$32,000
  • Rhode Island: $27,500–$35,300
  • South Carolina: $26,800–$31,800
  • Texas: $23,200–$30,800
  • Utah: $24,300–$29,900
  • Virginia: $26,200–$32,200
  • Vermont: $25,700–$32,500
  • Washington: $23,600–$28,000

Which State Has the Lowest Average Cost to Install Solar Panels?

The state with the most inexpensive average solar installation cost is Arizona at $23,300 for a 10 KW system. Arizona currently has the third highest solar installation rate per person in the United States.

Which State Has the Highest Average Solar Installation Cost?

New Mexico is the most expensive place to have solar energy installed. How much does it cost to get solar panels in New Mexico? The average is $34,300. That's more than $10,000 higher than the average solar installation cost in Arizona, the least expensive state.

Solar Panel Installation Cost Breakdown

It can be a bit overwhelming to learn how much solar panels cost. So why do they cost so much? This simple solar panel installation cost breakdown, using data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, shows just how much is actually involved in installing solar panels and how the costs break down for each part

  • 45%: Operational costs (permits, connection fees, monitoring)
  • 25%: Solar panels (how much solar panels cost on their own)
  • 10%: Inverter (converts direct current to usable alternating current)
  • 10%: Installation (labor cost to install solar panels)
  • 10%: Balance of system (mounts, wiring, other electrical components)

What Is the Cost of Solar Panels per Square Foot?

The average cost of solar panels per square foot is between $4 and $10. With that being said, price per square foot isn't what is used to determine the cost of solar panels for a house. The cost of real estate might be calculated as a price per square foot, but the solar panel installation cost is actually determined by the amount of energy needed in the home.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels Yourself?

This may come as a surprise, but by eliminating the labor cost to install solar panels and doing the work yourself, you'll only be saving about 10 percent of the total cost. The materials and operational costs can be up to 90 percent of all expenses. Due to the minimal savings and safety risks involved with installing solar panels yourself, we recommend that all solar installation projects be completed by a trained professional.

How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost?

Depending on the size and power output, a single solar panel costs between $250 and $600, including installation of the solar panel. Cost per panel can be important in determining how expensive your total project will be. The number of solar panels you will need is determined by calculating the energy needs of your household.

Written by Joe Robertson