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How Much Does a Whole House Solar Cost? | Average Cost To Install Solar

How much is the average cost of a solar panel system?

Installing solar panel systems is a great way to save money on electricity costs. But how much does it cost? This article gives you an average of the cost to install a whole house solar power system, as well as the cost of a smaller solar panel system.

The average price range for installing a whole house solar power system is $17,538 to $23,458. This price includes the cost of all materials as well as installation costs.

Keep in mind that the price of solar panels is reflective of the quality of the product itself; you may find cheaper panels, but they likely won’t last as long or produce as much energy.

The price of solar panels varies by brand, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. SunPower systems, for example, tend to be more expensive than other brands on the market.

whole house solar cost

What are the factors that affect solar panel prices?

There are many factors that affect the price of solar panels. Some of these factors are:

  • The age and structural soundness of your roof
  • Location (whether your house is in the city or suburbs)
  • If your roof needs to be repaired or not
  • Permit, inspection, and grid connection fees
  • Design of the solar panel system
  • Type of equipment used
  • Operational costs

These factors are discussed in detail below.

The age and structural soundness of your roof:

If you have an old, leaking roof, it is best to replace it with a new one before installing solar panels. A new roof will last longer and be more efficient than an old one. If you have a sound roof, but it is not very efficient (meaning that it does not keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter), you should consider replacing it with a more efficient roof before installing solar panels.

The location of your house:

Your solar system will be most effective if it is installed in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. If you live in the northern part of the country, it will be difficult to get enough sunlight during certain times of the year. It is best to install solar panels in a location that will get the most sunlight throughout the year.

If your roof needs to be repaired or not:

If your roof is in bad shape, you should consider replacing it before installing solar panels. If your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, the cost of this work will need to be factored into the cost of your solar panels.

Permit, inspection, and grid connection fees:

In most areas, you will need to get a permit from your local building department before installing solar panels. You may also have to pay for an inspection of the installation once it is complete. In some areas, you will also need to pay a fee to connect your system to the grid.

Design of the solar panel system:

The design of your solar panel system will also impact its cost. You may need to hire an electrician or a contractor with expertise in solar energy systems to help you plan the layout and installation.

Type of equipment used:

The type of equipment you use will also impact the cost of your solar panel system. For example, if you choose to have a battery backup system installed with your panels, it will add to the cost of your installation.

Operational costs:

The cost of operating your solar panel system will also impact its overall price. You may need to hire a maintenance technician or pay for repairs and parts as they wear out over time.

Cost of Solar Panels By Type

The cost of solar panels is highly dependent on the type you choose.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

A monocrystalline solar panel is the most common type of solar panel. The cells are made from one crystal, which reduces the cost and increases efficiency.

Monocrystalline panels usually have a higher efficiency than polycrystalline or amorphous panels. Monocrystalline panels are typically more expensive, but they also last longer and are thought to produce a better power output.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline panels are the most widely used because they are less expensive than other types of panels. Mono-crystalline and thin film are more expensive but also more efficient.

The cost of polycrystalline solar panel installation ranges from $0.90 to $1 per watt, depending on the size of your home and the amount of power you need.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels are the most affordable variety of solar panels. The low cost is due to the manufacturing process, which involves a coating being sprayed onto glass or plastic sheets. This is a cheaper process than the more traditional method of using semiconductors to harvest solar energy.

Thin-film panels are less efficient than crystalline silicon panels, but they make up for this in price. They are also lighter and more flexible, making them a better option for use on vehicles or curved surfaces.

Solar panels that use thin-film technology include:

  • Amorphous silicon
  • Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS)
  • Organic photovoltaics (OPV)

How have solar panel prices changed over time?

Solar panel prices have been on the decline over time. In fact, they’ve decreased by about 66 percent since 2009! This is great news for those looking to install solar panels, as it means that you can get a larger system for your home at a lower cost. However, even with the declining prices, solar panels are still a significant investment. It takes around seven to 10 years for solar panels to actually make money, and they require a hefty initial payment.

How many solar panels do I need?

Solar panel power rating: kW to watts

Solar panel power ratings are usually measured in Watts. Watt is a unit of measurement that represents electrical power consumption, while KW stands for kilowatt or one thousand Watts. The higher the number of watts, the more power your solar panels will generate.

Estimate hours of sunlight

Estimating the hours of sunlight your home will receive each day. This can be done by checking a map, or online at an hour-by-hour solar calculator.

The most popular map for this purpose is the NREL Solar Calculator, which allows you to input your zip code in order to get a detailed breakdown of how many hours of sunlight your home will receive each day, including the time of year.

Calculate the number of panels you’ll need

The number of panels you need is dependent on the size and shape of your roof. There are a few different methods for calculating how many solar panels will be needed to power your home:

  • The first is to measure the square footage of your roof and then divide by ten. This will give you a general idea for how many panels would be needed.
  • Another method is to look at your monthly electric bill. Take the amount of kilowatt hours and divide by 1,000. This will give you a rough idea of how many panels are needed.
  • Lastly is to contact your local solar company. They will be able to give you a more specific number based on the size of your home and how much energy you use each month.

How does solar panel installation work?

There are steps that need to be taken before solar panels can be installed. These include:


A solar company will conduct a survey of your home to determine how many panels you need. The average American home uses about 1,000 kWh per month of electricity, so if you’re using more than that, you should seriously consider adding solar panels.


Design is the first step to installing solar panels. The designer will decide where they go, how much power needs to be generated, and what position they need in relation to the sun. Designs can vary depending on the type of roof and location.

The designer will get a permit before installing any solar panels or other equipment. A contractor may be hired to install the system, although some people opt to do it themselves.


Solar panel installation is a process that has to be completed by an electrician. The first step in the process are obtaining permits from your local city, town, or county.

A permit is required because it’s a safety precaution to make sure the panels will not interfere with power lines or other infrastructure in your area, but there are also other reasons for getting a permit. The permits will ensure that the installation is done with up-to-code standards and will also help you get tax credits from the government if applicable.


Solar panel installation is a big operation that can take several days to complete. It’s important to have an experienced solar company on the job and not just any general contractor or handyman, who may lack the necessary knowledge and experience.

Solar panels are mounted on a roof or ground-mounted rack, depending on the system’s design. The entire installation process is handled by highly skilled professionals who know how to work with solar panels, electrical wiring, and other components.

Solar panel installation is a big investment for homeowners and it’s important that everything is done correctly the first time around in order to get the maximum amount of energy from your panels.


After installation needs to be connected to the grid so that the excess electricity can be fed.

In order to connect a solar panel to the grid, you will need an inverter. This is because photovoltaic panels produce direct current (DC) electricity, which cannot be used in the typical home. Rather, they require an inverter to convert DC electricity into alternating current (AC) power so that it can be used by most appliances and computers in a household.

Is It Worth Getting Solar Panels?

Yes, solar panels are worth getting because they provide you with clean and renewable energy that helps reduce your carbon footprint. They also save money in the long term as they require less electricity to run.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

A home with solar panels is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 20 percent. These homes are not only environmentally friendly, but they can also save homeowners a lot of money on their electricity bills.

Lower Utility Bills

It’s worth considering installing solar panels because it could lower your utility bills by up to $1,000 a year, and you could even get a tax credit for installing solar panels.

Tax Breaks

The United States Government offers a tax credit for 26% of the cost to install solar panels. In addition, depending on your state of residence, you may also be eligible for additional credits and incentives.

Return on Investment

The Return on Investment (ROI) is, in many ways, the most important metric for determining whether or not solar panels are worth it. If you factor in installation costs. The average ROI on solar panels in the United States is about 10%.

Are there any incentives or subsidies available for purchasing solar panels?

There are a few different types of incentives and subsidies available for those looking to purchase solar panels. The first is state rebates, which can help offset the cost of installing solar panels. The second is the federal government’s tax incentive, which offers a tax credit for individuals who invest in solar power systems. This tax credit is 26% of the cost of a solar system and can be applied to both residential and commercial systems.

Finally, there are different payment options available by solar companies, including outright purchases or signing a lease or purchase agreement (PPA).

Leases and PPAs make it difficult to qualify for the federal solar tax credit, as you’re not actually purchasing the system. If you’re leasing or purchasing panels, you won’t get state incentives either–so be sure to factor that into your decision!

How long do solar panels typically last?

Solar panels are designed to last a long time in the elements outside. They typically last for up to 25 years or even longer.

However, solar panels will eventually need to be replaced. The average lifespan of a solar panel is around 20-25 years, but it can vary depending on how often they’re used.

What are the maintenance requirements for solar panels?

Solar panel systems are becoming increasingly popular and more people are installing them in their homes. While it is a great way to save money on energy costs, in the long run, it is important to be aware of the maintenance requirements for solar panels.

The good news is that the maintenance required on solar panel systems is minimal- generally, just an annual inspection and cleaning as needed. However, depending on your system’s manufacturer, you may need more frequent inspections than others. It’s also important to keep in mind that some cleaning professionals may visit on a regular basis to clean your panels.

In addition, most warranties from manufacturers require more frequent inspections than others. Be sure to read through your warranty carefully so you know what is expected of you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a single solar panel cost?

A single solar panel costs between $2.67 and $3.43 to buy and install. The price of the whole system is based on its capacity, measured in watts.

Can solar panels really save you money?

Yes, solar panels can save you money because they allow your home to be completely energy-independent. Solar power is clean and renewable with no environmental impact.

Do solar panels work at night?

For solar panels to work, they need sunlight. Solar cells are designed to use the Sun’s energy and convert it into power that is stored in batteries or used by a grid-tied inverter. The amount of power that is generated depends on the solar panel’s efficiency and quality, as well as weather conditions such as cloud cover or light level.

How long before solar panels pay for themselves?

It will take about 7 to 10 years for solar panels to pay for themselves in terms of electricity. This is because it takes a long time before the savings from using them can offset their cost.

Does solar increase home value?

Solar panels increase the value of a home by providing free renewable energy, most likely increasing its resale and rental values. They can also provide other benefits such as giving homeowners options for reducing their carbon footprint.

If you would like to know if we can install solar and put thousands of dollars in your pocket for doing it, use the form below to submit your electric bill for a no cost, no obligation evaluation.