A single solar panel costs between $2.67 and $3.43 to buy and install.4 The price of the whole system is based on its capacity, measured in watts. How big a system you need will be based on how much energy you use, your roof’s sunlight exposure and panel efficiency.
The amount you save will rely on several factors, including:18
- Region’s sunlight exposure
- Cost of solar system (including battery, where available)
- Cost of electricity
- Energy use
- Local rebates and incentives
The average payback period for a residential solar system is between six to nine years, depending on the cost of your system, incentives and savings from your energy bill.19
Here’s a closer look at some of the things that determine your system costs.
Here’s a breakdown of installation costs, based on findings from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:10
||$0.30 per watt
||$0.12/Wdc - $0.39/Wdc
||$0.19–$0.27/Wdc (Varies by inverter option)
||Sales tax varies by location; weighted national average: 6.9%
||$19.74–$38.96 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
||$12.88–$25.57 per hour (Varies by location and inverter option)
||(% of direct labor) Total nationwide average: 31.8%
These figures are based on the average 6.2 kilowatt solar system. The cost of each system will vary based on panel manufacturer, inverter option, location and equipment.
Maintenance of solar panels ranges from routine cleaning to major repairs. On average, households pay $150 for one solar panel cleaning.11 Companies charge between $3 to $10 per panel based on roof slant, home height and system size.11 Some firms charge a flat rate fee for a system cleaning. If you clean your system twice a year, as recommended, you can expect an annual bill of about $300.
If your system is damaged, you may incur additional expenses. Repairs to your system will include the prices of equipment and labor. Labor is typically priced at $100 per hour. Materials for solar repairs could be as little as $180 but may also be greater than $1,000. Your combined, total bill may range from $200 to $3,000.11
The four most common types of damage to a home solar system and the costs of repairs area:11
|Broken glass panel
||$20 – $350, plus labor
||$100 – $400+
||$100 – $2,500
Like cleaning costs, the amount you pay for repairs is affected by things like roof steepness, system type and system size. And if your panels have extensive damage, it may be cheaper to replace them.11
When you own your system, you are responsible for the cost of maintenance and repairs. Your warranty should cover specific system failures; contact your installer before you begin repairs. A Sunrun solar lease, lets you save thousands of dollars in maintenance and repairs. You simply pay for the power, and we take care of the rest. Our comprehensive service package features the Sunrun Guarantee, which includes best-in-class monitoring, free equipment replacement, and system repairs including parts and labor, and routine maintenance.
If you’re set on buying your own home solar system, you can also purchase our full-service package, Protection Plus. While the system is yours, we’ll give you the same comprehensive support that comes with our Sunrun Guarantee.
The price of your panels will depend on the manufacturer. Sunrun partners with LG, a world leader in solar technology and panels. Striking the right balance between quality, efficiency and affordability, LG offers some of the best solar panels on the market today.14
For a given manufacturer, higher efficiency panels cost more.5 The good news is that the highest efficiency panels aren’t always needed, especially if your roof gets plenty of sun.
Another factor in determining your total home solar system cost is where you live. Here are the states with the lowest and highest average solar system costs:*
|Least expensive solar install
||Most expensive solar install
|Florida: $9,198 – $11,970
||Rhode Island: $13,104 – $15,792
|Arizona: $10,332 – $12,096
||New York: $12,264 – $16,044
|Maryland: $10,332 – $12,768
Prices after 30% federal solar tax credit 5
Just because a residential solar system costs more in a given state doesn’t mean it’s any less cost effective.5 Local incentives can make a huge dent in solar installation costs even in the most expensive states.