How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In the USA?

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Energy Saving, Renewable Energy

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According to the heatmap climate report for 2023, 46% of US citizens wish to power their houses with solar panels in the future. The most significant barrier, however, is the cost of the solar panels. When we understand how solar panels function, the cost of solar panels becomes significantly less scary. If you want to buy a solar panel or learn more about the cost of solar panels in the United States, this article is a must-read.

Solar Panels Costing

Even though solar panels provide “free” electricity, installing a solar energy system still costs money. The price of a solar system can be determined by one of two methods. The first is that Price per watt ($/W) may be used to compare different solar offerings, and the second method is contrasting the price of solar energy with grid electricity, cost per kilowatt-hour (cents/kWh) is a helpful metric. The average solar system costs between $5,400 and $18,000 and produces between 6 and 12 kilowatts. Those price ranges rise from $6,600 to $22,800 when the installation is included.

Purchases of home solar systems in 2032 will get the benefits of a 30% federal solar tax credit. According to EnergySage, the national average cost to install solar panels for solar energy systems of any size in the United States is $20,650 after the 30% federal tax credit. However, depending on the size of your home and its energy requirements, your prices might range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more. This tax credit may reduce the cost of a solar system to between $4,600 and $16,000. Most installers base their prices on the system’s wattage, with the typical cost between $3 and $5 per watt.

The location is critical in determining the cost of a solar panel. However, this is not always the case; certain sunny states lack substantial power incentives and net metering programs. Alabama, for example, receives a lot of sunshine, but according to the Centre for Biological Diversity’s study, just a few net metering rules are in place. Net metering rules aid in getting credits for the energy produced by solar systems.

A domestic solar energy system costs an average of $3 to $5 per watt. Installing solar panels is a good investment if the financing expenses are less than the current power bill.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In the USA?

Solar photovoltaic installed capacity in the GW(gigawatt) in the United States (2015-2020). Source: Mordor intelligence

Several essential elements determine the actual cost of solar panels in the USA and whether they will result in cost savings.

Key Factors That Affect Solar Panel Costs

1. Average solar panel cost by state

The cost of a 6-KW system is $12,573 on average nationally; however, state-specific prices are affected by sub-exposure, local subsidies, and other considerations. For many property owners, adding solar panels is becoming increasingly appealing due to the rising cost of power from conventional sources and government incentives to become green.

2. The sunlight exposure

More sun equals more energy generated and more possibilities for solar savings. Arizona and California, for example, have more daylight hours on average than other states. The output of solar systems is also impacted by how users position themselves in relation to the sun and by using shades. The solar review calculators may be used to estimate the number of panels a home will have and the associated savings.

3. Making conscious choices for the installation of solar panel

Installing solar panels in a region with high energy costs and an excellent solar rating makes sense. Installing solar panels can be an option for customers who can afford the initial expenditure and the existing 30% tax benefit. But cutting the power cost ultimately won’t happen quickly. According to the manufacturer and the state, each solar installation is different.

The cost of solar panels depends on the following:

  • System size: A more extensive solar system would cost more. However, as the scale of the system grows, the average cost per unit of solar energy lowers.
  • Location: Location also affects how much a solar system costs.
  • Panel brand and quality: The quality of solar panels can vary greatly depending on the brand, just like any other product or equipment.
  • Panel type: The general caliber of your installation is directly influenced by the type of panel you install (usually monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film). Prices will increase with quality.
  • Roof characteristics: Installing solar panels costs not only the hardware part. Other than the hardware part, the complication of installation will be charged by the solar contractor based on the characteristics of the roof.
  • Labor: Different labor costs are charged by various solar service suppliers. You might spend more money with a more renowned business with higher ratings and a quicker installation schedule.
  • Permitting and interconnection: While not a significant consideration, paying for permits and your grid connections charge will add a small amount to the final cost of your solar installation.

solar panel costs

Source: ArtistsGNDphotography <istock>

Cost of Different Types of Solar Panels

1. Monocrystalline Solar Panel

The most common and technologically sophisticated form of solar panel is monocrystalline. Public awareness of the adverse environmental effects of fossil fuels is growing, and monocrystalline solar cells (Mono-Si) are widely used nowadays. The solar cell is one of the most popular semiconductor materials in photovoltaic (PV) technology.

In 2021, the market for monocrystalline solar cells (Mono-si) was estimated at USD 4.1 billion, and it is anticipated to grow to USD 7.11 billion by 2029. Monocrystalline solar panels typically cost $1 to $1.50 per watt. A typical 250-watt meeting might cost between $250 and $375. As a result, the typical price of an entire monocrystalline system ranges from $6,000 to $9,000.

2. Polycrystalline Solar Panel

For a 6 kW system, polycrystalline solar panels typically cost $0.90 to $1 per watt or $5,400 to $6 overall. The price of a 250-watt polycrystalline solar panel ranges from $225 to $250, or $0.90 to $1 per watt. Consequently, the typical system cost for polycrystalline panels is between $5,000 and $6,000. The process used to create single crystalline ingots results in monocrystalline solar panels being more expensive. In terms of solar panel installation, polycrystalline solar panels have more significant advantages over monocrystalline solar panels.

3. Thin-film solar film

On average, costs for thin-film solar panels range from $1 to $1.50 per watt. 6kW solar panel systems range in price from $6,000 to $9,000 to equip. The typical cost to install thin film solar panels in the country ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, with most consumers spending approximately $5,000 for 10 amorphous silicon panels. The cheap cost of this project is $2,500 for installing 10 cadmium telluride panels. For ten installed CIGS panels, the high price is $8,800.

Thin Film Cells are anticipated to expand rapidly in the technology sector due to their added benefits. The typical material cost for thin film solar panels is between $0.50 and $1 per watt. Additional installation fees range from $0.50 to $1.20 per watt. Most households require between 3,000 kW and 5,000 kW to suit their demands, but most panels have between 250 and 400 watts apiece. The operation of these systems requires additional parts in addition to the solar film. Depending on the system type and wattage, this can raise your overall expenditures by $400 to $3,000.


Solar panel costs have significantly decreased over time due to the industry maturing and reaching the highest level of global manufacturing. The price of solar panels has been reduced by almost 90% since 2010. The global deployment of solar energy has increased by nearly 400%, and this astounding growth rate has significantly lowered prices. Since 2022, there has been a significant increase in power prices, making house solar panels a more viable cost-saving option. The economies of scale that solar panels currently enjoy have led to a tremendous cost curve that has fundamentally altered the energy business, much like those enjoyed by computers, big-screen TVs, and cell phones.

Utility-scale solar projects will continue to replace older, dirtier power plants powered by coal and natural gas since they are now more affordable than all other power production methods in many world regions. Additionally, homes may produce their own energy more affordably than ever before.

Also Read: Solar Energy Tax Credit: Powering Savings In The US


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