How much do solar panels cost in 2020?

National average:

$10,303 - $12,593*

Average cost per watt:

$2.32 - $2.84*

Estimate cost based on your location, roof, power usage and local pricing

*Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.

Solar panel cost data 2020

Updated: November 23, 2020

A typical solar panel installation in the United States will cost anywhere between $10,303 to $12,593, after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. The average price for installed residential solar power systems is currently $2.58 per watt.

Solar panel cost is affected by many factors, including where you live, the system size, and the brand of solar panels you use.

SolarReviews sees more than 1,000 solar quotes per day issued by solar companies to homeowners on our site. By using these quotes, we are able to get an accurate snapshot of current home solar prices.

If you want an exact estimate for how much solar panels will cost for your specific home, try using our solar calculator above.

Average solar panel cost in each state in 2020

The location of a home affects solar pricing in a few ways.

First, the amount of sunlight available dictates how many solar modules you will need to power your home. The more solar panels you need, the higher the overall upfront cost of the system.

Market prices also vary between locations because of things like competition between solar installers, local job volumes, the cost of business overheads, and different state and local policies.

Table 1: Average cost solar by state
State Avg cost
per watt
Cost of a 6kW system
(After tax credit)
show before tax
Alabama $2.45 $10,878
Alaska $2.41 $10,678
Arizona $2.67 $11,837
Arkansas $2.63 $11,677
California $2.68 $11,877
Colorado $2.44 $10,834
Connecticut $2.86 $12,676
District of Columbia $2.88 $12,796
Delaware $2.65 $11,757
Florida $2.48 $11,020
Georgia $2.33 $10,359
Hawaii $2.67 $11,837
Idaho $2.52 $11,198
Illinois $2.57 $11,397
Indiana $2.49 $11,038
Iowa $2.53 $11,238
Kansas $2.39 $10,598
Kentucky $2.34 $10,398
Louisiana $2.38 $10,558
Maine $2.87 $12,756
Maryland $2.74 $12,157
Massachusetts $2.87 $12,756
Michigan $2.66 $11,797
Minnesota $2.74 $12,157
Mississippi $2.64 $11,717
Missouri $2.59 $11,477
Montana $2.42 $10,758
Nebraska $2.83 $12,556
Nevada $2.61 $11,597
New Hampshire $2.83 $12,556
New Jersey $2.77 $12,277
New Mexico $2.44 $10,838
New York $2.86 $12,716
North Carolina $2.49 $11,038
North Dakota $2.42 $10,758
Ohio $2.50 $11,118
Oklahoma $2.62 $11,637
Oregon $2.50 $11,118
Pennsylvania $2.38 $10,558
Rhode Island $2.69 $11,957
South Carolina $2.62 $11,637
South Dakota $2.39 $10,598
Tennessee $2.49 $11,038
Texas $2.60 $11,557
Utah $2.66 $11,797
Vermont $2.85 $12,636
Virginia $2.66 $11,797
Washington $2.73 $12,117
West Virginia $2.64 $11,717
Wisconsin $2.60 $11,557
Wyoming $2.57 $11,397
Installed home solar system cost by:

Current solar panel cost near you

Cost range of local prices

$12,066-$14,748

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$64,934-$79,364

Payback period

5-6.1 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

5.7kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Solar panel installation cost by system size in 2020

The size of a solar panel system also plays a role in how much the installation will cost.

Larger solar installations will typically have a lower cost per watt, because the panels can be purchased at a ‘bulk price’. However, these larger solar systems will still have a higher total cost, because they are made up of more individual panels.

Table 2: Average cost of residential solar systems by system size
System size* Avg cost
per watt
Avg system cost
(After tax credit)
show before tax
4kW $2.75 $8,148
5kW $2.66 $9,848
6kW $2.58 $11,448
7kW $2.56 $13,279
8kW $2.54 $15,031
9kW $2.47 $16,428
10kW $2.45 $18,165

Solar panel cost calculator

Installed solar system cost for the best brands of solar panels in 2020

Below are the solar panel system costs for the 20 most frequently-installed residential solar panels.

Many of the solar modules on this list are from trusted manufacturers with great efficiency ratings and warranties, which is likely the reason they are so popular.

Table 3: Installed system cost before tax
Panel model Avg cost per watt Avg 6kW system cost
LG Solar
LG335N1K-V5
$2.38 $2.68
LG Solar
LG375Q1C-V5
$2.50 $2.77
LG Solar
LG375A1C-V5
$2.34 $2.75
LG Solar
LG365Q1K-V5
$2.44 $2.71
Panasonic
VBH330RA03K
$2.34 $2.82
Panasonic
VBHN340SA17 HIT+
$3.00 $0.00
Panasonic
VBHN330SA17E
$2.38 $2.73
Panasonic
VBHN335SA17
$2.51 $2.79
SunPower
SPR-E20-327-COM
$2.41 $2.80
SunPower
SPR-X22-360
$2.42 $2.87

Showing 1 - 10 of 20

What other factors affect the cost of solar panels for your home?

The cost of solar doesn't just include the equipment and installation costs - it’s also made up of permitting costs, inspection costs, and installer profit margins.

Chart 2: What is the breakdown of cost in an installed residential solar system? (cents per watt)

These different components are what make the price of solar fluctuate between installations. Some of the factors that affect solar power system installation costs for specific homes include:

The amount of electricity your home uses

Homes that use more electricity will need more solar panels to cover their energy needs.

Although solar panels do get cheaper on a per-watt basis, the overall cost of the system will increase as more panels are added.

But, the higher a home’s energy usage, the more solar panels can save the homeowners on their energy bills.

The type of solar panels you buy

The price of solar panels can vary depending on the type of solar panels you choose.

There are two main types of solar panels for residential solar installations: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient and more expensive than other solar panels. Polycrystalline panels have a lower efficiency rating and come at a lower price point.

The type of inverter you buy will also influence the cost of your solar system.

The quality of your solar installation

You may see some solar quotes with prices that seem too good to be true.

If you get quoted for a ridiculously cheap price, the installer might be using low-quality equipment or an unsustainable pricing model. You want to use a solar installer that is charging enough so that they can stay in business - as you’ll be relying on them for the next 25 years!

It’s important to make sure that your installer is giving you the best quality at the best price possible. This is why getting multiple solar quotes is so important.

Federal, state, and local solar incentives

The overall cost of solar can be influenced by the solar incentives available.

Across the U.S., homeowners can apply for the federal solar tax credit, also called the ITC. The solar tax credit makes installing solar more cost-effective by providing homeowners with a tax credit equal to 26% of the cost of their installed solar panel system.

Local solar tax incentives and rebates can end up saving homeowners thousands on a solar installation, especially when they’re used with the federal solar tax credit.

See what solar incentives are available in your area by using our solar panel calculator.

How much do individual solar panels cost?

Individual photovoltaic solar panels sell for between $0.40 per watt to $1.10 per watt, not including installation costs.

This means individual solar panel prices can range between $80 and $400, depending on the size and quality of the panel. You can expect to pay this much per solar panel if you’re doing a DIY solar installation.

The median cost per watt of residential solar energy systems has declined by 70% in the past two decades. These cost drops are largely due to improvements in solar technology and manufacturing.

However, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), price decreases have slowed down to about 5% per year in the past few years.

In order to continue seeing significant reductions in the installed cost of solar, we will need to find ways to cut down on soft costs, such as labor, overhead profit margins, and permitting costs.

How much can you save with solar?

How much solar panels cost shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when you’re thinking of switching to solar.

Solar panels save the average homeowner between $900 and $1,200 a year on their utility bills!

Your actual solar savings will depend on the size of your system, the cost of electricity in your region, and of course - how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you use. It also depends on what kind of net metering policy is available in your area.

Luckily, our solar savings estimator calculates how much solar will save you on your electricity bill by taking all of these factors into account. The solar calculator will also determine how long your solar payback period will be.

Solar payback periods can now be as little as 5 to 6 years, allowing homeowners who go solar to enjoy 20 years or more of free electricity!

Learn more about how much solar panels will cost for your home with our solar panel cost calculator

While there is data on average home electricity usage and how many solar panels are needed to power the average household, these averages don’t fully represent your individual needs.

Our solar panel calculator is the easiest way to determine the costs and savings of a solar panel installation for your specific home.

All you need is your address and the value of your monthly electric bill, and our solar calculator will determine your local utility company’s electricity rates and how much power you use in order to tell you:

  1. How many solar panels you need to power your home.
  2. How many solar panels will fit on your roof and where they will go.
  3. How much your solar panels will cost.
  4. How much your solar panels will save you.

So, what are you waiting for? With the low price of solar and the federal solar tax credit, the best time to go solar is now! Use our solar calculator and find out what solar savings are in store for you.

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