Solar panels Tennessee:

Prices, incentives and best companies 2020

Avg TN solar panel cost:

$10,829 - $13,235*

Avg 25 year savings:

$45,646 - $55,789

Avg payback period:

5.8 - 7.1 years

Estimate cost and savings based on your location and power usage

* 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.

Tennessee solar panels guide 2020

Updated November 3, 2020

There is room for improvement when it comes to solar power in Tennessee. There is very little in the way of state-based or utility-based incentives for installing solar. Also, there is no renewable portfolio standard, which is often what pushes utilities to create rebates for customers.

The bright side is that Tennessee receives more sunlight than many other areas of the US, so a solar system here will produce more than a system would with less sunlight. Tennessee residents can also take advantage of the 26% federal tax credit.

On this page:

Solar power prices, savings and payback in your part of Tennessee

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Tennessee is currently $11,038 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.49 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.

Cost range of local prices

$10,829-$13,235

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$45,646-$55,789

Payback period

5.8-7.1 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

5.5kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5.5kW system

Are solar panels worth it in Tennessee

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Levelized cost of solar energy
?
Levelized cost per kWh is the cost of the solar system divided by the total number of kWh produced by a solar system over it’s lifetime

5¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

24¢ /kWh

(forecast avg Tennessee electric rates over the next 25 years)

TN solar panel cost calculator

Tennessee solar incentives & tax credits

Federal solar tax credit

The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses in Tennessee is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation. 

Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Tennessee is now.

Green energy property tax assessment

Normally, a solar installation in Tennessee would lead to an increase in one’s property taxes. However, thanks to the green energy property tax assessment, a homeowner’s property taxes can only increase by up to 12.5% of the installed costs associated with the solar energy system. 

This has the potential to save homeowners a lot of money by preventing a dramatic increase in what they owe in Tennessee state taxes.

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: State incentive
Type: Property Tax Incentive

Showing 1 - 2 of 3

Top models of solar panel installed in Tennessee 2020

Average cost of solar panel installation in Tennessee by system size

System size*
Cash purchase

(After tax credit)

Financed purchase

(After tax credit)

4kW $10,844 $11,603
5kW $13,015 $13,926
6kW $14,916 $15,960
7kW $17,213 $18,418
8kW $19,840 $21,229
9kW $21,726 $23,247
10kW $23,870 $25,541

Best solar companies in the main cities of Tennessee

Different types of solar companies

Solar company reviews

Home solar basics

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Tennessee

You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.

How long do solar panels last?

Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more

How do solar panels work on a home?

Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2020 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

Solar panels are mounted on your roof and wired together in groups called solar arrays. The power they generate flows into a solar inverter, where the direct current (DC) is converted into alternating current (AC). The electricity is then either used by your home or exported to the electric grid.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar power involves meeting all your energy needs from the sun; there’s no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not just during the day, when the sun is shining, but after dark as well. This requires many solar panels, paired with a large battery system.

Hybrid solar system

In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. This reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.

Read more about types of home solar systems.

Do solar panels require regular maintenance?

No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.

Will residential solar power system cost fall in Tennessee in 2020?

Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Tennessee will fall during 2020.

How much electricity do solar panel systems generate in Tennessee?

Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.

A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 23-degree pitch roof Tennessee will generate 1,550kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in Tennessee.

Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.

What are the pros and cons of installing solar panels in Tennessee?

The advantage of installing solar panels in Tennessee is the state’s abundant sunshine, so a solar system here will produce more electricity than in other parts of the country.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels in Tennessee is that there are almost no state or utility-based incentives. Also, there is no state-mandated net metering policy, so you are not guaranteed to be compensated if your solar system produces excess energy. 

However, the federal tax credit still creates the opportunity for great savings.

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

What you can learn from our state solar panel calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Tennessee solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

Related solar news