How Much Do Photovoltaic Panels Cost In 2024?

The cost of solar panels ranges anywhere from $8,500 to $30,500, with the average 6kW solar system falling around $12,700. Solar panel prices vary based on where you live, the size of the system, the type of solar panels and more. With so many factors that go into the final price tag of your solar panels, knowing exactly where you might incur costs can help you budget for solar panels so that you can see the biggest energy savings without breaking the bank.

Average Cost Of Solar Panels
Average Cost$12,700
Highest Cost$30,500
Lowest Cost$8,500

Cost of Solar Panels by State

Alabama$10,54215.02 ¢/kWh1,178$2,1234.97
Alaska$10,94123.98 ¢/kWh580$1,6696.56
Arizona$10,65414.52 ¢/kWh1,061$1,8495.76
Arkansas$11,77112.71 ¢/kWh1,110$1,6936.95
California$11,66626.72 ¢/kWh535$1,7156.8
Colorado$12,27814.54 ¢/kWh692$1,20710.17
Connecticut$12,55828.95 ¢/kWh716$2,4875.05
Delaware$11,41417.46 ¢/kWh941$1,9725.79
District of Columbia$12,10018.02 ¢/kWh685$1,4818.17
Florida$11,78815.48 ¢/kWh1,111$2,0645.71
Georgia$11,63413.75 ¢/kWh1,096$1,8086.43
Hawaii$11,46642.69 ¢/kWh515$2,6384.35
Idaho$12,10712.15 ¢/kWh1,005$1,4658.26
Illinois$13,14615.83 ¢/kWh720$1,3689.61
Indiana$13,23015.17 ¢/kWh950$1,7297.65
Iowa$12,34813.37 ¢/kWh888$1,4258.67
Kansas$11,17213.72 ¢/kWh928$1,5287.31
Kentucky$11,17212.99 ¢/kWh1,094$1,7056.55
Louisiana$11,90711.92 ¢/kWh1,231$1,7616.76
Maine$13,46129.13 ¢/kWh583$2,0386.61
Maryland$12,40118.40 ¢/kWh968$2,1375.80
Massachusetts$15,16228.02 ¢/kWh577$1,9407.82
Michigan$13,37719.06 ¢/kWh652$1,4918.97
Minnesota$13,08315.29 ¢/kWh773$1,4189.23
Mississippi$11,36113.67 ¢/kWh1,186$1,9465.84
Missouri$11,79212.42 ¢/kWh1,077$1,6057.35
Montana$11,06712.96 ¢/kWh908$1,4127.84
Nebraska$12,39011.76 ¢/kWh1,043$1,4728.42
Nevada$10,75214.63 ¢/kWh939$1,6496.52
New Hampshire$13,81825.76 ¢/kWh623$1,9267.17
New Jersey$12,22222.70 ¢/kWh682$1,8586.58
New Mexico$12,06514.50 ¢/kWh659$1,14710.52
New York$13,08322.70 ¢/kWh592$1,6138.11
North Carolina$11,48714.75 ¢/kWh1,072$1,8976.06
North Dakota$10,33211.66 ¢/kWh1,119$1,5666.60
Ohio$11,49816.01 ¢/kWh874$1,6796.85
Oklahoma$11,10213.27 ¢/kWh1,155$1,8396.04
Oregon$12,28513.24 ¢/kWh946$1,5038.17
Pennsylvania$12,23318.43 ¢/kWh854$1,8896.48
Rhode Island$13,41931.78 ¢/kWh589$2,2465.98
South Carolina$11,51914.47 ¢/kWh1,088$1,8896.1
South Dakota$10,19212.99 ¢/kWh1,058$1,6496.18
Tennessee$12,05412.57 ¢/kWh1,188$1,7926.73
Texas$11,08814.71 ¢/kWh1,178$2,0795.33
Utah$11,28811.22 ¢/kWh783$1,05410.71
Vermont$12,91522.11 ¢/kWh568$1,5078.57
Virginia$12,17014.27 ¢/kWh1,086$1,8606.54
Washington$12,48511.34 ¢/kWh1,013$1,3799.05
West Virginia$11,81315.07 ¢/kWh1,074$1,9426.08
Wisconsin$12,84217.05 ¢/kWh684$1,4009.17
Wyoming$11,04612.47 ¢/kWh891$1,3338.29

Cost of Solar Panels by Type

As you’re budgeting for a solar panel system, you may come across three types of solar panels. Each one can come with its own price tag, so consider the following price differences before you choose.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt on average and are usually the most popular choice. As the name suggests, monocrystalline cells are made with one silicon crystal. These lab-grown crystals—called ingots—are cut into thin octagonal discs that are neatly attached to the panel for maximum efficiency. This higher efficiency comes at a cost, as most monocrystalline solar panels cost more to purchase and install than their counterparts.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

The average cost for polycrystalline solar panels ranges from $0.90 to $1.50 per watt. Both polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. They convert sunlight into electricity. Unlike monocrystalline cells, however, the polycrystalline variety is comprised of fragmented silicon crystals cut into wafer-like shapes. This shortcut makes for a cheaper product that is faster to produce but also less efficient.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels cost between $0.50 and $1.50 per watt, putting them at the lowest end of the price range for solar panels. These solar panels also utilize photovoltaic materials, only most thin-film cells use amorphous silicon, which isn’t crystalline. Thin-film solar panels are cheaper to produce and use readily available materials, making them better for the environment.

The panels tend to have a lower efficiency and therefore require more space to generate the same amount of energy. They also only last between 10 to 20 years, which is 10 to 15 years less than PV panels. Still, if you’re on the go, thin-film solar panels are a good fit for RVs because of their lightweight properties.

Average Cost by Panel Type

Panel TypeCost Per Watt6kW System Cost (materials only)
Monocrystalline$1.00 – $1.50$6,000 – $9,000
Polycrystalline$0.90 – $1.50$5,400 – $6,000
Thin-film$0.50 – $1.50$3,000 – $9,000

Average Cost by Solar System Size

Depending on which state you live in, your average 6kW solar panel system will cost between $10,200 and $15,200 to install after accounting for the 30% solar tax credit. However, every home has its own energy demands, and prices for solar panels can quickly increase or decrease based on the size of your system. Here’s a breakdown of solar system costs by size.

Solar System SizeAverage Annual System Output* (kWh)Average Cost Before Federal Tax CreditAverage Cost After Federal Tax Credit (30%)
5kW4,000 – 5,000 kWh$12,150 – $18,100$8,500 – $12,700
6kW8,000 – 10,000 kWh$14,600 – $21,700$10,200 – $15,200
8kW10,500 – 13,300 kWh$19,400 – $29,000$13,600 – $20,300
10kW13,300 – 16,700 kWh$24,300 – $36,200$17,000 – $25,300
12kW16,000 – 20,000 kWh$29,200 – $43,500$20,400 – $30,500
*Depends on location and the amount of sun hours received

Solar Panel Installation Costs

The total cost of your solar panel installation can vary depending on the number of watts, amount of sunlight and local incentives. Let’s break down how each factor can impact the cost of going solar.

Price Per Watt

Solar panels cost between $2.40 and $3.60 per watt including installation. Therefore, just how much you pay for your system depends on how many watts you need to keep your home powered.

Amount of Sunlight

Your solar panel installation costs can vary based on how much sunlight your panels receive. The amount of sunlight depends on your location, climate, topography and shade coverage.

Local Incentives

Local and state incentives can make a difference in the cost of your solar panel system. For example, some local governments offer incentive programs that can reduce the cost of your solar panels by $2,500 or more. Other incentives may include referral programs with your local solar panel installation company.

To find incentives near you, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). This resource allows you to discover policies and incentives by each state to lock you in on the best incentives possible.


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Factors That Determine Solar Installation Costs

Multiple factors go into solar panel prices, including which solar company you choose, the number of panels, the federal tax credit, the type of panels and more. Let’s dive into what can impact your solar panel costs.

Solar Companies

The cost of solar panels is dependent on the solar panel company you choose. From the solar equipment system itself to installation costs and add-ons, the price will vary from company to company, and the first step is to consider your options for the best solar companies.

Size, Weight and Number of Panels

How many solar panels you need to fully power your home usually falls around the 20 to 25 mark, but this number can range from 15 to 34 solar panels. Your home’s size, the efficiency of the panels and the amount of sunlight can play a role in determining just how many solar panels you’ll need. Since solar panels cost between $2.40 and $3.60 per watt, the more energy your solar panel system needs to produce, the more you’ll pay.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit is a rebate applied to your tax return as a tax reduction. For solar panels purchased between 2022 and 2032, you’ll receive a 30% tax credit. The credit will decrease to 26% in 2033, 22% in 2034 and expire in 2035. On an average $18,150 solar panel system, you’ll save approximately $5,400 on your solar panels, putting your final price around $12,700.

Type of Panels

Again, the type of solar panels you choose plays a role in the material costs of your solar system, with prices varying from $0.90 to $1.50 per watt. Monocrystalline solar panels tend to have a high price range, while polycrystalline solar panels fall in the middle. Thin-film solar panels are also a cost-effective option. It’s important to remember that monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than the other solar panel types and will give you the biggest ROI in terms of energy savings.

Solar Panel Manufacturer

Not all solar panels are alike. Some solar panel manufacturers produce solar panels with higher efficiency ratings than others. For example, SunPower is one of the best solar companies. The in-house solar panels are nearly 23% efficient compared to other solar panels that may have an efficiency rating closer to 19% or 20%.

High-efficiency solar panels require fewer panels to provide you with solar energy and may cost less overall—even if their upfront cost might fall closer to $3.60 per watt.


A more efficient solar panel will reflect more sunlight and transform that energy into electricity for your home. Therefore, choosing high-efficiency solar panels means you’ll get the most out of your solar panel system, but it can also mean you’ll pay more. Consider the pros and cons of going for high-efficiency solar panels to determine if investing is the right choice for your budget and energy needs. Some homeowners may find it more economical to go for less efficient polycrystalline solar panels to help offset the higher price tag of monocrystalline panels.


A home in a sunny state like Arizona that’s located at the top of a hill and has little to no tree coverage will require fewer solar panels than a home in western Washington that’s surrounded by trees and receiving high amounts of rainfall. So, factor in your location to gauge just how many solar panels you’ll need to do the job.

Roof Pitch

A roof with a higher pitch can be more challenging—and therefore more expensive—to install solar panels on. Solar panel companies may reflect the complexity of the installation in the quote.

Type of Mount

The type of mounting system you choose for your solar panels can impact the cost anywhere from $15 to $750 per solar panel. Here’s a breakdown of the types of mounts:

  • Fixed mount: This type of mount is your standard rooftop mount that ranges from $15 to $50 each.
  • Ground mount: A ground mount system goes on the ground instead of your roof and costs between $70 and $200 per panel.
  • Adjustable mount: Adjustable solar panel mounts can be raised or lowered to better receive sunlight. These mounts cost between $30 and $250 per panel.
  • Dual-axis tracker: Tracking mounts follow the sun throughout the day to help your solar panels maximize sunlight by 25% to 45% more than a standard mounting system. These mounts cost anywhere from $450 to $775 per solar panel.


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Additional Solar Panel Costs to Consider

On top of the typical costs of installing solar panels, you’ll also want to consider maintenance, cleaning, home insurance, monitoring, tree trimming, roof repair, solar panel repairs and solar roofs.


Maintaining your solar panels costs anywhere from $140 to $180 annually or an average of $150 per year if you hire a pro to maintain your solar panels. At this cost, your pro will inspect the panels for signs of repairs.


If you also want to hire a solar panel company to clean your solar panels, this will be an additional cost of around $150 per cleaning. For someone with the proper equipment, safety knowledge and experience, this could be a DIY-friendly job that only costs a one-time payment of around $100.

Once you invest in the initial amount for cleaning equipment, like an extension ladder, garden hose spray attachments, squeegees, soft brushes and a one-gallon handheld sprayer, you’re essentially cleaning your panels for free—minus the labor and time commitment. It’s not recommended, however, to undertake this project without the proper skills. Safety is of the utmost importance even if you have to pay more.

Yearly cleanings can help improve the performance of your panels by ensuring debris and dust aren’t blocking sunlight from hitting the panels.

Home Insurance

Solar panels can increase your home’s value, which in turn may increase the cost of your homeowners insurance. According to a 2018 to 2019 study by Zillow, homes with solar panel systems sold for $4.1% more than similar homes that didn’t have solar panel systems. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate over to your homeowners insurance. You’ll want to check with your insurance company to see if installing solar panels could increase your rates.

Solar System Monitoring

Depending on your solar panel company, some installers offer complimentary solar system monitoring that allows you to see your solar panel production in real-time and even view your electric usage to modify your lifestyle and make the most out of your solar panel system.

Elevation Solar is a good example of a solar company that integrates whole-home energy efficiency solutions. Other companies, like Palmetto Solar, may charge extra for monitoring services, so read the fine print of your solar panel installation company before you buy.

Tree Trimming

In some cases, you might want to invest in tree trimming services to help clear the way for sunlight to reach your installation site. The cost to trim a tree falls between $250 and $700 per tree.

Roof Repair

Your roof needs a strong, sound foundation if you choose to install solar panels. Repair or replace old roofing beforehand to ensure that your home is safe from the elements and that no hazards will come from installing the panels. The average roof repair costs $950, but prices can range anywhere from $150 to $7,000 depending on the extent of the damage. Roof replacement costs even more, with prices ranging from $6,700 to $80,000, or $11,500 on average.

Solar Panel Repair

The cost to repair solar panels ranges from $200 to $1,700 depending on the severity of the damage. A small crack will cost the least to repair while repairing a solar panel inverter tends to fall at the higher end of the price range.

You may have an active solar panel warranty or comprehensive warranty through your solar panel installation company, so look at your warranty to see if you can save on the cost of repairing your panels. Most manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty.

Solar Shingles and Tiles

The average cost for solar shingles ranges from $15,000 to $20,000. At $88,500 for a 6.31 kW solar roof. Tesla roofs and Powerwalls cost significantly more but also come with a battery storage system. Some homeowners opt to install solar shingles or solar roofs. These roofs replace your existing roof and protect your home from the elements while providing your home with an attractive, energy-efficient bonus.

When to Install Solar Panels

Contrary to popular belief, winter can be the best time to install solar panels. There is less demand for solar services in the winter, so the installation could cost less as a whole. Yet, this may not always be the case in areas with icy or snowy weather, so keep in mind your climate as you factor in the best time to install solar panels on your home.

Installing solar panels during winter is also efficient. As solar installation companies typically do fewer jobs in the off-season, your panels are likely to be installed faster. Not to mention, the design, permit acquisition and installation process can take several weeks or months to complete. Even if winter isn’t the best time to install solar where you live, getting started during the cold weather season, can help you have your panels up and running just in time for the summer.

How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

Though solar panels cost money upfront, they can save homeowners money in the long term. The question of how much solar panels will save you depends on several factors, including the hours of daily direct sunlight available, the angle of your roof and the size of your solar panel system. The most important factor in determining how much money solar panels will save you is your local electricity rates.

To determine how much money your solar panels will save you each year, calculate how much you spend on electricity annually. For reference, as of 2022, the typical American family spends about $1,623 annually on electricity according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Then, determine your current utility rate, keeping in mind that utility rates tend to increase by 2.2% each year (yet another reason to install solar panels).

Use an online calculator to estimate your annual savings by plugging in information like your location, energy usage and the current average price of solar panel installation in your area. A common misconception is that solar panels will eradicate your electricity bills. While this isn’t always the case, solar panels do significantly reduce your monthly electricity bill and are worth the investment.


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How Can I Pay for Solar Panels?

Although it is a significant investment, homeowners can benefit from lower utility costs once solar panels are installed. When paid for outright, solar panels can cost homeowners anywhere from $8,500 to $30,500. If you’re wondering how to pay for solar panels, there are several ways you can go about it.


Consider paying for solar panel installation outright in cash if you have the extra money in the bank. By owning your solar panels outright, you’ll be able to take advantage of the generous rebate and the tax incentive immediately.

Solar Loans

Solar loans allow you to finance solar panels to help alleviate financial stress. Plus, you can have the solar panels installed and start using them to power your home right away with little to no money down. The payment plan will involve monthly payments over a period of time with interest added, which does increase your costs by anywhere from 2.99% to 36% depending on your credit score, lender and loan duration.

Solar Leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

In some states, homeowners can lease solar panels or finance them through what is known as a power purchase agreement (PPA). These leases or PPAs mean a third party will own and install the solar panel system on your roof while you pay that party for your energy each month. Some PPAs will lock you in for a set rate, but some have a payment schedule that rises each year.

Leasing solar panels allows you to harness the power of alternative energy at a low monthly rate. However, it’s important to note you do not own these panels, so you will not receive any tax advantages or rebates from them.

Cash-Out Refinance

If you are refinancing your mortgage, consider a cash-out refinance. This allows you to extract cash from your home’s equity, which homeowners often earmark for needed home improvements or to pay down other debt.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Another alternative financing option is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This allows you to tap into your home’s equity and use it as a lower-interest credit card so you can access cash for home projects.

How Long Does It Take to Break Even on Solar Panel Costs?

Again, the average annual energy bill in 2022 was approximately $1,600. Since the average solar system costs between $10,200 and $15,200 after the tax credit, it could take you anywhere from 6.4 to 9.5 years to break even on the cost of your solar energy system. It may take you more or less time depending on your electricity costs and financing options, including applied incentives like local and federal tax credits.

To get an idea of how long it may take you to break even, subtract the value of any applied incentives or rebates from the total material and installation cost of your system. Compare your pre-solar utility bills with your post-solar utility bills once your system is operational. Divide the initial cost by your savings to determine the number of years until you break even.

What Does the Solar Panel Installation Process Look Like?

To better understand the installation process, it is recommended to speak to a solar energy consultant, especially since there are many things to consider and each home is unique. A consultant can let you know how long installation usually takes on homes similar to yours.

Check for Compatibility

To begin the solar panel installation process, you’ll have to ensure your home is ready for a solar energy system. First and foremost, your roof needs to be large enough, your electrical panel needs to be up to date and, most importantly, in good shape, so it won’t have to be replaced soon.

Select the Size

Once you’ve determined that your roof is compatible, it’s essential to plan out what you would like your system to provide. Whether you want energy to run lighting or a few appliances or create enough energy to sell some back to the power company or anything in between, this will determine the system’s size.

Get Permits

Before your installation, ensure you have the proper permits from your localities. The most time-consuming parts of the project are often waiting for the permits to be approved and scheduling the subsequent inspections.

Apply for Incentives

You’ll want to consider incentive programs to make the most of your solar investment. These vary by locality and state. Even federal incentives can change from time to time. It would help if you also looked into tax credits, rebates or grants from multiple sources to offset costs. Apply for these incentives before starting physical work.


Since solar panel requirements vary depending on needs and locations, it’s best to order your project’s unique solar panel components all at once to ensure material compatibility and to have all your materials ready by the installation date.


Once everything is properly in place, it is time for the solar panel installation. Install the racking system, the panels, the heat sink, the charge controller, the battery bank, the power inverter and the energy meter. Next, double-check all wiring before connecting the energy system to the energy panel to complete the process.

Are Solar Panels Worth It? 

Solar panels can generate major savings if you’re trying to reduce your electricity costs, carbon emissions or both. The primary factor in determining whether or not solar panels are worthwhile for you is the cost you’re currently paying for electricity. The higher your electricity costs, the more a solar panel system will save you in the long run. This can vary significantly based on your location.

If you live in a region with middle- to upper-level utility rates, you can pretty much guarantee that a solar panel will save you big bucks over time. Solar panels tend to be worth the investment as long as you go about the installation process wisely.

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Cost of DIY Solar Panel Installation

Technically, you can purchase a DIY solar panel installation kit for about $1 to $2 per watt and install the system yourself. However, the job is complex and dangerous and not recommended for nonprofessionals

Solar panel installation involves highly specific skills and technology, heavy equipment, climbing on roofs and the risk of electric shock. Most areas require you to pay for a permit and inspection, and some states require you to have a solar contractor license to install panels. Improper installation can void your system’s warranty. Instead, we recommend hiring a local solar panel installation company to correctly install your system for maximum safety and efficiency.

To arrive at the average costs in this article, we surveyed 27 local and national cost databases. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

By Allie Ogletree , Nick Cellucci

Reviewed By Lowe Saddler