What Kinds Of Costs Could You Expect To Pay For A Residential Solar Panel System?

If you’ve thought about going green and changing your home’s energy source, you may have decided on getting solar panels for your home. Of course, your biggest concern may be the cost. You may be wondering how much solar panels and the installation will cost you? That actually depends.

A residential solar system can have a size range of 3 to 8kW and cost between $15,000 and $40,000. Still, the overall cost of these systems – overhead, labor, parts, permitting fees and profit, have dropped tremendously in the last 10 years and can range between six and eight in many areas of the nation. It’s important to remember that the bigger a system is, the lower the cost is going to be per watt.

Solar panels

When you start looking at solar panels, you’re going to find that solar panels are about 30 percent of the whole cost, usually running anywhere from $4,000 to $16,000. Bear in mind that really expensive panels don’t always meant the best. A good way to find your perfect solar panel is to look at the cost per watt, as it tells you the costs compared to the electrical power output.


The inverters changes the direct current into alternating current. DC current comes from the solar panels and the AC is what home appliances use. Inverters tend to have a cost of around $1,000 to $4,000 or about 10 percent of the system’s overall costs. Most solar panels have a 20 to 25-year warranty. However, conventional central inverters will have to be replaced before this.

If you opt for micro-inverters, you may need to boost the costs as well as the boost in power output as well as an extended warranty.

Balance of System

The balance of system talks about all parts of the solar system minus the solar panels – usually dealing with mounts, inverters, wiring, etc. The balance of the system is approximately 20 percent of the entire cost, usually around $3,000 to $10,000 for all parts.

Installation Costs

When it comes to the installation costs, you’ve got to factor in the labor costs, permits, and inspection fees. How much you pay for these fees will depend on your state residence. In the majority of cases, you could pay up to $5,000 per installation. If you need approval from your homeowners association, make sure you get it. You also need to get electrical and building permits and follow the neighborhood covenant requirements.

Operational Costs

What does it mean by operational costs? These costs often refer to repair, insurance, maintenance, monitoring and overhead costs, ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 or about 20 percent of the whole system cost. This is the cost category where you can reduce your costs. Most people don’t worry about monitoring and most systems don’t need a lot of maintenance do them. Repairs… well, you may never have to make any.

Are There Any Incentives To Installing A Solar Panel System?

When there are incentives in place, the solar market tends to prosper. How much you pay for a solar system is going to depend on a multitude of things such as where you live, rebates, grants and tax credits.

There are some situations where the overall costs can be reduced by more than 50 percent, and everybody get a 30 percent federal tax credit. In order to get the best system for the money you pay, you want to get a solar system size that gives you the most power for your home without a lot of cash being spent.

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