Solar Panel Cost

Investing in solar panels doesn’t have to break the bank (and it usually pays for itself in the long run).

How much solar panels cost

Two key factors determine the type (and therefore the cost) of solar panels. The first is power density: The amount of electricity a panel can produce per square foot. The second is color: Blue cell panels with a white backsheet and silver frame are considered the “basic” solar panel model, whereas black cell, black frame, and black backsheet panels are more “premium.” Black panels are more efficient because they naturally absorb more light. Both color and power density are determined by the types of materials and processes used in manufacturing.


There are three main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline are the most expensive, efficient, and are generally considered the most attractive. These panels cost, on average, between $1 to $1.50 per watt of output (for the panels alone, not including labor) and most have a minimum 300W power capacity. Polycrystalline panels are smaller and slightly less efficient, but are also less expensive, averaging between $0.90 and $1 per watt. These panels typically produce an output of 250 – 300W.

How much solar panel installation labor cost

Of course, many variables dictate the exact cost of installation and labor for your solar panel system. The size of your home, type and size of your roof, number of panels, permitting costs, and state and local incentives will all impact the final total. As of 2020, the average cost to install residential solar panels in the United States ranged from $11,144 to $14,696 after solar tax credits (according to data provided by EnergySage). When you work with Noble Solar, we’ll include the cost of labor in our initial quote to make the breakdown as simple as possible.

How much solar panel inspections cost

Solar panel inspections with Noble Solar are completely free of charge. We want to make the solar installation process as quick and easy for homeowners as possible, so we never charge for consultations or in-home evaluations – plus, we take care of permitting, city inspections, meter changes, and other behind-the-scenes processes as mandated by your state or local government. If you’re ready to take the next step towards clean, renewable energy, call us today to schedule your complimentary inspection.

How do I find out if I qualify for solar power incentives?

Both state and federal governments offer a variety of solar power incentive programs to encourage homeowners and businesses to get started with renewable energy, including solar. At the federal level, homeowners currently qualify for a tax credit equal to 26 percent of the cost of their solar panel system (minus any cash rebates). States also offer tax breaks, but these vary widely depending on your state’s level of interest and investment into solar energy programs. You can learn more about tax credits, cash rebate programs, subsidized loans, and other incentives by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® website.

How do I get approved for solar power financing?

The majority of Americans choose to finance their solar panels rather than paying the total cost up-front. Since many states offer subsidized loans (such as PACE solar loans) as an incentive for solar installation, financing tends to be an excellent choice for homeowners and families that want to get started with solar without breaking the bank. In many cases, the savings on your electricity bill will offset the cost of your monthly loan payment altogether.


Getting approved for a solar loan is as simple as filling out an application with your social security number, tax information, and a few other details – which will depend on the type of loan you are pursuing. A home equity loan or line of credit allows you to borrow against your home’s equity, whereas an unsecured personal loan can be obtained through an online lender, bank, or credit union. Regardless, a good credit score and no history of bankruptcies will boost your chances of getting approved for a loan with a low interest rate.

How solar panel warranties work

All solar panels provided by Noble Solar come with an industry-leading 25-year performance warranty. We want to make sure your solar investment lasts for decades: In many cases, our solar panels outperform their warranties, providing reliable electricity output for 30 years or more. It’s important to note, however, that even the best-made and most expensive solar panels will see very slight reductions in output year over year. We make sure that the panels we install never drop below an 80% output threshold while under warranty. If they do, we’ll replace them at no cost.

Final pricing

Your final pricing breakdown for solar panels and installation will be presented in an easy-to-read invoice. You’ll be able to see the exact charges for each of your solar panels, as well as inverters, wiring, and other materials. You’ll also be able to see the cost of labor, costs associated with permitting, and costs associated with engineering and overhead. At Noble Solar, our goal is to simplify solar for our customers – which is why we provide transparent pricing, complimentary administrative services, and free inspections and consultations.

Calculating your average monthly bill

To calculate your average monthly bill after installing solar panels, you’ll need a few key pieces of information. First, you’ll need to know how much electricity your home consumes per month on average. Then, you’ll need to know how much output in kWh you can expect to get from your solar panels each month (we can help with this part). Keep in mind that your solar panels may not cover 100% of your electricity consumption. By looking up the price per kWh from your local electrical provider and factoring in any monthly loan payments, it only takes a few minutes to calculate your new monthly bill. Need a quicker estimate? Click here to use the free Solar Savings Calculator from EnergySage.

Solar Panel Cost FAQ's

This depends on a huge number of variables – including your definition of “expensive!” If you only want to put a couple of solar panels on your home to offset your electrical bill and your state offers excellent incentives, solar panels can be quite affordable. On the other hand, if you want to generate 100% of your 5,400 square foot home’s electricity needs with solar and have, for instance, an unconventional style of roof, the project could easily cost upwards of $100,000. Give us a call and we can provide a free quote for your home within minutes.

Again, many factors beyond square footage will influence the exact cost of solar panels and installation for your home. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average house in the United States between 2,000 and 2,499 square feet uses 11,606 kWh of electricity annually, or 967 kWh per month. In an ideal scenario, with a “perfect,” south-facing roof and zero shade, somewhere between 16-25 high-quality panels could generate this amount of electricity. Depending on the state you live in and the many other factors mentioned elsewhere on our site, this number of panels could range in price anywhere from $10,000 to upwards of $18,000.

The short answer is no. While incentives are offered both federally and state-by-state for solar power, at this point in time, there is no way to obtain and own a home solar system free of charge. Some solar providers offer solar lease agreements which are often pitched as “free” since installation is performed at no cost. However, these programs entail significant monthly charges for the duration of the lease: Homeowners are essentially renting both the equipment and the energy produced by the panels from the company that provided them.

Whether or not a solar loan – or investing in solar panels in general – is worthwhile for your unique home and financial situation depends on a number of factors. Not every home is right for solar panels, and different states have different solar incentive programs that will significantly impact the total cost. The best way to decide whether to take out a solar loan or pay up front is by thoroughly researching your options, understanding your solar savings potential, and, if possible, speaking to a financial advisor.