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How much does a solar panel system cost?

The cost of a solar panel system depends on your energy use, the system size, the equipment, your location and available rebates and incentives. Here you will find estimated home solar costs for grid-connected solar panel systems without a battery backup in the US.

Choose an average monthly electric bill to find the solar cost

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Monthly Bill
$100
$200
$400
$600
$800
$1,000
Estimated Solar Panel System Size
2.5 kW
5 kW
10 kW
15 kW
20 kW
25 kW
Estimated Cost
(before rebates)
$4,500
to $5,700

$8,000
to $11,000

$14,600
to $21,000

$21,400
to $32,000

$28,400
to $40,000

$35,000
to $48,000


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The actual cost of a solar panel system will depend on whether the system is integrated into the roof-top material or mounted on top of an existing roof, the system configuration (i.e. standardized systems generally cost less), equipment options, installation costs, and the solar panel manufacturer. In California, the average residential customer uses 6,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year (California Energy Commission).

The rated output of solar panel modules is assessed using the full hours of sunshine per day where one full sun hour is defined as being exposed to a solar intensity equal to 1,000 watts per square meter. Full sun hours do not indicate the number of hours that the sun is shining in a day, but rather is an indication of the intensity of the sun. Also important to note is that not all of the sunshine that strikes a solar panel cell will be converted into electricity. Typically, 15% to 25% of the energy produced is lost because of inverter and wire losses.


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