5 kW solar systems are the average size for solar panel installations in the United States, so for those wondering how much solar will cost to install, looking at some price data for 5,000 watts of power is a good place to start. Prices will vary based on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in. Learn more about how much solar panels cost, how much electricity a 5kW system can produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.
How Much Does a 5kW Solar System Cost in 2017?
As of January 2017, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $3.26 per watt ($16,300 for a 5 kilowatt system). That means that the total 5kW solar system cost would be $11,410 after the 30% Federal ITC discount (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).
5 kW solar panel prices: What are homeowners paying in your state?
We looked at data from the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, the leading comparison-shopping platform for homeowners who are considering home solar panel systems, to find out just how much solar shoppers are paying for 5kW solar energy systems in different states across the U.S.
The prices listed below have already had the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar deducted. Depending on where you live, you might have additional state or local solar incentives and rebates that reduce the price even more. You may even be able to earn extra income by selling your system’s solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).
Even if there are no other incentives where you live, comparing multiple offers from solar companies is important to ensure that you’re finding the best deal. Homeowners who register their property on EnergySage save up to 20 percent just by shopping around for the right option for their home.
How much does a 5,000 watt solar system cost in my state?
|State||5 kW solar system price range (2017)|
|Arizona||$9,090 – $11,890|
|California||$10,309 – $13,448|
|Colorado||$9,719 – $13,178|
|Florida||$9,254 – $12,203|
|Massachusetts||$10,699 – $13,791|
|Maryland||$9,750 – $12,359|
|New Jersey||$9,826 – $12,745|
|New York||$9,791 – $14,356|
|Texas||$8,995 – $11,977|
|Washington||$11,274 – $14,911|
From table A, there’s a lot to takeaway if you’re a U.S. homeowner. The bottom line is that you can never assume where solar will be affordable because even rainy Washington is one of the best states for solar power in 2016. Remember, the cost of solar depends on a lot of factors, so these numbers are just meant to be a starting point. In most cases, you should be able to find a 5kW solar system in this price range – if you receive offers from solar companies that are much higher or lower, be sure to ask follow up questions. Solar financing options can be a lot to learn in a short period of time for new solar shoppers so make sure to read up on various options so you can understand your potential for savings, payback period and energy offset.
How much electricity can 5,000 watts of PV panels produce?
The amount of electricity your solar panels produce depends on many factors, including the direction and angle of your roof. The most important one is how sunny it is where you live – for example, a 5kW system in Las Vegas makes about 30 percent more electricity in a year than one in Philadelphia. That being said, you don’t have to live in the Southwest for solar to make sense for you. The cost of electricity where you live is the biggest determinant of your solar savings.
The table below shows average estimated electricity production numbers for 5kW solar energy systems in cities across the U.S. By comparison, the average household in the U.S. uses 911 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a month, which equals 10,932 kWh per year. We estimated these numbers using a tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory called PV Watts.
Solar electricity output of 5 kW solar panel systems in top U.S. cities
|City||Average daily kWh||Average monthly kWh||Average annual kWh|
|Las Vegas, NV||26.8||816||9,794|
|Los Angeles, CA||21.7||660||7,915|
|New York City||17.5||531||6,372|
For a more in-depth look at how solar can save you money – no matter which area of the country you live in – check out the following articles:
- Top 10 Cities for Solar (Hint: They Aren’t the Sunniest)
- What’s the Financial Value of Solar for Residential Customers? (Part 1): Ranking America’s 50 Largest Cities
- What’s the Financial Value of Solar for Residential Customers? (Part 2): Educating the Public on Solar’s Value and their Available Options
3 tips to help you get the best deal on a 5kW solar system
Homeowners who get multiple quotes save 10% or more
As with any big ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offered by the large installers in the solar industry.
To find the smaller contractors that typically offer lower prices, you’ll need to use an installer network like EnergySage. You can receive free quotes from vetted installers local to you when you register your property on our Solar Marketplace – homeowners who get 3 or more quotes can expect to save $5,000 to $10,000 on their solar panel installation.
The biggest installers typically don’t offer the best price
The bigger isn’t always better mantra is one of the main reasons we strongly encourage homeowners to consider all of their solar options, not just the brands large enough to pay for the most advertising. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the big installers in solar, make sure you compare those bids with quotes from local installers to ensure you don’t overpay for solar.
Comparing all your equipment options is just as important
National-scale installers don’t just offer higher prices – they also tend to have fewer solar equipment options, which can have a significant impact on your system’s electricity production. By collecting a diverse array of solar bids, you can compare costs and savings based on the different equipment packages available to you.
There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find the “sweet spot” for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.
For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers up front cost and long term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.