5kw solar energy system

What does a 5,000 watt (5 kW) solar system cost in the U.S.?

5 kW solar systems are near 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?

As of January 2022, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $2.776 per watt ($13,850 for a 5 kilowatt system). That means that the total 5kW solar system cost would be $10,249 after the federal solar tax credit (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 not had the 26 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?  

State5 kW solar system price range
Arizona$10,350 – $12,950
California$12,000 – $14,900
Colorado$14,100 – $17,200
Florida$10,700 – $13,700
Massachusetts$13,750 – $17,350
Maryland$12,550 – $16,650
New Jersey$12,000 – $15,900
New York$13,550 – $18,050
Texas$11,350 – $15,050
Washington$11,550 – $14,850

From the table, there’s a lot to take away 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. 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 893 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a month, which equals 10,715 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

CityAverage daily kWhAverage monthly kWhAverage annual kWh
Austin, TX20.36177,405
Boston, MA18.15516,606
Cleveland, OH16.65066,071
Denver, CO20.96377,639
Hartford, CT17.15196,223
Las Vegas, NV26.88169,794
Los Angeles, CA21.76607,915
Miami, FL20.06097,313
New York City17.55316,372
Philadelphia, PA17.95436,513
Phoenix, AZ23.77208,643
Seattle, WA14.94545,447

Three Tips for Solar Shoppers

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 upfront 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.

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8 thoughts on “What does a 5,000 watt (5 kW) solar system cost in the U.S.?

  1. Sympl

    Thanks for writing a detailed guide, In Pakistan prices, are changing fast because of the dollar rate fluctuating, Hard to write about pricing!

  2. Ken

    We went solar in October 2017. This is a very good article to begin your process.
    Our cost was $3.10 per Wh for a 5.94 Kwh system which included a new electrical panel and Solar Edge Inverter and Monitoring. Those are critical parts of the system which you need to research. This project also included the installation of a 50 yr roof (not included in the $3.10 system costs). Since then the combined company has gone out of business with the Solar component purchased by another Solar Energy company. They have responded to a system glitch and updated the firmware of our system. You need long term warranty coverage and small operators may not support your system when you need them. We probably lost the 50 yr warranty coverage of the shingles through a local company but they are name brand shingles if we have future problems. We also received Federal and State tax credits on the Solar upgrade and some of the infrastructure improvements so the entire costs were lower after applying those. We also locked in a 1:1 exchange with the local power company for 17 years. There is no buying or selling but our annual electric bill has dropped to the grid connection charge plus a few KWh of grid drawdown. Less than $20 in 2019.

    1. Kurt Loban

      I am buying my 10 KW system from China. A little DIY and after the credit it comes to about 90 cents per Wh, but obviously a lot more risk. Wish me luck!

  3. Alberto Ortiz

    This is a great article and we will pass it along to others. We paid $2.06 net per watt for a 4.6 Kw system after manufacturer’s rebate and the 30% Federal tax credit. We signed the agreement in August 2018 and installation was completed on December 20, 2018.

    We found and used a city program in our area called Solarize that released an RFP and evaluated financial statements of local installers then selected contractors based the RFP criteria. This resulted in the selection of two contractors of which we signed an agreement with one of them.

    The contractor used 327W modules from SunPower that provided for our case the best cost-benefit. We were aware that there are more premium modules or solutions. We feel comfortable with the efficiency of the modules and the 92% warranry production after 25 years.

  4. William Marcom

    You can readily find used 24 volt, 300+ watt solar panels on Craigslist in the DFW area for around 60 cents per watt. Sometimes these are “pallet only” quantities, but not always.

  5. Jason Green

    I’m an Energy Advisor for the Bay Area Regional Energy Network. Thank you for providing this article. I send this link to homeowners often. As an Energy Advisor, we offer to review estimates for free and I’m personally noticing a large price increase in the Bay Area which I believe is due to hype and sales tactics due to the recent Solar Tariffs. In January and February I was seeing per/watt prices between $3.26 to $4.80. Recently I’m seeing prices doubled for oversea panels. Can this article be updated with a Month-to-Month price-per-watt table to reflect recent Solar, Steel, and Aluminum tariffs? Or is there another article provided by EnergySage?

    Earlier this month I attended a Green Drinks meetup and heard some interesting information about the Solar Tariffs. The presenter said residential solar will likely have an average price rise somewhere between 0.10¢ to 0.25¢ per watt increase. Steel and aluminum tariffs will further raise the price 0.04¢ to 0.11¢ per watt. I do not have a source for his numbers and was hoping EnergySage could provide these updates as a reliable source.



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