If you’ve been looking into going solar, you’ve probably at some point seen quotes for a 6kW solar system. 6kW solar systems are one of the most popular system sizes in the US because in most places they will produce about the right amount of electricity to meet an average household’s daily electrical needs.
Solar leases & PPAs have made going solar accessible for virtually anyone with a roof, but what if you’re thinking about purchasing a system? Since you’ll probably be spending your own money, you’ll want to be extra selective about the installer who does the job and the components that are used.
This article investigates these questions: 1) How much does a 6kW solar system cost, 2) how much electricity will a 6kW system produce, and 3) how do you know you’re getting the best deal?
How Much Does a 6kW Solar System Cost in 2018?
As of January 2018 the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $3.14 per watt ($18,840 for a 6 kilowatt system). That means that the total cost for a 6kW solar system would be $13,188 after the 30% Federal ITC discount (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).
6,000 watt solar system costs: What’s the going rate in your state?
EnergySage Solar Marketplace data
EnergySage also has access to pricing data provided by our network of pre-screened installation companies who participate in our Solar Marketplace. The figures below represent a rough approximation of the range of prices on offer in various states for 2018 to date, after the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is taken into account.
Keep in mind that you may qualify for additional rebates and incentives. Try our free Instant Estimate tool to get more precise numbers.
The main takeaway from the table below is this: If you see prices significantly higher than these, ask questions. There could be a good reason to pay more, but if that’s the case, you should know why and understand how the offer delivers better value.
How much does a 6 kW solar system cost in your state?
|State||6 kW solar system price range (2018)|
|Arizona||$10,332 – $12,096|
|California||$11,928 – $15,204|
|Colorado||$11,676 – $14,952|
|Florida||$9,198 – $11,970|
|Massachusetts||$12,264 – $15,372|
|Maryland||$10,332 – $12,768|
|New Jersey||$11,802 – $14,574|
|New York||$12,264 – $16,044|
|Texas||$10,962 – $13,818|
|Washington||$9,954 – $13,650|
These prices are after the 30% tax credit has been deducted, and are indicative only.
EnergySage is here to make your solar shopping experience easier. Check out our Solar Marketplace to learn how we help you make the best choice. Joining is 100% free!
How much electricity will a 6kW solar system produce?
However, the primary determining factor is the amount of sunlight that your area receives: For example, all things being equal, a 6kW solar system in San Diego, California will produce about 20% more electricity annually than a system in the Northeast US.
Table 2 below shows average daily, monthly and annual solar energy production numbers for a 6kW solar system in various US cities. As you can see, systems located in sunnier cities produce more electricity than less sunny cities. These figures, and other back-of-envelope calculations may be helpful in figuring out how much money you save on your power bill.
Daily output of a 2 kW solar panel system in U.S. cities
|City||Average daily kWh||Average monthly kWh||Average annual kWh|
|Las Vegas, NV||28.9||880||10565|
|Los Angeles, CA||26.0||792||9,501|
|New York City||21.0||637||7,649|
Remember: Sunshine isn’t the only factor
The numbers in Table 2 will help you to calculate how much money you could potentially save on your power bill by going solar. But keep in mind that electricity production is only one determinant in how much you can save with solar. 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
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.