Tax Incentives for Off Grid Living
The cost of installing solar panels for a residential energy system in the United States ranges from $16,870 to $23,170 after federal tax incentives. However, this cost can vary depending on factors such as location, number of panels, panel brand and efficiency, and whether you choose professional or DIY installation.
Your total cost for installing solar panels is made up of several components. Approximately 25% of the cost goes towards the solar panels themselves, 10% for inverters, 10% for racking, mounting, and balance of system (BOS) pieces, and 55% for installation and other costs.
The cost per watt of solar panels can range from $.70 to $1.50, and factors such as the panel manufacturer's reputation, warranty, efficiency, type, and aesthetics can affect the cost. Inverters, which convert DC power to AC power, typically cost around $.30 - $.40 per watt. Racking, mounting, and BOS pieces, which include grounding hardware and conduit, can cost around $.25 - $.50 per watt and vary depending on your location and system size.
To save money on your solar installation, consider using high-efficiency solar panels only if you have limited space, opt for a cost-friendly type of panel such as thin-film, and choose a solar inverter with excellent features and benefits that is easy to install. Additionally, you can use our Solar Calculator to determine the number of panels you need and find the best system size for your home.