Yes, You Can Afford To Go Solar - The Cost Of Solar Panels in 2021

The Cost Of Solar Panels 2021

It’s the number one question everyone asks when considering solar panel installation: “How much do solar panels cost?”

The good news is that the cost to install home solar power saw a 70% decrease from 2010 to 2016 according to statistics from the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). That’s huge! No other electricity generation technology has been able to keep up with such a rapid pace of cost reduction.

In fact, can you think of anything else, anything, that’s experienced such a decline in cost? Neither can we!

While costs have continued to decrease since 2016, it has been at a slower pace, so the cost to go solar has pretty much stabilized. Meaning there is no better time than now to go solar. Any cost savings you may see by delaying your decision is not likely to offset the savings you would forego by waiting.

A number of factors determine the final price of a PV system, including its size, component options and configuration, labor costs, local permitting costs and available incentives and tax credits. The cost of a solar electric system is measured in dollars per watt. The cost of a residential solar system is currently averaging $3-5 per watt, depending on the state you live in. That means the average 5-kW residential system will cost $15,000-$25,000, prior to tax credits or incentives.

But Is It Cost-Effective?

As Moore's Law suggests, technology tends to improve over time. The real question to ask today is, “Are solar panels cost-effective in 2021?”

The answer is yes – preliminary estimates for this past year show the cost of solar power has gone down substantially year over year.

When people perhaps first began installing panels around 2010, solar power on average cost much, much more per watt than it does today. Was it cost-effective? Maybe. But not nearly as much as it is today.

What is Driving the Declining Cost of Solar Power?

One of the main drivers bringing down the cost of solar power in the last decade is the tremendous growth in solar panel installation. Solar generation has experienced an average annual growth rate of 49%, which activates what’s called the “economy of scale.” Thanks to increasing demand across the private and public sector for clean electricity, there are now more than 89 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity installed nationwide, enough to power 16 million homes.

Add to that the impact of technological improvements and a competitive marketplace among a large base of experienced, internationally active project developers, and you have all the ingredients for a financial adjustment in the cost of solar.

Thus, solar panel installation cost has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade, leading the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide.

Over the next 20 years, solar research firm Wood Mackenzie expects more than 2.6 terawatts (TW) of solar power to come on stream globally, taking renewables’ share of the world’s power capacity, including wind power, from 10% today to an impressive 30%.

And while the solar panel cost decreases, advancements in solar panel materials and methods used for fabricating photovoltaic solar cell has gotten better, too! Keep reading to learn more.

Solar Cost is Lower Than It Has Ever Been

Solar panels are converting more and more of the energy from the sun into electricity for a home than ever before, meaning you need fewer panels to generate the same amount of energy.

The first silicon solar cell, introduced in 1941, was reported to have had less than 1% energy conversion efficiency. Due to the many recent advances in solar cell technology over the past five years, average panel conversion efficiency has increased from 15% to 20%!

The more energy that is converted by a single panel, the fewer panels a home will need.

The average nameplate power output of a standard 72-cell multi-silicon module was around 290 watts in 2010. Today, consumers can expect at least 345 watts, at one-tenth of the 2010 price.

The upshot is that an average-sized residential system has dropped from a pre-incentive price of $40,000 in 2010 to roughly $20,000 today!

“Pre-incentive?” Are There Tax Credits for Solar Panels?

Yes, there are more incentives, many of which you are probably aware of.

Strong federal policies such as the Residential Energy Efficiency tax credit bring the cost of going solar down even more! Your state and local governments may have financial incentives as well.

You may be ready right now to request a quote from Sunnova Energy for solar installation, but let’s a look at those government incentives first!

2021 Federal Solar Tax Credits and State Solar Incentives

When you own the home solar system, you are eligible to apply for up to 100% of the available federal and state incentives and rebates.

As this recent article in Forbes magazine explains, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which was scheduled to drop from 26% to 22% in 2021, will stay at 26% for two more years and not drop to 22% until 2023. For a $20,000 system, the 26% federal credit would be $5,200, compared to $4,400 under the 22% credit.

Several states also offer solar tax credits and solar tax rebates. People who own their solar system and/or battery in participating states may be able to claim these expenses on their local taxes or receive cashback on their installation. While you may be eligible for a solar tax credit or a solar tax rebate with the purchase of a home solar system, please remember that tax incentives are subject to change.

Click on your state to see what credits and incentives you may be eligible to apply for.



Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Solar Tax Credit

Federal Tax Credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.


    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Maryland

Maryland Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State Incentives (only for loan products)

  • You may be eligible to earn $1000 rebate check for a PV solar system sized between 1- 20kW.
  • You may be eligible to claim up to 30% of your battery storage costs, up to $5,000, on state income taxes.
  • Earn one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every 1,000 kWh (1.0 Mwh) your solar system produces. The value of the credits can increase or decrease depending upon the SREC market value. You can sell your Certificates directly or with a third-party broker specialized in SRECs.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

New Mexico

New Mexico Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State Incentives (only for loan products)

  • You may be eligible for a rebate program of $0.20 per watt up to $1,000, or 30% of the cost of the system for solar systems under 10 kilowatts (kW), whichever is less.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Colorado

Colorado Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Texas

Texas Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

Utility and City incentives (only for loan products)

  • Austin Energy – you may be eligible to earn $2,500 rebate by completing their solar education course and installing a qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your home.
  • CoServ Electric Cooperative – you may be eligible to earn isolar rebates on qualified purchases based on kW installed, up to a maximum of $3,100 per residential Member.
  • CPS Energy in San Antonio – you may be eligible to earn a rebate incentive of $2,500 for qualifying residential project.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Connecticut

Connecticut Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Solar Tax Credits

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Hawaii

Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State Incentives (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim up to 25% of solar panel costs, up to $1,000, on state income taxes.

 



  • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
  • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
  • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
  • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker


    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Arizona

Arizona Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State Incentives (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim up to 25% of solar panel costs, up to $1,000, on state income taxes.

 

Utility Incentives (only mention for loan products)

  • SRP Utility Customers – you may be eligible to earn a battery storage incentive in the amount of $300 per kWh-DC, up to $3600, when purchasing a battery and agreeing to participate in the utility’s battery research study.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

California

California Solar Tax Credit

Federal Tax Credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State Incentives (only for loan products)

  • California Self Generating Incentive Program (SGIP) – Depending on the current step, you may be eligible to receive approximately $250/kilowatt-hour, which means the rebate covers approximately 25 percent of the cost of an average energy storage system.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

South Carolina

South Carolina Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Florida

Florida Solar Tax Credit

Federal Tax Credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Illinois

Illinois Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

New Jersey

New Jersey Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State incentive (only for loan products)

  • Earn 60% of one Transition Renewable Energy Credit (TREC) for every 1,000 kWh (1.0 Mwh) your solar system produces. You can sell your TRECs directly to a TREC administrator.
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    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

New York

New York Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State incentive (only for loan products)

  • You may be eligible for a solar energy system equipment credit up to 25% of the qualified solar system equipment expenditure, up to $5,000, on state income taxes.
  •  



    • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
    • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
    • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
    • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Solar Tax Credit

Federal tax credit (only for loan products)

  • May be eligible to claim some of the system’s cost as a credit on your federal taxes.

 

State incentive (only for loan products)

  • With the Renewable Energy Fund, Small-Scale Program, you may be eligible to receive $0.85/W incentive when installing a solar system, up to $7,000 per project.

 



  • Federal tax credit o You may be eligible for a federal tax credit with the purchase of a solar system and/or battery. To qualify for the tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Tax incentives are subject to change or termination by executive, legislative or regulatory action. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding eligibility of any of the solar system and/or battery’s costs for tax benefits. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility requirements.
  • Statewide rising utility rates – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to EIA’s state-by-state analysis” o EIA’s state-by-state CAGR Analysis shows an increase in residential electricity rates across all US States since 1990. To see the CAGR Analysis for your state go to EIA Sales and Revenue (1990- Current) – https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/
  • 2017 Power outage data– Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2017 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2017 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker
  • 2008-2017 Power outage data – Note: if you can not add the disclaimer, please use the following language “According to 2018 Easton Blackout report” o The area of each outage and number of customers affected varied per outage. Source: Eaton Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report 2018 - https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/blackout-tracker

Washington D.C.

District of Columbia Solar Tax Credit

Net metering

Net metering is one of the most important ways in which residential solar panels benefit homeowners. Solar panels tend to make a lot of energy during the middle of the day, when most folks aren’t home to use it. So some of the solar energy your panels produce is used to power your home’s appliances, and the extra is sent back onto the grid (when allowed by your utility), reducing your home’s net usage. 

Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity your panels produce reduces your consumption and could reduce your electricity bill by one kWh. Also, if you have any excess and your utility offers net metering you can send the excess power back and get credited according to your utility’s net metering rate.  

That’s Great! But What About the Solar Panel Installation Cost for MY Home?

If you are curious about how much solar panels cost, it generally depends on a few factors. These include:

  • The size of your home solar system 
  • Whether you buy or lease 
  • Whether you qualify for federal, state, or local incentives (applicable only when you own the system); and Whether you install a battery

When installing solar on your home’s roof, there are several factors to consider.

Electricity needs – How much energy you currently consume will directly relate to how big of a solar system you need and how many panels you need to support your home’s energy needs.

Where you live – How much sun exposure your home’s roof gets will directly correlate to how much energy your solar system can produce and will impact how many panels you need for your home. More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save with solar.

Choice of solar panels - Better panels produce more energy more efficiently. The efficiency of the solar panels directly impacts the savings you can experience.

Roof angle - In solar panel installation, it is important to angle the solar panels so they can get maximum exposure to the sun. This is not a problem when the roof is angled, but it can be if the roof is flat. Houses with irregular rooflines, skylights, and challenging angles can make installation more complicated.

Installation labor and project management - Different areas have different regulations regarding the installation of solar panels. In some areas, this process might require the contractor to pay more than the average cost or to spend more time than usual getting the license.

Purchasing options and incentives – The payment option you choose will affect your costs, as well as your eligibility for incentives.

With Sunnova, your new solar system includes parts (solar panels, inverters, mounting equipment, conduit, and other components) and installation labor, as well as project management, including HOA approvals, permitting, and inspections.

Leasing Solar Panels vs. Buying

Sunnova offers several energy plans so you’ll have an easier time choosing an affordable, worry-free solar energy plan for your home. There are pros and cons for each from a cost perspective. See below for a breakdown and things to consider when choosing the right option for you.

  • Easy Plan™ Power Purchase Agreement or Lease
  • Overall, your solar lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) payments and remaining utility bill are typically lower than your previous electric bill.1
  • Receive competitive pricing on your home solar system without the hassle of applying for federal and state incentives and rebates.
  • Ability to transfer the agreement to the new homeowner so they can lock in a low kWh rate.
  • Gain protection against theft or damage to your home solar system and battery. Sunnova obtains insurance coverage – at no extra cost!
  • Sign Up
  • Easy Own Plan™ Loan/Finance Agreement
  • Overall, your monthly payment for your solar loan/finance agreement and remaining utility bill are typically lower than your previous electric bill.2
  • Eligible to apply and receive up to 100% of the available federal and state incentives and rebates.
  • Potentially increase your home’s value by factoring in the cost of your solar system as you would any other major home upgrade (ability to also transfer the agreement to a new homeowner).3
  • Homeowner must pay for and provide insurance for the solar system.
  • Sign Up

When choosing the right payment option, it is also important to consider the following:

  • Do you have enough tax liability to claim a portion of your solar system costs on your federal income taxes? If your taxes are more than your solar credit, a loan/finance agreement may make the most sense since you can take full advantage of the federal tax credit. Even if you don’t use it all in the first year, you can “rollover” the remaining credits into future years for as long as the tax credit is in effect.
  • Does your state or utility offer incentives when going solar or installing a battery? If so, a loan/finance agreement may be a great option for you since you would be eligible to apply for these incentives.
  • How much will it cost to add your home solar system to your homeowner’s policy? If your premium will go up significantly by adding your solar system  to your homeowner’s policy, you might want to consider a lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) since Sunnova would then provide insurance for the home solar system.

Find out more about solar panel financing through Sunnova.

What Impact Does Adding a Battery Have on Solar Panel Cost?

Here is the number one, first thing you should know about batteries:

Just as the cost of solar panel installation has drastically diminished over the past few years, the price of the type of lithium-ion batteries used in solar installs has fallen by about 80% over the past five years!

In addition, work is ongoing to make battery technology safer, more powerful and more accessible, bringing a carbon-free energy system ever closer to reality.

Moreover, when evaluating the cost of adding a battery to your home solar system, you need to think about the additional benefits you get compared to getting energy from your utility, or even from a solar-only system – it’s not necessarily an apples to apples comparison; more like apples to oranges.

Unlike a solar-only system or traditional utility energy, a battery enables you to power your most needed lights and appliances during a power outage, and will also protect your from rising peak utility rates. Now those are two distinct advantages that homeowners can appreciate! See how long a home battery backup can power your home with our home battery backup calculator.

In fact, homeowners, and businesses as well, are increasingly demanding solar systems that are paired with battery storage. While this pairing is still relatively new, the growth over the next five years is expected to be significant. By 2025, more than 25% of all behind-the-meter solar systems will be paired with storage, compared to less than 5% in 2019.

Here's why

  • Traditional Utility Energy
  • Exposed to power outages
  • Vulnerable to rising utility prices*
  • Electricity provided by utility
  • Pay peak utility rates
  • With a Home solar + battery storage system
  • ✓ Resilient backup power by continuing to produce solar energy during a power outage**
  • ✓ Always know what you’ll pay for your solar + battery storage service
  • ✓ Produce your own renewable solar energy for your home - right from your rooftop
  • ✓ Protection from peak rates (when on a time-of-use utility rate plan)
  • Sign Up

So Here Is the Bottom Line on Solar Panel Cost vs. Savings

What we know today:

  • The cost to go solar has decreased, while the technology has improved.
  • There are several factors to consider when deciding to go solar.
  • Battery costs have also declined significantly and have great benefits for the homeowner.

Not surprisingly, home solar system configurations can vary greatly, based on all we’ve learned above. So clearly, the best way – perhaps the only way! –to find out how much it will cost to go solar is to get a quote.

While that may seem obvious, not all quotes are the same. Sunnova dealers will work with you to build a home solar system that meets your energy needs while taking your roof size, shading, and other considerations into account. All while keeping your specific goals in mind.

Talk to a solar expert about making the switch to solar energy today!

  


1. This statement is based on Sunnova sales data from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020 and is based on current electricity usage provided by the customer and the expected year 1 cumulative customer savings. This statement is not inclusive of costs for energy storage. 2. This statement is based on Sunnova sales data from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020 and is based on current electricity usage provided by the customer and the expected year 1 cumulative customer savings. This statement is not inclusive of costs for energy storage.