It’s exciting to think about the savings you can get by switching to clean solar energy, but when it’s time to actually install solar panels on your roof one of the first questions is: how much does it cost to go solar, anyway? Let's take a look at the average price of solar in Colorado and what that means for different sized residential solar systems.
Average Cost of Solar Panel Systems
The size of the solar panel system is the most heavily weighted factor in determining cost. This size is based on your electricity usage and measured in kilowatts (kW). A properly sized system will maximize your savings and return on investment (ROI). According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the 2017 benchmark price for an average home solar system would be $12,848 after the current 30% federal tax credit. However this figure is based on nation-wide data.
In 2018, Colorado solar pricing is currently averaging around $3.30 per watt before the 30% federal tax credit. That means:
- A 4 kW solar system would cost about $13,200, resulting in a cost of $9,240 after the 30% federal tax credit.
- A 6 kW solar system would cost about $19,800, or $13,860 after the 30% federal tax credit.
- A 8 kW solar system would cost about $26,400, or $18,480 after the 30% federal tax credit.
Don’t worry if your home uses a lot of electricity, because larger solar electric systems often have a lower cost per watt; that’s because the same fixed costs are associated with all solar electric projects, regardless of system size.
Each home is unique, so your actual total cost could be higher or lower than average based on factors like your energy usage, system size, local requirements or solar incentives, usable roof space and roof pitch, the direction your roof faces, length of conduit runs, mount type, panel choice, financing options, aesthetic preferences, and more. The only way to find out what solar would cost for your home is to get a custom quote from a local solar installer who will account for all of these factors.
Beware Online Calculators
Most online solar calculators are based on “average” homes and can’t accurately assess the cost and overall savings potential of solar for your specific home. We’ve checked many of them and found that they don’t provide accurate information, and in many cases are way off. Contact a local solar provider for a customized quote. It’s free and it’ll provide you with the most accurate information.
How Will I Pay For It?
There are a variety of ways to pay for your residential solar system, and your local solar company will help you find the option that’s best for you. One option, of course, is to pay cash up front. This option will allow you to skip interest payments and put the maximum cash savings in your pocket immediately. Solar is a good investment and people who are currently getting a low return on investment somewhere often want to get the better ROI solar offers.
A solar loan is also a great option because you can use attractive, low-interest loans and even $0 down financing that allows you to go solar with no upfront cost. Want to get the benefits of your 30% tax credit immediately without waiting to file your taxes? That’s possible, too. In addition to working with a solar lending partner, there’s also an option to use your own financing options, like a home equity line of credit. Lastly, some solar installers offer leasing options, meaning you’re essentially renting your own solar panel system. Namasté Solar doesn’t offer or recommend leasing because we don’t think it’s a good financial deal for most customers.
The cost of the solar system is important, but there’s also the savings it generates. The closer your PV system can come to offsetting all of your electric usage, the better. Residential electricity prices increased by 21% between 2007 and 2017 and this upward trend is likely to continue, but with your own source of production your electricity cost is locked in at a much lower rate. That’s how home solar systems give you independence from rising and unpredictable energy costs while saving you money over time.
Those cash savings are your dividends on your solar investment, comparable to more traditional investments like stocks and bonds.
Finding Out What You Could Save With Solar
Selecting the right solar company is an important step in the process. To ensure a smooth switch to clean solar, we strongly recommend checking with friends who’ve gone solar and/or reading online reviews. Also, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples with competitive quotes, namely in the system size and kWh production estimates.
The Namasté Solar sales team does not work on commission, so our free quotes are a quick, easy, no-hassle way to find out how much solar can save you. If you decide to work with us, your expert home solar advisor will help you assess the cost and benefits of solar and act as your guide through the design, installation, and activation process. Start a conversation to learn more about solar for your home and to see how much you could save.
Get expert, honest answers to the top questions you need to ask when considering solar for your home. Download the Essential Home Solar Buying Guide.
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