Average cost of solar panels for homes in California as of March, 2019 is $3.18 per watt. This means that for a 5 kW residential solar system the cost is $15,900 before solar incentives and $11,130 after claiming back the solar tax credit. The average monthly payment is $96 making even zero down solar systems cash flow positive from day 1.
Solar consumers are eligible for federal tax incentives for the purchase and installation of eligible solar systems, including both solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water (solar thermal) systems, as well as other renewable energy investments.
Solar tax credits were enacted in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which included $18 billion in incentives for clean and renewable energy technologies, as well as for energy efficiency improvements. The 2008 legislation extended the Solar Investment Tax credit or ITC through December 31, 2016 and made other modifications to the tax credits. Legislation in late 2015 renewed these credits for five years with an incremental de-escalation of the credits.
The solar ITC offers a 30% federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial consumers until December 31, 2019. The credit drops to 26% through the end of 2020, then 22% through 2021 before dropping to zero by the end of 2021.
Our solar electricity cost calculator will calculate how many solar panels you need for your home to cover your energy bill and get live current solar offers on the correct size solar system from the best local solar providers near you. In some cases solar payback can be as short as 5-8 years, leaving you with 20 years or more of free power.
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Current solar panels cost per watt in each state in March 2019
|State||Cash Purchase (installed) $/watt before 30% solar tax credit||Financed Systems (installed) $/watt before 30% solar tax credit||Calculate My Monthly Payment|
|District of Columbia||$3.29||$3.65||Calculate|
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Solar is a relatively new industry and there are still vastly different prices being offered by different solar companies for solar systems.
How much should I pay for solar panels? There is no simple answer to this question but understanding these factors will allow you to do a better job of ranking the solar quotes that you get back from solar providers near you.