Solar power continues to grow as people and homeowners find more sustainable ways to live to help the environment and save money on energy costs over time. One of those ways people are living sustainably is by installing solar roof panels.
Solar roof panels can power your entire home without the reliance on the electrical power grid. This can save you a lot of money over time, depending on your location and usage. Google has created a fun tool called Project Sunroof that allows you to plug in your address and determine how much money you could save switching to solar power, plus a customized solar analysis including estimated cost.
If you find that you could make back the money you pay for the installation of solar panels over time, then you’ll want to start looking into companies and the cost to replace your roof with solar panels. This post should help you get a ballpark idea of what that solar roof cost may be.
Nation’s Top Residential Solar Panel Manufacturers
You probably hear a lot about Tesla being one of the frontrunners for all things solar and electric. This is definitely true, but many other companies have been installing solar panels on residential homes for years. We’ll focus on the top three leading companies for this purpose. The biggest residential solar installers in the U.S. are:
- Vivint Solar
- Sun Run
Honorable mentions include Seraphim Solar, Solar Electric America, SolarTech Universal, SolSunTech, SunPower, and SunSpark. A whole of sun puns in those names, huh? We love to see it! Now, let’s get into how much it actually costs to install solar panels on your home.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?
Several factors play into how much the cost of your solar panel installation will be. These factors include your home’s size, where you live, what manufacturer you use, and how many kilowatts you need/use. Plus, there are tax credits and things that can play into saving you money on the large upfront cost, but we’ll get to those.
A standard mid-sized system will be around 6kW, and after the federal solar tax credit, homeowners can expect to spend an average of around $14,940 upfront. This is based on the national average cost of watts, which is $2.49 as of January 2021 (all figures will be from January 2021). Again, this is a ballpark estimate and can change based on the manufacturer and location.
National Average Solar Roof Cost
Cost per watt: $2.49/watt (as of January 2021)
Total cost of a small 4kW install: $9,960
Total cost for a medium 6kW install: $14,940
Total cost of a large 12kW install: $29,880
Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof
Cost per watt: $2.01/watt
4kW install cost: $8,040
6kW install cost: $12,060
12kW install cost: $24,120
Cost of a Vivint Solar Roof
Cost per watt: $3.56/watt
4kW install cost: $14,240
6kW install cost: $21,360
12kW install cost: $42,720
Cost of a Sun Run Solar Roof
Cost per watt: $3.55/watt
4kW install cost: $14,200
6kW install cost:$21,300
12kW install cost: $42,600
Tesla’s cost per watt has gone down pretty significantly since 2019, and remains the supreme option for solar roof panels for 2021. You can also view some statistics on the average cost for a solar roof based on wattage, before and after tax credits here.
This data reflects solely the cost of a roof based on cost/watt. These totals can change as more specifications are made and depend on your roof’s size and where/how the panels will be installed. That being said, Tesla’s cost for a solar roof install or replacement can spike up much higher than is shown here. To the tune of around $25,000 total for a mid-sized install.
However, due to the high-quality of Tesla solar panels or tiles, the roofs can last a very long time, and you will make up what you paid up-front within 15-20 years. Plus, the discounts you receive from any federal tax credit can also make it worth the cost.
Overall, you can expect to spend anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000 for a solar roof panel installation or replacement. You can find out more costs by material on our blog here before deciding what to go with.