Solar Panel Cost Guide in Birmingham, AL (Dec 2022)

  • Birmingham Solar Installation Cost: $15,555
  • 25-Year Savings: $34,544
  • Payback Period: 7.8 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Birmingham

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Birmingham.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Birmingham typically cost about $2. To account for the typical energy usage of the average home in Birmingham, most homeowners require a 9.1-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $15,555, or $11,511 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar panel system could cost. The exact cost of making the switch to solar can vary depending on a few factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what solar installer you go with. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average homeowners in Birmingham see about $21,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a pre-vetted solar company in Birmingham that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Birmingham

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,551
3 years $-9,543
5 years $-5,535
7 years $-1,527
9 years $2,481
11 years $6,489
13 years $10,497
15 years $14,504
17 years $18,512
19 years $22,520
21 years $26,528
23 years $30,536
25 years $34,544

Top Solar Installers in Birmingham

Trying to install solar panels by yourself can be a difficult task, which is why hiring a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. Solar companies provide key benefits that can help you maximize your investment, like warranties, monitoring and free repairs.

Working with a vetted solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. Here are our recommendations:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in Birmingham

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Birmingham

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners considering investing in solar. There are a few primary factors that affect your total cost in Birmingham: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll discuss each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar energy system in Birmingham, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are mainly based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,450 for each additional kilowatt you need. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Birmingham, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be a better option. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Birmingham have solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital to consider that as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you get to install your solar panel system can affect your pricing. Birmingham's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Additionally, some companies in Birmingham have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you more money in the long run.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.55 $10,702 $22,430 8.1 years
8 kW $2.50 $13,994 $30,181 7.9 years
10 kW $2.45 $17,150 $38,069 7.8 years
12 kW $2.40 $20,168 $46,094 7.6 years
14 kW $2.35 $23,050 $54,257 7.5 years
16 kW $2.30 $25,794 $62,556 7.3 years
18 kW $2.25 $28,400 $70,993 7.1 years
20 kW $2.21 $30,870 $79,568 7.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the company you choose considerably impacts your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Contract: When reading through your solar installer's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system component breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The kind of solar panel you want to get plays a part in which company you should opt for, since different companies provide different panels.
  • Installation Process: An important thing to understand when adopting solar energy is the installation process itself. Be sure to align on any details you should know with your solar company, such as what permits you should acquire and how long the project will take.
  • Warranty: If you're concerned about the endurance of your solar system, making sure your installer offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Birmingham, AL Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Birmingham?

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $12,250 for a 5-kW system and $24,500 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Birmingham?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to get the most savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Birmingham?

Most states have net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can receive compensation for the extra power your system produces or or receive credits to put toward future electricity bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and how much sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to install between 20 and 35 panels to cover their typical energy usage.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Company research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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