Solar Panel Cost Guide in Opelika, AL (Sep 2022)

  • Opelika Solar Installation Cost: $15,246
  • 25-Year Savings: $33,327
  • Payback Period: 7.8 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Opelika

Here's how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Opelika.

The average cost of solar panels in Opelika is $2 per watt. To account for the typical energy usage of the average home in Opelika, most homeowners require a 8.9-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $15,246, or $11,282 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Opelika homeowner. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar is worth paying. On average Opelika homeowners see about $21,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

To receive a free quote from a vetted solar company in Opelika, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Opelika

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,303
3 years $-9,418
5 years $-5,532
7 years $-1,646
9 years $2,240
11 years $6,126
13 years $10,012
15 years $13,898
17 years $17,783
19 years $21,669
21 years $25,555
23 years $29,441
25 years $33,327

Top Solar Installers in Opelika

Many homeowners choose to use a solar installation company since trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be a lot of work. Also, if you'd like to maximize your investment in solar, going with a solar company can help with that as well. Different providers can offer warranties, expertise on installation and sometimes even information on local incentives and net metering programs.

Working with a vetted solar company can make going solar easier. 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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Opelika

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Opelika

For many Opelika homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Opelika, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a number of factors that greatly influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment Size

The size of the system you need is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of installing solar panels. For that reason, it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Opelika, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or limited space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Opelika, which can bring down, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the original cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you hire to install your solar panel system can affect your pricing. Opelika's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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 $22,086 8.2 years
8 kW $2.50 $13,994 $29,722 8.0 years
10 kW $2.45 $17,150 $37,495 7.8 years
12 kW $2.40 $20,168 $45,406 7.7 years
14 kW $2.35 $23,050 $53,454 7.5 years
16 kW $2.30 $25,794 $61,639 7.4 years
18 kW $2.25 $28,400 $69,961 7.2 years
20 kW $2.21 $30,870 $78,421 7.1 years

Solar Incentives in Opelika

Name ITC
Type Tax Incentive
Incentive Amount 26% of installation cost
Website Visit here

Name Local Option- Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Faclities
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you choose will be a major factor in determining not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should consider, such as:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have proven expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from past customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type offers varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panel system running for a long time and save you money on repairs and maintenance.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Opelika, AL Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Opelika is about $12,250 for a 5-kW system and $24,500 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff such as the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Opelika?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your property value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most bang for your buck from going solar.

Does Opelika have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just offer you credit toward your future utility bills.

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 the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can 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 account for 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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