Solar Panel Cost Guide in Tuscaloosa, AL (Jan 2023)

  • Tuscaloosa Solar Installation Cost: $15,401
  • 25-Year Savings: $34,081
  • Payback Period: 7.8 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Tuscaloosa

See how much it might cost to go solar in Tuscaloosa.

The average cost of a solar panel system in Tuscaloosa is $2 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Tuscaloosa is around 9.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $15,401 for a solar installation, or $11,397 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Tuscaloosa homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. With average savings of about $21,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Tuscaloosa find investing in solar can be quite rewarding.

To see your potential ROI and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Tuscaloosa

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,421
3 years $-9,463
5 years $-5,504
7 years $-1,546
9 years $2,413
11 years $6,371
13 years $10,330
15 years $14,288
17 years $18,247
19 years $22,205
21 years $26,164
23 years $30,122
25 years $34,081

Top Solar Installers in Tuscaloosa

Although you can install solar panels on your own, it involves extra energy and expertise. That's why almost all homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. Companies can also have access to various kinds of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be best for your home.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. Here are our suggestions:

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 Tuscaloosa

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Tuscaloosa

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few key factors that affect your total cost in Tuscaloosa: 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 Tuscaloosa, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy usage, which you can determine by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,450 for each additional kilowatt you need. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Tuscaloosa, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, 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

If paying for solar panels in cash is difficult, solar loans are an affordable option because they reduce your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. When figuring out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you choose to go with a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to keep in mind when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Tuscaloosa is the company you get to install your solar system. As with choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, you'll have many options for solar installers that provide a range of services for different budgets. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra 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 $22,375 8.1 years
8 kW $2.50 $13,994 $30,108 7.9 years
10 kW $2.45 $17,150 $37,978 7.8 years
12 kW $2.40 $20,168 $45,985 7.6 years
14 kW $2.35 $23,050 $54,130 7.5 years
16 kW $2.30 $25,794 $62,411 7.3 years
18 kW $2.25 $28,400 $70,830 7.2 years
20 kW $2.21 $30,870 $79,386 7.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel brands and price points. To help you decide on the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • 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 has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Reputation: Well-established companies likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer service, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Installation Process: When making the switch to solar power, it's essential to keep an open line of communication with your solar installer. Make sure you understand how the installation process will go and the completion timeline.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, be sure to look it over carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and if there are any guarantees about energy production.

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 Tuscaloosa, AL Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Tuscaloosa?

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $12,250 for a 5-kW system and $24,500 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is cost the most important thing to think about when buying solar panels?

The initial cost is a key factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your goals for going solar. In areas where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to be mindful of are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Does Tuscaloosa have a net metering program?

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

How long do solar panels last in Tuscaloosa?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they should be disposed of at that time. What this means is how much energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can opt to replace them after having them for that long or you can keep using them at a lower efficiency.

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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