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

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

We break down average solar pricing in Tuscaloosa.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Tuscaloosa, the typical cost of solar panels is $2 per watt. To account for the typical energy needs of the average home in Tuscaloosa, most homeowners require a 9.0-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $15,401, or $11,397 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of solar panels. The exact cost of going solar can vary depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what installation company you go with. With average savings of about $21,000 on electricity bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Tuscaloosa find investing in solar can be quite rewarding.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar company in Tuscaloosa for a quote for your home.

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 it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it takes extra time and handiness. That's why almost all homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. The payback period of solar panels will vary based on factors like your roof configuration and energy consumption, but going with a solar installer can shorten that period. Your provider will be able to help you get the most out of incentives available in your area.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar panels. 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

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 Tuscaloosa

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Tuscaloosa

Though the average cost of solar panels in Tuscaloosa is $15,401, your final cost may differ. There are several factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment Size

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,450 per kilowatt in Tuscaloosa. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly 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 out of reach, solar loans are a solid option because they cut back your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. 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

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar panels can affect the cost. Tuscaloosa's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Some companies only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come with an above-average cost. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also fit into your budget.

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

Solar Incentives in Tuscaloosa

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 opt for will impact not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Although there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of options before deciding.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar installer, be sure to read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be done and how long it will take.
  • Reputation: Solar installers that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years in most cases offer high-quality solar panel installation and expertise.

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 Tuscaloosa, AL Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many 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. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

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

Cost is a crucial factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on why you decided to go solar. In cities where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to think about are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Does Tuscaloosa have a net metering program?

The majority of states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can be compensated 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.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home requires and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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