Solar Panel Cost Guide in Fort Smith, AR (Feb 2023)

  • Fort Smith Solar Installation Cost: $14,989
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,643
  • Payback Period: 10.8 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Fort Smith

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in Fort Smith.

In Fort Smith, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Because a 8.4-kW system is needed to cover the energy usage of a typical home in Fort Smith, the average price of going solar will be about $14,989 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of solar panels you want, your solar contractor and more. With typical savings of about $16,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Fort Smith find installing solar panels can pay off big.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar installer in Fort Smith that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Fort Smith

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,603
3 years $-10,833
5 years $-8,062
7 years $-5,292
9 years $-2,521
11 years $249
13 years $3,020
15 years $5,790
17 years $8,561
19 years $11,331
21 years $14,102
23 years $16,872
25 years $19,643

Top Solar Installers in Fort Smith

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners opt to go with a solar company since handling can be a challenging project. Companies can also have access to quality options of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be best for you.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. 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

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Fort Smith

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Fort Smith

There are several criteria that can determine your solar panel installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that does the installation.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar panel system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by about $2,540. The kind of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your electric bills. Additionally, add-on products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Fort Smith average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Fort Smith, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the amount of 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 above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final key cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of renewable energy solutions in Fort Smith, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. You may see national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those larger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.64 $11,095 $13,553 11.3 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $18,355 11.0 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $23,299 10.8 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $28,386 10.6 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $33,614 10.4 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $38,985 10.2 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $44,499 10.0 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $50,154 9.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your system installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Because selecting a company can be a challenge, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer with regard to how the installation process will go and what needs to be done before your solar panel system is installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract carefully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the project timeline.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you need to install plays a role in which installer you should go with, since different companies have different panels.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from previous customers.

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

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Fort Smith, AR Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Fort Smith?

The average cost of solar panels in Fort Smith is about $12,700 for a 5-kW system and $25,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on certain factors like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

What other factors should I consider apart from cost 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 reasons for going solar. In areas where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to keep in mind are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels eliminate my energy bills?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Fort Smith, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have the roof space for that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How long do solar panels last in Fort Smith?

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 once you've had 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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