Solar Panel Cost Guide in Boulder, CO (Dec 2022)

  • Boulder Solar Installation Cost: $9,961
  • 25-Year Savings: $16,208
  • Payback Period: 9.5 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 Boulder

We go over average solar pricing in Boulder.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Boulder it's $3 per watt. The average Boulder homeowner needs a 5.3-kilowatt system, which would cost about $9,961, or $7,371 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 a solar panel system. The actual cost of installing solar panels can vary quite a bit depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy usage and what installation company you go with. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average Boulder homeowners see about $19,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Boulder

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-8,914
3 years $-6,821
5 years $-4,727
7 years $-2,634
9 years $-540
11 years $1,553
13 years $3,647
15 years $5,740
17 years $7,834
19 years $9,928
21 years $12,021
23 years $14,115
25 years $16,208

Top Solar Installers in Boulder

Many homeowners choose to hire a solar panel company since trying to put up solar panels on your own can be challenging. Plus, if you're not certain what brand of solar panels and equipment you want, a solar company can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

If you're searching for a solar installer in Boulder, the EcoWatch team has put together a list of our top suggestions here:

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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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 Boulder

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Boulder

There are many factors that can play into your total 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

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar panel system in Boulder, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past power bills. Your overall cost can increase by about $2,690 for each additional kilowatt you need. The kind of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get 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 over time on your electric bills. In addition, add-on products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Boulder average.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Boulder to be prohibitively costly, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans remarkably decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also result in a higher cost over time because of interest. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, 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 securing a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final major cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of green energy solutions in Boulder, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. Companies that only sell high-quality, high-efficiency and high-price products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that offers 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 $2.80 $11,750 $17,944 9.9 years
8 kW $2.74 $15,365 $24,227 9.7 years
10 kW $2.69 $18,830 $30,660 9.5 years
12 kW $2.64 $22,144 $37,244 9.3 years
14 kW $2.58 $25,308 $43,979 9.1 years
16 kW $2.53 $28,320 $50,864 8.9 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,182 $57,900 8.8 years
20 kW $2.42 $33,894 $65,087 8.6 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind offers varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about your solar system's energy production.
  • Warranty: If you care about the longevity of your solar system, making sure your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.

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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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 Boulder, CO Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Boulder is about $13,450 for a 5-kW system and $26,900 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

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

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, because it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback 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 tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to get the most savings.

Is it worth going solar in Boulder?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on a variety of factors like the cost of electricity near you and the amount of direct sunlight your roof gets.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you need to know how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can generally produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home 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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