Solar Panel Cost Guide in Altoona, IA (Nov 2022)

  • Altoona Solar Installation Cost: $18,556
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,260
  • Payback Period: 11.4 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Altoona

We break down average solar pricing in Altoona.

The average cost of a solar system in Altoona is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Altoona is around 9.6 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $18,556 for a solar installation, or $13,731 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Altoona homeowner. The cost of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Despite the large initial cost, the average Altoona homeowner can save about $16,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

For a free quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Altoona

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-16,924
3 years $-13,658
5 years $-10,393
7 years $-7,128
9 years $-3,862
11 years $-597
13 years $2,668
15 years $5,934
17 years $9,199
19 years $12,464
21 years $15,729
23 years $18,995
25 years $22,260

Top Solar Installers in Altoona

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Hiring an installer can make your switch to solar power much easier. Companies can also offer access to various kinds of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be best for your home.

If you're looking for a solar installer in Altoona, we've organized 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 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 Altoona

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Altoona

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

Solar Equipment

System size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. For that reason, it's a priority to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Altoona, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of 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

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Altoona to be too steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, nearly every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in a higher cost over time because of interest. It's wise to factor the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to put more money down upfront, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to consider when trying to estimate the cost of solar for your home or business in Altoona is the company you get to install your solar system. Similar to choosing a company to install new cabinets, for instance, there are plenty of solar installers that offer a range of services for different budgets. Some companies 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 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 want 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 $2.88 $12,099 $13,504 11.8 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $18,315 11.6 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $23,282 11.4 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $28,403 11.1 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $33,680 10.9 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $39,112 10.7 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $44,699 10.5 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $50,441 10.2 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 select the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panel system running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies have different brands and models of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.
  • 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 certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar company, make sure to read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure 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

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

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

EcoWatch's Altoona, IA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,850 for a 5-kW system and $27,700 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Altoona?

You can't get solar panels for free in Altoona. However, you may still be able to get them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Do solar panels increase your property value?

Solar panels can increase your property's value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't choose a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% after installing a solar system."

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs 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 get 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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