Solar Panel Cost Guide in Carter Lake, IA (Nov 2022)

  • Carter Lake Solar Installation Cost: $18,188
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,572
  • Payback Period: 12.0 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 Carter Lake

See how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Carter Lake.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Carter Lake, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. To account for the typical energy needs of the average home in Carter Lake, most homeowners require a 9.4-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $18,188, or $13,459 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The true cost of your system can be above or below the average in Carter Lake depending on a variety of factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. Many homeowners find installing solar panels is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Carter Lake can save about $15,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Carter Lake

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-16,677
3 years $-13,657
5 years $-10,636
7 years $-7,615
9 years $-4,594
11 years $-1,574
13 years $1,447
15 years $4,468
17 years $7,489
19 years $10,510
21 years $13,530
23 years $16,551
25 years $19,572

Top Solar Installers in Carter Lake

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a possibility, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Hiring a solar company can make swapping over to solar power much easier. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long term due to their warranties, repair services and expert design.

There are various 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 Carter Lake

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Carter Lake

Cost is usually one of the most important factors for homeowners who are considering investing in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in Carter Lake: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to a few different factors. One of the most significant factors is the system size. Solar power systems that have better efficiency or power production use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,770. The type of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down 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 in the long run on your energy bills. Additionally, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Carter Lake average.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for solar panels in cash is out of reach, solar loans are an affordable choice because they cut back your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. While solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Carter Lake homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining major cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of renewable energy solutions in Carter Lake, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — 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 find a 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 $2.88 $12,099 $12,049 12.5 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $16,376 12.3 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $20,858 12.0 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $25,495 11.8 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $30,287 11.6 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $35,234 11.3 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $40,337 11.1 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $45,594 10.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the kind of solar panels and the installation company you choose significantly influences your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will have different brands and kinds of panels. If you want a specific brand, make sure the solar panel company you're considering has it.
  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be completed and how long it will take.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system part breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for renewable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it 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 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 Carter Lake, IA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Carter Lake?

The average cost of solar panels in Carter Lake is about $13,850 for a 5-kW system and $27,700 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff such as the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Is cost the most important consideration when buying solar panels?

Cost is definitely one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

How much can I save on power bills after installing solar panels?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and the efficiency of your system. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $804.96 per year.

How long do solar panels last in Carter Lake?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level of energy production.

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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