Solar Panel Cost Guide in Charles City, IA (Jan 2023)

  • Charles City Solar Installation Cost: $18,963
  • 25-Year Savings: $26,870
  • Payback Period: 10.3 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

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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 Charles City

We go over average solar pricing in Charles City.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Charles City generally cost around $3. The average solar panel system size in Charles City is around 9.8 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $18,963 for a solar installation, or $14,033 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember 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 use, the type of solar panels you want, your solar contractor and more. Even with the high initial cost, the average Charles City homeowner can save about $18,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the positives of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Charles City

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-17,130
3 years $-13,463
5 years $-9,797
7 years $-6,130
9 years $-2,463
11 years $1,203
13 years $4,870
15 years $8,537
17 years $12,204
19 years $15,870
21 years $19,537
23 years $23,204
25 years $26,870

Top Solar Installers in Charles City

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it involves extra energy and expertise. Because of that, the majority of homeowners choose a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar installers provide can be useful as well, particularly if you don't quite know what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.

If you're searching for a solar company in Charles City, the EcoWatch team has 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 Charles City

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Charles City

Though the average cost of a solar system in Charles City is $18,963, your actual cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels in Charles City, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy consumption, which you can determine by looking at past electricity bills. Your overall cost can increase by around $2,770 for each additional kilowatt you need. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. In many cases, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also cost more. In addition, the type of equipment you're looking to get can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Charles City, which can lower, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your total costs, so it's important to include that in your estimate as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final significant cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of green energy solutions in Charles City, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Charles City have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you more money in the long run.

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 $16,031 10.8 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $21,685 10.5 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $27,494 10.3 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $33,458 10.1 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $39,578 9.9 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $45,852 9.7 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $52,282 9.5 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $58,866 9.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar company you go with will influence not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should take into account, including:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will offer different brands and models of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar company you're considering has it.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar system installer has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking how long it's been in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like the EcoWatch team.
  • Contract: When reading 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 the company going out of business.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer in regard to how the installation process will go and what needs to be done before your solar system is installed, such as updating or replacing your electrical system or roof.

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 Charles City, IA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Charles City?

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of 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 above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Charles City?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your property value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most financial benefits from going solar.

Is it worth going solar in Charles City?

Solar panels can be a beneficial investment for a majority of homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight and/or your electricity bills are already reasonably low, solar panels might not be for you.

How long do solar panels last in Charles City?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is their energy production 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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