Solar Panel Cost Guide in Clear Lake, IA (Jan 2023)

  • Clear Lake Solar Installation Cost: $18,847
  • 25-Year Savings: $30,344
  • Payback Period: 9.6 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 Clear Lake

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Clear Lake.

In Clear Lake, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Using this figure, a typical 9.7 would cost about $18,847 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The true price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in Clear Lake based on a variety of factors, such as the kind of solar panels you choose and the solar installer you hire. Despite the high upfront cost, the average Clear Lake homeowner can save around $19,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a top solar installer in your area for a custom quote.

Solar savings over time in Clear Lake

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-16,879
3 years $-12,944
5 years $-9,009
7 years $-5,073
9 years $-1,138
11 years $2,797
13 years $6,733
15 years $10,668
17 years $14,603
19 years $18,538
21 years $22,474
23 years $26,409
25 years $30,344

Top Solar Installers in Clear Lake

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Using an installer can make your switch to solar power much easier. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

If you'd like to go solar but still aren't sure which solar system company to go with, here are our suggestions for providers in Clear Lake:

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 Clear Lake

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Clear Lake

There are a number of factors that can influence your solar panel installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of going solar is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more power your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend about $2,770 per kilowatt in Clear Lake. 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 opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, more efficient panels could save you more over time on your energy bills. Additionally, add-on products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Clear Lake average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Clear Lake, which can lower, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital to consider that as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you choose to install your solar panel system can affect how much you pay. Clear Lake's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The size of the company can sometimes play the most significant role in the cost. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because they have access to greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger names.

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 $18,266 10.0 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $24,664 9.8 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $31,218 9.6 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $37,927 9.4 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $44,791 9.2 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $51,811 9.0 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $58,985 8.8 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $66,314 8.6 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you need plays a part in which company you should go with, since different companies have different panels.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid 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 past customers.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the overall cost, completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Installation Process: When going solar, it's essential to maintain an open line of communication with your solar panel installer. Confirm that you understand how the installation process works and the project completion timeline.

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 Clear Lake, IA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Clear Lake is about $13,850 for a 5-kW system and $27,700 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on certain factors like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Clear Lake?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, because it commonly 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.

How will solar panels impact the value of my home?

Solar panels can increase your home value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't opt for 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."

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

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