Solar Panel Cost Guide in Council Bluffs, IA (Feb 2023)

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

Find out what the average cost of solar panel installation is in Council Bluffs.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Council Bluffs typically cost around $3. The average solar panel system size in Council Bluffs is around 9.4 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $18,188 for a solar installation, or $13,459 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of solar panels. The actual cost of making the switch to solar can vary depending on a few factors, such as what size system you need, your energy consumption and what solar installer you go with. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar panels is worth paying. On average homeowners in Council Bluffs see about $15,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a pre-vetted solar company in Council Bluffs for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Council Bluffs

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 Council Bluffs

Trying to install solar panels on your own can be a time-consuming undertaking, which is why using a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. Companies can also have access to various kinds of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be best for you.

If you're searching for a solar installer in Council Bluffs, we've 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 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 Council Bluffs

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Council Bluffs

For many Council Bluffs homeowners, the decision to install a solar energy system depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Council Bluffs, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a few factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by around $2,770. The brand of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will greatly impact costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Furthermore, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to make decisions about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking into a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Council Bluffs to be prohibitively expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, nearly every solar company in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also lead to paying more over time due to interest. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your all-in costs, so it's crucial to include that in your estimate 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

The solar panel installer you select will influence your total cost to go solar. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. The company's size can sometimes play the most significant role in the installation costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally 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 $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

The solar panel company you go with will impact not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the installation process.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you peruse their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer regarding how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar panels are installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.
  • Warranty: Companies typically offer different types of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.

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 Council Bluffs, IA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Council Bluffs?

The average cost of solar panels in Council Bluffs 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 stuff like the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Is cost the most important consideration when buying solar panels?

The upfront cost is a very important factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your goals for going solar. In places where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to be mindful of are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels eliminate my power bills?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Council Bluffs, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have the roof space for that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How long do solar panels last in Council Bluffs?

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 the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can opt to replace them after having 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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