Solar Panel Cost Guide in Fort Dodge, IA (Jan 2023)

  • Fort Dodge Solar Installation Cost: $18,673
  • 25-Year Savings: $23,483
  • Payback Period: 11.1 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 Fort Dodge

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Fort Dodge.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Fort Dodge typically cost around $3. Using this figure, a typical 9.6 would cost about $18,673 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar will differ based on your household energy needs, the type of solar system you want, your solar contractor and more. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar is worth paying. On average Fort Dodge homeowners see about $17,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Fort Dodge

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-16,986
3 years $-13,614
5 years $-10,241
7 years $-6,869
9 years $-3,497
11 years $-124
13 years $3,248
15 years $6,621
17 years $9,993
19 years $13,366
21 years $16,738
23 years $20,110
25 years $23,483

Top Solar Installers in Fort Dodge

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it requires extra time and expertise. That's one of the reasons most people choose to hire a solar panel installer. A solar installer can also help save you money in the long run by providing warranties, repairs and component replacements.

If you're on the hunt for a solar installer in Fort Dodge, 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 Fort Dodge

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Fort Dodge

While the average cost of a solar system in Fort Dodge is $18,673, your actual cost may differ. There are several factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of going solar. That's why it's a priority to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these are often more expensive than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have limited roof space or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Also, if you want add-ons like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Fort Dodge provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. It's wise to include 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 how long it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you get to install your solar system can impact how much it costs. Fort Dodge's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Some companies only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — 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 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 $14,168 11.5 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $19,201 11.3 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $24,389 11.1 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $29,732 10.9 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $35,230 10.6 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $40,883 10.4 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $46,692 10.2 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $52,655 10.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many companies to choose from in Fort Dodge, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Choosing the right company for you can be tough, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • 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 what the project timeline is.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand the overall cost, project timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have demonstrated 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 good reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies offer different brands and types of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.

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 Fort Dodge, IA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Fort Dodge?

This is a hard question to answer precisely, 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 be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Fort Dodge?

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

How will having solar panels impact the value of my home?

Solar panels can increase your property's 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."

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average household will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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