Solar Panel Cost Guide in Charleston, IL (Dec 2022)

  • Charleston Solar Installation Cost: $12,001
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,873
  • Payback Period: 11.6 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 Charleston

We go over average solar pricing in Charleston.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Charleston typically cost about $3. The average Charleston homeowner needs a 6.3-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,001, or $8,881 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of a solar panel system. The exact cost of going solar can vary quite a bit based on several factors, such as what size system you need, your energy consumption and what company you go with. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a solid investment. The average homeowner in Charleston can save about $16,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

To calculate your potential ROI and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Charleston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,966
3 years $-8,896
5 years $-6,826
7 years $-4,756
9 years $-2,686
11 years $-617
13 years $1,453
15 years $3,523
17 years $5,593
19 years $7,663
21 years $9,733
23 years $11,803
25 years $13,873

Top Solar Installers in Charleston

When going solar, many homeowners decide to use a solar company since handling can be a difficult project. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run with 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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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

See all of the solar companies in Charleston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Charleston

Although the average cost of a solar system in Charleston is $12,001, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are quite a few factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar energy system in Charleston, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly based on your home's energy consumption, which you can gauge by looking at past electricity bills. Your overall cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The type of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost 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, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your electric bills. In addition, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Charleston average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Charleston, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. While solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Charleston homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you select will impact your total cost to go solar. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. You may see national solar installers that have lower prices due to their bigger brand name and access to bulk pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or promotions to compete with those larger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.84 $11,925 $12,805 12.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $17,378 11.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $22,105 11.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $26,985 11.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $32,018 11.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $37,203 10.9 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $42,541 10.7 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $48,033 10.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Installation Process: An important thing to understand when going solar is the installation process itself. Be sure to clarify any details you should know with your solar installer, such as what permits you should secure and how long the project will take.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you want to install plays a part in which company you should go with, since different companies have different panels.
  • 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 component breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Warranty: Companies typically offer different types of warranties that cover different things. 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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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

EcoWatch's Charleston, IL Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Charleston?

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

What other factors should I consider other than cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is a key factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your goals for going solar. In cities where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to take into account are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Is switching to solar power worth it?

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

How long do solar panels last in Charleston?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use 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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