Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbia City, IN (Jan 2023)

  • Columbia City Solar Installation Cost: $16,828
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,945
  • Payback Period: 10.6 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 Columbia City

Find out how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Columbia City.

In Columbia City, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average Columbia City homeowner needs a 9.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $16,828, or $12,453 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

How much you pay can go above or below the average in Columbia City based on a variety of factors, such as the kind of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. With average savings of about $17,000 on electricity bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Columbia City find installing solar panels can be quite rewarding.

To get a free estimate from a highly rated solar installer in Columbia City, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Columbia City

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-15,237
3 years $-12,055
5 years $-8,873
7 years $-5,691
9 years $-2,509
11 years $672
13 years $3,854
15 years $7,036
17 years $10,218
19 years $13,400
21 years $16,582
23 years $19,763
25 years $22,945

Top Solar Installers in Columbia City

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel company since figuring out how to install solar panels yourself can be time-consuming. The expertise that solar installers provide can be valuable as well, particularly if you don't quite know what brand of solar equipment would be right for your home.

If you're looking for a solar installer in Columbia City, the EcoWatch team has compiled 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 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 Columbia City

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbia City

The cost of installing a solar system in Columbia City can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is determined by several factors. The most significant one is your system size, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

One of the most significant 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 electricity your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,680 per kilowatt in Columbia City. The type of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your electric bills. In addition, extra products, such as solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Columbia City average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Columbia City, which can lower, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. Though solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Columbia City homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar panel system can affect how much you pay. Columbia City's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.79 $11,706 $14,900 11.0 years
8 kW $2.73 $15,308 $20,166 10.8 years
10 kW $2.68 $18,760 $25,583 10.6 years
12 kW $2.63 $22,062 $31,150 10.4 years
14 kW $2.57 $25,213 $36,867 10.2 years
16 kW $2.52 $28,215 $42,734 9.9 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,067 $48,751 9.7 years
20 kW $2.41 $33,768 $54,918 9.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the model of solar panels and the installer you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you'd like to install plays a part in which company you should opt for, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the overall cost, completion timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar system running for a long time and save you money on repairs and maintenance.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the project 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 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 Columbia City, IN Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Columbia City?

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,400 for a 5-kW system and $26,800 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. Conversely, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Columbia City?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you are unable to pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your home 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 savings from going solar.

Do solar panels increase your home value?

Buying or financing solar panels for your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Columbia City is currently $151,200, so you could be looking at a value of about $6,199 more than houses without a solar system. The specific figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Columbia City is a fruitful investment.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs and how much sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to get between 20 and 35 panels to cover their typical energy usage.

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.

Follow us