Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbus, IN (2024 Update)

  • Columbus Solar Installation Cost: $24,885
  • 25-Year Savings: $26,055
  • Payback Period: 14.7 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated June 24, 2024

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 Columbus

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in Columbus.

The average cost of solar panels in Columbus is 4 per watt.Since a 8.7-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in Columbus, the average price of going solar will be about $24,885 after claiming the federal solar tax credit of 0.

These figures are only estimates, and how much solar costs for you may look different based on your energy needs and what company you go with.Despite the high initial cost, the average Columbus homeowner can save about $19,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Columbus

YearReturn on Investment
1 years$-23,559
3 years$-20,908
5 years$-18,257
7 years$-15,605
9 years$-12,954
11 years$-10,303
13 years$-7,652
15 years$-5,001
17 years$-2,349
19 years$302
21 years$2,953
23 years$5,604
25 years$8,256

Top Solar Installers in Columbus

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners prefer to use a solar installer since DIY solar panel installation can be a difficult project. Companies can also offer access to quality options of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be best for your home.

If you’d like to switch to solar energy but still aren’t certain which solar system company to go with, here are our suggestions for providers in Columbus:

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

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
3.2
  • 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 Columbus

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbus

Though the average cost of a solar system in Columbus is $24,885, your final cost may differ. There are quite a few factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar system in Columbus, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home’s energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past energy bills. Your total cost can increase by about $4,100 for each additional kilowatt you need.The brand of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Further, solar equipment goes beyond 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 researching a solar system that’s in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills over many years, but they can also be a significant investment. That’s why many Columbus homeowners choose to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable.You’ll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the total interest you’ll pay over the length of the loan. If you’re only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs remarkably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining major cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of sustainable energy solutions in Columbus, you’ll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment.The company’s size sometimes plays the most considerable role in your costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of more resources and bulk 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 discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger names.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System sizeCost per system wattSolar system cost25-Year savingsPayback period
6 kW$4.26$17,909$11,37715.3 years
8 kW$4.18$23,419$15,62915.0 years
10 kW$4.10$28,700$20,11014.7 years
12 kW$4.02$33,751$24,82114.4 years
14 kW$3.94$38,573$29,76114.1 years
16 kW$3.85$43,165$34,93113.8 years
18 kW$3.77$47,527$40,33113.5 years
20 kW$3.69$51,660$45,96013.2 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:

  • Contract: Read the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the overall cost, completion timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar panels running for years to come and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Installation Process: Get details from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be done and what the project timeline is.
  • Reputation: Long-running companies likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.

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

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
3.2
  • 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 Columbus, IN Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Columbus?

The average cost of solar panels in Columbus is about $20,500 for a 5-kW system and $41,000 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things like the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Is cost the most important thing to keep in mind when buying solar panels?

Cost is without a doubt one of the most important things to bear in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Is switching to solar power worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like the cost of electricity near you and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

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 requires and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can generally produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house 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.