Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbus, IN (Feb 2023)

  • Columbus Solar Installation Cost: $16,265
  • 25-Year Savings: $26,057
  • Payback Period: 9.6 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 Columbus

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Columbus.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Columbus generally cost about $3. The average Columbus homeowner needs a 8.7-kilowatt system, which would cost about $16,265, or $12,036 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are just averages, and how much solar costs for you may differ based on your specific situation and what company you want to go with. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average homeowners in Columbus see about $19,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Columbus

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-14,572
3 years $-11,186
5 years $-7,801
7 years $-4,415
9 years $-1,029
11 years $2,357
13 years $5,742
15 years $9,128
17 years $12,514
19 years $15,899
21 years $19,285
23 years $22,671
25 years $26,057

Top Solar Installers in Columbus

Trying to install solar panels on your own can be a difficult undertaking, which is why using a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long term with their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a vetted solar installer can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:

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 Columbus

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbus

There are a number of criteria that can affect your installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that performs the installation.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar panel system in Columbus, 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 determine by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by about $2,680 for each additional kilowatt you need. The brand of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will greatly affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more pricey. Further, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to decide on the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when searching for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Columbus, which can reduce, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. It's a good idea to add 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 the amount of time it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you hire to handle your switch to green energy can play a role in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies in Columbus, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials 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 $2.79 $11,706 $17,580 10.0 years
8 kW $2.73 $15,308 $23,740 9.8 years
10 kW $2.68 $18,760 $30,050 9.6 years
12 kW $2.63 $22,062 $36,510 9.4 years
14 kW $2.57 $25,213 $43,120 9.2 years
16 kW $2.52 $28,215 $49,881 9.0 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,067 $56,791 8.8 years
20 kW $2.41 $33,768 $63,852 8.6 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar system installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Because selecting a company can be a tough decision, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Installation Process: An important thing to understand when adopting solar power is the installation process itself. Be sure to clarify any details you need to know with your solar installer, such as what permits you should acquire and how long the project will take.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies offer the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a significant role in the company you opt for.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for sustainable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system component breaking or the company going out of business.

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 Columbus, IN Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Columbus is about $13,400 for a 5-kW system and $26,800 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on things such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Can you get solar panels for free in Columbus?

You can't get solar panels for free in Columbus. 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 want to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Can solar panels completely eradicate my electricity bills?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Columbus, 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 Columbus?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger level of energy production.

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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