Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbus, IN (Sep 2022)

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

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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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 Columbus

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

In Columbus, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. 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 $16,265 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are just averages, and the cost of going solar for you may vary based on your energy needs and what company you go with. But, once you've paid the initial cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is typically rewarding, with a net average savings of about $19,000 over 20 years on utility bills.

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

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

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Taking advantage of a solar company can make your swap to solar power much easier. Plus, if you're not certain what brand of solar panels and equipment you need, a solar installer can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

If you're on the hunt for a solar company in Columbus, the EcoWatch team has put together 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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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

Cost is usually one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in Columbus: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment Size

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels 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 primarily based on your home's energy consumption, which you can figure out by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,680 for each additional kilowatt you need. The kind of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down 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. On the other hand, more efficient panels could save you more in the long run on your energy bills. Additionally, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Columbus average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are available from most installers in Columbus, which can lower, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. Although solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Columbus homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of renewable energy solutions in Columbus, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices because of their larger brand name and access to bulk equipment 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 $2.79 $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

Solar Incentives in Columbus

Name Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NineStar Connect - Residential Energy Efficient Equipment Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name South Central Indiana REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Noble REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Incentives
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Bartholomew County REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Jackson County REMC - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Johnson County REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NIPSCO - Feed-In Tariff
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Duke Energy - Residential and Builder Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a large number of companies to choose from in Columbus, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Picking the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer in regard to how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar panels are installed, such as updating or replacing your electrical system or roof.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose impacts which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • 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 likely has a solid reputation and is qualified to do the job well. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract well to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about your solar system's energy production.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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

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

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally 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 higher-than-average energy needs. On the flip side, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Columbus?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it usually comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to get the most savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Columbus?

Each state has some form of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just give you credit toward your future utility bills.

How long do solar panels last in Columbus?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them once you've had them for that long or you can keep using 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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