Solar Panel Cost Guide in South Bend, IN (2023 Update)

  • South Bend Solar Installation Cost: $16,959
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,920
  • 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 May 04, 2023

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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 South Bend

Find out what the average cost of a solar system is in South Bend.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in South Bend, the typical cost of solar panels is 2.68 per watt. To cover the typical energy needs of the average home in South Bend, most homeowners require a 9.0-kilowatt system. Using the figure above, a solar installation costs about $16,959, or $24,251 before the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

How much you pay can be higher or lower than the average in South Bend based on a few factors, such as the kind of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. For many homeowners, the upfront cost of solar power is worth paying. On average South Bend homeowners see about $17,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

To get a free quote from a pre-vetted solar installer in South Bend, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in South Bend

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-15,364
3 years $-12,174
5 years $-8,983
7 years $-5,793
9 years $-2,603
11 years $588
13 years $3,778
15 years $6,969
17 years $10,159
19 years $13,349
21 years $16,540
23 years $19,730
25 years $22,920

Top Solar Installers in South Bend

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Taking advantage of an installer can make your switch to solar power much easier. Plus, if you're unsure what kind of solar panels and equipment you need, a solar installer can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

Working with a licensed solar company can help your solar project go smoothly. 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

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 South Bend

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in South Bend

While the average cost of a solar system in South Bend is $16,959, your actual cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar system in South Bend, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are largely based on your home's energy usage, which you can determine by looking at past energy bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,680 for each additional kilowatt you need. The brand and type of equipment you choose for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often come at a higher price than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Also, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are offered by most installers in South Bend, which can bring down, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's crucial to consider that as well. You can always bring down the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you go with to handle your switch to solar energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies in South Bend, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in South Bend are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $14,757 11.1 years
8 kW $2.73 $15,308 $19,976 10.8 years
10 kW $2.68 $18,760 $25,345 10.6 years
12 kW $2.63 $22,062 $30,864 10.4 years
14 kW $2.57 $25,213 $36,533 10.2 years
16 kW $2.52 $28,215 $42,353 10.0 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,067 $48,322 9.8 years
20 kW $2.41 $33,768 $54,442 9.6 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the kind of solar panels and the installation company you choose significantly affects your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Installation Process: Make sure you're aligned with the installer with regard to how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar panels are installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have proven expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will have various brands and kinds of panels. If you prefer a specific brand, make sure the solar panel installer you're considering has it.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.

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 South Bend, IN Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in South Bend?

The average cost of solar panels in South Bend 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 like the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in South Bend?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it often 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.

Is switching to solar power worth it?

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

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels 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 usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home 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.

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