Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbia, KY (Feb 2023)

  • Columbia Solar Installation Cost: $15,561
  • 25-Year Savings: $23,084
  • Payback Period: 10.1 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

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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 Columbia

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

In Columbia, solar panels cost about $2 per watt on average. To cover the typical energy usage of the average home in Columbia, most homeowners require a 9.5-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $15,561, or $11,515 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are only averages, and how much solar costs for you may differ based on your specific situation and what company you want to go with. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar panels is worth paying. On average you could be looking at about $15,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar panel company in Columbia for a custom quote.

Solar savings over time in Columbia

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-14,015
3 years $-10,924
5 years $-7,832
7 years $-4,740
9 years $-1,649
11 years $1,443
13 years $4,534
15 years $7,626
17 years $10,717
19 years $13,809
21 years $16,901
23 years $19,992
25 years $23,084

Top Solar Installers in Columbia

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it requires extra energy and knowledge. Because of that, most people choose a solar panel installer. Companies can also have access to quality options of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be right for you.

If you'd like to make the switch to solar but still aren't sure which solar installer to go with, here are our recommendations for providers nearby:

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

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbia

For many Columbia homeowners, the decision to go solar rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Columbia, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are various factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. That's why it's important to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Columbia, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Columbia to be prohibitively costly, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, nearly every solar company in the area provides financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in higher prices over time because of interest. Even though solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Columbia homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The last significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of green energy solutions in Columbia, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. You may notice national solar installers that have lower prices because of their bigger 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 $2.43 $10,221 $14,179 10.5 years
8 kW $2.39 $13,366 $19,167 10.3 years
10 kW $2.34 $16,380 $24,287 10.1 years
12 kW $2.29 $19,263 $29,537 9.9 years
14 kW $2.25 $22,015 $34,919 9.7 years
16 kW $2.20 $24,636 $40,431 9.5 years
18 kW $2.15 $27,125 $46,075 9.3 years
20 kW $2.11 $29,484 $51,850 9.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you go with will be a major factor in determining not only your total costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound 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 past customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will offer various brands and kinds of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panel system running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure you read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not sure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.

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, KY Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Columbia is about $11,700 for a 5-kW system and $23,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things such as the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Is cost the most important consideration when buying solar panels?

The upfront cost is a key factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your reasons for going solar. In areas where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to take into account are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

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

The majority of states have net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can be compensated for the extra power your system generates or or receive credits to put toward future energy bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

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

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know how much energy your home requires and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically 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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