Solar Panel Cost Guide in Boston, MA (Sep 2022)

  • Boston Solar Installation Cost: $9,035
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,049
  • Payback Period: 8.7 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Boston

Find out what the average cost of solar panel installation is in Boston.

The average cost of solar panels in Boston is $3 per watt. The average Boston homeowner needs a 4.4-kilowatt system, which would cost about $9,035, or $6,686 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of equipment you choose, your solar contractor and more. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar is worth paying. On average Boston homeowners see about $23,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

For a personalized quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Boston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,991
3 years $-5,905
5 years $-3,818
7 years $-1,731
9 years $356
11 years $2,442
13 years $4,529
15 years $6,616
17 years $8,702
19 years $10,789
21 years $12,876
23 years $14,963
25 years $17,049

Top Solar Installers in Boston

DIY solar panel installation is a possibility, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Taking advantage of a solar company can make converting to solar power much easier. Companies can also provide access to a large variety of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be best for your family.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't sure which solar company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers near you:

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 Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

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 Boston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Boston

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that will push your cost above or below the average in Boston: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll go over each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment Size

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

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Boston, which can reduce, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also increases your overall costs, so it's important 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

A final factor to consider when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Boston is the company you get to install your PV system. As with choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, there are plenty of solar installers that offer a range of services for different budgets. The size of the company can sometimes play the most significant role in the cost of installation. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing because they have more resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger names.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $3.06 $12,842 $22,776 9.0 years
8 kW $3.00 $16,793 $30,697 8.8 years
10 kW $2.94 $20,580 $38,783 8.7 years
12 kW $2.88 $24,202 $47,034 8.5 years
14 kW $2.82 $27,660 $55,449 8.3 years
16 kW $2.76 $30,952 $64,029 8.1 years
18 kW $2.70 $34,080 $72,774 8.0 years
20 kW $2.65 $37,044 $81,683 7.8 years

Solar Incentives in Boston

Name Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit
Incentive Amount 15%
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation Patent Income Tax Deduction (Personal)
Incentive Amount 100% deduction
More Info Click here

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

Name Cape Light Compact- Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Mass Save - HEAT Loan Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Mass Solar Loan Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential and Small-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Energy Revolving Loan Fund
More Info Click here

Name Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC-II)
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

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

  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected 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 research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the cost.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panels running for a long time and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a considerable role in the company you choose.

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 Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

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 Boston, MA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Boston is about $14,700 for a 5-kW system and $29,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on things such as the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Boston?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, because it usually comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback 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 tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

Is it worth going solar in Boston?

Solar panels can be a beneficial investment for most homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight and/or your power bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to get between 20 and 35 panels to cover their typical energy usage.

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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