Solar Panel Cost Guide in Cambridge, MA (Oct 2022)

  • Cambridge Solar Installation Cost: $9,179
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,339
  • Payback Period: 8.3 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 Cambridge

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in Cambridge.

The average cost of a solar panel system in Cambridge is $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 4.5 would cost about $9,179 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are only averages, and your own solar costs will look different based on your specific situation and what company you choose to go with. But, once you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is quite good, with a net average savings of about $23,000 over 20 years on power bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Cambridge

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-8,078
3 years $-5,877
5 years $-3,675
7 years $-1,474
9 years $728
11 years $2,929
13 years $5,131
15 years $7,332
17 years $9,533
19 years $11,735
21 years $13,936
23 years $16,138
25 years $18,339

Top Solar Installers in Cambridge

Many homeowners choose to use a solar installation company since trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be hard. Plus, if you're not certain what kind of solar panels and equipment you need, a solar company can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

If you're searching for a solar company in Cambridge, we've organized 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 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 Cambridge

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Cambridge

There are several factors that can influence your installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar system.

Solar Equipment Size

The size of the system you need is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of going solar. That's why it's a priority 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 — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Cambridge, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, 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

If paying for solar panels in cash is too expensive, solar loans are an affordable choice because they lower your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. It's wise to factor 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 how long it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you select will play a role in your total cost to make the switch to solar power. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. You may notice national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk 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 $3.06 $12,842 $24,182 8.7 years
8 kW $3.00 $16,793 $32,572 8.5 years
10 kW $2.94 $20,580 $41,126 8.3 years
12 kW $2.88 $24,202 $49,846 8.2 years
14 kW $2.82 $27,660 $58,729 8.0 years
16 kW $2.76 $30,952 $67,778 7.8 years
18 kW $2.70 $34,080 $76,991 7.7 years
20 kW $2.65 $37,044 $86,369 7.5 years

Solar Incentives in Cambridge

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 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

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel models and price points. To help you decide on the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Warranty: Warranties that cover panel repairs and maintenance over a couple decades are the best you can get in the business, and offering that kind of warranty is one sign of a good company.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're aligned with the company with regard to how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar system is installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.
  • 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 big role in the company you opt for.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar company's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be 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 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 Cambridge, MA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Cambridge 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 consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Cambridge?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your home value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most bang for your buck from going solar.

Is it worth going solar in Cambridge?

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

How long do solar panels last in Cambridge?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them after having 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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