Solar Panel Cost Guide in Salem, MA (Jan 2023)

  • Salem Solar Installation Cost: $8,746
  • 25-Year Savings: $15,198
  • Payback Period: 9.1 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Salem

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Salem.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Salem it's $3 per watt. Because a 4.2-kW system is needed to cover the energy usage of a typical home in Salem, the average price of going solar will be about $8,746 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

The true price you pay can be above or below the average in Salem based on a few factors, such as the kind of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. Despite the significant upfront cost, the average Salem homeowner can save about $21,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar installer in Salem for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Salem

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,789
3 years $-5,873
5 years $-3,958
7 years $-2,042
9 years $-127
11 years $1,789
13 years $3,704
15 years $5,620
17 years $7,535
19 years $9,451
21 years $11,366
23 years $13,282
25 years $15,198

Top Solar Installers in Salem

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners prefer to hire a solar company since installing a solar system yourself can be a difficult project. Local solar companies can also help you optimize your return on investment by walking you through any local incentives and by offering warranties and repairs.

If you're looking for a solar installer in Salem, the EcoWatch team has compiled 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

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 Salem

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Salem

For many Salem homeowners, the decision to install solar panels rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Salem, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are several factors that greatly 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 affects the overall cost of installing solar panels. That's why it's crucial to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. Typically, the brands that have better efficiency tend to also be more expensive. Plus, the type of equipment you're looking to install can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Salem to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, almost every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in a higher cost over time because of interest. 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 back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you choose to handle your switch to renewable energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies operating in Salem, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. The size of the company sometimes plays the most significant role in the cost. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because they have access to more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing down 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 $20,973 9.5 years
8 kW $3.00 $16,793 $28,294 9.3 years
10 kW $2.94 $20,580 $35,779 9.1 years
12 kW $2.88 $24,202 $43,429 8.9 years
14 kW $2.82 $27,660 $51,243 8.8 years
16 kW $2.76 $30,952 $59,222 8.6 years
18 kW $2.70 $34,080 $67,366 8.4 years
20 kW $2.65 $37,044 $75,674 8.2 years

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 pick the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind offers varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • 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 check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: Even though reading through a contract can be tedious, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by providing the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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

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 Salem, MA Solar Cost FAQs

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

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

What other factors should I consider aside from cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is definitely one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

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

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 offer you credit toward your future utility bills.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Even though 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 opt to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use 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.

Follow us