Solar Panel Cost Guide in Ann Arbor, MI (Dec 2022)

  • Ann Arbor Solar Installation Cost: $12,058
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,062
  • Payback Period: 12.0 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated December 8, 2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Ann Arbor

We break down average solar pricing in Ann Arbor.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Ann Arbor, the average cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Ann Arbor is around 6.1 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $12,058 for a solar installation, or $8,923 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are only averages, and how much solar costs for you will most likely vary based on your specific situation and what company you go with. With average savings of about $16,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Ann Arbor find investing in solar can be quite rewarding.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar installer in Ann Arbor that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Ann Arbor

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,053
3 years $-9,043
5 years $-7,034
7 years $-5,024
9 years $-3,015
11 years $-1,005
13 years $1,005
15 years $3,014
17 years $5,024
19 years $7,033
21 years $9,043
23 years $11,052
25 years $13,062

Top Solar Installers in Ann Arbor

When going solar, many homeowners opt to go with a solar installation company since installing solar panels yourself can be a time-consuming project. Plus, if you're not certain what brand of solar panels and equipment you want, a solar company can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

If you're looking for a solar company in Ann Arbor, the EcoWatch team has put together 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

Solar Veteran

Michigan Solar Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • No leases or PPAs

Outstanding Local Installer

Strawberry Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available

See all of the solar companies in Ann Arbor

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Ann Arbor

There are a number of criteria 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 panels.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by around $2,810. The brand and kind of equipment you want for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a 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 limited roof space 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 additional 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 provided by most installers in Ann Arbor, which can bring down, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. It's wise to include the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment, you can reduce your total costs and how long it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you choose to install your solar panels can play a part in determining the cost. Ann Arbor's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. You may see national solar installers that have lower prices because of their larger brand name and access to bulk pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those major players.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.92 $12,274 $12,316 12.5 years
8 kW $2.87 $16,051 $16,737 12.2 years
10 kW $2.81 $19,670 $21,314 12.0 years
12 kW $2.75 $23,132 $26,049 11.8 years
14 kW $2.70 $26,436 $30,941 11.5 years
16 kW $2.64 $29,584 $35,991 11.3 years
18 kW $2.59 $32,574 $41,198 11.0 years
20 kW $2.53 $35,406 $46,562 10.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are numerous companies to choose from in Ann Arbor, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Choosing the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years likely provide quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Installation Process: One of the most important things to understand when going solar is the installation process itself. Be sure to clarify any details you should know with your solar installer, such as what permits you should secure and how long the project will take.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, be sure to look it over fully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions 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

Solar Veteran

Michigan Solar Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • No leases or PPAs

Outstanding Local Installer

Strawberry Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available

EcoWatch's Ann Arbor, MI Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Ann Arbor?

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $14,050 for a 5-kW system and $28,100 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Ann Arbor?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to 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 savings from going solar.

How will solar panels impact my home value?

Solar panels can increase your property's value significantly as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't go for a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% with a solar installation."

How long do solar panels last in Ann Arbor?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher amount of energy production.

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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