Solar Panel Cost Guide in Detroit, MI (Jan 2023)

  • Detroit Solar Installation Cost: $12,038
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,082
  • Payback Period: 12.0 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 Detroit

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

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Detroit it's $3 per watt. To account for the typical energy needs of the average home in Detroit, most homeowners require a 6.1-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $12,038, or $8,908 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Detroit homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. But, after you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is usually rewarding, with a net average savings of about $16,000 over 20 years on electricity bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Detroit

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,033
3 years $-9,024
5 years $-7,014
7 years $-5,005
9 years $-2,995
11 years $-985
13 years $1,024
15 years $3,034
17 years $5,043
19 years $7,053
21 years $9,063
23 years $11,072
25 years $13,082

Top Solar Installers in Detroit

Installing solar panels on your own can be a stressful undertaking, which is why hiring a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. The expertise that solar companies provide can be invaluable as well, especially if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment would be right for your home.

There are a number of licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. Here are our suggestions:

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 Detroit

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Detroit

The cost of installing a solar system in Detroit can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The biggest one is your system size, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the notable factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have higher efficiency or power production require better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,810. The model of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will substantially affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more expensive. Further, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to think about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when researching a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system out of pocket is too expensive, solar loans are an affordable choice because they cut back your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you choose to go with a solar loan. Also, paying more on your down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar system can affect how much it costs. Detroit's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Additionally, some companies in Detroit have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $12,373 12.4 years
8 kW $2.87 $16,051 $16,812 12.2 years
10 kW $2.81 $19,670 $21,408 12.0 years
12 kW $2.75 $23,132 $26,162 11.7 years
14 kW $2.70 $26,436 $31,073 11.5 years
16 kW $2.64 $29,584 $36,141 11.3 years
18 kW $2.59 $32,574 $41,367 11.0 years
20 kW $2.53 $35,406 $46,750 10.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of companies to choose from in Detroit, 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:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The kind of solar panel you want to get plays a part in which company you should choose, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Contract: Read the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand the cost breakdown, project completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be completed and how long it will take.
  • Warranty: Many companies offer different types of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.

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 Detroit, MI Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different 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. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Is cost the most important consideration when buying solar panels?

Cost is without a doubt one of the most important things to bear in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

How will having solar panels impact my property value?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home 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% after installing solar panels."

How long do solar panels last in Detroit?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger 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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