Solar Panel Cost Guide in Erie, MI (2023 Update)

  • Erie Solar Installation Cost: $11,822
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,582
  • Payback Period: 10.0 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 04, 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 Erie

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

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Erie it's 2.81 per watt. Since a 6.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Erie, the average price of going solar will be about $11,822 after claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Erie homeowner. The price 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. Despite the large upfront cost, the average Erie homeowner can save around $19,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar panel company in your area for a custom estimate.

Solar savings over time in Erie

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,646
3 years $-8,293
5 years $-5,941
7 years $-3,589
9 years $-1,236
11 years $1,116
13 years $3,468
15 years $5,821
17 years $8,173
19 years $10,525
21 years $12,878
23 years $15,230
25 years $17,582

Top Solar Installers in Erie

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it takes extra energy and know-how. Because of that, almost all homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long term due to their warranties, repair services and expert design.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. 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 Erie

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Erie

For many Erie homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Erie, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a few factors that significantly 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 going solar. For that reason, it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The model of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will significantly affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more expensive. Moreover, 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 looking into a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Erie to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, almost every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans greatly decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in paying more over time because of interest. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the amount of interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the original cost. Making a larger down payment or getting a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining major cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of clean energy solutions in Erie, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. You may notice national solar installers that have lower prices because of their bigger brand name and access to bulk prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials 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 $2.92 $12,274 $17,097 10.4 years
8 kW $2.87 $16,051 $23,111 10.2 years
10 kW $2.81 $19,670 $29,282 10.0 years
12 kW $2.75 $23,132 $35,611 9.8 years
14 kW $2.70 $26,436 $42,097 9.6 years
16 kW $2.64 $29,584 $48,740 9.4 years
18 kW $2.59 $32,574 $55,541 9.2 years
20 kW $2.53 $35,406 $62,499 9.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you choose will influence not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should consider, including:

  • Reputation: Companies that have been in business for many years likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer service, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it carefully so you can be sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.
  • Warranty: Warranties that cover replacement parts and repairs 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.
  • 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 substantial 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

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 Erie, MI Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Broadly 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 extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Erie?

Solar panels aren't free in Erie, but there are some options that can make getting them more viable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can help lower the cost.

Does Erie have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just give you credit toward your future utility bills.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is 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 larger level 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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