Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbus, MN (Jan 2023)

  • Columbus Solar Installation Cost: $14,274
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,214
  • Payback Period: 9.8 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 Columbus

Find out how much it might cost to go solar in Columbus.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Columbus it's $3 per watt. Since a 7.2-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Columbus, the average price of going solar will be about $14,274 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are only estimates, and your own solar costs may look different based on your specific situation and what company you choose to go with. Despite the significant upfront cost, the average Columbus homeowner can save about $19,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a top solar panel company in Columbus for a personalized estimate.

Solar savings over time in Columbus

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,814
3 years $-9,895
5 years $-6,976
7 years $-4,057
9 years $-1,138
11 years $1,781
13 years $4,700
15 years $7,619
17 years $10,538
19 years $13,457
21 years $16,376
23 years $19,295
25 years $22,214

Top Solar Installers in Columbus

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel installer since installing solar panels by yourself can be time-consuming. Companies can also have access to a large variety of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be right for your family.

Working with a licensed solar installer can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:

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 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

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

See all of the solar companies in Columbus

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbus

For many Columbus homeowners, the decision to go solar depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Columbus, 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

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of going solar is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,840 per kilowatt in Columbus. The brand and kind of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these are often more expensive 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 more savings over time. Plus, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Columbus provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar. Although solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Columbus homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to consider when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Columbus is the company you hire to install your solar panel system. As with choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, there's no shortage of solar installers that provide a range of services at different price points. Some companies only sell high-quality, high-efficiency and high-price products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally cost more. It's best to do some research and go with the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also is within your budget.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.95 $12,405 $18,091 10.2 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $24,440 10.0 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $30,947 9.8 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $37,614 9.6 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $44,439 9.4 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $51,424 9.2 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $58,568 9.0 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $65,870 8.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar system installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since selecting a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Installation Process: When making the switch to solar, it's essential to maintain an open line of communication with your solar panel installer. Confirm that you understand how the installation process will go and the project completion timeline.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years likely provide high-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Even though there are many options for which model of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you ask for their list of options before deciding.

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 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

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

EcoWatch's Columbus, MN Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $14,200 for a 5-kW system and $28,400 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Columbus?

Solar panels aren't free in Columbus, 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 further reduce the cost.

How much can I save on electricity bills after switching to solar?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on where you're located and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $1,016.54 per year.

How long do solar panels last in Columbus?

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 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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