Solar Panel Cost Guide in Charleston, MO (Jan 2023)

  • Charleston Solar Installation Cost: $12,836
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,850
  • Payback Period: 10.5 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 Charleston

Here's how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Charleston.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Charleston, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average Charleston homeowner needs a 7.1-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,836, or $9,499 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar energy system could cost. The actual cost of making the switch to solar can vary quite a bit depending on several factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what solar installer you go with. With typical savings of about $16,000 on power bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Charleston find going solar can be quite rewarding.

To see your potential ROI and connect with a local solar installer, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Charleston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,609
3 years $-9,154
5 years $-6,699
7 years $-4,244
9 years $-1,789
11 years $666
13 years $3,121
15 years $5,576
17 years $8,030
19 years $10,485
21 years $12,940
23 years $15,395
25 years $17,850

Top Solar Installers in Charleston

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Going with a solar company can make switching to solar power much easier. The expertise that solar companies provide can be invaluable as well, particularly if you aren't sure what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't certain which solar panel installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers in Charleston:

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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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 Charleston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Charleston

Though the average cost of a solar system in Charleston is $12,836, your final cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar panel system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by around $2,590. There are several different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. In general, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also cost more. Additionally, the type of equipment you choose can affect your total cost. If you only need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on utility bills over time, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Charleston homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to make paying for solar more affordable. It's a good idea to add 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

The final significant cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of clean energy solutions in Charleston, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. The company's size can sometimes play the most significant role in the cost of installation. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of access to greater 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 discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.69 $11,313 $14,679 10.9 years
8 kW $2.64 $14,794 $19,862 10.7 years
10 kW $2.59 $18,130 $25,191 10.5 years
12 kW $2.54 $21,321 $30,664 10.3 years
14 kW $2.49 $24,367 $36,282 10.0 years
16 kW $2.43 $27,268 $42,046 9.8 years
18 kW $2.38 $30,023 $47,954 9.6 years
20 kW $2.33 $32,634 $54,007 9.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you go with will impact not only your total costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panels running smoothly and save you money on repairs and maintenance.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been in business for many years likely have a good reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract well to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about your solar system's energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and energy needs. While there are many options for which brand 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 peruse their list of offerings before making your decision.

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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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 Charleston, MO Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $12,950 for a 5-kW system and $25,900 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Charleston?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of 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 bang for your buck from going solar.

Does Charleston have a net metering program?

Most states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can be compensated for the extra power your system produces or or receive credits to put toward future electricity bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know how much energy your home needs and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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