Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbia, MS (Jan 2023)

  • Columbia Solar Installation Cost: $15,246
  • 25-Year Savings: $30,594
  • Payback Period: 8.3 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 Columbia

We break down average solar pricing in Columbia.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Columbia generally cost about $3. Using this figure, a typical 8.2 would cost about $15,246 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of solar panels you want, your solar contractor and more. But, once you've paid the initial cost of installation, the savings for most homeowners is usually good, with a net average savings of about $21,000 over 20 years on power bills.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar company in Columbia for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Columbia

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,412
3 years $-9,745
5 years $-6,078
7 years $-2,411
9 years $1,257
11 years $4,924
13 years $8,591
15 years $12,258
17 years $15,926
19 years $19,593
21 years $23,260
23 years $26,927
25 years $30,594

Top Solar Installers in Columbia

Installing solar panels yourself can be a challenging task, which is why getting a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Another perk of using a solar company is that they can help you make the most of your return of investment by bringing down your future costs of repairs and replacements due to warranties and giving you information on local incentives you can take advantage of.

If you're on the hunt for a solar company in Columbia, we've compiled 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

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 Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Columbia

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbia

Though the average cost of a solar system in Columbia is $15,246, your actual cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

One of the most significant 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 power your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend about $2,640 per kilowatt in Columbia. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted 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 a small roof 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 extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Columbia have solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you hire to handle your switch to green energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating in Columbia, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric vehicle charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.75 $11,532 $21,795 8.7 years
8 kW $2.69 $15,080 $29,356 8.5 years
10 kW $2.64 $18,480 $37,064 8.3 years
12 kW $2.59 $21,732 $44,920 8.2 years
14 kW $2.53 $24,837 $52,925 8.0 years
16 kW $2.48 $27,794 $61,077 7.8 years
18 kW $2.43 $30,603 $69,377 7.7 years
20 kW $2.38 $33,264 $77,824 7.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel models and price points. To help you find the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to do the job well. Another way you can research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type offers varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose impacts which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.

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 Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Columbia, MS Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,200 for a 5-kW system and $26,400 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. Conversely, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Columbia?

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 don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your property 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.

Does Columbia have a net metering program?

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