Solar Panel Cost Guide in Chapel Hill, NC (Sep 2022)

  • Chapel Hill Solar Installation Cost: $12,410
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,049
  • Payback Period: 9.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

GET QUOTES
EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Chapel Hill

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

In Chapel Hill, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Using this figure, a typical 7.0 would cost about $12,410 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may vary based on your household energy needs, the type of solar system you want, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find going solar is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Chapel Hill can save about $18,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar company in Chapel Hill that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Chapel Hill

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,112
3 years $-8,515
5 years $-5,918
7 years $-3,322
9 years $-725
11 years $1,872
13 years $4,469
15 years $7,065
17 years $9,662
19 years $12,259
21 years $14,856
23 years $17,453
25 years $20,049

Top Solar Installers in Chapel Hill

Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since trying to install solar panels on your own can be challenging. Companies can also have access to quality options of the best solar panels and help you pick which one will be right for you.

There are a number of 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

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

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

Outstanding Regional Installer

Renu Energy Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Excellent reputation
  • Many financing options
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Chapel Hill

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Chapel Hill

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in Chapel Hill: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll discuss each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment Size

System size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. Because of that, it's a priority to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you pick also affects the cost. In many cases, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also cost more. In addition, the type of equipment you're looking to get can affect your total cost. If you only need panels, your system will be much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system out of pocket is out of reach, solar loans are a solid option because they cut back your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital to include that in your estimate as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to keep in mind when trying to evaluate the cost of solar for your home or business in Chapel Hill is the company you get to install your solar system. Similar to 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. You may see 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 promotions 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 $2.64 $11,095 $16,794 9.9 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $22,677 9.8 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $28,701 9.6 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $34,868 9.4 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $41,178 9.2 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $47,629 9.0 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $54,223 8.8 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $60,959 8.6 years

Solar Incentives in Chapel Hill

Name Duke Energy - NC Solar Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems
More Info Click here

Name Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption
More Info Click here

Name Duke Energy Progress - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name EnergyUnited (Electric) Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Piedmont EMC - Residential Solar and Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Incentive Amount $10,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Duke Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NC GreenPower Production Incentive
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Incentive Amount
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Green Building Incentives
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you opt for will influence not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should consider, including:

  • Warranty: A comprehensive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar system running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it likely has a good reputation and is qualified to get the job done well. Another way you can look into your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: Review the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the cost breakdown, completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar installers offer the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a significant role in the company you opt for.

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)

Outstanding Regional Installer

Renu Energy Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Excellent reputation
  • Many financing options
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Chapel Hill, NC Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Chapel Hill?

The average cost of solar panels in Chapel Hill is about $12,700 for a 5-kW system and $25,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things such as the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Is cost the most important thing to keep in mind when buying solar panels?

The upfront cost is a crucial factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your reasons for going solar. In cities where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to be mindful of are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels significantly reduce my power bills?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on where you're located and the efficiency of your system. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $929.63 per year.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy consumption and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to buy between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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.

solar panel and sunny sky
Invest in clean solar energy, save thousands of dollars.

Save $$ on your electricity bill by getting a free quote today.

Follow us