Solar Panel Cost Guide in Charlotte, NC (Feb 2023)

  • Charlotte Solar Installation Cost: $12,126
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,676
  • 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

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 Charlotte

Here's how much it might cost to go solar in Charlotte.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Charlotte, the average cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Charlotte is around 6.8 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $12,126 for a solar installation, or $8,973 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are just estimates, and your own solar costs may look different based on your specific situation and what company you go with. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar is worth paying. On average homeowners in Charlotte see about $17,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Charlotte

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,894
3 years $-8,430
5 years $-5,966
7 years $-3,502
9 years $-1,037
11 years $1,427
13 years $3,891
15 years $6,355
17 years $8,819
19 years $11,283
21 years $13,747
23 years $16,211
25 years $18,676

Top Solar Installers in Charlotte

Installing solar panels on your own can be a time-consuming undertaking, which is why hiring a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that cost more upfront could actually save you money in the long run with their warranties, repair services and expert design.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar panels. 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 Charlotte

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Charlotte

There are a number of criteria that can influence your total installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that does the installation.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to a variety of factors. One of the major factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with better efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,540. The kind of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your power bills. In addition, extra products, such as solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Charlotte average.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Charlotte offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing solar. Though solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Charlotte homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining major cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of renewable energy solutions in Charlotte, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Charlotte are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $15,986 10.2 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $21,599 10.0 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $27,354 9.8 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $33,252 9.7 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $39,292 9.5 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $45,474 9.3 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $51,798 9.1 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $58,264 8.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Contract: Look through the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the total cost, project timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their roof configurations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which kind of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to peruse their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from past customers.
  • Warranty: If you're worried about the endurance of your solar panel system, ensuring your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can give you some peace of mind.

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 Charlotte, NC Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Charlotte 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 certain factors like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Are solar panels free in Charlotte?

You can't get solar panels for free in Charlotte. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Is it worth going solar in Charlotte?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on a variety of factors like local electricity rates and the amount of direct sunlight your roof gets.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

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 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.

Follow us