Solar Panel Cost Guide in Hillsborough, NC (Dec 2022)

  • Hillsborough Solar Installation Cost: $12,393
  • 25-Year Savings: $21,417
  • Payback Period: 9.2 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Hillsborough

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar panels in Hillsborough.

In Hillsborough, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average Hillsborough homeowner needs a 7.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,393, or $9,171 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much solar panels could cost. The true cost of going solar can vary depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what solar installer you go with. Despite the significant upfront cost, the average Hillsborough homeowner can save about $18,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the perks of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Hillsborough

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,040
3 years $-8,336
5 years $-5,631
7 years $-2,926
9 years $-221
11 years $2,484
13 years $5,188
15 years $7,893
17 years $10,598
19 years $13,303
21 years $16,007
23 years $18,712
25 years $21,417

Top Solar Installers in Hillsborough

Trying to put up solar panels yourself can be a stressful undertaking, which is why hiring a solar installation company is a good option for many homeowners. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by offering warranties, repairs and component replacements.

If you're looking for a solar installer in Hillsborough, we've put together 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 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 Hillsborough

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Hillsborough

The cost of installing a solar system in Hillsborough can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The biggest one is your system size, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's important to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. The brand and kind of equipment you choose 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 have a higher price tag 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 more savings over time. Also, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Hillsborough to be prohibitively expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans remarkably decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also result in higher prices over time because of interest. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs considerably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installation company you select will influence your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Hillsborough are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. 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 $18,005 9.5 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $24,292 9.3 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $30,720 9.2 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $37,291 9.0 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $44,004 8.8 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $50,859 8.6 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $57,857 8.4 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $64,997 8.2 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 decide on the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Contract: Look through the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the cost breakdown, completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar panel system running smoothly and save you money on repairs and maintenance.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for renewable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a solid reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can look into your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind offers varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Hillsborough, NC Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $12,700 for a 5-kW system and $25,400 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Hillsborough?

A solar panel system isn't free in Hillsborough, but there are some options that can make getting them more feasible, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can help lower the cost.

Does Hillsborough have a net metering program?

Most states have net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can either 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.

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 higher 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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