Solar Panel Cost Guide in Oak Ridge, NC (Dec 2022)

  • Oak Ridge Solar Installation Cost: $12,393
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,275
  • Payback Period: 10.1 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Oak Ridge

Here's how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Oak Ridge.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Oak Ridge typically cost about $3. The average Oak Ridge 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.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Oak Ridge homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Oak Ridge can save around $17,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

To receive a free quote from a top solar installer in Oak Ridge, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Oak Ridge

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,166
3 years $-8,713
5 years $-6,259
7 years $-3,806
9 years $-1,352
11 years $1,101
13 years $3,554
15 years $6,008
17 years $8,461
19 years $10,915
21 years $13,368
23 years $15,821
25 years $18,275

Top Solar Installers in Oak Ridge

Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be time-consuming. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long term because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. 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 Oak Ridge

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Oak Ridge

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

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by around $2,540. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. Generally, the brands that have better 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 much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are available from most installers in Oak Ridge, which can lower, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. It's wise to include 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 the amount of time it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installer you select will affect your total cost to make the switch to solar energy. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. The size of the company can sometimes play the most considerable role in the cost of installation. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to access to greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger names.

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 $15,300 10.5 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $20,685 10.3 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $26,211 10.1 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $31,881 9.9 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $37,692 9.7 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $43,645 9.5 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $49,741 9.3 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $55,979 9.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the installation company you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to ask for their list of options before deciding.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected 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 research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system part breaking or if the company goes out of business.

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 Oak Ridge, NC Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Oak Ridge?

The average cost of solar panels in Oak Ridge 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 consume.

Are solar panels free in Oak Ridge?

You can't get solar panels for free in Oak Ridge. However, you may still be able to afford 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.

How will installing solar panels impact how much my home is worth?

Buying or financing solar panels for your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Oak Ridge is currently $203,564, so you could be looking at a value of about $8,346 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Oak Ridge is a rewarding investment.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you should find out how much energy your home needs and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can generally produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average household 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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