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

  • Wilmington Solar Installation Cost: $11,326
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,949
  • Payback Period: 8.8 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

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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 Wilmington

Find out what the average cost of solar panel installation is in Wilmington.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Wilmington it's $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 6.4 would cost about $11,326 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar will differ based on your household energy use, the type of solar system you want to get, your solar contractor and more. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar is worth paying. On average homeowners in Wilmington see about $19,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

For a customized quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Wilmington

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-10,035
3 years $-7,453
5 years $-4,871
7 years $-2,289
9 years $293
11 years $2,875
13 years $5,457
15 years $8,039
17 years $10,621
19 years $13,203
21 years $15,785
23 years $18,367
25 years $20,949

Top Solar Installers in Wilmington

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it involves extra energy and knowledge. For that reason, the majority of homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. A solar installer can also help save you money in the long run by offering warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

There are a number of 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 Wilmington

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Wilmington

There are several criteria that can influence your 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 few different factors. One of the major factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with higher efficiency or power generation need better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,540. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Wilmington, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be a better option. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Wilmington have solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar. It's wise to factor the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a larger 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 remaining major cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of clean energy solutions in Wilmington, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. Companies that only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and go with the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also is within your budget.

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 $19,297 9.1 years
8 kW $2.59 $14,508 $26,014 9.0 years
10 kW $2.54 $17,780 $32,873 8.8 years
12 kW $2.49 $20,909 $39,874 8.6 years
14 kW $2.44 $23,896 $47,018 8.4 years
16 kW $2.39 $26,741 $54,304 8.2 years
18 kW $2.34 $29,444 $61,732 8.1 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,004 $69,302 7.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar system installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since choosing a company can be a challenge, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Installation Process: When going solar, it's necessary to maintain an open line of communication with your solar company. See to it that you understand how the installation process will go and the completion timeline.
  • 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 substantial role in the company you choose.
  • 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 likely has a good reputation and is qualified to get the job done well. Another way you can research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure you read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and what services you can expect from them.

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 Wilmington, NC Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, 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. You can expect to pay more if you want additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. On the flip side, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Wilmington?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it usually comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to get the most savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Wilmington?

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

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 amount of 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 get 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.

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