Solar Panel Cost Guide in Amherst, NY (Sep 2022)

  • Amherst Solar Installation Cost: $9,458
  • 25-Year Savings: $6,163
  • Payback Period: 15.1 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Amherst

See how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Amherst.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Amherst it's $3 per watt. Because a 4.6-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in Amherst, the average price of going solar will be about $9,458 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may vary based on your household energy consumption, the type of solar panels you want, your solar contractor and more. But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the savings for most homeowners is typically rewarding, with a net average savings of about $13,000 over 20 years on electricity bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Amherst

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-8,833
3 years $-7,583
5 years $-6,334
7 years $-5,084
9 years $-3,834
11 years $-2,585
13 years $-1,335
15 years $-85
17 years $1,164
19 years $2,414
21 years $3,664
23 years $4,913
25 years $6,163

Top Solar Installers in Amherst

Many homeowners choose to hire a solar panel installer since trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be challenging. The expertise that solar companies provide can be invaluable as well, especially if you aren't sure what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.

Working with a professional solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:

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 Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

The Green Panel

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in Amherst

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Amherst

For many Amherst homeowners, the decision to install solar panels comes down to cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Amherst, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are several factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment Size

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend about $2,950 per kilowatt in Amherst. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Amherst, where sunlight isn't as abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or limited 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

If paying for solar panels out of pocket is too expensive, solar loans are a solid option because they reduce your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over five to seven years on average. It's a good idea to include the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to put more money down upfront, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final major cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the growing popularity of renewable energy solutions in Amherst, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Amherst have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you learn about 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 $3.07 $12,886 $7,589 15.7 years
8 kW $3.01 $16,850 $10,449 15.4 years
10 kW $2.95 $20,650 $13,474 15.1 years
12 kW $2.89 $24,284 $16,664 14.8 years
14 kW $2.83 $27,754 $20,020 14.5 years
16 kW $2.77 $31,058 $23,540 14.2 years
18 kW $2.71 $34,196 $27,226 13.9 years
20 kW $2.66 $37,170 $31,077 13.6 years

Solar Incentives in Amherst

Name Residential Solar Tax Credit
Incentive Amount 25% for solar-electric (PV) and solar-thermal systems; for third-party owned systems this is in reference to the aggregate amount owed under the contract rather than the amount owed in any single year
Incentive Max $5,000 for solar-energy systems
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name ITC
Type Tax Incentive
Incentive Amount 26% of installation cost
Website Visit here

Name Local Option - Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings
Incentive Amount Upon local adoption, 20% - 100% of real property taxes owed; varies by year and certification level
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)
Incentive Amount Incentive rates step down over time as MW goals are met. Incentive rates as of 11/27/2019 are:

Residential:
Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.30/W
Upstate Region: $0.35/W
Low-to-Moderate income customers: $0.80/W (up to 10 kW)

Small Commercial (Non-Residential):Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.60/W
Up State Region: $0.45/W

Multifamily Affordable Housing Adder: additional $0.40/W (up to 50 kW)
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Website Visit here
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Name NY Green Bank
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount Upon local authorization, 100% exemption from local sales tax
More Info Click here

Name Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption from state sales tax
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Energy Conservation Improvements Property Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% of the value added to the residence by the improvements
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NY-Sun Loan Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption for 15 years (unless local jurisdiction has opted out)
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Warranty: Warranties that provide coverage for defective panels and repairs over a long period of time such as 25 years are the gold standard in the business, and offering such a warranty is one mark of a good company.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: Review the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the overall cost, completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good 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 satisfied reviews from previous customers.

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 Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

The Green Panel

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Amherst, NY Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Amherst?

The average cost of solar panels in Amherst is about $14,750 for a 5-kW system and $29,500 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

What other factors should I consider aside from cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is definitely one of the most important things to bear in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

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

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.

How long do solar panels last in Amherst?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use them at a lower efficiency.

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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