Solar Panel Cost Guide in Buffalo, NY (Aug 2022)

  • Buffalo Solar Installation Cost: $9,998
  • 25-Year Savings: $5,961
  • Payback Period: 15.7 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 7/19/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Buffalo

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in Buffalo.

In Buffalo, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Since a 4.6-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Buffalo, the average price of going solar will be about $9,998 before claiming the federal solar tax credit.

How much you pay can be above or below the average in Buffalo depending on several factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. But, after you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is usually good, with a net average savings of about $13,000 over 20 years on energy bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Buffalo

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-9,360
3 years $-8,083
5 years $-6,806
7 years $-5,530
9 years $-4,253
11 years $-2,976
13 years $-1,700
15 years $-423
17 years $854
19 years $2,131
21 years $3,407
23 years $4,684
25 years $5,961

Top Solar Installers in Buffalo

Although you can install solar panels on your own, it takes extra time and know-how. That's one of the reasons most people choose to go with a solar panel installer. Some solar companies, especially local ones, can help you take advantage of incentives in Buffalo, thereby optimizing your ROI.

There are various 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 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

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
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 Buffalo

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Buffalo

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

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 pay about $2,950 per kilowatt in Buffalo. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Buffalo, where sunlight isn't as 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

If paying for solar panels in cash is out of reach, solar loans are a solid option because they cut back your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, 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 remarkably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installer you select will impact your total cost to go solar. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. The company's size can sometimes play the most significant role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to access to more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount 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 $3.07 $13,622 $7,295 16.3 years
8 kW $3.01 $17,813 $10,076 16.0 years
10 kW $2.95 $21,830 $13,032 15.7 years
12 kW $2.89 $25,672 $16,162 15.3 years
14 kW $2.83 $29,340 $19,467 15.0 years
16 kW $2.77 $32,832 $22,947 14.7 years
18 kW $2.71 $36,150 $26,601 14.4 years
20 kW $2.66 $39,294 $30,430 14.1 years

Solar Incentives in Buffalo

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
More Info Click here

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 brand of solar panels and the installer you choose have an impact on 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:

  • Contract: When reading over your solar installer's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system component breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar system installer has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking its work history and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the project completion timeline.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The model of solar panel you want to get plays a role in which company you should opt for, since different companies have different panels.

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

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
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 Buffalo, NY Solar Cost FAQs

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

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

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Buffalo?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, as it often 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 tax rebates and credits 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 solar panels completely eradicate my electricity bills?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Buffalo, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

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 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.

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