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

  • Manhattan Solar Installation Cost: $8,514
  • 25-Year Savings: $24,826
  • Payback Period: 6.4 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 Manhattan

See how much it might cost to go solar in Manhattan.

The average cost of solar panels in Manhattan is $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 3.9 would cost about $8,514 before the federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of solar panels you choose, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find installing a solar system is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Manhattan can save around $32,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Manhattan

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,180
3 years $-4,513
5 years $-1,846
7 years $821
9 years $3,489
11 years $6,156
13 years $8,823
15 years $11,490
17 years $14,157
19 years $16,825
21 years $19,492
23 years $22,159
25 years $24,826

Top Solar Installers in Manhattan

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it requires extra energy and know-how. For that reason, most homeowners choose to hire a solar panel installer. Local solar installation companies can also help you optimize your return on investment by assisting with any local incentives and by offering warranties and repairs.

If you're looking for a solar company in Manhattan, the EcoWatch team has compiled 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 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 Manhattan

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Manhattan

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

Solar Equipment Size

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the notable factors is the system size. Solar power systems that have better efficiency or power production require better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,950. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these are often more expensive than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have limited roof space or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Plus, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system out of pocket is too expensive, solar loans are a solid option because they decrease your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over five to seven years on average. Although solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Manhattan homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Manhattan is the company you get to install your solar panel system. As with choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, you'll have no shortage of solar installers that offer a range of services at different costs. The company's size can sometimes play the most significant role in the cost of installation. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to greater resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger companies.

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 $37,636 6.6 years
8 kW $3.01 $17,813 $50,530 6.5 years
10 kW $2.95 $21,830 $63,599 6.4 years
12 kW $2.89 $25,672 $76,843 6.3 years
14 kW $2.83 $29,340 $90,261 6.1 years
16 kW $2.77 $32,832 $103,854 6.0 years
18 kW $2.71 $36,150 $117,622 5.9 years
20 kW $2.66 $39,294 $131,564 5.7 years

Solar Incentives in Manhattan

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 New York City - Property Tax Abatement for Photovoltaic (PV) and Energy Storage equipment
Incentive Amount Installed from August 5, 2008 to December 31, 2010: 8.75% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 35%);
Installed from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012: 5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 20%);
Installed from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013: 2.5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 10%)
Installed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Installed from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Incentive Max $62,500 annually or the amount of real property taxes owed during a year
Website Visit here
More Info Click 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 New York City - Residential Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% local sales tax exemption
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

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

  • Contract: When looking over your solar company's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system part breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from past customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you want to install plays a part in which company you should choose, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Installation Process: Get details from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, such as when the site survey will be done and how long it will take.

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 Manhattan, NY Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Manhattan 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 certain factors such as the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Is cost the most important thing to think about when buying solar panels?

The upfront cost is a very important factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your goals for going solar. In places where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to keep in mind are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Do solar panels increase your home value?

Solar panels can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Manhattan is currently $904,695, which means you can look forward to a value of about $37,092 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Manhattan is a worthwhile investment.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them after having them for that long or you can keep using 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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