Solar Panel Cost Guide in Charleston, PA (2023 Update)

  • Charleston Solar Installation Cost: $12,656
  • 25-Year Savings: $21,099
  • Payback Period: 9.4 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 04, 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 Charleston

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar panels in Charleston.

In Charleston, solar panels cost about 2.55 per watt on average. The average Charleston homeowner needs a 7.1-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,656 with the federal tax credit, or $18,098 before the 30% tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may vary based on your household energy needs, the type of equipment you want to get, your solar contractor and more. With average savings of about $18,000 on electricity bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Charleston find installing solar panels can be quite rewarding.

To calculate your potential ROI and connect with a local solar installer, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Charleston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,305
3 years $-8,605
5 years $-5,905
7 years $-3,204
9 years $-504
11 years $2,196
13 years $4,897
15 years $7,597
17 years $10,297
19 years $12,998
21 years $15,698
23 years $18,398
25 years $21,099

Top Solar Installers in Charleston

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Going with a solar company can make converting to solar power much easier. Some solar companies, especially local ones, can help you make the most of incentives in Charleston, optimizing your ROI.

You can get a free estimate from a local solar installer on how much solar panels could cost for your home. Here are some nearby:

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

See all of the solar companies in Charleston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Charleston

There are many criteria that can determine your installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that performs the installation.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of going solar. Because of that, it's crucial to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. There are a lot of different solar panel brands and the one you choose also affects the cost. Usually, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also be more expensive. Additionally, the type of equipment you're looking to install can affect your total cost. If you only need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Charleston provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. It's wise to factor 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 how long it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you get to install your solar system can affect your pricing. Charleston's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Additionally, some companies in Charleston are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you take advantage of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you 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 $2.65 $11,138 $17,410 9.8 years
8 kW $2.60 $14,566 $23,499 9.6 years
10 kW $2.55 $17,850 $29,731 9.4 years
12 kW $2.50 $20,992 $36,105 9.2 years
14 kW $2.45 $23,990 $42,623 9.0 years
16 kW $2.40 $26,846 $49,283 8.8 years
18 kW $2.35 $29,560 $56,086 8.6 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,130 $63,032 8.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you choose will be a major factor in determining not only your total costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should take into account, such as:

  • 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 positive reviews from previous customers.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar panels running for years to come and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, make sure you look it over completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a component breaks or malfunctions and what services you can expect from them.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you want to get plays a role in which company you should opt for, since different companies offer 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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

EcoWatch's Charleston, PA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Charleston is about $12,750 for a 5-kW system and $25,500 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Are solar panels free in Charleston?

You can't get solar panels for free in Charleston. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you want to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like how much you pay for electricity and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home requires 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 house 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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