Solar Panel Cost Guide in College, PA (Dec 2022)

  • College Solar Installation Cost: $12,513
  • 25-Year Savings: $10,537
  • Payback Period: 13.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated December 8, 2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in College

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

In College, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. To cover the typical energy usage of the average home in College, most homeowners require a 7.0-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $12,513, or $9,260 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average College homeowner. The price of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. With typical savings of about $12,000 on energy bills over 20 years, many homeowners in College find going solar can pay off big.

To receive a free estimate from a top solar company in College, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in College

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,591
3 years $-9,747
5 years $-7,903
7 years $-6,059
9 years $-4,215
11 years $-2,371
13 years $-527
15 years $1,317
17 years $3,161
19 years $5,005
21 years $6,849
23 years $8,693
25 years $10,537

Top Solar Installers in College

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel company since installing solar panels yourself can be time-consuming. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by providing warranties, repairs and component replacements.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar system. 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 College

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in College

Even though the average cost of a solar system in College is $12,513, your actual cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's a priority to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The kind of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Moreover, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to think about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when searching for a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in College offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing a solar system. Though solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for College 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 cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you opt for to install your solar panels can impact the cost. College's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The size of the company can sometimes play the most considerable role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of access to more resources and better 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 down 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 $2.65 $11,138 $8,594 14.1 years
8 kW $2.60 $14,566 $11,745 13.8 years
10 kW $2.55 $17,850 $15,038 13.6 years
12 kW $2.50 $20,992 $18,474 13.3 years
14 kW $2.45 $23,990 $22,053 13.0 years
16 kW $2.40 $26,846 $25,774 12.8 years
18 kW $2.35 $29,560 $29,638 12.5 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,130 $33,646 12.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installation company you choose has 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 things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you need to get plays a part in which installer you should choose, since different companies offer different panels.
  • Warranty: If you're concerned about the longevity of your solar panels, making sure your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.
  • Contract: When reading over your solar company's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system part breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking its work history and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like the EcoWatch team.

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 College, PA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in College is about $12,750 for a 5-kW system and $25,500 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff such as the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Can you get solar panels for free in College?

A solar panel system isn't free in College, but there are some options that can make getting them more affordable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can further reduce the cost.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Solar panels can be a great investment for a majority of homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get a lot of direct sunlight and/or your power bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know 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 home 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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