Solar Panel Cost Guide in Philadelphia, PA (May 2022)

  • Philadelphia Solar Installation Cost: $12,341
  • 25-Year Savings: $14,305
  • Payback Period: 11.6 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 4/26/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Philadelphia

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

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Philadelphia generally cost around $3. The average Philadelphia homeowner needs a 6.5-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,341, or $9,132 after the federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are just averages, and how much solar costs for you will most likely vary based on the amount of energy your home requires and what company you choose to go with. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a rewarding investment. The average homeowner in Philadelphia can save about $15,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar installer in Philadelphia for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Philadelphia

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,275
3 years $-9,144
5 years $-7,012
7 years $-4,880
9 years $-2,749
11 years $-617
13 years $1,515
15 years $3,646
17 years $5,778
19 years $7,910
21 years $10,041
23 years $12,173
25 years $14,305

Top Solar Installers in Philadelphia

When going solar, many homeowners choose to hire a solar installer since DIY solar panel installation can be a time-consuming project. Plus, warranties and repairs from your solar panel company can protect your investment and lower the cost of maintenance in the long run.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. Here are our suggestions:

Best National Provider

SunPower

5.0

  • Pros iconMost efficient panels on the market
  • Pros iconNational coverage
  • Pros iconCradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Con iconExpensive
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

4.5

  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Pros iconRepresentatives are experts on local policies
  • Pros iconConcierge service ensures steady communication
  • Con iconSlightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

4.5

  • Pros iconPrice-match guarantee
  • Pros iconSleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Pros iconBest solar battery on the market
  • Con iconSome reported issues with customer service
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in Philadelphia

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Philadelphia

For many Philadelphia homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Philadelphia, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a number of factors that significantly influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment Size

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar energy system in Philadelphia, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are mainly based on your home's energy consumption, which you can figure out by looking at past power bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,550 for each additional kilowatt you need. The solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your electric bills. Additionally, extra products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Philadelphia average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are available from most installers in Philadelphia, which can bring down, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's crucial to take that into consideration as well. You can always bring down the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to estimate the cost of solar for your home or business in Philadelphia is the company you choose to install your PV system. Similar to choosing a company to build a deck or pool, for instance, there's no shortage of solar installers that provide a range of services at different price points. Companies that only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and find a company that has the products, warranties and services you want and also is within your budget.

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 $11,775 $12,673 12.0 years
8 kW $2.60 $15,398 $17,199 11.8 years
10 kW $2.55 $18,870 $21,876 11.6 years
12 kW $2.50 $22,191 $26,704 11.3 years
14 kW $2.45 $25,361 $31,683 11.1 years
16 kW $2.40 $28,380 $36,813 10.9 years
18 kW $2.35 $31,249 $42,094 10.7 years
20 kW $2.29 $33,966 $47,526 10.4 years

Solar Incentives in Philadelphia

Name High Performance Building Incentives Program
Incentive Amount Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding
Incentive Max Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

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

Name High Performance Buildings Incentive Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name City of Philadelphia - Streamlined Solar Permitting and Fee Reduction
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Solar Alternative Energy Credits
Incentive Amount Varies based on market conditions; during 2015 the market price for PA-sourced SRECs has ranged from approximately $32 - $55/MWh ($0.032 - $0.055/kWh) although individual trades have taken place at substantially lower and higher prices.
Incentive Max Varies based on market conditions; SACP does not represent a price ceiling because it is only determined after the fact
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your system installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since choosing a company can be a challenge, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it likely have a good reputation and are qualified to do the job well. Another way you can research your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Warranty: If youcare about the longevity of your solar energy system, verifying your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can give you some peace of mind.
  • Contract: Review the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand the total cost, project timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Installation Process: When making the switch to solar energy, it's crucial to maintain an open line of communication with your solar company. Make sure you understand how the installation process will go and the project completion timeline.

Best National Provider

SunPower

5.0

  • Pros iconMost efficient panels on the market
  • Pros iconNational coverage
  • Pros iconCradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Con iconExpensive
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

4.5

  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Pros iconRepresentatives are experts on local policies
  • Pros iconConcierge service ensures steady communication
  • Con iconSlightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

4.5

  • Pros iconPrice-match guarantee
  • Pros iconSleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Pros iconBest solar battery on the market
  • Con iconSome reported issues with customer service
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Philadelphia, PA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $12,750 for a 5-kW system and $25,500 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Philadelphia?

A solar panel system isn't free in Philadelphia, 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.

How will having solar panels impact how much my home is worth?

Buying or financing solar panels for your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Philadelphia is currently $176,402, so you could be looking at a value of about $7,232 more than houses without a solar system. The specific figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Philadelphia is a worthwhile investment.

How long do solar panels last in Philadelphia?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they should be disposed of at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them after having 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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