Solar Panel Cost Guide in Philadelphia, PA (Aug 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 7/19/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Philadelphia

Here's how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Philadelphia.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Philadelphia, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 6.5 would cost about $12,341 before the federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Philadelphia homeowners. The cost 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. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar is worth paying. On average homeowners in Philadelphia see about $15,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar panel company in your area for a personalized quote.

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

Although you can install solar panels by yourself, it involves extra time and expertise. Because of that, most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. Also, companies with a high reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a licensed solar company can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

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 Philadelphia

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Philadelphia

The cost of installing a solar system in Philadelphia can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is determined by several factors. The most significant 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

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 largely based on your home's energy consumption, which you can determine by looking at past power bills. Your total cost can increase by about $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 opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your electric bills. In addition, extra products, like solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Philadelphia average.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on utility bills over many years, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Philadelphia homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to offset upfront costs. However, the interest on solar loans also increase your all-in costs, so it's crucial to keep that in mind as well. You can always bring down the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you choose to handle your switch to sustainable energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating in Philadelphia, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Companies that only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come with an above-average cost. It's best to do some research and go with the company that provides the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also fit into 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 solar panel installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Because picking a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can be tedious, it's important to do it fully so you can make sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar installers carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a considerable role in the company you hire.
  • Installation Process: One of the most important things to understand when going solar is the installation process itself. Be sure to align on any details you should know with your solar company, such as what permits you should acquire and what the project timeline is.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different kinds of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.

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 Philadelphia, PA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many 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 extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. Conversely, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

What other factors should I consider apart from cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is certainly one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

How will having solar panels impact my property value?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't opt for a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% after installing solar panels."

How long do solar panels last in Philadelphia?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher amount 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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