Solar Panel Cost Guide in State College, PA (Feb 2023)

  • State College Solar Installation Cost: $12,513
  • 25-Year Savings: $11,874
  • Payback Period: 12.8 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 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 State College

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar panels in State College.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in State College generally cost around $3. The average State College homeowner needs a 7.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,513, or $9,260 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The actual price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in State College depending on a few factors, such as the brand of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar is worth paying. On average you could be looking at about $13,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar company in State College that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in State College

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,537
3 years $-9,586
5 years $-7,635
7 years $-5,685
9 years $-3,734
11 years $-1,783
13 years $168
15 years $2,119
17 years $4,070
19 years $6,021
21 years $7,972
23 years $9,923
25 years $11,874

Top Solar Installers in State College

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it requires extra effort and expertise. That's one of the reasons the majority of homeowners choose a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar installers offer can be invaluable as well, especially if you don't quite know what kind of solar equipment you need.

There are a number of licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. 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 State College

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in State College

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few major factors that affect your total cost in State College: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar system in State College, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly based on your home's energy consumption, which you can gauge by looking at past power bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,550 for each additional kilowatt you need. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like State College, where sunlight isn't as abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in State College to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in a higher cost over time due to interest. It's wise to include 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 the amount of time it'll take to pay back the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installation company you select will play a role in your total cost to adopt solar power. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric vehicle charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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 $9,739 13.3 years
8 kW $2.60 $14,566 $13,271 13.1 years
10 kW $2.55 $17,850 $16,946 12.8 years
12 kW $2.50 $20,992 $20,763 12.6 years
14 kW $2.45 $23,990 $24,724 12.3 years
16 kW $2.40 $26,846 $28,827 12.1 years
18 kW $2.35 $29,560 $33,073 11.8 years
20 kW $2.29 $32,130 $37,461 11.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the kind of solar panels and the installer you choose greatly impacts your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Warranty: Warranties that provide coverage for panel repairs and maintenance over a long period of time such as 25 years are the gold standard in the business, and offering such a warranty is one indication of a good company.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, be sure to read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been in business for many years likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer service, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 State College, PA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in State College?

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

Can you get solar panels for free in State College?

You can't get solar panels for free in State College. 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'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Does State College have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states allow you to sell power back to the grid, but others just give you credit toward your future energy bills.

How long do solar panels last in State College?

Even though 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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