Solar Panel Cost Guide in Bristol, RI (Nov 2022)

  • Bristol Solar Installation Cost: $8,151
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,796
  • Payback Period: 9.3 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Bristol

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in Bristol.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Bristol generally cost around $3. Because a 4.1-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Bristol, the average price of going solar will be about $8,151 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind 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 solar system you choose, your solar contractor and more. Despite the large initial cost, the average Bristol homeowner can save around $20,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Bristol

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,273
3 years $-5,517
5 years $-3,761
7 years $-2,006
9 years $-250
11 years $1,506
13 years $3,262
15 years $5,017
17 years $6,773
19 years $8,529
21 years $10,284
23 years $12,040
25 years $13,796

Top Solar Installers in Bristol

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it involves extra time and handiness. That's one of the reasons most people choose to hire a solar panel installer. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by offering warranties, repairs and component replacements.

You can work with a local solar installer to get a free estimate on the cost of solar panels for your home. Here are some in Bristol:

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 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

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 Bristol

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Bristol

There are a number of criteria that can play into your solar system 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

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of going solar is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more electricity your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,840 per kilowatt in Bristol. The brand and kind of equipment you get for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often have a higher price tag than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have limited roof space or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Also, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is difficult, solar loans are a popular choice because they cut back your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. When trying to figure out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you choose to go with a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you choose will impact your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those larger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.95 $12,405 $19,735 9.6 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $26,631 9.5 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $33,687 9.3 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $40,901 9.1 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $48,275 8.9 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $55,807 8.7 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $63,499 8.5 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $71,349 8.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the model of solar panels and the installation company you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about your solar system's energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies carry various brands and types of panels. If you want a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the completion timeline.

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 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

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 Bristol, RI Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Bristol is about $14,200 for a 5-kW system and $28,400 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on things such as the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Bristol?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

How much can I save on electricity bills after installing solar panels?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Bristol, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to get between 20 and 35 panels to cover their typical energy usage.

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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