Solar Panel Cost Guide in Richmond, RI (Sep 2022)

  • Richmond Solar Installation Cost: $7,853
  • 25-Year Savings: $14,094
  • Payback Period: 9.0 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Richmond

We break down average solar pricing in Richmond.

The average cost of solar panels in Richmond is $3 per watt. The average Richmond homeowner needs a 4.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $7,853, or $5,811 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of a solar panel system. The exact cost of going solar can vary depending on multiple factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what solar installer you go with. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average Richmond homeowners see about $21,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

To calculate your potential ROI and connect with a local solar expert, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Richmond

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-6,975
3 years $-5,219
5 years $-3,463
7 years $-1,708
9 years $48
11 years $1,804
13 years $3,560
15 years $5,315
17 years $7,071
19 years $8,827
21 years $10,583
23 years $12,338
25 years $14,094

Top Solar Installers in Richmond

When going solar, many homeowners prefer to hire a solar installer since DIY solar panel installation can be a time-consuming project. Another benefit of working with a solar installer is that they can help you optimize your return of investment by lowering your future costs of repairs and replacements with the help of warranties and informing you of local incentives you can take advantage of.

If you're on the hunt for a solar installer in Richmond, we've put together a list of our top suggestions here:

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

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

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 Richmond

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Richmond

Though the average cost of solar panels in Richmond is $7,853, your final cost may differ. There are several factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment Size

One of the most important 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 consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay about $2,840 per kilowatt in Richmond. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Richmond, where sunlight is relatively abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or limited 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

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over many years, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Richmond homeowners opt to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable. It's wise to add 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

Finally, the company you opt for to install your solar panel system can play a role in determining how much it costs. Richmond's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Additionally, some companies in Richmond know more about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $20,906 9.3 years
8 kW $2.90 $16,222 $28,193 9.1 years
10 kW $2.84 $19,880 $35,639 9.0 years
12 kW $2.78 $23,379 $43,244 8.8 years
14 kW $2.73 $26,719 $51,008 8.6 years
16 kW $2.67 $29,900 $58,931 8.4 years
18 kW $2.61 $32,921 $67,013 8.2 years
20 kW $2.56 $35,784 $75,254 8.1 years

Solar Incentives in Richmond

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

Name Rhode Island C-PACE program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Energy Products Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption
Incentive Max None
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Small Scale Solar Grants (Commerce RI)
Incentive Amount Solar PV
Direct Ownership: $1.05/W
Third Party Ownership: $0.70/W
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating
Direct Ownership: 25% of project contract price
Third Party Ownership: 10% of total contract price
Incentive Max Solar PV
Direct Ownership: $10,000 per project, $200,000 per application
Third Party Ownership: $5,000 per project, $100,000 per application
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating
Direct Ownership: $5,000 per project< br/>Third Party Ownership: $2,000 per project
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Incentive Amount Varies (local option)
More Info Click here

Name Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment
Incentive Amount 100% exemption from property taxes
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Energy Growth Program
Incentive Amount Incentives will vary depending on the type of resource, the size of the system, and the geographic load zone area of the installation.

Solar is grouped into four categories based on size:
Small scale solar projects: up to 25kW
Medium scale solar projects: 25kW to 250 kW
Commercial scale solar projects: 250 kW to 1 MW
Large scale solar projects: 1 MW to 5 MW

Wind is grouped into two categories based on size:
Medium: 1.5 MW- 3 MW
Large: 3 MW- 5 MW

Anaerobic Digestion
Medium: 150 kW- 500 kW
Large: 501 kW- 1,000 kW

Small Scale Hydropower
Small: 10kW - 250 kW
Medium: 251 kW- 1,000 kW

Incentive Max Varies with system size, technology and geographic load zone.
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and energy needs. Even though there are many options for which model of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar company has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking its number of years in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar company's contract, ask questions 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.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar system running for years to come and save you money on repairs and maintenance.

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

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

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 Richmond, RI Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $14,200 for a 5-kW system and $28,400 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

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

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you are unable to pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your home value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most financial benefits from going solar.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Richmond is currently $297,408, so you could be looking at a value of about $12,194 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Richmond is a fruitful investment.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can take a 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 install between 20 and 35 panels to account for 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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