Solar Panel Cost Guide in Watertown, SD (2023 Update)

  • Watertown Solar Installation Cost: $14,840
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,298
  • Payback Period: 10.9 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 04, 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 Watertown

Find out what the average cost of solar panel installation is in Watertown.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Watertown it's 2.39 per watt. To cover the typical energy usage of the average home in Watertown, most homeowners require a 8.9-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $14,840, or $21,221 before the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

How much you pay can be higher or lower than the average in Watertown based on a few factors, such as the brand of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average you could be looking at about $15,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

Click the button below to get connected to a highly rated solar installer in Watertown for a personalized estimate.

Solar savings over time in Watertown

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,474
3 years $-10,743
5 years $-8,012
7 years $-5,281
9 years $-2,550
11 years $181
13 years $2,912
15 years $5,643
17 years $8,374
19 years $11,105
21 years $13,836
23 years $16,567
25 years $19,298

Top Solar Installers in Watertown

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it takes extra labor and handiness. Because of that, the majority of homeowners choose a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar installers provide can be helpful as well, particularly if you aren't sure what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.

If you're on the hunt for a solar company in Watertown, the EcoWatch team has organized 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

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
3.2

  • 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 Watertown

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Watertown

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few key factors that determine your overall cost in Watertown: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll discuss each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the major factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have greater efficiency or power generation need better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,390. The kind of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down 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. However, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your energy bills. In addition, extra products, like solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Watertown average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Watertown, which can lower, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. When figuring out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you hire to install your solar panels can affect the cost. Watertown's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The size of the company sometimes plays the most considerable role in your costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to access to more resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger names.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.49 $10,440 $12,655 11.3 years
8 kW $2.44 $13,652 $17,141 11.1 years
10 kW $2.39 $16,730 $21,760 10.9 years
12 kW $2.34 $19,674 $26,514 10.6 years
14 kW $2.29 $22,485 $31,401 10.4 years
16 kW $2.25 $25,162 $36,422 10.2 years
18 kW $2.20 $27,705 $41,578 10.0 years
20 kW $2.15 $30,114 $46,867 9.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you choose will be a major factor in determining not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the project completion timeline.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and model has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about the project timeline.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for sustainable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it likely has a good reputation and is qualified to do the job well. Another way you can look into your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.

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

★★★★★
3.2

  • 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 Watertown, SD Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Watertown is about $11,950 for a 5-kW system and $23,900 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on certain factors 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 Watertown?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it typically comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback 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 tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

How will solar panels impact my home value?

Solar panels can increase your home value 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 Watertown?

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 their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can opt to 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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