Solar Panel Cost Guide in Austin, TX (Aug 2022)

  • Austin Solar Installation Cost: $15,029
  • 25-Year Savings: $21,071
  • Payback Period: 10.4 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 7/19/2022

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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 Austin

Here's how much it might cost to install solar panels in Austin.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Austin, the average cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average Austin homeowner needs a 7.5-kilowatt system, which would cost about $15,029, or $11,121 after the federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Austin homeowner. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. With average savings of about $18,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Austin find going solar has a decent ROI.

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

Solar savings over time in Austin

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,585
3 years $-10,697
5 years $-7,809
7 years $-4,921
9 years $-2,033
11 years $855
13 years $3,743
15 years $6,631
17 years $9,519
19 years $12,407
21 years $15,295
23 years $18,183
25 years $21,071

Top Solar Installers in Austin

Many homeowners decide to hire a solar installation company since figuring out how to install solar panels on your own can be a labor-intensive endeavor. Plus, warranties and repairs from your solar panel installer can protect your investment and bring down the cost of maintenance over the lifespan of your panels.

Working with a vetted solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. 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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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

See all of the solar companies in Austin

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Austin

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

Solar Equipment Size

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to a few different factors. One of the notable factors is the system size. Solar power systems that have greater efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,690. The brand and kind of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these are often more expensive than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater 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

Most solar installers in Austin offer solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the principal cost. Making a larger down payment or getting a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installation company you pick will influence your total cost to adopt solar power. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. You may see national solar installers that have lower prices because of their larger brand name and access to bulk equipment pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or promotions 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 $2.80 $12,421 $16,270 10.8 years
8 kW $2.74 $16,243 $22,012 10.6 years
10 kW $2.69 $19,906 $27,913 10.4 years
12 kW $2.64 $23,409 $33,973 10.2 years
14 kW $2.58 $26,754 $40,193 10.0 years
16 kW $2.53 $29,939 $46,572 9.8 years
18 kW $2.47 $32,964 $53,110 9.6 years
20 kW $2.42 $35,831 $59,807 9.4 years

Solar Incentives in Austin

Name Austin Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Incentive Amount Central AC/Heat Pump: $150 - $600
Package Unit AC/Heat Pump: $200 - $550
Mini-Split AC/Heat Pump: $250 - $800
AC Tune-Up: $175, max of 5 systems
Pool Pumps: $300 per pump replaced
Heat Pump Water Heater: $800
Smart Thermostat: $25/unit, plus $85 for participating in the Power Partner Thermostat smart energy savings program
Window Air Conditioners: $50 per unit
Weatherization Bonus: Up to $2,400
Solar Screens/Solar Film: $1.00/sq. ft.
Attic Insulation to R-38: varies by original R-value
Duct Replacement: $3.25/sq. ft.
Duct Insulation: $1.00/sq. ft.
Duct System Performance Testing: $200 - first system, $100 each additional system/ $75.00 per new return air improvement (max 3 per system)
External Combustion Air: $20 each
Air Infiltration and Duct Sealing: $0.12/sq. ft.
Total External Static Pressure: $175 for first system, $100 for additional
Return Air/Supply Grilles: $5 each
Improve Supply and/or Return Plenum: $75 each
Additional Attic Access: $25
Insulated Box for Pull Down Stairs: $25
Fan Cover: $25
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More Info Click here

Name Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100%
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

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

Name Austin Energy - Residential Solar PV Rebate Program
Incentive Amount $2,500
Incentive Max $2,500
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a large number of companies available in Austin, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Selecting the right company for you can be tough, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Contract: Read the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the cost breakdown, project completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • 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 timeline.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.

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 Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

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

EcoWatch's Austin, TX Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Austin is about $13,450 for a 5-kW system and $26,900 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

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

Cost is without a doubt one of the most important things to bear in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Do solar panels increase the value of your home?

Solar panels can increase your home value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't choose 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 Austin?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them once you've had them for that long or you can keep using 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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