Solar Panel Cost Guide in Houston, TX (Jan 2023)

  • Houston Solar Installation Cost: $14,405
  • 25-Year Savings: $22,743
  • Payback Period: 9.7 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 Houston

Here's how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Houston.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Houston typically cost around $3. To cover the typical energy needs of the average home in Houston, most homeowners require a 7.7-kilowatt system. Using the figure above, a solar installation costs around $14,405, or $10,660 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The true price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in Houston based on a few factors, such as the brand of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is quite rewarding, with a net average savings of about $18,000 over 20 years on power bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Houston

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,919
3 years $-9,947
5 years $-6,975
7 years $-4,004
9 years $-1,032
11 years $1,940
13 years $4,912
15 years $7,884
17 years $10,855
19 years $13,827
21 years $16,799
23 years $19,771
25 years $22,743

Top Solar Installers in Houston

DIY solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a headache. Going with a solar panel installer can make swapping over to solar power much easier. Companies can also provide access to various kinds of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be right for you.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't sure which solar panel company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers in Houston:

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 Houston

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Houston

Even though the average cost of a solar system in Houston is $14,405, your actual cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's crucial to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Houston, where sunlight is 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 a better option. 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 Houston to be prohibitively costly, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also lead to paying more over time due to interest. It's wise to factor the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to estimate the cost of solar for your home or business in Houston is the company you choose to install your PV system. As with choosing a company to renovate your kitchen, for example, there's no shortage of solar installers that provide a range of services for different budgets. Larger national companies generally 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 $2.80 $11,750 $17,392 10.1 years
8 kW $2.74 $15,365 $23,491 9.9 years
10 kW $2.69 $18,830 $29,740 9.7 years
12 kW $2.64 $22,144 $36,140 9.5 years
14 kW $2.58 $25,308 $42,690 9.3 years
16 kW $2.53 $28,320 $49,392 9.1 years
18 kW $2.47 $31,182 $56,244 8.9 years
20 kW $2.42 $33,894 $63,246 8.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract carefully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about the installation process.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar installer 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.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will offer various brands and types of panels. If you prefer a specific brand, make sure the solar panel installer you're considering has it.
  • Warranty: Warranties that cover replacement parts and repairs over a long period of time such as 25 years are the best you can get in the business, and offering such a warranty is one mark of a quality company.

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 Houston, TX Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Houston?

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,450 for a 5-kW system and $26,900 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

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

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because 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.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Solar panels can be a beneficial investment for most homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get enough sunlight and/or your energy bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

How long do solar panels last in Houston?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level of energy production.

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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