Solar Panel Cost Guide in Madison, WI (Dec 2022)

  • Madison Solar Installation Cost: $13,231
  • 25-Year Savings: $28,242
  • Payback Period: 8.0 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 Madison

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Madison.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Madison it's $3 per watt. Because a 7.3-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Madison, the average price of going solar will be about $13,231 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much solar panels could cost. The actual cost of making the switch to solar can vary depending on a few factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what solar installer you go with. Even with the significant initial cost, the average Madison homeowner can save around $22,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the perks of solar.

For a free quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by the EcoWatch team, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Madison

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,572
3 years $-8,255
5 years $-4,937
7 years $-1,619
9 years $1,699
11 years $5,017
13 years $8,335
15 years $11,652
17 years $14,970
19 years $18,288
21 years $21,606
23 years $24,924
25 years $28,242

Top Solar Installers in Madison

Although it's possible to install solar panels by yourself, it takes extra time and handiness. For that reason, most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. Plus, if you're not certain what type of solar panels and equipment you want, a solar expert can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

Working with a licensed solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. 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 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 Madison

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Madison

The cost of installing a solar system in Madison can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost depends on several factors. The most significant one is the size of the system your home needs, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need for your home, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by nearly $2,600. The type of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will considerably impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more costly. Further, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when researching a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is difficult, solar loans are a solid choice because they lower your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. Although solar loans make going solar more accessible for Madison homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installation company you choose will impact your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will bill 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 pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or promotions to compete with those major players.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.70 $11,357 $22,852 8.3 years
8 kW $2.65 $14,851 $30,760 8.1 years
10 kW $2.60 $18,200 $38,814 8.0 years
12 kW $2.55 $21,403 $47,014 7.8 years
14 kW $2.50 $24,461 $55,359 7.7 years
16 kW $2.44 $27,373 $63,850 7.5 years
18 kW $2.39 $30,139 $72,486 7.3 years
20 kW $2.34 $32,760 $81,268 7.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you opt for will be a major factor in determining not only your total costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you want to get plays a role in which installer you should go with, since different companies offer different panels.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar system running for years to come and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer in regard to how the installation process will go and what needs to be done before your solar panels are installed, such as updating your electrical system or roof.
  • Contract: Although reading through a contract can be tedious, it's important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.

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 Madison, WI Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,000 for a 5-kW system and $26,000 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

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

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't afford to pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your property 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.

Can solar panels significantly reduce my power bills?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and the efficiency of your system. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $1,140.28 per year.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home requires and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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