Solar Panel Cost in West Virginia (2023 Local Savings Guide)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in West Virginia:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.64
- Cost of Average System: $20,328*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $48,933
- Payback Period: 13 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $19,893
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
Cost of Solar Panels in West Virginia
The average cost of solar panels in West Virginia is $2.64 per watt, which is slightly less than the national average of $2.66 per watt.
According to our data and market research, the average West Virginia homeowner will install an 11-kilowatt (kW) solar panel system to offset the typical monthly energy bill of $124.1 Plugging the figure above into our solar calculator, it would cost about $29,040 for a solar panel installation in West Virginia, or $20,328 after factoring in the 30% federal solar tax credit.
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Solar Panel System Installation Cost in West Virginia
Because the cost of solar panels is measured per watt, the size of your solar system will play the greatest role in affecting the cost of your solar panel installation in West Virginia. Based on internal data and market research, we’ve estimated that a solar panel installation in West Virginia would cost between $21,000 and $37,000 on average, depending on how many solar panels you need to install. However, these figures are before applying any tax incentives or solar rebates that may lower your cost.
The table below shows the average prices for the different solar panel system sizes in West Virginia before and after the solar investment tax credit (ITC):
|Size of Solar Panel System||West Virginia Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Interested to see our top picks for best solar companies in West Virginia? We vetted all of the solar companies serving West Virginia to find the most reputable ones that offer affordable, high-quality solar energy systems. Click here to learn more.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in West Virginia?
Solar panel systems in West Virginia can vary quite a lot in price, with typical systems totaling anywhere between $14,784 and $25,872 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is taken into account.
It’s difficult to estimate with accuracy where in this range your total will fall because several factors have an impact on the price. We’ll discuss these main cost factors below.
One of the most significant factors affecting your solar system cost is the equipment you install. The brands and types of equipment that are appropriate to needs in West Virginia are dictated to some extent by the state’s weather and climate.
WV receives just 164 days of sun each year — well below the national average of 205 days. The lack of sun means homeowners tend to invest in high-efficiency solar panels, which cost more but are designed to make the most of the limited sun exposure.
If you have other factors affecting available sunlight — like a roof that doesn’t face south or shading from nearby trees — you’re even more likely to need higher-cost high-efficiency panels.
Additionally, West Virginia is prone to some severe weather, including the remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms. These lead to frequent power outages, and many homeowners opt for solar batteries as a result.
These add-on pieces of equipment are convenient to have in an area like WV because they provide power during blackouts, but they also tend to drive up your total system price.
Solar Financing in West Virginia
Most homeowners choose to pay for their solar panels with cash or using a solar loan. Which one you choose will affect your all-in system cost.
A cash purchase, while it comes with a large up-front expenditure, won’t leave you paying thousands of dollars in interest. A solar loan will end up costing much more in the long run because of interest payments, especially if you have a high APR.
Unfortunately, there are no statewide solar financing programs in West Virginia. The state has yet to establish Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and there are no options for low-income households to reduce their cost of going solar.
West Virginia Solar Installation Company
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are eight solar installers local to West Virginia, and there are additional national installers that serve the area.2 The one you choose for your installation can have a pretty significant impact on your pricing.
Different equipment, warranties, installation processes and overall levels of service can all affect pricing from one company to another. In some cases, the differences in cost can be on the order of thousands of dollars.
For example, we can consider two of the top solar companies in West Virginia — Yellowlite and SunPower. Yellowlite installs several affordable panel options, including Canadian Solar, Solar World and Suniva.
SunPower, on the other hand, only installs one of the most expensive brands on the market: Maxeon. As a result, you can expect the price of going solar with SunPower to be higher than that of installing solar with Yellowlite.
It’s important to note that cost is important, but it’s not everything. You should also consider evaluating and comparing companies based on the value provided. For example, longer and more extensive equipment warranties mean higher costs but also provide added value and protection to your system.
Additional Considerations and Costs in West Virginia
Below are some additional minor considerations you should think about before choosing a solar installer in West Virginia. These factors won’t affect your price much, but they can have an impact on your overall experience.
- Permits: Building permits are required by all West Virginia municipalities for solar installations. Your installer will likely handle getting the necessary permits, but you should confirm this before signing any contracts.
- Licenses: There are no specific licenses required by the State of West Virginia for solar installers. However, you should make sure your installer has a licensed electrician on its team, as this license is required to connect the system to the grid.
- Warranties: As mentioned above, solar warranties are important because they protect your system from damage, malfunctions and poor performance. It’s often worth it to pay more for equipment that comes with more comprehensive warranties, as non-covered issues can be quite costly.
- HOAs: West Virginia has passed legislation that prevents governing agencies like homeowners’ associations from prohibiting solar panel installation, so all homeowners have the right to install solar and enjoy the benefits.
- Environmental zoning: There are zoning laws in WV that could present issues for ground-mounted solar panels. However, they will rarely affect rooftop systems in the state.
West Virginia Solar Incentives
West Virginia is not one of the top states for solar. In fact, it’s currently ranked near the bottom, at 48th in the nation for solar installations.3 However, more and more West Virginians seem to be realizing the pros of going solar, because residential solar installations are on the rise in the Mountain state.4
Whether you’re interested in installing solar panels to lower your utility bills, have energy independence or because you want to rely on a clean energy source, we want to make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the incentives available to lower the cost of going solar in West Virginia. Here’s an overview of some of West Virginia’s solar programs:
|West Virginia Solar Incentive||How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in West Virginia|
|Net Metering||The state of West Virginia requires all utilities to offer net metering. As the law stands, solar users will be credited for each kilowatt produced by their system. Each month, they’ll be billed for the number of kilowatt-hours they used, minus the number of kilowatt-hours they generated.5|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||The solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows solar adopters to claim 30% of their total solar equipment and installation costs as a tax credit on their next federal filing. The 30% credit is in effect for any solar project purchased through 2032. The tax credit will decrease to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.|
|Local Rebates & Incentives||While West Virginia doesn’t offer many incentives specifically for solar, some utilities offer rebates for customers who make energy-efficient upgrades. We recommend checking the DSIRE database to see what your utility offers.|
|West Virginia Solar Rights||The state passed a law in 2012 that restricts homeowners associations (HOAs) from forbidding solar energy systems on homes. However, HOA members may vote to remove this restriction.6|
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in West Virginia
The table below includes some pricing information for the best solar panel brands available in WV. Using these relative prices, you should be able to get a general idea of which brands will fit your budget and which may exceed it.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
Ready to get a quote for your solar panel system? Select one of our top providers below, and we’ll have a pre-vetted installer from your area provide a free, no-obligation estimate.
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FAQs: Solar Panel Cost West Virginia
We routinely see questions about solar panels from West Virginia readers. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at email@example.com.
The average cost of solar panels in West Virginia is $2.64 per watt, which puts the average 11-kilowatt home solar system in West Virginia at $29,040. Installing a solar system in West Virginia also qualifies for the 26% federal tax credit, which would give you an additional savings of about $7,550.
Yes, installing solar panels will likely increase the value of your home, as data from Zillow shows that solar boosts property value as much as 4.1%.8 However, this only applies if you own your solar panels and not if you have a solar lease.
We always recommend buying solar panels when feasible. We know it’s an expensive upfront cost, but you can’t take advantage of many solar benefits — like the solar tax credit and boosted real estate value — if you don’t own your solar panels. Check out the different ways to finance your solar panels to get a good deal on solar panels.
If free solar panels sound too good to be true, it’s because they are. Companies that offer “free solar panels” in West Virginia are typically offering solar leases or power purchase agreements, which often end up being impractical choices for most homeowners. Many companies that advertise free solar panels are using deceptive marketing techniques to make a sale and are not actually interested in helping you reap all the benefits of going solar. If a company approaches you about free solar panels, run the other way.
Yes, it’s entirely possible that installing solar panels on your West Virginia property could eliminate your energy bills through the process of net metering. However, you would probably need a solar system of at least 11 kW to fully offset the cost of energy.
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- No leases or PPAs
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