Average Cost of Solar Panels and Installation





By using solar panels, instead of conventionally produced electricity, you can save thousands of dollars on your electric bill and you will be helping our environment at the same time. However, you’re probably curious, what is the average cost of installing solar panels?

Average Cost of Solar Panels & Installation

Known as the installed cost of photovoltaics this metric is very good for producing an average dollar cost per watt to the consumer or business that is thinking of investing in photovoltaic solar energy. Recently a report was compiled, Tracking the Sun IV, which provided an analysis of “behind meter” installed cost and arrived at an average of $6.2 per watt hour. This number will vary depending on total wattage (100kW+ installations for example are cheaper due to economics of scale).

Solar Panel Price Trend

Below are three graphs from the Department of Energy showing both historical and projected costs for photovoltaic energy and photovoltaic panels. Also shown is photovoltaic efficiency which should be taken into account. One of the best resources for information on solar panel price trends including price of solar panel installation is the report Tracking the Sun, currently in its fourth rendition which is published by the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Berkeley National Laboratories.

Graph showing historical and projected solar photovoltaic efficiency. Image by DOE.

Graph showing historical and projected solar photovoltaic efficiency. Image by DOE.

Graph showing historical and projected capital cost of solar photovoltaics. Image by DOE.

Graph showing historical and projected capital cost of solar photovoltaics. Image by DOE.

Graph showing historical and projected capital cost of solar photovoltaic energy. Image by DOE.

Graph showing historical and projected capital cost of solar photovoltaic energy. Image by DOE.

Below is a video that outlines many of the current and past forces that have been shaping the cost of solar panels.

Solar Panel Price List

2.3KW Residential Grid-Tied Solar Power System: This type of setup would easily power the average household and comes with everything necessary to hook up to the electrical grid to begin selling power.


1KW Solar Panel Price
Prices for a complete 1KW solar array are around $3,500-$6,000.



200 Watt Solar Panel Price
200W systems typically run $500-$800.



100 Watt Solar Panel Price
100W solar panels typically run $300-$500.



80 Watt Solar Panel Price
80W solar panels cost around $200-$400.


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