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How much does a solar system cost?


Every rooftop is different, and solar installers in your area can provide the best information on what it will cost to go solar for your home or business. Once potential solar customers begin exploring their options, they often find that the total up-front cost of solar is less relevant than the financing terms, return-on-investment, and cash flow calculation. Solar leases and other innovative financing models mean that many people can go solar for little or no money down. Some solar customers save more on their electricity payments than they're paying for their panels, meaning that their investment is cash-flow positive from day one. Learn more about the cost of solar photovoltaics (PV), solar heating & cooling (SHC) systems, and the growth of the solar market in the U.S.

Several factors influence the cost of solar for your home or business, including:

  • Your available, unshaded roofspace. In the U.S., roofs facing south receive the most sunlight.
  • The current energy usage in your home or business. Your current energy costs will affect how quickly you recoup your solar investment. Also, the more energy you use, the larger system you'll need to fully offset your energy use. Many solar installers can also help you install energy efficiency improvements.
  • The utility net metering policy in your area. Net energy metering affects the value of the energy your PV system feeds back into the electricity grid.
  • The federal investment tax credit for solar, and any other tax creditsrebates or other state & local incentives for solar energy.

Considered broadly, everything from investments in solar research & development to streamlining local permitting can reduce the cost of solar energy to the end-user. Browse our Issues & Policies section to learn more and get involved!

For a comprehensive guide to going solar and the costs associated with it, visit