When you are hunting for the best solar quote in the market, it’s important to begin your search with a solid idea of the average costs involved. That way, you know when a company is underquoting you or over-quoting you, and you can ask them specific questions to uncover the reasoning behind their prices.
So, let’s find out the standard residential solar installation costs in Pennsylvania.
- Know Your Costs
There are primarily 7 cost centers in a solar installation:
- Solar panels
- Racking and balance of system (wires, clamps, electrical disconnects, etc.).
- Permits, interconnection applications, and inspections
- Sales and customer acquisition costs.
- Installer margin
You can avoid the last two cost items by DIYing your solar installation, but even minor errors will cost you dearly. So, it’s best to go with professional solar installers.
- Standard Costs
On average, households in Pennsylvania consume about 837 kWh of power per month. The total accumulates to 10,044 kWh of power annually.
Assuming a production ratio of 1.3, we find out that an 8 kW solar system would be required to meet the power needs of an average PA household.
Also, solar system installations in PA cost about $3.00 for every watt of installed capacity. This includes all the cost items discussed above. So, an 8 kW solar system would cost about $24,000 in upfront investment.
While $24,000 appears to be a sizeable investment, the government offers plenty of incentives to slash down the burden on homeowners.
For one, the federal income tax credit helps you save about 26% on the total cost. That’s a reprieve of $6,240, which brings down the net cost to $17,760.
Likewise, there’s a net metering incentive, which can help you realize savings that are orders of magnitude higher than the tax credit in the long run. Also, the SREC credits can unlock another $400 (at the price of $40 per SREC) in savings annually.
Even when ignoring the impact of other incentives, you can see that the cost of an 8 kW solar system is not in the sub-$15,000 range.
Once you start accounting for all the incentives, you realize that you recover all your investment into solar merely based on the incentives alone, without even having to worry about the electricity bill savings.
You can use the analogous calculations to find out the standard costs of installing solar systems of other sizes. For instance, here are the numbers for some common sizes:
|System Size||Gross Costs||Actual Costs With Federal Tax Credit|