5kW solar panel systems: How much do they cost?

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5kw solar energy system

5 kW solar systems are near the average size for solar panel installations in the United States, so for those wondering how much solar will cost to install, looking at some price data for 5,000 watts of power is a good place to start. Prices will vary based on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state you live in. Learn more about how much solar panels cost, how much electricity a 5 kW system can produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

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As of January 2022, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is $2.776 per watt ($13,850 for a 5-kilowatt system). That means the total 5 kW solar system cost would be $10,249 after the federal solar tax credit (not factoring in any additional state rebates or incentives).

We looked at data from the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, the leading comparison-shopping platform for homeowners considering home solar panel systems, to find out how much solar shoppers are paying for 5kW solar energy systems across the U.S.

The prices listed below have not had the 26 percent federal tax credit for solar deducted. Depending on where you live, you might have additional state or local solar incentives and rebates that reduce the price even more. You may even earn extra income by selling your system's solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).

Even if there are no other incentives where you live, comparing multiple offers from solar companies is important to ensure you find the best deal. Homeowners who register their property on EnergySage save up to 20 percent just by shopping around for the right option for their home.

How much does a 5,000-watt solar system cost in my state?

5 K W Solar System Price Range
Arizona$10,350 – $12,950
California$12,000 – $14,900
Colorado$14,100 – $17,200
Florida$10,700 – $13,700
Massachusetts$13,750 – $17,350
Maryland$12,550 – $16,650
New Jersey$12,000 – $15,900
New York$13,550 – $18,050
Texas$11,350 – $15,050
Washington$11,550 – $14,850

From the table, there's a lot to take away if you're a U.S. homeowner. The bottom line is that you can never assume where solar will be affordable because even rainy Washington is one of the best states for solar power. Remember, the solar cost depends on many factors, so these numbers are just meant to be a starting point. In most cases, you should be able to find a 5 kW solar system in this price range – if you receive offers from solar companies that are much higher or lower, be sure to ask follow-up questions. Solar financing options can be a lot to learn in a short period for new solar shoppers, so read up on various options to understand your potential for savings, payback period, and energy offset.

The amount of electricity your solar panels produce depends on many factors, including the direction and angle of your roof. The most important one is how sunny it is where you live – for example, a 5 kW system in Las Vegas makes about 30 percent more electricity in a year than one in Philadelphia. That being said, you don't have to live in the Southwest for solar to make sense for you. The cost of electricity where you live is the biggest determinant of your solar savings.

The table below shows the average estimated electricity production numbers for 5 kW solar energy systems in cities across the U.S. By comparison, the average household in the U.S. uses 893 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a month, which equals 10,715 kWh per year. We estimated these numbers using a tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory called PV Watts.

Solar electricity output of 5 kW solar panel systems in top U.S. cities

Average Daily K Wh
Average Monthly K Wh
Average Annual K Wh
Austin, TX20.36177,405
Boston, MA18.15516,606
Cleveland, OH16.65066,071
Denver, CO20.96377,639
Hartford, CT17.15196,223
Las Vegas, NV26.88169,794
Los Angeles, CA21.76607,915
Miami, FL20.06097,313
New York City17.55316,372
Philadelphia, PA17.95436,513
Phoenix, AZ23.77208,643
Seattle, WA14.94545,447

Three Tips for Solar Shoppers

1. Homeowners who get multiple quotes save 10% or more

As with any big-ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offered by the large installers in the solar industry.

To find the smaller contractors that typically offer lower prices, you'll need to use an installer network like EnergySage. When you register your property on our Solar Marketplace, you can receive free quotes from vetted installers local to you; homeowners who get three or more quotes can expect to save $5,000 to $10,000 on their solar panel installation.

2. The biggest installers typically don't offer the best price

The bigger isn't always better mantra is one of the main reasons we strongly encourage homeowners to consider all their solar options, not just the brands large enough to pay for the most advertising. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the big solar installers, compare those bids with quotes from local installers to ensure you don't overpay for solar.

3. Comparing all your equipment options is just as important

National-scale installers offer higher prices and tend to have fewer solar equipment options, which can significantly impact your system's electricity production. Collecting a diverse array of solar bids allows you to compare costs and savings based on the different equipment packages available to you.

There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn't always result in higher savings. The only way to find your property's "sweet spot" is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.

For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator, which offers upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. Check out our quote comparison platform for those looking to get quotes from local contractors today.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
  • Access the lowest prices from installers near you
  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help
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