Solar panel cost and savings customized to your location, utility company and the physical characteristics of your home.
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How to use our 4 step solar calculator
Enter your address and monthly power spend
Our solar panel layout tool will show you how many solar panels will fit on your roof
Generate an estimate showing ballpark cost and savings for the system you need
Compare prices of solar installers near you and refine your estimate into an exact solar quote
What you will learn using the Solar-Estimate.org calculator
How many solar panels are needed to power your home
How many square feet of suitable roof space is required
How many solar panels will fit on your roof and where they will go
How much energy the solar panels on your roof will produce
How much solar panels will save you on your electric bills
Your likely payback period for your home solar system
How much solar panels will cost for your home based on the average solar system cost in your area
Optional - Compare specific offers from up to four pre-screened solar companies in your area
State based guides for evaluating a solar power system for your home
Everything you need to know about solar panels for your home
Solar panel cost by state
Click on your state for solar panels cost localized to your city or use the solar calculator above to see the live prices from solar providers near you.
Showing results for a 5kW installed system
|State||Cash purchase||Cash purchase $/watt||Financed monthly payment||Financed $/watt|
|District of Columbia||$19,250||$3.85||$100||$4.29|
Solar-Estimate.org’s calculations are trusted by the top non-profit solar organizations in America
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a non-profit body trusted by the US government to set the training and accreditation standards for solar installers nationwide. Using a NABCEP-certified installer is a mandatory requirement for many solar incentive programs throughout the country.
Zillow is America’s largest real estate website, with data for over 110 million homes nationwide. It is also considered to be the leader in applying data modeling and analysis for real estate purposes. With the inclusion of Sun Number scores in Zillow’s building fact sheets, they have been able to provide millions of American homeowners with information about the solar potential of their homes.
Developed with funding from the Department of Energy, Sun Number is an advanced software company that uses LIDAR data to help determine the solar potential for individual homes. After conducting a detailed shading analysis of a roof’s surface, the results are then combined with SolarReviews/Solar-Estimate data to create an overall Sun Number™ score for each home in America. Sun Number scores are used by leading US-based real estate websites Zillow and Trulia.
California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), previously known as CALSEIA, is the premier solar and storage organization in California. CALSSA has over 500 members, making it the second-largest solar association in America. CALSSA advocates for the widespread adoption of solar in the state and promotes a code of ethics for Californian solar businesses.
Editorial Advisory Committee
Solar-Estimate has set up an editorial advisory committee as part of commitment to our Quality Solar Initiative.
Our editorial advisory committee is comprised of full-time Solar-Estimate’s staff, as well as independent contributors, who are among the most experienced individuals in the solar industry. They come from a variety of backgrounds, including electrical engineering, solar design, and solar installation. A number of our content advisors lead lectures and are actively teaching the next generation of solar professionals. All care deeply about the reputation of the renewables industry and improving the quality and reliability of solar content made available to consumers.
What makes Solar-Estimate.org the most accurate solar calculator for homeowners?
Simply put, our calculation engine can deal with complexities that other online solar calculators can't. Specifically:
We examine the size of your roof to see how many solar panels actually fit on it. A solar savings estimate will be misleading if it assumes a solar system that will not even fit on your home;
Our calculator automatically places panels on your roof and adjusts the production estimate to the tilt angle, azimuth and shading of the best location for each array of panels on your roof. At the time of writing (August 2019) no other consumer website can do this. The only other place such accurate functionality is available is in professional solar design software used by solar companies.
We have an accurate database of all of the electric utility rate plans available for all utility companies around America. We are able to use the specific rate plan you are on when doing your solar savings calculations.
Our solar calculator also uses EIA and Genability electric use profiling for each region of the United States to estimate what your electricity use pattern looks like over the course of a day and over the seasons of the year. It then maps that hour by hour over the generation pattern from the proposed solar array. As such it is the only free online solar panel calculator that properly accounts for the effects of time of use billing on solar savings. Most online solar panel calculators just estimate annual usage and production, ignore this complexity and give inaccurate results. This last point is particularly important in California where all residential customers are now on time of use electric billing, making the times of the day you use power and the times of day you generate power critical to your solar savings analysis.
How can you check the accuracy of our (and other) solar estimators?
The best way to catch out solar calculators offering misleading estimates is to type in two addresses into the calculator for homes that are in different electric utility territories in the same state but with the same monthly power bill. If the calculator gives the same savings result then it is not accurately taking into account either the electric rates of each utility or the individual characteristics of the home.
A good example is to compare any address in Lancaster, CA ( Southern California Edison territory) and any address in central Los Angeles, (LADWP electric territory) and assume the same monthly power bill. If the calculator gives the same savings estimate it is fudging its calculations because these electric utilities have very different electric rates and net-metering schemes.