Easy ballpark solar panel calculator

From just your address and the amount you spend on electricity each month our calculator and solar panel roof layout tool can give you a ballpark estimate on nearly everything you want to know about solar panels for your home*.

 

 

 

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We will not sell, trade or rent your personal information to others without your permission.

What information do you get from this solar system calculator

Our solar power calculator and solar panel roof layout tool are designed to give you a ballpark estimate of:

 
  • How many solar panels you need to power your house;
  • What solar panels could possibly save you over 25 years;
  • A rough estimate of how many solar panels can fit on your roof (square feet of roof space required***);
  • Where is the most suitable place on your roof to install the solar panels (our solar calculator contains an automated solar panel roof layout tool that will draw panels on your roof online);
  • Available solar tax credits and other state and utility level tax credits or solar incentives available in your city;
  • How much energy a solar panel will produce on your roof;
  • How much solar energy production of your home will be impacted by shade (We run a shade analyzer over your roof online);
  • A ballpark estimate of your solar payback period; and
  • And average solar panel cost in your city for a solar power system of the size the estimator calculates.

All of the above is available without needing to enter any personal information (Other than your address which is necessary so that you can use our solar panel layout tool on your roof).

You then have the option at the end of the calculator to connect with one or more solar providers near you who can turn our ballpark online solar estimate into a binding and accurate solar quote.

Most websites that claim to have solar cost calculators are inaccurate for one or more of the following reasons:

Some solar calculators do not have accurate solar production data for each location. This data is available from the DOE funded National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) for webmasters to download for free. It is the same data NREL use in their own solar energy production calculator, PV Watts. All professional solar design tools use this same data for the sun hours assumption when they design a system. Our solar calculator also uses this data but many other sites just assume a single figure. Many solar calculators do not take into account the federal solar tax credit and other states or utility-based solar incentives. This calculator includes these tax credits and incentives. Most sites do not have accurate information on electric rates from your local utility company and so when they convert your monthly power spend to a kilowatt hour electricity usage they make errors. Calculating your energy usage incorrectly will lead to the solar calculator calculating the wrong size solar system. We use an average electricity cost for your specific utility and verify this data from professional solar design software specialists Energy Periscope and Genability. Some solar calculators do not take into account the direction of your roof, its tilt, and any shading. The solar calculator above does take these factors into account to calculate your solar production accurately.

How accurate is solar calculator

Whilst we make every effort to ensure the solar calculator as accurate as possible its accuracy is limited by its simplicity to use. We want everyone to be able to use our calculator and so we allow you to use it by only inputting one value, the cost of one month's electric bill. This is simply not enough data to forecast solar system size, cost or savings with 100% accuracy. This is why when you speak to a professional solar company they will want to see several months of power bills. However, we think it is valuable for homeowners to be able to get a ballpark estimate of what solar energy systems may suit their home and possible energy savings without needing to gather electric bills initially. In most cases, the calculator is within 10% on most of its outcomes compared to a final professionally quotes solar system design.

Warning and Disclaimers

* This solar calculator is designed primarily for ease of use to provide a ballpark estimate of the effects of installing solar panels on your home, without you needing to know how many kilowatt hours of power you use each month. This estimate does not constitute financial advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of a proper solar cost proposal from a licensed solar company using professional solar estimating software. Such software will require you to provide power bills so that the solar company can enter your actual kWh's of electricity use each month over the year.

** You can use this calculator and solar panel layout tool to get solar panels information that is tailored to your home in a ballpark sense without giving us your personal details. In this case, we use the average of the current solar offers we have in our database from your local solar companies to do our solar cost calculations. However, at the end of the process you can choose to enter your personal information to request specific quotes from local solar companies who will collect more information from you and provide you with an accurate quote.

*** Each city or authority of jurisdiction has its own rules about where solar panels can and cannot be placed on your roof and often a different view of fire code setbacks required (So firemen can walk on your roof if needed). The solar panel layout tool does not take into account the specific setbacks that your city requires, this is something your local solar company will do when converting our ballpark estimate to exact system design.