Lifetime Cost of Solar Panels: Installation, Maintenance & Savings Breakdown

Nov. 30, 2023

Installing a solar panel system for your home can save you a ton of money on your electric bills, but many people miss out on benefits because they assume solar panels are too expensive to install and maintain. 

There’s no doubt that solar panels are an investment, but the reality is that solar installation and maintenance costs are falling every year. Over the last decade, residential solar panel systems have become an increasingly efficient, affordable, and easy-to-maintain source of electricity.

In this blog, we break down solar panel installation costs, solar maintenance costs, and tips for maximizing your return on investment in solar panels. 

How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels on a Home? 

Solar panel installation costs can vary significantly depending on how much electricity you use and how many panels you need to install. Add-ons like solar battery storage will also impact your solar installation costs. 

It’s hard to say exactly how much you can expect to pay for solar panels without first analyzing your electric bills to find out how many panels you need and taking a look at your roof to see how challenging the installation will be. The best way to find out how much solar panels will cost for your home is to schedule a free consultation with Boston Solar. We’ll provide a personalized, no-pressure estimate for your solar installation! 

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Massachusetts 

Average solar installation costs can give you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay for solar. In Massachusetts, most homeowners pay around $3.00 to $5.00 per watt, depending on what kind of system is purchased and how large their estimated energy needs are. If you install a 10 kW solar panel system at $3.00 per watt, it would come out to $30,000 before taking the 30% solar tax credit into account. 

Tax Credits and incentives Reduce Installation Costs 

Solar panel installation qualifies for a federal tax credit that will significantly reduce your upfront costs. The federal solar tax credit is worth 30% of your total solar installation costs, including solar battery storage. With the solar tax credit, the $30,000 system from the example above would come down to $21,000. 

Solar Leasing Is the Most Affordable Way to Go Solar 

If you want to go solar without making a major investment, solar panel leasing is the best financing option. Leasing your solar panels allows you to install solar without having to pay for the installation. Instead, you’ll make a monthly payment to the leasing company in exchange for the use of the solar panel system. Your payment should be less than your current monthly electricity bill, saving you money right away. 

It’s important to note that with a solar lease, you do not own the system and are therefore not eligible for most incentives, including the solar tax credit. 

Learn more about buying vs leasing solar panels. 

How Much Do Solar Panels Save? 

Solar panels have long-term financial benefits. They last for 25-30+ years and will save you money on your electric bills for decades. Solar panels also protect you against inflation and rate increases, saving you even more in the long run. Payback periods vary, but many homeowners break even on solar in as little as five years and make money off their investment for the next 20+ years. 

Electricity Costs vs Solar Savings 

How much money you save with solar depends heavily on how much electricity costs in your area. The more expensive electricity is, the more you’ll save with solar panels. 

New England has some of the highest electricity rates in the country. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity was 21.27 cents/kWh in Massachusetts and 21.07 cents/kWh in New Hampshire in 2022. Compare those prices to the US average of 12.36 cents/kWh, and you’ll start to see why solar is so popular in New England! 

Solar Panel Maintenance Costs 

A properly installed rooftop solar panel system has little to no solar maintenance costs. Most solar energy systems only require the occasional maintenance visit to evaluate the system and make sure everything is working properly. Solar panel cleaning is another cost to consider. Most of the time, your solar panels will clean themselves with rain or snow. If they do accumulate a large amount of grime or pollen, you can either rinse them off yourself for free or hire a professional to clean them.

You may run into other issues, such as a problem with the monitoring system, a damaged wire, or an inverter that stops communicating. Most of the time, these problems can be easily fixed. A quick call to Boston Solar will help you evaluate whether or not the problem you’re experiencing requires on-site maintenance. 

Go Solar with New England’s Leading Solar Installer 

Solar panels are an excellent investment with long-term financial benefits. For most homeowners, the cost of installing and maintaining solar panels is well worth the savings, which will greatly exceed the cost of the system throughout its life. 

Boston Solar has been empowering New England homeowners for over 11 years and completed over 5,000 solar panel installations. We can help you maximize your savings with a custom solar power system designed to offset as much as 100% of your electricity costs. It all starts with a free, no-pressure consultation. Schedule yours today! 

Find out how much you could save with solar. Call 617-858-1645 or contact us for a free consultation and estimate. 

Lifetime Cost of Solar Panels: Installation, Maintenance & Savings Breakdown

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