How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For 1,500, 2,500 & 3,000 Square Foot House

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How much do solar panels cost for a 1,500 square foot house? Average 1500 square foot house requires 6 kilowatt loads and the cost of solar power system ranges roughly from $7,500 to $21,000 depending on solar installers, type of solar panel, size of solar array, solar battery type, solar inverter watt and type, charge controller and your energy usage behavior.

Energy and watt power requirements varies from home to home. Geographical area, exposure to sunlight, members of family etc. determine the exact demand as well as supply figures. Cost to install solar panels varies from state to state. Moreover, type of installed panels and labor costs in your area impact this cost heavily.

Rebates and incentives given by federal as well as state energy departments may also impact overall cost of installation. Let’s check out how much do solar panels cost for a 1,500 square foot house.

My guide to Cost Of Solar Panels Per Square Meter here.

Read my unbiased guide on solar power pros and cons here.

My guide on how many solar panels for 1000 kwh per month here.

how much do solar panels cost for a 1,500 square foot house

For a 1500 square feet house, installation of monocrystalline panels would cost between $7,500 and $21,000.

It is hard to calculate exact cost of solar panel installation just by knowing house area. So previous energy bills must be seen to get a good estimate. As per such an estimate, one 1500 square feet house has 6kW load installed.

Survey shows that cost of solar power panels ranges between $2.5 and $3.5 per watt. In this way, we can say that 6000 * 2.5 = $15000 minimum and 6000 * 3.5 = $21000 maximum are needed to power a 1500 square feet house.

Anyhow, it must also be mentioned that a 1500 square feet house could have just 3kW load.

With this assumption, lower slab of installing solar power system becomes: 3000 * 2.5 = $7500. Resultantly, it can be said that for a 1500 square foot house, you need $7,500 to $21,000.

Read the detailed breakdown of solar tubes costs here.

There are many factors which could result in adding up cost to your solar panel installations. For example, if panels are to be installed at a roof space where direct sun light doesn’t illuminate for a long time, larger solar array with more panels would be needed to fulfill your energy requirements and thus shooting the costs up.

Or maybe there is a tree or building nearby which blocks your panels from getting full sunshine exposure. This would also hinder your panels from working efficiently and adding up the cost.

Or maybe there is a tree or building nearby which blocks your panels from getting full sunshine exposure. This would also hinder your panels from working efficiently and adding up the cost.

Labor cost or solar company charges might also contribute to this cost. There would be little maintenance costs also for your solar panels. Maintenance is recommended two to three times a year and costs very little. Yet it is something to be considered before installing solar panels.

There are some other electronic components needed to make your solar panels be useful asset like power inverter, charge controller, solar battery etc. These all individual units add up the cost of overall solar system.

Read my blog on power inverter here.

There are three major types of solar panels based on manufacturing technology:

  • Monocrystalline Solar panel
  • Polycrystalline Solar Panel
  • Thin-film Solar Panels

Cost With Monocrystalline Solar panels For 1500 Square Foot House

Monocrystalline solar panel are widely known as single-crystal panels. Because these are made from a single pure silicon crystal. The use of pure silicon also makes monocrystalline panels the most space-efficient and longest-lasting among all types.

However, this benefit doesn’t come without additional cost. Lot of silicon is wasted while producing one monocrystalline cell, usually reaching above 50%. This results in a hefty price tag of these solar panels.

Cost With Polycrystalline solar panels For 1500 Square Foot House

Polycrystalline solar panels come from different silicon crystals instead of one. Polycrystalline cells are much more cost effective because there is hardly any wastage. However, these panels are less efficient in terms of energy conversion and occupy more space. These panels are less efficient in high-temperature environments because they have lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline panels.

Above price calculations are made for monocrystalline panels. Exact difference between the prices of different types of panels will vary depending on solar installation company and model. As a rough idea, polycrystalline panels are 20% cheaper than monocrystalline panels but also 20% less efficient .

So for a 1500 square feet house, we need to install polycrystalline panels having 20% more power capacity. Thus, power range of 1.2 *3kW = 3.6kW and 1.2 * 6kW = 7.2kW is required. Similarly, per kW price slab varies between 2.5 * 0.8 = 2 and 3.5 * 0.8 = 2.80.

So new solar panel installation price may range between 3600 * 2 = $7200 and 7.2 * 1000 * 2.8 = $20160. So there is not much difference even if one goes for high quality monocrystalline panels.

Cost With Thin-film Solar Panels For 1500 Square Foot House

Thin-film panels are distinguished by extremely thin layers that are flexible. Each panel is lightweight and easy to install because it does not require a separate frame backing (installation cost reduced).

Unlike crystalline silicon panels, which are available only in standardized sizes, thin-film panels can be customized to meet unique requirements. They are, however, little less efficient than standard silicon solar panels. They can be made from different materials which further reduce their cost.

Thin film panels are 50% less efficient than monocrystalline ones . They cost 0.75 to $1 per kW . So corresponding 6kW to 12kW range will be installed between 6000 * 0.75 = $4500 and 12000 * 1 = $12k.

Read my blog on Monocrystalline Vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels And Closest Competition here.

There are many reasons which make solar panel installation a viable solution. For example, electricity tariffs are rising while cost for solar systems is decreasing. This is because of advancement in technology and incentives given by federal and state energy departments. So solar system will not just save monthly burden on your income, but also bring return in few years.

Disclaimer: Actual performance of the solar system may differ from the estimation.

According to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) figures for 2018, the average monthly costs for electricity for a 1500 square feet house range between $100 in Colorado and $153 in Connecticut.

Let’s assume average monthly electricity bill in USA for a 1500 square feet house is $125. Moreover, the federal residential solar energy tax credit allows homeowners to claim 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar panel system in 2020 and 22 percent for systems installed in 2021.

We further assume that this solar incentive can be used to buy other necessary equipment like batteries and inverter. In above section, we determined that $7000 to $21000 are needed to install solar panels for 1500 square feet house. Let’s assume average cost is $14000.

So it will take just 14000 / 125 = 112 months or approximately 9 years. On average solar panels last for 20 years but there life can be extended up to 50 years with good maintenance. So you will be earning from your solar panels after nine years of installation.

Read about white house solar panels history here.

how much do solar panels cost for a 2,500 square foot house

For a 2500 square feet house, installation of monocrystalline panels would cost between $17,000 and $36,400.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a house in the United States sizing around 2,500 square feet requires around 12,280 kWh annually, or 1,023 kWh per month.

It further adds if that house has ample roof space such that there is no shading during the day, it would need between 17 and 26 premium solar panels to produce required electricity.

Here, “premium” refers to a solar panels which has output wattage rating of about 400 watts . If we go with previous per kilowatt price ($2.5 to $3.5), then installation cost range can be determined as follows

17 panels * 400 kW per panel * 2.5 dollars per Watt = $17000

26 panels * 400 kW per panel * 3.5 dollars per Watt = $36400

So it can be said that installation cost of solar panels for a 2500 square feet house can range between $17,000 and $36,400. Average cost, thus, comes out to be ($17000 + $36400) / 2 = $26,700.

Read my guide on solar inverter here.

Cost range calculated above gives an idea before someone starts one’s plans to switch to renewable energy. But it must be kept in mind that this doesn’t provide concrete figures. There are several factors which can cause cost to increase.

For example, an extra load like HVAC system which demands high power will lead you add panels and thus cost. Similarly, environmental condition like intense summer might push you go for AC, adding up more cost.

Shaded area on roof top or less shiny days during some seasons can also increase the need for number of solar panels to generate required amount of energy. Labor cost varies from state to state and might affect your calculations.

Costs related to other crucial components (charge controller, batteries, and inverter etc.) in solar panel system can also not be ignored.

Here’s my guide to best 1000 watt inverter.

Above calculations are for monocrystalline. For a 2500 square feet house, installation of monocrystalline panels would cost between $17,000 and $36,400. Let’s compare all three types of panels i.e. monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin films.

As polycrystalline panels are 20% cheaper and 20% less efficient as compared to monocrystalline so price range will be as follows:
(17 panels * 1.2) * 400W per panel * (2.5 dollars per Watt * 0.8) = $16320
(26 panels * 1.2) * 400W per panel * (3.5 dollars per Watt * 0.8) = $34944

As thin film panels are 50% less efficient as compared to monocrystalline and cost $0.75 to $1 per kW so price range becomes:
(17 panels * 1.5) * 400W per panel * ($0.75) = $7650
(26 panels * 1.5) * 400W per panel * ($1) = $15600

Read my guide on best solar fence charger here.

To justify the cost for installation of solar panels we need to consider ones spending on electricity bills and get a sum for long term period. For this purpose, average electricity bill of a 2500 square feet house in different cities of Texas is:

These projected electricity bills are ESTIMATED using the average square footage and energy consumption of homes in Texas overall, and in various Texas cities.
Sq FootageTexas (overall)HoustonDallasFort WorthAustinEl PasoSan Antonio
500$36.59 $34.07 $55.67 $46.30 $25.24 $23.21 $24.81
1000$73.17 $68.14 $111.33 $92.60 $50.48 $46.43 $49.62
1500$109.76 $102.20 $167.00 $138.90 $75.73 $69.64 $74.43
1800$131.71 $122.65 $200.40 $166.68 $90.87 $83.57 $89.32
2000$146.35 $136.27 $222.66 $185.20 $100.97 $92.86 $99.24
2300$168.30 $156.71 $256.06 $212.99 $116.11 $106.79 $114.13
2500$182.93 $170.34 $278.33 $231.51 $126.21 $116.07 $124.05
3000$219.52 $204.41 $334.00 $277.81 $151.45 $139.29 $148.86
3500$256.11 $238.48 $389.66 $324.11 $176.69 $162.50 $173.67
4000$292.69 $272.55 $445.33 $370.41 $201.93 $185.72 $198.48

Source: Powerwizard.

Average for monthly household electricity bill in USA comes out to be $175.63. We have calculated the average cost of solar panel installation as $26700. We are ignoring cost of other components in the system as well as incentives assuming that both will compensate for each other. This way, cost of solar system will be recovered in 26700 / (12 * 175.63) = 12.66 years.

Solar system has average lifetime of 20 to 25 years and 40 to 45 years if maintained well. So you can get solar panels installed with expectation of getting return on investment in few years.

Here’s how to calculate solar panel, solar battery and inverter size.

how much do solar panels cost for a 3,000 square foot house

For a 3000 square feet house, installation of monocrystalline panels would cost between $19,000 and $42,000.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a house in the United States sizing around 3,000 square feet requires around 14,214 kWh annually, or 1,185 kWh per month. It further adds if that house has ample roof space such that there is no shading during the day, it would need between 19 and 30 premium solar panels to produce required electricity. Here, “premium” refers to a solar panels which has output wattage rating of about 400 watts . If we go with previous per kilowatt price ($2.5 to $3.5), then installation cost range can be determined as follows:

19 panels * 400 kW per panel * 2.5 dollars per Watt = $19000

30 panels * 400 kW per panel * 3.5 dollars per Watt = $42000

So it can be said that installation cost of solar panels for a 3000 square feet house can range between $19,000 and $42,000. Average cost, thus, comes out to be ($19000 + $42000) / 2 = $30,500.

Read my guide on best solar charge controller here.

Here cost is calculated for installation of solar panels only. Other components of solar panel system (e.g. batteries, charge controller, and inverter) will add up the cost while making this system work.

Moreover, if you live in a region with less than normal sunshine, you will need more panels for same KWh of energy which will result in adding up the cost. Maintenance cost (twice or thrice a year) will also increase the estimated budget.

If you go on adding some extra electronic appliance in your house, you will require system with more power and energy increasing your previously calculated cost.

Read Inverter vs. Converter differences here.

We have three major types of solar panels based on manufacturing technology: monocrystalline solar panel, polycrystalline solar panel, and thin-film panels.

Polycrystalline panels have efficiency lesser than monocrystalline by a figure of 20% but they are also 20% cheaper so price range for installing polycrystalline solar panel is:

(19 panels * 1.2) * 400W per panel * (2.5 dollars per Watt * 0.8) = $18240

(30 panels * 1.2) * 400W per panel * (3.5 dollars per Watt * 0.8) = $40320

Considering that thin film panels are 50% less efficient than and cost between $0.75 and $1 per kW.

(19 panels * 1.5) * 400W per panel * ($0.75) = $8550

(30 panels * 1.5) * 400W per panel * ($1) = $18000

Read my guide on best 2000 watt inverter here.

Here, calculations are made to justify cost of solar panel installation for a 3000 square feet house while taking average values of electricity bills in different cities of Texas is:

These projected electricity bills are ESTIMATED using the average square footage and energy consumption of homes in Texas overall, and in various Texas cities.
Sq FootageTexas (overall)HoustonDallasFort WorthAustinEl PasoSan Antonio
500$36.59 $34.07 $55.67 $46.30 $25.24 $23.21 $24.81
1000$73.17 $68.14 $111.33 $92.60 $50.48 $46.43 $49.62
1500$109.76 $102.20 $167.00 $138.90 $75.73 $69.64 $74.43
1800$131.71 $122.65 $200.40 $166.68 $90.87 $83.57 $89.32
2000$146.35 $136.27 $222.66 $185.20 $100.97 $92.86 $99.24
2300$168.30 $156.71 $256.06 $212.99 $116.11 $106.79 $114.13
2500$182.93 $170.34 $278.33 $231.51 $126.21 $116.07 $124.05
3000$219.52 $204.41 $334.00 $277.81 $151.45 $139.29 $148.86
3500$256.11 $238.48 $389.66 $324.11 $176.69 $162.50 $173.67
4000$292.69 $272.55 $445.33 $370.41 $201.93 $185.72 $198.48

Best solar panel tilt calculator here.

Average for monthly household electricity bill in USA comes out to be $210.76. We have calculated the average cost of solar panel installation as $30,500. We are ignoring cost of other components in the system as well as incentives assuming that both will compensate for each other. This way, cost of solar system will be recovered in 30,500 / (12 * 210.76) = 12.06 years.

Having been said that a solar system will last for around 20 to 25 years in case of regular use. But it can be made to work for 40 to 45 years if maintained well. So you will have opportunity to recover the cost and then make profit from solar panel installations.

Read my guide on best 3000 watt inverter here.

Solar Panels Cost In a Nutshell

PV technology is advancing and its cost is decreasing. Cost for other components in solar system is also decreasing. If you get PV panels installed for your home or office, you will start getting return on investment regardless of the size of the house. Federal and state rebates are making it more lucrative.

Solar panels cost for a 1,500 square foot house starts at $7,500 and goes up to $21,000, Solar panels cost for a 2,500 square foot house starts at $17,000 and goes up to $36,400, Solar panels cost for a 3,000 square foot house starts at $19,000 and goes up to $42,000.

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