How Much Is a Solar System for a 2,000 Sq Ft House?
Home solar has many benefits, but it can be intimidating to start a project.
After all, it’s no secret that installing solar panels costs tens of thousands of dollars, and it can be nerve-racking to invite a parade of salespeople into your home just to get an actual number.
So, we analyzed thousands of solar systems purchased through solar.com in 2022 to give you a ballpark idea of how much solar panels cost per square foot for homes with 1,750 to 2,250 square feet of living space. We hope that sharing this data takes the edge off sticker shock and gives you the confidence to take the next step toward solar.
If you would like to compare binding solar quotes online (without the sales pitches), you can always start a project here.
How much do solar panels cost for a 2,000 square foot house?
Based on national averages, solar panels cost just over $20,000 for a house with 2,000 square feet of living space. The gross cost is closer to $29,000, but claiming the federal solar tax credit worth 30% of the project cost brings the net cost down to around $20,000.
The table below shows the average solar panel cost per square foot of living space for California, non-California states, and the US as a whole.
|National average||California average||Non-CA average|
|Square feet of living space||1,979||1,982||1,977|
|Contract price of solar system||$29,118||$28,940||$29,296|
|Price after 30% tax credit||$20,382||$20,258||$20,507|
|Cost per square foot (before/after tax credit)||$14.75 / $10.30||$14.65 / $10.22||$14.85 / $10.38|
Figures are for informational purposes only and do not constitute binding quotes.
Of course, not everybody’s home is exactly 2,000 square feet. So, we broke the data into intervals of 100 square feet to get a more precise estimate based on home size.
By zooming in, we found:
- Solar panel cost tends to increase as square footage increases
- The cost per square foot decreases as the living space and system size increase
Of course, every home is unique, and the cost of solar panels varies based on your electricity consumption, sun exposure, equipment, and local incentives.
In fact, the square footage of your home isn’t a great indicator of the cost to power it with solar panels. After all, a person with two EVs and all electric appliances in a 1,000 square foot house would likely use far more electricity than a person with all gas cars and appliances in a 2,500 square foot house.
Typically, annual electricity consumption is a better indicator of the size and cost of a solar system.
How many solar panels are needed for a 2,000 sq ft home?
In addition to price, it’s nice to have a simple, round number of panels that will make up your system.
Again, there are a number of variables that impact how many panels make up a system. But, if we have the cost of the system, we can use some simple division to get down to a number of panels.
So, let’s say the system costs $29,000 before the solar tax credit or any other incentives. First, we divide that by the average cost of solar panels, which is measured in price per Watt (PPW), to get the generating capacity of the system in Watts.
Since every project is different, we’re providing a range of price points.
|Gross cost of system||Price Per Watt||Size of system|
Once you have a system size, divide it by the power rating of the panels. Today, 400W is by far the most popular rating and considered the industry standard.
The number of 400W panels needed for a 2,000 square foot home ranges from 14 to 24 depending on the size of the system, as shown in the table below.
|Size of system||Number of 400W panels|
The bottom line
While living space isn’t a great indicator of how much a solar system will cost, the data provides a baseline net cost around $20,000 for solar for a 2,000 square foot home. Having a baseline cost estimate can help you identify solar scams, avoid sticker shock, and set savings goals for financing solar panels.
However, it’s important to note that the size, cost, and number of panels in a solar system depends on a variety of factors including your electricity consumption, sun exposure, and available incentives.
If you’d like to see exactly how much solar would cost for you, connect with a solar.com Energy Advisor to design a customer system and generate binding quotes.