How Much Is a Solar System for a 2,500 Square Foot House?
Before taking on a major home upgrade like installing solar panels, it’s nice to have a rough idea of how much it will cost. After all, nobody likes being blindsided by a price that’s way higher than they’re expecting – whether it’s for a solar system, car repair, or a cocktail.
Getting a sense of what solar panels cost can help you identify and weed out high solar quotes and, more importantly, suspiciously low solar quotes.
So, we analyzed thousands of solar systems purchased on solar.com in 2022 to get a sense of how much solar systems cost for a 2,500 square foot house.
Keep in mind, there are dozens of variables that go into solar pricing, but these averages can help get you in the right ballpark.
How much is a solar system for a 2500 sq ft house?
The national average cost of a solar system for a 2,500 square foot house is just over $20,500 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied. The average pre-incentive cost – or contract price – is $29,374.
For homes with around 2,500 square feet of living space, the cost per square foot of solar panels is around $11.70 before incentives, and closer to $8.19 after the 30% tax credit.
However, the cost varies based on dozens of factors, including location. For example, the average solar panel cost is typically less in California due to ample sun and competitive market conditions, as shown in the table below.
|National average||California average||Non-CA average|
|Square feet of living space||2,510||2,465||2,556|
|Contract price of solar system||$29,374||$28,277||$30,471|
|Price after 30% tax credit||$20,561.95||$19,793.81||$21,330.09|
|Cost per square foot (before/after tax credit)||$11.70 / $8.19||$11.47 / $8.03||$11.92 / $8.34|
How many kW to run a 2,500 sq ft house?
The size of a solar system – measured in kilowatts (kW) – depends more on your electricity consumption and sun exposure than living space or roof area.
To get a ballpark figure for how many kW of solar capacity you need, first calculate your average daily electricity consumption and divide it by the average number of sun hours per day.
25 kWh per day / 5 sun hours per day = 5 kW solar system
Compared to electricity consumption, living space has little effect on the size of a solar system. Let’s compare the average cost of panels for 2,500 square foot homes to 3,500 and 4,000 square foot homes to see the impact of living space on solar system cost.
How much do solar panels cost for a 3,500 square foot house?
Based on thousands of systems purchased through solar.com in 2022, the average cost of solar panels for a 3,500 square foot house is $28,958 before incentives, and $20,2712 after applying the 30% tax credit.
How is this lower than the average cost of solar for a 2,500 square foot home? As we mentioned above, the size of a solar system depends more on electricity consumption than living space – and not every system is designed to offset 100% of electricity consumption.
It’s also worth noting that around half of the cost of going solar is in soft costs like labor, permitting, inspection, and interconnection fees. So, adding more equipment doesn’t increase costs as much as you may expect.
How much do solar panels cost for a 4,000 square foot house?
The average pre-incentive cost of solar panels for a 4,000 square foot house is $29,381 and $20,566 after applying the 30% tax credit.
This represents a slight increase from 2,500 and 3,500 square foot homes, but a lower cost per square foot of living space.
The bottom line
Based on thousands of solar systems purchased on solar.com in 2022, solar panels cost around $29,000 before incentives and $20,000 after the 30% tax credit for homes with 2,500 to 4,000 square feet.
The size – and cost – of a solar system depends more on your electricity consumption, sun exposure, local incentives, and energy goals than it does on the size of your home.
Connect with a solar.com Energy Advisor to design a custom solar system and generate binding quotes from vetted local installers.