Solar Cost for $400 Electric Bill
This is a solar power savings and cost estimate* for a $400 monthly electric bill.
A 12kW or 12,000 watt solar panel system could offset most of your energy use. Results will vary based on utility rate, location and installation factors.
Electricity Cost before going solar
This is how much you will pay the utility if you don't use solar panels. $400 per month, or $4,800 per year or $163,857 over 25 years. Don't forget inflation! Utility rates go up 4% on average every year.
Save $140,857 over 25 years
This is how much money you could save on utility bills AFTER solar power. Save $360 per month or $4,320 per year after going solar.
The return-on-investment (ROI) is a positive 19% to 29%.
The payback period is 4 to 7 years. The solar panels may work for 25 years or more.
Other benefits of solar power
Be energy independent and avoid utility rate hikes.
Increase your property value by $30,000 to $40,000 depending on where you live. Real estate studies show that a solar home can increase market value at resale.
The environmental benefits are priceless with clean, renewable energy. The solar panels for this size are the equivalent of planting more than 20,000 trees over the system lifetime.
12kW solar system
A 12,000 watt system will use from 24 to 35 panels. The modules can generate around 2,200 kWh of electricity per month on average (varies by location). The solar array will need 750 square feet of space on the roof or ground.
How much does it cost?
The average sticker price before tax credits is $21,000 to $33,000 for a grid-tied 12kW solar system.
The NET COST after tax credit could be $14,700 for self-installed DIY, or $23,100 for professional, full-service installation.
The total cost should include building plans, permit, panels, inverter, rooftop mount, installation and warranty.
How to Get Started
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*NOTE: These are current solar price cost estimates as of MARCH 2022. Amounts may vary based on your location and installation factors. The 25 year utility cost is based on a national average of $0.16 per kWh and a conservative 2.5% annual electricity price inflation rate. The estimated kWh produced per month is based on NREL PVWatts calculator; assumes 5 sun hours per day, array mounted at 180 degrees South at 20 degree tilt. How much solar power do you need for a $400 electric bill?