Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems - How Much Do They Cost?

Home Builder with Stanton Homes - New Home Builder

Buying a Green Home

Solar Photovoltaic Power for Your Home

How Much Does a PV System Cost?

If you're considering going green with your new (or existing) home, one of your first questions is probably - how much is a solar photovoltaic (PV) system going to cost?  The answer can vary quite a bit, but here's some basic considerations:

Federal and State Tax Credits

In North Carolina, there are significant tax credits available.  You'll want to check with your tax accountant to make sure you're eligible.  Or, if you're working through Southern Energy Management, you'll be able to take advantage of their tax accountant, who answers these kinds of questions regularly!

Solar Photovoltaic Power (PV) Systems - How Much Do They Cost?  Green Homes Raleigh NC

So for some photovoltaic systems, nearly 70% of the system can be paid for by both state and federal solar energy tax credits.

What Size Photovoltaic System Will You Need?

The typical "starting point" for a photovoltaic solar power system is 2 killowatts.  To put this in perspective, a typical 2000 sq ft home uses 12 killowatts. 

Average cost per watt to build a photovoltaic system, start to finish, is $8-$10 per watt, with the price per watt decreasing as the size of the system increases, per Southern Energy Management, a nationally recognized solar power installer.

So a typical 2 kWh system will take care of a small portion of your needs, with a total cost of somewhere around $20,000, depending on site conditions and other factors.   This is before any tax credits or other cost savings factors.

What About Selling Your Solar Power?

The state of North Carolina strongly encourages the use of green power.  NC GreenPower is an independent, nonprofit organization that basically buys clean, green power (solar, wind, water, etc) from sources and "sells" it to average users who want to use power that's better for the environment.

Basically, you'll "sell" your solar generated photovoltaic power for about $.15/kWh, while paying approximately $.10/kWh for "regular" electricity.

In addition, you'll also get credits back from the power company, usually about $.05/kWh. 

So the electricity your solar photovoltaic system generates produces a "cash crop", while creating clean green power! 

Other Cost Breaks for PV Systems

Talk to your accountant.  There is also depreciation and a few other factors that may contribute to lower overall costs. 


You may also be interested in these New Home Green Building Topics:

NC Green Home Builders – Pittsboro Green Homes

What is a Green Home? Green Home Builders

What Is Geothermal?  Geothermal Heating and Cooling Information

Passive Solar Homes and Ideas

How to Determine a Reasonable New Home Budget

WaterSense Toilets - How Much Water Do They Save, and How do They Work?


Ways to Save Water - Rainwater collection systems


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Comments (5)

Edward D. Nikles
Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. / Nikles Realty , Inc. - Milford, PA

Penny , now I know why I haven't had much interest in Solar Photovoltaic Systems here in Pa ! There too expensive vs. our typical electrical utility rates of $0.10 per KW ! Hopefully new technology will drive the prices down ! Keepin' it Green !

Apr 07, 2009 02:30 PM
home solar power

You have given important informatin about solar photovoltaic systems.

Apr 29, 2009 11:50 PM
Jane Nicastro-Disch Warren NJ
Weichert Realtors - Watchung, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group of Weichert Realtors

Penny, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today. Have a great day and a wonderful holiday season! Regards,

Dec 08, 2009 10:48 PM
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

I think this technology will get more and more cost effective.  Right now, solar hot water gives the best return on investment.  And anything that REDUCES the amount of energy required in the home is a huge plus.  A home with a reduced energy need can then be powered more cost effectively with solar!

Dec 10, 2009 12:27 AM

Hey there,


The prices of PV modules (and complete systems) have dropped dramatically in the past 24 months.  Almost 50% of previous prices.  If you are a bold DIY homeowner you can actually install one of these systems (with the help from a local AC electrician) for under $5 a watt (before any incentives).  The complete kits are available a  

It is not for everyone, but for those who want to save thousands- it may open the door for you!

Keep up the good work!


Apr 13, 2010 05:24 AM