Costs of a Solar Photovoltaic System


Find the answers to all your questions about cost, selection and expected return

solar electric houseWith the variety of solar investment incentives available to Massachusetts residents, your solar electric system will pay for itself more quickly than you ever imagined. Your initial consultation with our solar technicians will bring answers to most of your questions regarding the size, selection, cost and return of a new solar system:

  • What size solar electric system should I choose?

  • How much will the installation of a new solar system cost?

  • How do my solar panels pay for themselves?

  • How long does it take to break-even?

  • Can I lease or finance my solar electric system?

  • How much return can I expect over the next few decades?


Installation per Month

Break Even Period


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What size solar electric system should I choose?

Solar panel systems are custom-tailored to every home and business. Installation costs and returns can therefore vary largely from one system to the next. The size of your sytem and the number of panels you should get will typically be based on your energy consumption, as well as roof space availability, sun exposure and budget. Our technicians will guide your system selection based on your personal energy profile and expected returns.


How much will the installation of a new solar system cost?

    • An average residential household will be able to rely on a 5 kWs (5000 watts) solar electric system

    • A 5 kWs solar system requires about 500 square feet of real estate for efficient installation. Most systems are set up on roofs for an unobstructed view of the sky, but they can also work very well when installed on the ground. The most efficient systems point in the range of southeast to southwest. 

    • The price of your solar system is the price per watt multiplied by the size of your custom sized system in watts. For example, if your electric bill and conditions on the ground indicate a need for a 5 kWs system and Boston Solar is selling its regular solar package at $3.95/watt then your system would cost $19,750 before any incentive


Let's do some math...

Solar Rebate Calculation Massachusetts

Add to that the federal tax credit:

    • On top of that, on the system quoted above, you can take advantage of the flat 30% federal tax credit. Total credit:$4,750.

    • The state of Massachusetts does not impose real estate taxes on value added to properties via solar for the first 20 years. In the meantime, your property's value may still increase by $20,000: according to the Appraisal Journal of 1998, every $1 in annual energy savings increases your home's value by $20. If you accumulate $1,000 in annual savings, your home will gain $20,000.00 to property value. 

    • Sunshine is free, so once your system is up and running, your energy source will be endlessly flowing in. Solar systems typically pay for themselves within the first 5 years following installation. The solar generation of energy panels, in the meantime, will have you powered in for over 30 years.








So how does my solar system pay for itself?

  • PaybackYour solar electric system is far more than a commitment to sustainable energy. It is an investment that will pay for itself through the savings on your electrical bill and from the quarterly payments you will receive through SRECs.

  • Think about your investment in solar panels as one big lump payment you provide in advance for the next 15 to 25 years of electricity consumption. As soon as your system is up and running, your electricity bills will only be a portion of what they are right now, and since sunshine is free, your energy source will be endlessly flowing in through the roof.

  • The other way your solar system will be paying for itself is through SRECs. SRECs are Solar Renewable Energy Credits negotiated with your local utilities company. Utilities are required by law to rely on renewable energy sources to produce a certain percentage of their energy. One way for them to do so is to turn to residential PV system owners and buy energy credits back from them. 

  • In May 2013, SRECs annual payments in Massachusetts equaled $1,320 for the sample 5kw system quoted above.

How much return should you expect over the next thirty years?

(based on a typical 5.4 kW solar electric system)

Solar System Cost Breakdown
Solar Payback Period