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Solar System Size Comparison Chart

If you have access to the electric grid and want to get the most value for your investment, installing solar panels is the way to go.

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Solar System Size Comparison Chart

To help you decide which solar system size is right for your home, we’ve created the easy to read size comparison chart below. Simply select the average amount your current electricity bill comes to, and follow the row across to find out what size model would best suit your energy needs.

*NOTE: These are current solar price cost estimates as of SEPTEMBER 2020. 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.

Solar Cost Chart

Please note this chart has been designed as a rough guide only. A number of additional factors need to be considered including the size of your roof, what time of the day you use the majority of your energy, and your future circumstances.

This is a solar power-saving and cost estimate*.

A solar panel system could offset most of your energy use. Results will vary based on utility rate, location, and installation factors. Be energy independent and avoid utility rate hikes.

Increased your property value 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 NET COST after tax credit could be higher or lower for self-installed DIY, or higher or lower for professional, full-service installation.

The total cost should include building plans, permits, panels, inverter, rooftop mount, installation, and warranty.


Ideal solar system size and your roof:
Your existing roof is the biggest indication of your solar system size, and where your panels will be positioned. For example, if you only have free roof space facing east, this is where your panels will need to go. In order to maximize your savings, you’ll have to plan your energy usage accordingly, (for example, turning the dishwasher and washing machine on in the morning).

What time of day you use the majority of your energy:
As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the sun is at its strongest when it sits south in the sky at midday. Therefore, solar power systems can be installed on roofs facing anywhere from due east to due west, although we recommend the south for best absolute production. This is a general rule, however, as a well-designed system will match your home’s electricity consumption pattern.

Eastern roof
If the morning is your busiest time of the day (think getting the kids ready for school, doing the washing and ironing, plus turning on the dishwasher) it’s best to install panels on the eastern roof.

Western roof
If the afternoon is your peak energy usage time (everyone is home from work and school, the TV is on, as well as the computer and the air conditioner), you’ll want to install your solar power system on your western roof.

Southern roof
If you use the most energy from mid-morning to the afternoon (stay at home parents, retirees, or those working from home) installing panels on the northern roof will give you the best return on your investment.

Whole roof
If your energy usage is spread evenly throughout the day, purchasing a solar system size of between 6-8kW will give you the ability to spread your panels across your roof.

Future circumstances:
If you’ve looked at installing a new pool, starting to work from home, or welcoming a new member of the family, you should carefully consider the size of your solar system with your future circumstances in mind. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to install a larger size solar system, then it is to expand in the long run.

Having installed more than 18,000 systems across the United States of America, Solar Power-One has the experience to help you decide the best system size for your energy needs.

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