Installing solar panels on or around your property is a major investment. There are some factors that go into figuring how much of an investment, but based on averages in our territory, here is an idea of what you can expect.
The average private, residential solar system is 5kW. That's enough electricity to power your air conditioner or your electric range and refrigerator as they run (Consumer Reports). The costs start at about $3.50 per watt. Based on that figure, the cash cost for that system would be $17,500. To help offset a portion of that cost, there is a federal 30% tax credit. If you have the option to finance your solar system, you will have those additional costs of the project, which could add several thousand dollars to your total.
The next step is to decide if you want to lease or buy your solar project. There are a lot of factors that can determine whether you should lease or buy solar panels. Here are some good resources that might help you decide what makes the best sense. Also, be sure to ask your solar sales professional what options they offer for sales or financing.
Consumer Reports (Note: the information about the ITC is dated but there are links to other resources from this article which are worth exploring.)
Motley Fool (A discussion of leasing vs. buying a system.)
Additional information to explore:
Is private solar right for me?
How does private solar work?
Additional solar resources