How Much Do Solar Panels Cost for a 2,000 Square Foot House?

Estimating the cost of a residential solar panel array based solely on a home’s square footage is virtually impossible. 

There are too many variables to assess.

Switching to clean, renewable solar power is an excellent investment — but it’s also a substantial one. 

When it comes to making a purchase decision about solar panels and a balance of system, it’s essential to not only accurately estimate how much it will cost but also to ensure it meets your electricity generation needs. 

Average costs can give you a ballpark figure to work from, but there’s no substitute for doing your homework.

Read on for a selection of average costs of solar power systems for 2,000 sq. ft. homes. 

More crucially, learn how to assess the cost of a solar power system for your unique residential solar power needs.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Solar Panels?

Determining the cost of solar panels and a balance of systems that meet your electricity consumption needs requires assessing numerous factors.

Here’s a brief summary of each.

Energy Consumption Needs

According to the EIA: “The average American household in 2022 used “10,791 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of about 889 kWh per month.” 

(Source: Statista)

In 2021, the average single-family house in the US was just over 2,2273 square feet.  

The correlation between average electricity consumption and the average home size being close to 2,000 sq. ft. makes the statistics more relevant than if you have a significantly larger or smaller home. 

However, ballpark averages are no substitute for doing the math and assessing your individual needs.

First, you need to total up the starting and running watts of all the appliances and home systems, like HVAC, that you wish to operate simultaneously using solar power. 

The AC output of your portable power station or balance of the system must provide sufficient starting and running watts to power your home.

How long you want to run each appliance is also a crucial consideration — especially for off-grid solar power systems. 

Solar power is intermittent. It relies on sunlight to produce electricity. Production will be diminished on overcast days, and solar panels don’t work at night.

Off-grid systems rely on solar batteries to store electricity for times when PV panels don’t produce electricity. Calculating your required storage capacity is essential to ensure you don’t run out of power when you need it most.

Here’s a detailed guide to calculating electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWH) for your home.

If you opt for an on-grid system, you can automatically draw power from your utility provider when your household demand exceeds the supply from your solar panel array. 

However, it’s crucial to note that grid-tied solar power systems DO NOT OPERATE DURING A BLACKOUT unless they’re equipped with a storage inverter and solar battery storage.

If you live in a location where blackouts and extreme weather events are rare, choosing an on-grid system can be appealing — especially if you live in a state that offers net metering.

(NC Clean Energy)

Net metering programs allow you to draw electricity from the utility grid when production from your solar panel array is insufficient AND sell power back to the grid when you generate more electricity than you need.

It’s rare to actually make money with net metering, but you can significantly offset your electricity costs.

Many homeowners opt for a hybrid solar power system that offers the benefits of off-grid energy security and net metering.  

Hybrid solar panel systems like EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra provide up to:

  • 90kWh LiFePO4 solar battery storage
  • 21.6kW of AC output 
  • 16.8kW of solar charge capacity (42 x EcoFlow 400W Rigid Solar Panels)

With enough storage capacity to run a 2,000-square-foot home for at least a month off-grid — and grid-tied net metering capabilities — EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra is a game-changer for residential solar panel systems.

Location

Your home’s geographical location plays a significant role in determining the cost of solar panels. 

The hours of peak sunlight your photovoltaic modules receive largely determine how much electricity you can generate each day.

(Source: NREL)

Solar irradiance varies widely by state — and even within states. The above map shows Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) and the projected electricity production per m2 (square meter) of photovoltaic surface (solar cells).

In states where on-grid electricity is more expensive, like Hawaii or California, residents stand to save even more by switching to solar power despite sometimes higher costs of installation.

Aside from peak sunlight hours, local and state solar incentives can substantially reduce your purchase and installation costs.

Solar panels and generators like EcoFlow DELTA Pro and DELTA Pro Ultra are eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit (Residential Clean Energy Credit) AND generous financing terms when purchased directly from the manufacturer.

Additional location-dependent incentives may include:

  • Property tax exemptions or exclusions: Added home value generated by installing solar panels is exempt from property taxes.
  • Sales Tax Exemptions: Solar panels and other system components are exempt from sales tax.
  • Net Metering: Electricity you generate with your solar panels in excess of consumption energy gets sold back to the grid.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs): Earn $1 for every MWh of electricity the solar system generates.
  • State/Local government or Utility Company Incentives: Rebates and incentives vary by location.

For example, New York offers its residents several incentives, including a 25% state tax credit up to $5,000 and sales tax exemptions. Once installed, any excess energy generated by the system can earn you anywhere from $0.69 to $1.09 per kilowatt per month if you sell it back to the utility company.

To get a sense of how costs vary by location, here’s a table that outlines average prices in different states based on how sunny the area is, local/state incentives, and conditions in the state markets:

StateCost per Watt
Alabama$2.45
Alaska$2.41
Arizona$2.64
Arkansas$2.63
California$2.68
Colorado$2.51
Connecticut$2.86
District of Columbia$2.88
Delaware$2.65
Florida$2.58
Georgia$2.33
Hawaii$2.67
Idaho$2.52
Illinois$2.57
Indiana$2.49
Iowa$2.53
Kansas$2.39
Kentucky$2.34
Louisiana$2.38
Maine$2.87
Maryland$2.74
Massachusetts$2.87
Michigan$2.66
Minnesota$2.74
Mississippi$2.64
Missouri$2.59
Montana$2.42
Nebraska$2.83
Nevada$2.61
New Hampshire$2.83
New Jersey$2.78
New Mexico$2.44
North Carolina$2.86
North Dakota$2.49
Ohio$2.50
Oklahoma$2.62
Oregon$2.50
Pennsylvania$2.38
Rhode Island$2.69
South Carolina$2.62
South Dakota$2.39
Tennessee$2.49
Texas$2.77
Utah$2.66
Vermont$2.85
Virginia$2.66
Washington$2.77
West Virginia$2.64
Wisconsin$2.60
Wyoming$2.57

Solar Panel Type

As sun-powered technology continues to evolve, so do the types of photovoltaic modules available on the market. 

Other options — like solar shingles — exist, but photovoltaic (PV) panels remain by far the most popular option for residential use. 

(Source: ASES)

The photovoltaic material in the majority of home solar panels consists of monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar cells.  

Crystalline silicon solar panels typically have efficiency ratings between 15-23%.

Solar panel efficiency is a specification that measures the percentage of direct sunlight hitting the photovoltaic surface (per square meter) that gets converted into electricity.  

Monocrystalline solar panels offer the best efficiency (up to 23%) but tend to cost more upfront.

Solar Panel TypeEfficiency (%)
Monocrystalline18-23%
Polycrystalline15-17%
Thin-film7-15%

Thin-film solar panels are inefficient and require too much surface area to be practical for a 2,000-square-foot house installation.

The average price of PV panels also varies based on what type you buy.

Solar Panel TypeCost (per watt)
Monocrystalline$.075-$1.50
Polycrystalline$0.45-$0.90
Thin-film$0.30-$0.60

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Switching to solar is a long-term investment. Monocrystalline PV panels produce significantly more electricity than other types. Considering that high-performance, IP68-rated modules like EcoFlow’s rigid solar panels last for decades. Any upfront savings will be far outweighed by diminished returns over time.

EcoFlow’s rigid, flexible, and portable solar panels all use monocrystalline silicon cells and boast an industry-leading ~23% efficiency rating.

Installation Costs

Installation costs depend primarily on whether you choose to mount solar panels on your roof or the ground.  

For example, if your 2,000 sq. ft. home has a steep roof, you can expect to pay more than a homeowner with a low or flat pitch.

Installers typically charge per panel or by kilowatt. If you purchase solar panels through your installer, they may offer a lower rate for larger systems.

Labor costs may account for 10-20% of the total upfront cost of your solar panel array and balance of system.

Additional costs may include permitting, inspection, and grid connection fees.

Temperature and Shade

Believe it or not, solar panels actually operate better in temperatures at or below 25°C (77°F). 

The photovoltaic effect captures photons from sunlight — not heat. High temperatures actually have a negative impact on solar panel efficiency. In extreme heat conditions, PV panels sometimes require cooling.

Other environmental factors like shade from trees, buildings, or frequent cloud cover can also negatively affect how much electricity your system produces.

If your 2000-square-foot home gets a lot of shade and has limited roof space, you may need to remove trees or branches to allow more direct sunlight to reach your solar panels.

The positioning, angle, and direction of your solar panels are also crucial. 

In the northern hemisphere, facing panels south is recommended. The sun is always in the southern half of the sky, allowing your array to receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight.

What Is the Average Cost of Solar Panels for a 2,000-square-foot Home?

In 2024, the average cost to purchase and install solar panels for a 2,000-square-foot home ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 before applying tax credits and other incentives. 

When you break these figures down, that equates to $2.75-$3.35 per watt installed. 

However, your cost will vary based on all the factors listed above.

Once you apply the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit and other incentives, the upfront cost should drop to between $12,000 and $14,000.

You may also enjoy further savings from state, local or utility company incentives.

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed for a 2000 Sq Ft House?

To calculate how many solar panels you’ll need for your 2,000-square-foot home, you must estimate your desired electricity production — and factor in the rated power and efficiency of the PV modules you select.

Many of the factors outlined above also come into play.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to determining how many home solar panels you need.

The typical 2,000-square-foot house in the United States will require between 12 and 20 x 400W solar panels to fully meet its electricity consumption requirements.

Solar Panel Calculator: Number of PV Panels and Total Cost














Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

For most homeowners, the pros of solar panels more than make up for the cons. 

Switching to solar power does require a substantial investment. But once your solar payback period is complete, you’ll have a virtually limitless supply of free electricity.

The money you save on utility bills is money in the bank.

If you already live in a state with high standard electricity rates, you stand to achieve an even greater solar ROI

Unless you live in a 2,000-square-foot home lacking a suitable installation area that routinely receives direct sunlight — for example, in an apartment building — there’s never been a better time to make the solar switch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?

Known as the solar payback period, the length of time it takes to pay off the cost of a residential solar installation in full varies substantially based on your location, electricity rates, available government incentives, and installation costs. On average, American homeowners can expect to wait 6-10 years before enjoying completely free electricity for decades to follow.

Final Thoughts

Solar panels require a significant investment, but that investment pays off substantially in the long run. 

By understanding the various factors that determine the cost of a PV module array, balance of system, and installation, you’re now empowered to make the right purchase decision on solar panels for your 2,000-square-foot home.

ECOFLOW
ECOFLOWhttps://www.ecoflow.com/
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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