Cost of solar panels in Delaware

How much is it to go solar in 2023?

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
Written by
Author picture
Edited by
man standing on a ladder while installing solar panels

The average cost to install solar panels is $24,510 in Delaware before the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). The price drops to $17,157 after the ITC.

Going solar in Delaware is about 3% more expensive than the national average. Your out-of-pocket investment might be higher than in other states, but there are rebates and other ways to make switching to solar worth it in the First State.

Key insights

  • The average cost per watt is $2.58 in Delaware.
  • The average payback period in Delaware is 12 years if you pay for your system in full upfront.
  • Delaware residents who go solar save an estimated $29,016 over 25 years.

How much do solar panels cost in Delaware?

Installing residential solar panels generally costs between $10,000 to $30,000 or more, with individual costs varying. Your system's size is a big factor in how much you pay overall. Not surprisingly, systems with less power output typically cost less. The average size of solar systems in Delaware is 9.5 kilowatts (kW).

To determine what size system you need, start by looking at how much electricity you used in the last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You’ll find this information through your electric account dashboard online. Then, divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to find the necessary system size.

For example, the typical Delaware household uses 11,400 kWh per year. Using this formula, the typical household would need a 9.5-kW system.


Average cost by system size in Delaware 

7 kW8 kW9 kW10 kW11 kW12 kW13 kW
Before federal tax credit $18,060 $20,640 $23,220 $25,800 $28,380 $30,960 $33,540
After federal tax credit $12,642 $14,448 $16,254 $18,060 $19,866 $21,672 $23,478
Source: EcoWatch

Are solar panels worth it in Delaware?

Delaware has a good climate for solar panels. People who go solar there often do it to save money and gain more energy independence, like Robert in Claymont. He told us he dreams “of a day no money [is] spent to the electrical company.”

We’ve talked to other solar customers all over the state. While many in Delaware are happy with their solar systems, not everybody gets the deal they expected. Some experience delays in getting their solar projects online, partly due to grid connection issues and a backlog of project applications, according to the Delaware Business Times.

Delaware receives an average of 3 to 3.5 hours of peak sun hours daily.

Others tell us about inadequate energy production and hidden fees, even if the contract looks great at first.

One resident, Fuji in Middletown, said the contract looked “great on paper” but advised others to look out for hidden fees and shoddy installation. Fuji’s system only generates about half of their energy needs, and they ended up paying more each month than before going solar.

Solar is still worth considering in Delaware. It’s just extra important to do your research so you get the most out of it. If you do it right, you can actually make money, like Christopher in Newark. He said he makes “money every quarter” and has had “zero electricity bills” since going solar.

» MORE: Are solar panels worth it?

Cost factors of going solar in Delaware

The cost of your solar setup isn't just about slapping some panels on your roof and calling it a day. Many factors affect the price, from the equipment you choose to the condition of your roof and how you decide to pay.

Solar equipment costs

When it comes to equipment, there are solar panels, inverters and batteries to think about. All of these components have separate price tags, so make sure you know what you're getting into.

Solar panels come in all shapes and sizes, and their efficiency can vary. The panels' size, weight and efficiency all play a role in how much you end up paying. In Delaware, you can expect to pay around $2.58 per watt.

Inverters are what turn the solar energy into usable electricity for your home. They run around $1,000 and $3,000.

Solar batteries store any extra juice for later. These can add an extra $7,000 to $18,000 to your total costs.

Condition of your roof

Quality solar panels can last 25 to 30 years, but you're setting yourself up for a headache if your roof is on its last legs. If your roof needs repairs or replacement down the line, you'll need to remove those panels, fix the roof and then put the panels back up.

It’s as expensive and frustrating as it sounds, so make sure your roof is in good shape before installing solar panels.

» LEARN MORE: Should you replace your roof before going solar?

How you pay

If you want to finance your solar setup, you can apply for a solar loan, but keep in mind that interest will add to your overall costs. Leasing is another route, often with little or no down payment required. Read the fine print to understand how leasing affects your long-term costs and what happens when the lease term is up.

You could also go with a power purchase agreement (PPA). Under a PPA, a third-party company owns the solar panels. You purchase the electricity generated by the panels at a fixed rate.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

Local permits and fees

Depending on where you live in Delaware, you might need various permits to install your solar panels legally. These come with fees, and while they're usually not overly expensive, they're still something you'll need to budget for.

Other cost factors

Solar panels are pretty low-maintenance, but there are still some costs. You might need to replace a component here or there, and periodic cleaning is a must. Some people opt for system monitoring (if it isn’t already included), which can increase your costs by $80 to $400.

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Delaware

The average ITC value in Delaware is $$7,353 in 2023.

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Delaware. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you will receive a federal income tax credit worth 30% of your solar system's total cost — including equipment, labor and permits. The credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

Delaware also offers some local incentives. There are three rebate programs for solar energy systems and water heaters that can snag you up to $8,000. Residents can also earn from their solar production through net metering and the solar renewable energy credits (SREC) program.

» EXPLORE: Delaware solar incentives

Compare solar installation companies in Delaware

Compare popular solar companies available in Delaware below. Read our guide to finding the best solar companies for more.

» TIPS: Getting the best solar quotes


Choose what information you want to see across each brand. At least one option must be selected.

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.


    How are solar costs trending in Delaware?

    The cost to go solar in Delaware has fallen 43% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    Can I get free solar panels in Delaware?

    You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no upfront costs. Neither is totally free, though. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee, and PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

    » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

    How much can I save with solar panels?

    When you pay cash, the average 25-year savings with solar is $29,016 in Delaware. It’s a common misconception that solar panels always eliminate your monthly power bill. The good news is that people who still have a bill after going solar are paying significantly less than before. You can expect to offset your electricity bill by 81% to 110%, according to EnergySage.

    How does net metering work in Delaware?

    Net metering is when you sell your excess power to your local electric company to be used by others. Your setup needs to be 25 kW or smaller to get in on net metering in Delaware. You'll get credits as payment on your power bill; if you don’t use them, they carry over each month for a year. When the year ends, you can ask to turn those credits into cash.

    » COMPARE: Best solar monitoring systems

    How many solar panels do I need for my house?

    The number of solar panels you need depends on how much electricity your household uses. In Delaware, the average monthly energy consumption is 950 kWh. The typical 2,000-square-foot home needs around 19 solar panels.

    Bottom line

    Solar panels aren’t very popular in Delaware despite the state having a good climate for them. On average, you could save an estimated $29,016 over 25 years by making the switch. When you factor in those long-term savings, plus net metering and solar renewable energy credits, you could potentially get quite a bit out of installing a solar system.

    » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

    Solar costs: Delaware vs. nearby states

    Upfront cost*ITC value (30%)Typical system sizeAverage cost per wattPayback period**Estimated net savings
    Delaware $24,510 $7,353 9.5 kW $2.58 12 years $29,016
    New Jersey $19,390 $5,817 7 kW $2.77 10 years $23,806
    Maryland $27,700 $8,310 10 kW $2.77 12 years $21,395
    Pennsylvania $21,676 $6,503 8.5 kW $2.55 10 years $23,634
    *Before the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC); **When you pay in full upfront

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Delaware.” Accessed Oct. 13, 2023.
    2. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Oct. 13, 2023.
    3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Delaware Solar.” Accessed Oct. 13, 2023.
    4. DSIRE, “Delaware Solar Programs.” Accessed Oct. 13, 2023.
    5. EnergySage, “Delaware solar panels: local pricing and installation data.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    Did you find this article helpful? |
    Share this article