Key takeaways


magine a sunny day. Not just any sunny day, but one that sparks a revelation. You gaze at your roof and think, "That’s some empty space that could use a money-saving machine." You're not alone; solar energy has become increasingly popular as a clean and cost-effective alternative. Options abound, from the premium to, well, really cheap. But how do you navigate this overwhelming sea of photovoltaic choices? This article demystifies this complexity and shines some light on how to get solar panels for cheap without sacrificing quality.

In the quest for affordable and sustainable energy solutions, 2024 brings exciting prospects for those seeking cost-effective alternatives. Explore our guide on discount solar panels, unveiling the best deals and low-cost options in the solar market. Discover the power of inexpensive solar panels that not only fit your budget but also contribute to a greener future. We'll navigate through the landscape of cheap solar panel, ensuring you find the most reliable and economically viable choices. Uncover the secrets to harnessing solar energy at the lowest cost with our insights into the cheapest solar panels available.

Solar System Price Evolution

A decade ago, using the sun to generate solar electricity felt like an eco-luxury. In those days, the solar panel pricing hovered around $8.50 per watt. Fast-forward to the present, and we're looking at an average of $2.95 per watt. What led to this drastic change? Technological advances and increased competition have made these sustainable marvels far more accessible to the average consumer.

Solar Costs: Where Do the Numbers Come From?

Understanding the price tag on a solar system is akin to dissecting an intricate puzzle. Various components contribute to the overall pricing. Let's delve a bit deeper:

Solar Panels: The biggest and probably the most obvious element that influences solar system prices is the solar panel. The unit’s efficiency and quantity will contribute to a big chunk of the overall price of the system.

Installation Costs: The solar company you work with will set a labor cost for your solar system depending on the installation complexity.

Mounting Equipment: Ground-mounted and roof-mounted installation types are the most common. Sometimes, the state or shape of the roof might need additional reinforcement adding to the overall price.

Inverter: A crucial part of a solar setup, the inverter converts the DC power your solar panels produce into AC power that can be used by your home and adds to the total solar system price.

These cheap solar panels offer a cost-effective way to harness the sun's energy and reduce electricity bills. Whether you're looking to power your home or business, investing in cheap solar panels can provide long-term savings and environmental benefits

Solar Panel Types and Prices

Solar Panel Types
Solar Panel Types

Navigating the world of solar can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to pricing. Thankfully, each type of solar panel has its own unique characteristics that set it apart and influence its price. Let's explore.


Monocrystalline solar panels are the crème de la crème of solar technology. Composed of single-crystal cells, these panels are typically the most efficient but also come at a higher price. If you are looking for the best performance, these are for you.


On the hunt for the cheapest solar panels? Polycrystalline modules may be your best bet. While their efficiency doesn't match that of monocrystalline solar panels, they are usually the least expensive solar option. The downside is you might need more space for the same energy output.


These solar panels are the wildcard of the solar world. While they offer flexibility and are usually inexpensive, they are often less efficient than their crystalline counterparts. If your project has specific, non-traditional needs, thin-film solar panels might just be what you're looking for thanks to their flexibility.


Last but not least, bifacial solar panels can absorb sunlight from both sides, increasing their efficiency. However, they do come with a price tag that reflects this advantage. While they might seem like a tempting solar option, they are not the best choice for everyone. Bifacial solar modules work best in environments with reflective surfaces (snowy or desert areas) or on reflective rooftops. Otherwise, the light reflected from the ground is not enough to actually make this solar investment worth it.

Use your own personal savings calculation to shop and compare top providers

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Impact of Cheap Panels on Long-Term Profitability

While it might be tempting to hunt for the cheapest solar panels, it might not necessarily be a smart financial decision. Let’s take a look at some considerations before going for the cheapest solar panels.

Less Savings

Opting for the cheapest solar modules is a double-edged sword. Sure, you save money upfront, but lower-efficiency solar panels produce less electricity. This means less long-term savings, a longer payback period and a lower return on investment overall.

Space Considerations and Efficiency

While cheap, these solar panels often require more space to generate the same amount of electricity. This is definitely something to consider, especially for those with limited roof space.

Solar Panel Durability

Cheap can sometimes be costly in the long run. Lower-priced solar modules tend to degrade faster, impacting their long-term efficacy. Better solar panels often have performance guarantees. For example, SunPower modules will not lose more than 8% of their initial performance over time as stated by the manufacturer.

How to Get Cheap Systems Without Sacrifice?

Finding the balance between price and quality is the holy grail of solar panel shopping. Here are some of the best ways to get cheap solar without sacrificing the convenience or long-term benefits that come with solar systems.


The government is putting effort into making solar more widespread and accessible in order to reach the ambitious 100% clean energy goals. That means there are various incentives available for solar enthusiasts. The most generous one is the Investment Tax Credit which allows you to deduct 30% of the solar system’s price from your federal taxes.

Depending on the state, you can also take advantage of net metering which allows you to sell the excess energy back to the grid and benefit from virtually free energy as a result. There are also local programs that might provide additional discounts for certain solar system types. Researching and taking advantage of all the available incentives could potentially save you up to 50% of the total costs.


Make sure to do your research when choosing a solar provider. Request multiple quotes, compare the offered prices, and choose the best one. Besides the prices, dig deep into warranties and customer reviews to find companies that offer value in both the short-term and long-term. A low price but limited warranties might lead to you paying more out of pocket for any repairs long-term.

DIY Solar Installation: Good or Bad Idea?

Another question many people have is “Can’t I just buy solar panels for cheap install them myself?”. If you're skilled enough, a DIY installation can be an opportunity to save thousands of dollars on your setup. However, be cautious; many manufacturers void their warranties if the solar system is not mounted and connected by a certified solar installer. Additionally, depending on the state, you might also have to give up on any solar incentives since they also often require professional installation. In most cases, working with a solar company saves you more money if done wisely.

Use your own personal savings calculation to shop and compare top providers

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Solar Panels for Cheap: Top Picks

So, where to get cheap solar panels that are actually good? There are plenty of brands that offer affordable but great solar modules. Take a look at some of them:

Longi: Longi is a known brand that offers various affordable options. For example, you can get a 310-watt solar module for around $165. This solar unit has an 18.7% efficiency rate and a 25-year warranty. It’s one of the many places to purchase the cheapest modules with great value.

Qcells: This Korean company offers solar panels at around $2.60 per watt with a strong efficiency of about 20.6%. The panels' performance warranty guarantees at least 86% over their lifespan which is higher than the average 80%.

Jinko Solar: Their popular Eagle Continental product line offers solar panels at around $2.25 per watt, with efficiencies of up to 19.88%. This is a solid option when it comes to the cheapest solar modules.

Still have questions? Take a look at the video by UndecidedMF below and move to our FAQ:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can you get solar panels for free?

A: While there are no “free” solar panels, it’s possible to get a really good deal if you follow some of the tips above.

Q: Should I get second-hand solar?

A: While it is possible to purchase used modules for a low price, it might not be worth it as you often have no real guarantees. A better option would be to acquire refurbished solar modules from a legitimate source.

Q: Do I need solar batteries?

A: No, you do not, unless your goal is to be completely off the grid or if your area experiences frequent power outages. Otherwise, the storage would add to the price and might not be worth it overall. Weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts on Cheap Solar

As we enter 2024, the landscape of affordable solar solutions presents exciting opportunities for those considering a shift to renewable energy. Exploring the realm of cheap solar panels involves more than just upfront costs; it's a journey into overall cost-effectiveness and sustainable choices.

When evaluating cheap solar panels, it's crucial to consider the cost per watt and the overall power output. Additionally, examining financing options can make the transition to home solar even more accessible, allowing homeowners to spread the overall cost over manageable terms.

Moreover, navigating the realm of cheap solar panels in 2024 opens avenues to benefit from the federal solar tax credit. This incentive not only reduces the overall cost of your solar panel system but alo emphasizes the government's commitment to promoting sustainable energy practices. As we delve into the world of budget-friendly solar solutions, it becomes clear that cheap doesn't mean compromising on quality; it's about making high-quality, affordable solar options accessible for a greener and more sustainable future.

So, there you have it—a comprehensive guide to finding the cheapest solar panels without sacrifices. With proper research, you can take advantage of the best possible deals on the market without bothering with inferior solar panel quality and bad warranties. It’s not an easy process, but it’s well worth it since it helps you find the solar solution that's perfect for you.


Key takeaways

  1. Solar System Price Evolution: The article begins by highlighting the significant decrease in solar panel prices over the past decade, attributing this change to technological advancements and increased competition in the solar market.
  2. Understanding Solar Costs: It explains the various components that contribute to the overall price of a solar system, including solar panels, installation costs, mounting equipment, and inverters.
  3. Types of Solar Panels and Prices: The article discusses different types of solar panels, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and bifacial panels, outlining their unique characteristics and price ranges.
  4. Impact of Cheap Panels on Long-Term Profitability: It explores the potential drawbacks of opting for the cheapest solar panels, such as lower long-term savings, space considerations, and durability issues.
  5. How to Get Cheap Systems Without Sacrifice: The article provides strategies for finding affordable solar panels without compromising quality, including taking advantage of government incentives, conducting thorough research, and considering DIY installation.
  6. Top Picks for Cheap Solar Panels: It recommends several reputable brands that offer affordable solar panels with good performance and warranties, such as Longi, Qcells, and Jinko Solar.
  7. Frequently Asked Questions: The article addresses common questions about obtaining free solar panels, purchasing second-hand solar panels, and the need for solar batteries.
  8. Final Thoughts on Cheap Solar: It concludes by emphasizing the importance of considering overall cost-effectiveness and sustainable choices when evaluating cheap solar panels, highlighting the benefits of federal solar tax credits and financing options.Overall, the article serves as a comprehensive guide for individuals looking to invest in solar energy while staying within budget. It provides practical advice and insights to help readers make informed decisions about purchasing affordable solar panels for their homes or businesses.
Sep 3, 2023
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