What is The Cost of Solar Panels For a 3-Bedroom House?

Are solar panels a cost-effective way to provide power to a house? What are the advantages of solar panels and how many are needed for a 3-bedroom house?

The cost of solar panels for a 3-bedroom house will depend on how much energy you consume, your house’s sunlight exposure, available space for panel installation, and the efficiency of the panels you choose.

An average size three-bedroom house is between 1.200 and 1.400 square feet, with an average energy consumption of 3,100kWh per year.

Residential solar panels’ capacity typically ranges between 1kW and 4kW.

In ideal conditions, a 4kW solar panel system will produce around 3,400kWh in a year, a family of three or more will likely need a 4kW system.

The average cost of a 4kW on-grid solar panel system for a 3-bedroom house is $15.000. It consists of approximately 12 panels and requires up to 300 square feet of available roof space.

Depending on your preference of choice and energetic demands, costs can go up to $45.000.

Fortunately, solar panel systems don’t have to be painfully expensive. You can take advantage of government incentives to reduce upfront costs over time.

Government Incentive for Solar Power

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the government incentives to support the growth of solar power in the U.S.

Since the ITC was enacted back in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 10.000%.

The ITC provides a 26% tax credit for solar systems installed between 2020 and 2022. If you want to commit to the investment, there’s no better time than now, the percentage will drop to 22% in 2023.

The tax credit will expire in 2024 unless Congress renews it and as of now, there’s no maximum amount that can be claimed.

Am I Eligible to Claim the ITC?

To be eligible to claim the ITC, you have to meet the following standards:

  • Your solar system was installed between January 1st of 2006 and December 31st, 2023.
  • The system must be located at your primary or secondary residence in the U.S.
  • You’re the owner of the system.
  • Even if the system is not brand new, it must be its first installation, the credit can only be claimed on the original installation.

Some states also offer solar rebates which we won’t get into detail about now but you can consult here.

How Many Solar Panels do I Need For a 3-Bedroom House?

cost of solar panels for 3 bedroom house

If you know how much energy you spend every month as well as your roof pitch and direction, then you can have an accurate idea of how many solar panels you need for a 3-bedroom house using this calculator.

If your house sits in an area with great sunlight exposure, you probably won’t have as many panels as if your house was located elsewhere with poor sunlight conditions.

There are currently two types of solar system installations, on-grid, and off-grid systems.

On-grid system

On-grid solar panel systems are the preference of choice for residential homes. They’re the most cost-effective option and the easiest to install.

They’re also the safest bet when the system under-produces, your house will never run out of power even when produced energy is not optimal.

By having a grid-tied system, you won’t need to buy expensive batteries to store the excess energy. On-grid systems send the excess energy generated to the utility grid, granting a passive income that you’ll be able to cash out with the power-providing company.

The average-sized 3-bedroom house uses on average 12 grid-tied solar panels, with an average cost of $15.000.

Off-grid system

Off-grid systems are self-sustaining, they work together with batteries that store the excess power generated during the day to use at night.

These systems are completely independent of the utility grid’s power supply but require the installation of specialized equipment, which makes them more expensive.

Typically, more solar panels are needed for an off-grid system to assure the house never runs out of power.  

How Many Solar Panels Does it Take to Run a House Off-grid?

Off-grid solar panel systems typically consist of more than 20 panels and batteries to store energy.

The average cost of a full off-grid system for a 3-bedroom house in the U.S. is between $30.000 to $45.000.

If you’re installing on a small 3-bedroom house with less demanding energetic needs, both the system cost and the number of panels will be less.

What’s the Typical Lifetime of Solar Panels?

cost of solar panels for 3 bedroom house

Solar panels will last on average between 25 to 30 years.

This doesn’t mean the system will suddenly stop working between 25-30 years, solar panels are projected to last for decades. However, there will be a significant decline in their energy production after this period, according to manufacturers.

You should expect an energy output degradation rate of 0.8% each year. By the end of the expected 25-year lifespan, the solar panels will be working at 82.5% of their original output.

Since solar panels don’t have any moving components, the only way they can be damaged, not work as intended, or not last as long as initially projected is due to external influences, such as:

  • Wind
  • Debris
  • Tree branches or leaves falling over the panels
  • Severe weather phenomena
  • Poor setup

Unless defective, the system should last as long as indicated by the manufacturer.

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

Depending on where you live and what your electric needs are, it could take anywhere between 8 to 20 years to see the return on investment.

A simple way to determine how long the system will take to pay for itself is to divide the total cost of the system by the annual electric bill.

For example, if your solar installation cost is $15.000 and your annual electric bill is $2000, then it will take 7.5 years to break even (15.000/2.000=7.5).

Keep in mind that this is a simple way of calculating the return on investment. In reality, there are several factors that influence the precision of the numbers, such as:

  • Installation costs
  • System maintenance
  • Loan interest rates
  • Applicable tax credits and rebates
  • Energy bill fluctuations

The Bottom Line

There is no way to accurately tell the cost of solar panels for a 3-bedroom house. Every house is specific, they in different shapes and sizes, and the cost-benefit will be directly related to the sun exposure time.

Nevertheless, the average numbers presented in this article will hopefully give you some guidance on the cost of solar panels for your 3-bedroom house.

Here are some of the best solar companies to take care of your installation:

If you’re on the fence about solar panels because they’re too expensive, then you must know that the government is handing out some incentives to support the growth of solar power.

Solar panels are designed to last for decades, even if the system is somewhat initially expensive, you’ll probably break even on your investment long before the system fails you.

Do you enjoy energy-saving appliances?

Check out this article to know the costs of running a dehumidifier.


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