Looking for a Solar Power Calculator?

Nearly every major solar installer has a custom solar calculator that you can use to estimate the cost of going solar. But how do these calculators work, where can you find the best one, and what variables do they take into account? We’ll answer each of these questions below.

Before we begin, note that there are three primary types of calculators out there: 1) real-time online estimators (get an instant cost calculation), 2) asynchronous online quote tools (someone has to look at your roof first, then sends you information in 1-3 days), and 3) solar installer custom quotes (a local installer creates a custom quote for you, then presents it).

We’ll start from the end and work backwards:

#3) Calculate Solar Costs: Let Someone else do the Work


The easiest way to get a solar power cost calculation is to submit your home address, average monthly power bill, and contact information into our form (power by Clean Energy Experts). Your roof will then be evaluated by professional solar contractors who can give you several separate and independent cost estimates.

We say easiest because all you have to do is take 60 seconds to fill out a form, then wait for a call. You’ll also get the benefit of several contractors bidding for your business, which makes it easy to comparison shop.

=> Get a free solar power cost calculation now.

#2) Use an Asynchronous Online Calculator


Some of the larger solar installers offer custom online quotes through their websites. While these work as well as the other options, they aren’t instantaneous, you’ll only get a quote from one company (you can’t price shop), and you absolutely have to speak to someone (unlike the instant calculator below).

Most of these companies should respond to you quickly once you’ve requested an estimate.

#1) Instant, Free Online Solar Calculator


This is the only free, instantaneous solar power calculator that we know of. All you have to do is plug in your info, draw your roof and the next page, submit power bill information, and in a few seconds you’ll have a full, custom cost presentation for a solar power array.

There are plenty of options for then contacting the company for more information or explanation, but this the only option we know of that allows you to see all the pricing info before you talk to someone, or even enter any personal information (besides your address).


What information do solar power calculators use for estimates?

Most solar calculators require you to enter a few standard variables like roof angle, roof type, average monthly power bill, and shading information, plus local variables such as local electricity rates, state and municipal solar rebates, incentives, and any other financial benefits you might get.

Here’s a breakdown of each:

  1.  Roof Angle – Is your roof flat or steeply angled? This is important because solar panels must have a specific tilt angle to maximize exposure to the sun. If your roof is overly steep or flat you can also be charged added fees for both mounting and difficulty of installation.
  2. Roof type – What material is your roof made out of? Some materials, like Spanish tiles, can required added costs due to the ease of which they break (when someone is walking around on the roof installing things).
  3. Average Monthly bill – Obviously one of the big variables, this determines how big the solar array will need to be to offset your power consumption.
  4. Shading – is the roof shaded by any trees? Shading kills solar energy production, unfortunately, since solar panels are strung together like Christmas lights (see solar panels in series).
  5. Electricity Rates – the other huge one. Do you pay more than 12 cents per kWh (the national average), or much more for electricity? This will be a major factor in how long it takes for the system to pay itself off.
  6. Local rebates and incentives – see solar power rebates for more info. This takes into account state tax rebates and offsets, muncipal credits, utility credits, net-metering, and so on.
  7. Other credits – if you’re lucky, you live in a state with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which you earn on top of everything else.