Return on investment on residential solar energy system in top 20 US cities

We recently built a tool (using SAM model in the backend) to understand if one was to install a solar energy system at their residence on rooftop, how much time would it take them to recover their investment.

For our research, we picked the top 20+ most populous cities in US and picked most populous zipcode in that city (from here). We made following assumptions:

  1. 20,000 kWh annual electricity consumption.
  2. Customer wants to deploy a solar energy system to replace 100% (or closer) of grid electricity.
  3. Consumption of electricity increases by 3.5% annually while the solar system performance degrades by 0.5% annually.
  4. EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) cost is 3$/W.

Here are the results:

Please note that break even point is time in years it will take to recover the system cost with the savings in utility bill.

So, if you are in California or Hawaii, you should definitely invest in a residential solar energy system with break even point less than 5 years.

BTW, if we missed your city but you want to know return on investment on solar energy system in your city, please drop in comment and we will update this table.

About us:

Squad is a technology consulting firm based out of India and USA. Our Solar practice team works with solar companies across the globe to help them gain business efficiencies by leveraging the best of technology.

If you are a solar company and see how technology can help your business, please reach out to Jaikishan at