Home / Environment / Articles / How much solar energy do homes produce?

In 2022, residential solar panels generated 37 million megawatt-hours, accounting for 18% of all solar energy in the US, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average US home uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours per year, meaning residential solar panels generated enough electricity to power 3.4 million homes in 2022.

Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the US, according to the Department of Energy. The US had about 3.9 million photovoltaic solar power systems installed at residences at the end of 2022, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. That number has grown by an average of 37% per year since Congress passed a federal tax credit for solar power in 2005.

In 2022, Congress passed additional tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act to help more Americans invest in rooftop solar installation. A small percentage of all homes (2.7%) had solar panels installed by the end of 2022. Overall, residential solar generates a small fraction of total US energy, making up less than 1% of all electricity production in 2022.

Energy produced by small-scale solar vs. utility-scale solar facilities

Small-scale solar installations, including those at homes, businesses, and non-utility industrial sites, collectively generated 29% of all solar power in the US in 2022. At 61 million megawatt hours produced, small-scale solar power generated enough electricity for 5.6 million homes. That level of production is more than five times the amount from 2014.

Meanwhile, solar farms and other utility-scale solar facilities produced enough electricity to power over 13 million homes in 2022, a total of about 144 million megawatt hours. Utility-scale solar facilities generated eight times more power in 2022 than in 2014.

Embed on your website

Total small-scale solar capacity over time

In 2022, the total capacity of small-scale solar installations in the US had grown to more than five times the total capacity in 2014, when the Energy Information Administration began publishing this figure. The capacity rose from 7.3 gigawatts in 2014 to 39.5 gigawatts in 2022.

Embed on your website

Which states produce the most small-scale solar energy?

In 2022, California homes produced more solar energy than any other state, producing 23 million megawatt hours. This was enough electricity to power approximately 2 million homes. That amount of power is five times larger than the amount of solar power the state produced in 2014. Arizona was second, producing enough electricity to power more than 330,000 homes.

Almost every state has at least doubled its solar power generation since 2014. Twenty-nine states and Washington, DC, produce at least six times more solar power, sometimes much more.

Embed on your website

States with the most residential solar panels

Hawaii has the largest share of homes powered by small-scale solar energy: 33% of single-family homes have installed residential solar power systems. California follows with 20% and Arizona at 12%, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Nationwide, 4.4% of single-family homes have solar power systems installed.

How much do solar energy systems cost?

Installing a residential solar power system typically costs between $15,000 and $35,000, according to the Department of Energy. Prices fluctuate based on location, the size and structure of individual homes, and the amount of energy a homeowner wants from their system. The federal solar tax credit covers 30% of a qualifying home solar energy system installed by the end of 2032.

In terms of energy produced, the cost of solar panels has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 2010. In 2022, the total cost of residential solar energy systems cost $3.16 per watt, compared to $8.70 per watt in 2010.

Embed on your website

Learn more about energy and the environment, and get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our email newsletter.

Monthly Electric Power Industry Report
Last updated
August 2023
Solar Energy Technologies Office
Spring 2023 Solar Industry Update
Last updated
April 27, 2023