The Need For An Inverter
You probably would not take this into account about solar systems if you are not in any way related to the technical aspects of solar panels but the inverter plays a really critical role in making sure that the solar energy generated by your solar panels can actually be brought to use and be able to run your electrical appliances.
To understand how an inverter makes solar energy usable, you will have to learn a little about electric current. See, the electric current that is generated by solar panels is direct current also known as DC but the electric current that is produced through an electric grid is alternating current also known as AC. So to convert the DC generated by solar panels into AC, an inverter is put into place. And since the inverters used in solar panels are pretty high wattage inverters and high wattage inverters cost a chunk. This is how inverters also impact the total cost of a solar system.
The Cost Of Solar After Installation
Its not talked about as much, but one thing to keep in mind about the cost of a solar panel installation is the cost to keep and maintain that system. In general, solar panels require little to no maintenance over their lifetime, and you shouldnt expect to shell out much money at all once your panels are installed and operational. Theres always the off-chance something happens thats not covered by your warranties, however. You may need to trim trees as they grow, or hire a cleaner if you live in an area of the country with abnormal air pollution. Learn more about what you could run into post-installation in our article about the costs of solar panels after theyre installed.
How Do I Find Installers
If you decide against having your workers trained, youll need to partner with qualified installers in your area.
You may need multiple installers.
In that case, ask around for references to find skilled professionals. You can also search online to see which companies in your area employ qualified workers.
Pro Tip: Perform background and employer reference checks before hiring an installer. Completing a solar installation is a significant responsibility and should not be handled by the first person you find without proper vetting.
Doing your research to hire a quality, dependable worker will pay off.
Otherwise, you could be financially or even legally responsible for any mistakes your workers make if theyre not properly trained. Save yourself future headaches and work with licensed solar technicians.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost
Where you live and how much sun you get will help determine your system size. For example, California gets roughly 70% of sun per year and Florida gets roughly the same.2 Prime real estate for going solar! For those states that get a lot of sun, your solar system requirements will be smaller. Less sun? Youll need more solar panels to capture the suns power.
The cost of your panels is also determined by how much energy you need to run your home. And this cost is based on the kilowatts necessary to run your appliances. Or charge your electric car. Or keep your house humming during a storm or heatwave when a power outage occurs.
Bottom line? When you determine the size of your solar system you get to choose which appliances you want to connect. You are in charge of your power needs.
How Expensive Are Solar Panels For Builders
There are two different costs for solar panels: 1) the cost to the builder and 2) the expense to the customer.
As of 2021, its estimated that homeowners pay between $17,153 and $31,843for solar panel systems. Customers can expect to pay an average of $3 per watt, including labor and equipment.
Thankfully, you can expect to pay wholesale prices of approximately 50% of these estimates.
Keep in mind that if your customers purchase the equipment, theyre eligible for the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit. Yet, if a third party does, they receive all the credit .
California has implemented regulations on how much a customer can pay upfront for the system. The law states customers cannot pay more than $1,000 to start for the system installation and equipment.
In such cases, you must offer customers financing options that allow them to spread out payments over a certain period of time. You can set the terms, but financing options must be available.
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Should You Lease Solar Panels
There are several payment options that bundle solar installation costs into a consumers electric bill, either as a solar panel leasing option or as a power purchase agreement . Solar leases allow the homeowner to install solar panels without paying anything up front reducing the overall solar panel cost. After the panels are installed, the homeowner pays only a flat monthly fee. The fee includes the installation costs, which are spread out over time, and the cost of electricity supply.
Top 25 Most Affordable Solar Panels
When it comes to the initial outlay of cash, which solar panels are the most affordable for homeowners? Those looking to get their solar panels up and running with as little impact on their bottom line as possible can check out these top 25 affordable panels on the market today.
Please note: Solar panel technology changes quickly and what is very affordable today might be replaced by something even more affordable tomorrow. To be certain of prices, check with the manufacturer or contractor before ordering panels, but this chart will give you an understanding of approximate costs from a variety of manufacturers and for a variety of solar panels. This chart is based on the pricing of single solar panels however, purchasing by the pallet or through a contractor can usually make the per-panel price significantly cheaper.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Save
Switching to a solar energy system could potentially cut your energy bill by 75%. The savings you and your family see will depend greatly on where you live, what the climate is like and your particular energy needs. For instance, an average homeowner in Portland, Oregon, will see total savings of $38,000, whereas a homeowner in Los Angeles could save as much as $90,000 over 20 years.
Many solar energy companies provide a free calculator tool to help you easily estimate the cost and savings of installing solar panels on your home. Different solar calculators may estimate electricity costs in different ways. Numbers can be based on the national average, regional averages or other information you provide.
The average American electric bill is between $100 and $200 per month, and the average yearly energy cost is about $1,500. Depending on how much you pay out-of-pocket for the solar panel system, it could take five to 15 years to break even. To calculate how long it will take you to break even on savings versus the cost of your solar panels, first subtract your incentives and rebates from your costs. Divide that number by the amount you are saving on utility bills per year.
Even if your solar panels generate 100% of your electricity needs, you may still receive a utility bill. However, instead of asking for payments, you will get net metering credits for the month.
Additional Solar Panel System Costs
There are a few things youll want to add to your solar energy systems total cost to get the most accurate price estimate. Here are a few additional factors that will impact how much your solar panels will cost:
- Labor costs Local labor costs for solar installation will change depending on your area and the average costs solar installers charge in your area.
- Installing solar mounts The costs to install the racks that hold your residential solar panels will effect cost as well. There are a few options for solar mounting.
- Installing solar inverters A solar inverter will need to be installed to transform direct current power from the panels into the alternating current you can use in your home
- Other costs: There may also be costs for any local permit fees, inspection fees, and taxes on the solar panels.
With the fall in solar panel prices, these soft solar panel costs now constitute the bulk of what you pay when you install solar for your home.
Fortunately, as more people adopt solar power, soft costs have fallen as a resulta trend thats very likely to continue in the future. An analysis by the federal governments National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovered that installed prices have fallen at an average annual rate of 13% to 18%.
Always make sure to speak with a local solar professional to get a more accurate estimate of what your installation will cost.
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How Is Solar Energy Produced
The solar PV modules help a generation of solar energy however, it cant be used in its raw form as the panels tend to produce the DC direct current- a flat linear output and a tendency of lots of transmission losses. Also, all household equipment use AC- alternating current, a sinusoidal wave.
In this scenario, the conversion of DC to AC is very important, for which an inverter is needed. Further, based on the need of requirement, we can then add as many components as possible including rooftop solar to generate electricity. Also know about it’s benefits, advantages & disadvantages, and more here:
Cut The Cost Of Your Electric Bills
Solar panels can dramatically reduce your electric bill, often cutting the cost by half or more. How much you save depends on several factors, including how many solar panels you install, and how much sun they get each day.
The more energy your solar panels acquire, the less your electric bill will cost. Although solar panels cant completely erase your electric bill , most people see significantly lower charges from the electric company. As long as the panels receive sunlight for a few hours each day , they will help cut costs.
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Is There A Tax Credit For Solar Panels In 2022
Yes, there is a tax credit for solar panels in 2022. Owners of both residential and commercial solar systems are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit. This means you can get a tax credit of $260 for every $1,000 invested in a solar power system. Georgia does not have a state tax credit, but the 26% federal tax credit is available everywhere in the U.S.
Now Youre Probably Wondering But What Can I Do About It
Obviously, no one can afford to pay twice as much for their power in a few years time if theyre on a fixed income. Let alone, if the cost of everything else begins to rise.
But what if I told you that California has a new program thats saving qualified homeowners 40-60% on their electric bill from day one, and locking in their power rates, without them having to pay anything out of pocket?
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, guess what? There actually is such a program and its now available to California homeowners.
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Labor Installation And Permitting: Added Complexity Can Increase Cost
Warranties: From workmanship to equipment, having warranties on your solar energy installation can ensure that you get the most power from your system. Make sure youre hiring the right installer that offers the right warranty to meet your budgetary requirements.
Complex Roofs: If your roof has multiple levels, an unusual angle, or dormers, installing your system may be more complicated than usual. Your installer should arrange the panels for optimal energy production, but the added effort will increase costs. Distributing solar panels across multiple levels will add complexity, as will installations on certain roof types .
Landscaping: If you need to trim branches or landscape your area for optimal energy production, this may also add to the total cost of your system. To save money, consider doing this work yourself ahead of time or hiring a local tree pruner.
Improving Your Electrical System: Though unlikely, your electrical system could require an upgrade in order to be brought up to code. If needed, this added work would increase the costs of your solar installation. To spread these costs out, consider upgrading your electric system in one month and then going solar in the next.
This post first appeared on Mother Earth News.
How Does Sunlight Amount Affect Solar Panels
Different areas of the United States receive more or less sunlight compared to other areas. The amount of sunlight you receive directly correlates with how many solar panels you will need.
Typically, southern states get more sun than northern states. But southern states with higher altitudes and less cloud coverthink of Arizona and New Mexicoget more energy from the sun than states such as Florida or Georgia. So, for the same size house, you would generally need more solar panels in Georgia than you would in Arizona.
Remember, the sun may be shining, but if it is behind a cloud, youre not getting the same amount of solar energy absorbed by your solar PV system. This means that a solar panel in San Diego will produce more energy in a year than the same exact solar panel located in Seattle.
The image below will help you determine the solar energy, known as solar insolation, in your area. Exploring your sun number score should also be helpful. If your roof does not get a good amount of sunlight and you live on a good size amount of land, you may have other options for mounting solar panels elsewhere with better sunlight.
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Are There Any Financial Incentives
Some cities offer financial benefits for home builders who use solar panels in projects. Yet, the greatest benefits are reaped when you lease panels to customers.
Note: We only recommend this if your buyer cannot use the 26% Federal Tax Credit. Otherwise, they should roll the system cost into their mortgage. Check it out here.
Under lease agreements, the builder owns the equipment and is eligible for tax benefits and incentives. Again, this will put more money in your pocket.
You can also explore other benefits available to you by searching the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency website.
Home Solar Power Economics Example
The following example illustrates solar energy economics on a home in Alberta based on the ATCO pricing cited earlier. The situation will differ slightly if you were to examine solar panels in Edmonton or Calgary.
1. 8.0kW system
2. 30 Year analysis period
3. Total installed cost = $2.00/W +gst
4. O& M Cost = $100/yr
5. Client consumption = 9,000kWh/yr
6. Generation = 8,600kWh in year 1
7. Degradation = 0.5%/yr
8. Grid Energy = $0.070/kWh + 4.0%/yr. This escalation results in a grid energy price of $0.12/kWh in 15 years.
9. T& D = $0.038/kWh + 2.0%/yr . This T& D escalation results in service charges of $0.051/kWh in 15 years.
10. Discount Rate = 1.5%
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What Do Solar Panels Cost
Everyone’s lifestyle, home, and desires are unique so there is no set system cost. Thankfully, its now more affordable than ever to install solar panels in Alberta. The average cost to install solar panels is roughly $10,000 to $16,000, which will provide all your engineering, material, labour, and permitting. Additionally you may be eligible for solar power rebates and/or system financing, further dropping your investment in solar power.
Things To Consider With Solar Panels
Calculate your sun exposure, costs and savings. In some parts of the country, solar panels will save more money and add more value to your home than in others. For example, someone in Seattle might not get the same value from solar panels as someone in Phoenix because of the disparity in sunshine.
To estimate your savings, you first need to know how many kilowatt-hours you use and how much youre paying for them. The average household pays about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for 877 kilowatt-hours each month, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Then, figure out what size system youll need. You can use the Solar-Estimate calculator to see how many panels your home would need and how much energy they would generate.
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What Is Solar Energy
Solar energy is the light, and heat radiated from the Sun. On earth, to have the existence of human life, along with, oxygen and water – heat & light become essential and the source of these is the sun. The nuclear fusion reaction happening on the sun has been the reason for the heat & light it has been generating for millions of years.
Sunlight takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the earth’s surface, the distance is about 149.22 million Kms. The photons emitted from the surface of the sun travel this long distance to reach earth. So, the actual location of the sun that you can see is about 8 mins and 20 seconds earlier.
You Can Still Switch Energy Supplier
If you have solar panels, don’t think this locks you in to your energy provider so you can’t get cheaper bills you can join the MSE Cheap Energy Club to stick on the cheapest deals .
Your energy provider doesn’t need to be the same as the supplier that pays you for your solar-generated energy, so you’re free to switch.
Also, with a modern SMETS 2 smart meter, two firms can use the same device, so you don’t need to get a new smart meter.
It’s just as simple to switch your supplier for the export tariff, and as rates vary wildly between firms, make sure you’re always getting the best rate possible see what each firm pays.
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