Solar Panels Are Generally Low Maintenance
The Energy Saving Trust says little maintenance is required on a properly installed, well-designed solar PV system, though you’ll likely need to replace the inverter a gadget which is a key part of the mechanism within about 25 years .
Of course, though, things can go wrong. If so, check the installer warranty you get it can cover you for up to 20 yeas. If the panels are damaged by something unexpected, like a storm, you may also be covered by buildings insurance check with your insurer before you have them installed.
Solar Panel Installation Costs Near You
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Were proud to be doing our part to make the switch to solar more understandable and affordable, particularly by eliminating the soft costs of salespeople and customer acquisition with our online marketplace.
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 Much Will The Whole Installation Cost Me
While it can be useful to know the price per solar panel, the real price comes from the entire solar power system and the installation. We are not a DIY-focused site, so for this cost analysis we are going to focus solely on installation costs through a certified solar installer.
Beyond just the cost of solar panels, there are many costs that go into a full-scale solar installation on your home. Here is a quick breakdown of all the costs that go into an installation:
- 25% Solar Panels
- 45% Operational Costs
We will do a future post with a full breakdown of these costs, but what is the actual cost of a solar power installation on your home?
Lets start by looking at the average installation. The average installation on an American home is a 5 kilowatt system. For 2020, the average cost per watt of solar systems in the US is $2.96 cents.
So lets do the math! If we multiply 5,000 watts by $2.96, we get $14,800.
But wait, dont forget about the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit! With this credit , you save 26% of your total solar installation cost through a tax credit. When we take this 30% credit out of $14,800, we arrive at $10,952.
The average cost of the average solar system in the United States is approximately $10,592 after available tax credits.
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How Does It Work
Electricity sent to the grid is banked and applied to your current months electricity consumption. Any excess electricity is carried over to the following month and applied against that months consumption. A credit appears on your monthly bill showing the net amount of electricity that has been banked. Your excess power should be used within the year if not, at the end of 12 months on your net metering anniversary date you will receive a financial credit from NB Power.
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How Can You Reduce The Cost Of Your Solar Energy Installation
Even with soft costs and tariffs higher, consumers can find ways to decrease the final bill for their residential solar energy system.
- Take benefit of the federal tax credit for new installments to receive up to 26% of your investment back. Some states also offer their own incentives.
- Pick an installation firm with funding terms that fit your budget.
- Consider purchasing used equipment. However, this might save you some money upfront used equipment can hide internal damage that prevents your system from generating the maximum amount of usable electricity, so proceed carefully.
In some areas, community solar farms create renewable energy available and affordable for everybody. Locate one in your area or arrange your neighbors and start a new job.
How Do Recent Tariffs Impact Rooftop Solar Panel Costs
In January 2018, the United States government raised tariffs on imported solar panels to 30%. The tariffs are now falling by 5% annually, ending at 15% in 2021.
In this short term pricing spike, installation firms are trying seriously to pass a minimal increase on to their customers.
In fact, customers should only find a growth of 10-12 cents per watt from these rates, accede on international power experts Greentech Media.
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A Note About Pricing: Gross Vs Net Costs
Throughout this article , we usually talk about solar panel pricing in terms of gross cost, aka the cost before any solar rebates and incentives that can reduce the upfront cost of solar, or even get you some money back over time. For example, our cost per Watt figures throughout the rest of this article are always the gross cost. This is because solar rebates and incentives arent always available to everyone. Even the 26 percent federal solar tax credit isnt always available for everyone to take full advantage of you need to have enough tax liability to claim the credit.
Solar installations are a unique product just based on your state and the manufacturer of your chosen solar panels, average solar panel costs can vary widely. We analyzed solar quote data on the EnergySage Marketplace, and heres what we found:
Type Of Panels And Other Components
There are three basic types of solar panels, two of which are commonly used residentially: monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline panels tend to be more energy-efficient, which can lead to greater savings in the long run, but they’re also a bit pricier on the front end. With that said, homeowners with a smaller roof surface area may benefit from getting the most efficient solar panels, even if the initial cost is a bit steeper.
Other components you may need to purchase include inverters, wiring, charge controllers, mounts, solar batteries and more.
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Approximate Costs Of Solar Systems After The Rebate
The range of prices in Australia below is mainly down to the quality of the hardware used in the installation. To use a car analogy , expect the lower price range to be Kia level brand and the upper cost to be a BMW level brand. Ill leave you to decide if BMWs are worth paying more for than Kias!
Approximate cost of a good quality solar system installation with Tier 1 solar panels as at August 2021 in Australia:
Note that the above assumes the use of 370W solar panels, so the final solar panel capacity may be a bit more or less than the figures mentioned above.
See Real-Time Australian Solar Pricing
The costs quoted above are based on thousands of data points. To see real-time, average prices being paid for full system installations of various capacities in your state, check out the SolarQuotes Solar Price Index.
If you want a good quality microinverter or optimiser system installed, expect to add around 20% in cost to the above price ranges.
If you want to downgrade to a reputable budget inverter , you may be able to save about $700 on these prices.
Finding The Money
You may be looking at those prices and thinking: Wow, thats a lot of money to find!, even with the rebate. I agree. Which is why it is important for Australians to understand the payback and cashflows involved with solar panels, so you can assess if the cost of an installation is going to be a worthwhile investment for you.
Calculating Solar Power Costs
Once the above costs and benefits are determined, a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs , and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
Rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour – the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25-40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
Connecting To The Grid
Most solar kits are designed for off-grid systems, which wouldn’t demand as much energy as the average home, such as tiny houses or sheds. A typical off-grid PV system costs about $2.50 per watt.
Grid-tied packages range from $2.00 to $3.50 per watt. The grid can be very useful, providing electricity at night or in times of low sunlight. Being connected requires more components, such as meters and safety equipment. You will need to consult your local utility company about regulations and hire a licensed electrical contractor to connect you.
How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost
Solar panels normally retail for around $.70 to $1.50 per watt and range between 150 and 350 watts per panel, making the average cost of a single panel between $100 and $650. If you’re installing one panel, high-quality, high-output options are ideal. Here’s a look at the efficiency of common panel types:
- Monocrystalline panels: 17%-24% efficient
- Polycrystalline panels: 15%-20% efficient
- Thin/film panels: 7%-14% efficient
Many retailers sell panels individually and as part of a larger system. Its important to factor hardware and installation costs into your single-panel project as well. This portion of your installation can make up as much as 30% of your overall cost.
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Is It Worth It To Install Solar Panels
Many people question if solar panels are worth the investment. The costs of solar panels can be high, to begin with, but the money you save in the long run can justify the high upfront cost. On top of that, with solar panels, you can increase the overall market value of your property.
Additionally, by signing up for funding schemes like the SEG, you can even earn money for the extra energy your panels produce.
Therefore, although the installation cost may seem a little steep, the savings from your reduced electricity bills, as well as, the reduced carbon footprint of your household energy, make the investment worthwhile.
How Would The Cost Of Solar For Your House Compare To The Average
If your energy usage is more than the average for your state, then the cost of installing a solar panel system will be higher. But, this also means that youll have higher-than-average lifetime solar savings.
The characteristics of your house, like the direction and shape of your roof, will also affect the cost of going solar. The best way to get an accurate estimate for your home is to use our solar panel calculator, where youll not only get a solar savings estimate, but youll also get expert advice from one of our local pre-screened solar companies.
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Solar Costs Over Time Continue To Fall
A solar panel system hasnt always been $2.76/W. As recently as five years ago, the cost of solar panels was almost 20 percent higher than it is now:
Prices will likely continue to fall even more in the future. The solar industry is still young, and theres plenty of innovation still to come. As manufacturing and installation processes mature and become even more efficient, solar shoppers will hopefully start to see some of those cost savings impacting their sticker price for solar.
Evaluate Your Sunlight Exposure
More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save with solar. Certain states, like Arizona and California, average more sunlight hours per day.
Your home’s orientation toward the sun, the amount of shade and its roof type also affect a solar system’s output. You can estimate the efficiency of panels in your area by using the SolarReviews calculator. Enter your address and the average cost of your monthly energy bill.
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Thats Great But What About The Solar Panel Installation Cost For My Home
If you are curious about how much solar panels cost, it generally depends on a few factors. These include:
- The size of your home solar system
- Whether you buy or lease
- Whether you qualify for federal, state, or local incentives and Whether you install a battery
When installing solar on your homes roof, there are several factors to consider.
Electricity needs How much energy you currently consume will directly relate to how big of a solar system you need and how many panels you need to support your homes energy needs.
Where you live How much sun exposure your homes roof gets will directly correlate to how much energy your solar system can produce and will impact how many panels you need for your home. More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save with solar.
Choice of solar panels – Better panels produce more energy more efficiently. The efficiency of the solar panels directly impacts the savings you can experience.
Roof angle – In solar panel installation, it is important to angle the solar panels so they can get maximum exposure to the sun. This is not a problem when the roof is angled, but it can be if the roof is flat. Houses with irregular rooflines, skylights, and challenging angles can make installation more complicated.
Purchasing options and incentives The payment option you choose will affect your costs, as well as your eligibility for incentives.
What Is The Cost Of A Solar Panel Installation For An Average 2000 Square Foot Home Today
The average cost of a residential solar panel installation in 2021 ranges between $18,000 and $20,000, before applying tax credits or other incentives that may be available where you live. This works out to between $2.75 and $3.35 per watt of solar installed, depending on your location and the brands of solar equipment used.
Once you take the federal solar tax credit into account, the overall cost drops to an average of between $13,320 and $14,800 – thats almost 80% lower than the cost of solar 10 years ago! Our solar panel cost and savings calculator will show you local incentives you may be eligible for to help lower the upfront costs.
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Is A Solar Installation Right For You
Use our residential solar adviser tool to explore considerations and estimated costs for a solar panel installation on your home. Get real life figures to help you determine the best solar program for you and your goals.
You can solar too, without rooftop panels! Purchase a monthly Community Solar subscription and receive energy credits on your monthly bill based on the amount of energy produced at our solar farms.Click now to learn more.Lets solar!
The sun offers more than just days out on the green. Get more from the sun by matching your monthly energy usage with Renewable Energy Credits generated from solar facilities.Go solar!
Learn more about our behind-the-meter solar programs, including the new Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources program, and how to interconnect your system.
Georgia Power purchases 100% of the solar energy generated and retires the RECs on behalf of the participating customer, giving them the ability to claim the renewable benefits.
Should I Install My Solar Panels As A Ground Mount Or Roof Mount
During our home solar audit, a solar energy expert can recommend the best place to mount your solar system. Typically, the most cost-effective site is on the roof because the structure already exists, and it is a wise use of space. Sometimes, a detached garage is a good spot, especially if the house roof is heavily shaded. In other cases, a minor tree trimming can dramatically increase solar energy production and is a good idea. Rooftop solar systems actually help protect the roof from the elements and provide some protection.
However, sometimes the roof is not the optimum place to install panels because the house roof is shaded or has the wrong orientation to the sun. If so, we can give recommendations on ground mounts and the optimum placement of one.
Typically, home lots in Portland, Eugene, and Salem are relatively small and may not have adequate space for a ground-mounted PV system. However, properties in rural Multnomah, Marion, Lane, Washington, or Clackamas Counties may have sufficient room. Unfortunately, ground-mounts and especially pole-mounted systems can have a higher installation cost because of the additional material, permitting, and labor requirements.
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