Solar System Cost Analysis Wrapping Up
We hope that this cost analysis helped you get a grasp on the expenditures that go into installing a solar panel system on your residence.
It really all comes down to how big of a system you want and what installer you go with. But regardless, solar prices are down across the board in 2017 and the costs have literally never been lower to make the switch.
We are extremely excited about the future of solar and see the prices continuing to decline, offering great opportunities for customers to do their part in saving the environment and saving on their energy bill in the process.
Here is a breakdown of the cost of solar in the United States. For a more detailed analysis, see the explanation below it!
Here at Solar Action Alliance, we like to inform our readers about all things solar. One of the most pressing questions for somebody that is considering installing solar panels on their home is: what will this cost me?
Its a good question, and one that seems to generate a lot of different answers from a lot of different websites. Some people try to answer by including your savings but we find that most people are just curious about the upfront cost. If you want to know about the savings you can find by going solar, check out our page on solar savings!
Were going to try and answer this question as simply as possible.
Compare Prices Of Top Solar Companies
There were more than 40,000 solar energy systems installed in California in 2013 – 2016. The average PV system installed is 6,600 watts and costs $29,700 for a cost per watt of $4.50. The expected lifetime cost per kilowatt hour is $0.17.
In comparison, the average 6,600 watt PV system from SunWatts costs $17,800 for a cost per watt of $2.70. The expected lifetime cost per kilowatt hour is $0.09. Our solar systems qualify for renewable energy tax credits and rebates. So you can reduce the sticker price by 30% or more for an even lower net cost after government incentives.
Want to know how much do installers charge for their solar panel systems? Follow these links to review the pricing details about top solar companies based on their actual real-world projects.
Roof Shade / Access To Consistent Sunlight
This one is less obvious than you think. Just because its daylight doesnt mean your solar panels receive the same sunlight you received yesterday or the day before. And just because you live in the Southwest, it doesnt mean your home will automatically be a good candidate for solar panels. You must account for the amount of coverage your roof receives on a regular basis, whether from trees, nearby buildings, or other types of blockages.
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The Cost Of Solar Panels And Installation
Once you have the first two figures, multiply them together. Then, divide that figure by the number of watts per panel you intend to install. This will tell you how many solar panels you will need.
Solar panels tend to cost $3 to $5 per watt. For most homeowners who want to go rely fully on solar power, the cost of panels and installation will run between $13,000 and $25,000.
Keep in mind, however, that this is before any tax credits and other incentives you can receive. Federal tax credits tend to save homeowners about $6,000 on the cost of solar panel installation.
Solar Panel Return On Investment
The ROI on solar panels varies from project to project. The system size and cost of electricity in your area play a role in how fast you recoup your costs. In general, most people find a return on investment of 20% the first year and a full recoup within 7 to 10 years. There are often local and federal incentives, which can lower your overall costs and help you realize a 100% ROI much faster. These vary by region and installation type, so contact your local authorities to find out more.
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Examining The Recent Growth Of The Solar Energy Industry
The solar energy industry has experienced unprecedented growth in just the past 10 years. Why? Its all thanks to the Solar Investment Tax Credit a federal policy enacted in 2006 that offers discounts to homeowners, business owners and utility-scale solar generators who want to install solar panels either on their roof or on the ground like a solar farm.1 Since then, the industry has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42% and has created tens of thousands of jobs. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association:
- More than 100 gigawatts of solar capacity installed across the U.S. as of 2021 which is enough power to light 18.6 million homes.
- More than 230,000 Americans at more than 10,000 companies are employed by the solar industry.
- The cost of solar systems has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade.
- Prices as of Q4 2020 are at their lowest levels in history.7
Even better, as prices decrease for consumers, the quality, durability, and efficiency of PV technology increase. Its the ultimate win-win scenario, and its one that deserves a critical examination so homeowners can be educated on exactly how they can benefit from getting a solar power system installed on their homes.
Solar Panels For A 10kw Pv System
Solar panels cost usually falls between 45% to 60% of the total system spending. Now, for a 10,000-watt solar power system, you will need at least 25 solar modules. However, consider only the power capacity of solar modules available in the market. You can choose from 250-watt up to 410-watt module capacity.
Choose modules with high power capacity as much as possible. It reduces the number of solar panels that your system will require. By doing so, you will be able to optimize your budget in the long run.
Although the price of solar panels will be based on USD/watt, reducing the number of modules will benefit you. Its because it reduces your cables length, number of racks or supports, and even maintenance costs.
Solar Panel Selection
For this system, the most effective option is to use a 400-watt solar module. What you need to do next is to divide the solar panel capacitys total solar power. Then, you will determine the total number of modules to buy. You may also check what solar panels are made up of.
10,000-watt / 400-watt = 25 units
For a 10kW solar power system, you will need 25 units of 400-watt solar modules. You may want to check out our article about solar panels for homes to learn more about this.
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Mixed Dc And Ac System
A mixed DC and AC system can be used if you have more electrical needs than a DC system can handle but do not want a fully involved system. With this system, you can use fewer panels and batteries to power more heavy-duty appliances than a stand-alone DC system. This system is designed for low energy usage, but you still have batteries to provide electricity when the sun is not out. With this system, you still need a backup system. Expect to pay between $10,000 and $50,000, depending on the system size you need.
Reduction In Energy Costs
Youll save between $650 to $1,500 annually. Over a 25-year period, youll save between $15,000 to $40,000 in energy costs. Cost ranges vary by regional differences in the cost of electricity and how much sun youll get. Dont expect to save as much in a darker northern climate as you would in southern California, Florida or Hawaii.
A great first step in determining which products are right for your home is to conduct a Home Energy Audit. A home auditor will do a detailed inspection of your usage and areas where you can improve to help you determine if you would benefit from a solar system. From there, a pro can help you to select the right location, size, mounts, and panels to maximize on savings.
Although you may hesitate to spend the money on the most expensive types of panels and mounts, it is good to remember that you will save money on the other side with decreased electricity bills. It could be that what you spend up front will pay for itself very quickly in your reduced monthly bills.
You can enhance your savings by selecting products with higher efficiencies and investing in track mounting. Track mounting will ensure that your system absorbs all the light it can, and high-quality panels will be able to capture and convert that light at a greater rate.
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Solaria Sonal Panels Price
Solaria solar panels cost $2.80 a watt. This translates to $14,820 to $18,780 for a 6kW system fully installed. Several factors influence your final installation costs, including location, roof pitch, and inverter type. Solaria specializes in panels that are all black in color, which improves their appearance and aesthetics on your roof. Their panels are also highly efficient and designed to work in many circumstances.
Keep An Eye On Trade Policy
Changes in government trade policy also impact prices. In January 2018, President Trump imposed a four-year tariff on imported solar cells and panels that started at 30% and was set to drop 5% each year until February 2022. In 2020, the tariff rate for the fourth year was raised from 15% to 18%. The tariff resulted in a 16 cent per watt increase for the average consumer in 2018, which translated to an overall increase of $960 for a six-kW system, according to EnergySage.
The cost of foreign-manufactured panels may still drop, lessening the tariffs effect over time.
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Adjustable Solar Panel Mount
An adjustable or tilt solar panel mount costs between $200 and $500. This is the mount type you need for a flat roof. It is mostly used in commercial settings, but if you have a residential home with a flat roof, you could also use this method. The rack is adjustable, so you can precisely catch the perfect angle of the sun. Since not all flat roofs are completely flat, the adjustable tilting feature allows you to get a better fit no matter what your slope is. Most have a range where they are adjustable and where they cannot go past.
Labor Costs To Install An Off
Labor costs make up a large percentage of the total cost to install an off-grid system. The cost to map out the best position for the panels, install the panels and batteries, connect the various components, and get the system up and running comes out to about 10% of the systems complete cost. For a $50,000 system, the labor portion is usually around $5,000. However, many companies roll labor costs into the overall package rather than pricing it out separately.
Labor costs vary depending on several things. These include the general layout or setup, if your roof requires additional reinforcement to support the panels, the pole type for mounting the panels, and the projects size.
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What Is An Off
An off-grid solar system is a multipart setup producing energy for homes or businesses. The system is designed to harness the suns energy using solar panels, which are mounted on the roof, a pole near the home, or both. The energy harnessed by the panels charges batteries via a charge controller, and the batteries store the energy until needed. Then, an inverter converts the charge from the batteries into electricity.
How Can You Find The Right Solar Installation Company
At SolarReviews, we recommend going with a reputable local solar installer. Generally, youll want the installer to meet these requirements:
- Been in business for over 5 years
- Hires their own installation crew
- Has between 15 and 20 employees
- At least one NABCEP-certified installer
But remember, you also want to make sure the company is charging a fair price for their services. If its too cheap, you might have to worry about a shoddy installation or low-quality equipment. If its too expensive, you might be paying an extra premium for no added benefits.
You need to find a happy medium of a solid price from a trusted company that uses high-quality materials. The best way to connect with companies in your area is by using our state-of-the-art solar calculator, which will not only give you a detailed cost and savings estimate catered to your specific home, but will also put you in contact with our vetted solar installers.
Learn more: Guide to the top-rated solar installers in your area
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Solar Power For The Home: Costs
Solar power is capital intensive, and the main cost of owning a system comes upfront when buying the equipment. The solar module will almost certainly represent the largest single component of the overall expense.
Other equipment necessary for installation includes an inverter , metering equipment , and various housing components along with cables and wiring gear.
Some homeowners also consider battery storage. Historically, batteries have been prohibitively expensive and unnecessary if the utility pays for excess electricity that is fed into the grid . The installation labor cost must also be factored in.
In addition to installation costs, there are some further costs associated with operating and maintaining a PV solar array. Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, inverters and batteries generally need replacement after several years of use.
While the above costs are relatively straightforwardoften a solar installation company can quote a price for these for a homeownerdetermining subsidies available from the government and/or your local utility can prove more of a challenge. Government incentives change often, but historically, the U.S. government has allowed a tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s cost.
Calculating How Much Solar Panels Will Cost For Your Specific Home Given Its Location And Electricity Use
Our solar panel calculator is the easiest way to determine the costs and savings of a solar panel installation for your specific home.
All you need is your address and the value of your monthly electric bill, and our solar calculator will determine your local utility companys electricity rates and how much power you use in order to tell you:
- How many solar panels you need to power your home
- How much your solar panels will cost
- How much your solar panels will save you
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How Much Does Solar Cost: Average Costs Of Residential Solar In The Us
While costs vary widely, currently the average cost of installing solar panels on a home in the U.S. is around $15,000. The range is typically from around $5,000 on the low end to $40,000 or more for a high-end system.
These averages are for the solar panels themselves, labor costs for installation and other required equipment such as inverters and control circuitry. This does not include extras like a battery backup.
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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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.
Cost Of Diy Solar Panels
The cost of DIY solar panels runs $2,000 to $20,000 for a kit ranging from 2kW to 10kW. These kits include everything you need to install your own solar array. However, you may even look to building your own panels.
The costs to make your own system and build it from scratch is going to vary quite a lot depending on you level of skill. Its a highly technical and specialized field. If you have a high level of electrical skills, you may be toying with the idea of building your own solar panels. The cost of solar cells and the silicon wafers used to create them are available to purchase individually. To build your own, you would typically put 60 of these wafers onto a backing and wire each of them. You would then need to connect this to an inverter.
Consider, however, that there are several risks associated with building your own, including:
- You can’t be sure of the quality of solar cells purchased.
- Homemade panels are often a fire hazard.
- Many tax credits and incentives will not apply when systems are constructed outside of approved facilities.
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