Theres More To The Solar Cost Story
Its great that weve arrived at the average cost of a solar system installation but as you may have guessed, there are many different factors that influence what the cost of solar would be for you.
Size of Your Solar System
5kW is the average size of a solar system, but many people choose to install bigger systems. A bigger system means more energy production and more energy savings over time. Some popular sizes are 6kW, 10kW and 15kW. Of course, it really depends on what your energy needs are. If you have 1500 square foot house and few appliances, your energy needs will be much different than someone who has a 3,000 square foot house with a hot tub!
The best thing you can do is run a simple analysis on your energy bill. How much energy do you use? Take that and you can easily decide what the size of your residential solar system should be.
Where You Live
The cost of solar installations varies from state to state, however the price of solar is actually fairly steady across the board. Almost all states tend to fall within 50 cents of the $2.96/watt average we discussed earlier.
Where you live certainly affects your solar savings but that is a topic for our aforementioned solar savings page.
Energy Sage also has a great breakdown of state by state solar installation costs!
Saving Money With Federal Rebates
One of the best incentives to lower the costs of your solar energy system is the federal solar tax credit. You can reduce the amount you pay in taxes for your solar panel system by 26% between the current year, 2021, and through 2022.
That means that if your system costs $30,000, you get a $7,800 credit on your federal taxes. And adding any local incentives listed above will help you save even more money!
Installation Standards And Warranties
If you want to be eligible for small-scale technology certificates , your system must be installed by a CEC-accredited installer. The Clean Energy Council is Australia’s peak body representing the clean energy sector. It accredits both installers and systems that meet certain standards.
Look for a CEC-accredited company:
- that is a signatory to the CEC’s code of conduct
- that has been in business for a while
- with an established track record
- with relevant experience
- that has specialist expertise
- that has a good reputation.
Retailers can also sign up to the CEC’s voluntary code of conduct, which demonstrates a commitment to best-practice installation.
Solar panels in Australia work best when they’re facing north, pointed directly at the sun, at an optimal angle and not blocked by trees or shading.
Solar panels to suit a very hot climate
Some panels have better temperature tolerance than others and are therefore a better choice in hot climates.
Although solar panels are meant to sit on roofs in direct sunlight, they actually become less efficient as they get warmer, due to the physics of the photovoltaic effect. So you’ll sometimes get less power from the panels on a very hot day than on a mild day . Solar panel power ratings are based on standard conditions .
Panels should be installed in a way that allows air to circulate underneath to help keep them cooler.
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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.
The Cost To Buy Solar Panels
If you’re looking to go green, but not quite willing to go all-in with an installation on your roof, there is another option: buy individual solar panels for less than $200 each . You can then use those as portable chargers or as part of a larger project involving several panels tied together. A panel that provides 1W of power should produce around 1 Amp per hour under ideal conditions standard USB ports typically provide .5A/.25W, so one panel would give you 2 hours worth of talk time on your phone before needing to be recharged.
If your goal is to produce more than 1 or 2 Watts, though, buying individual solar panels will be prohibitively expensive. You’ll need to purchase larger 60-100W panels made by one of the major brands , which cost between $500 and $1,000 per panel before installation costs are counted. By contrast, you can typically get a grid-tied solar power system with 10 panels that produce 100 watts each for $15,000-$20,000 installed. These systems will lower your electricity bill without any extra effort on your part but it’s up to you decide if the long term savings justify the initial investment!
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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.
Different Solar Panel Cost For A 3000 Square Foot House
We have three major types of solar panels based on manufacturing technology: monocrystalline solar panel, polycrystalline solar panel, and thin-film panels.
Polycrystalline panels have efficiency lesser than monocrystalline by a figure of 20% but they are also 20% cheaper so price range for installing polycrystalline solar panel is:
* 400W per panel * = $18240
* 400W per panel * = $40320
Considering that thin film panels are 50% less efficient than and cost between $0.75 and $1 per kW.
* 400W per panel * = $8550
* 400W per panel * = $18000
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How Do Solar Panels Work
- Some materials such as silicon can be made to produce electricity when light falls on them. This is called the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels use this to convert energy from sunlight into direct current electrical energy.
- An inverter unit then changes this into alternating current for your home’s electrical circuits.
- Any excess energy can be fed back to the electricity grid or to your own battery storage system.
What’s in a solar panel?
Most solar cells are made of silicon. Solar panels, also called modules, are each made of several solar cells , connected together and sandwiched between protective glass and a backing plate. The whole panel is usually surrounded with an aluminium frame. A typical installation includes several panels connected together in an array.
Types of solar panels
Almost all panels used in home solar systems are mono- or multi-crystalline. While there are technical differences between these types, don’t put too much consideration into this it’s much more important to consider other aspects such as price, rated power output, and warranties.
The rated power output, or capacity, of solar panels has increased over the years as manufacturers find ways to squeeze out more power. Not so many years ago, 250W panels were common now, you might be offered panels of the same size that deliver 400W or more.
How Much Will Solar Panels Cost To Install On Your Specific Home In 2021
The cost to install solar panels on your specific home in December 2021 will vary depending on your location, your energy usage, the brands of equipment chosen, and whether it is a DIY installation or a job done by a professional solar company.
Since more than 95% of homeowners choose to go with a reputable local solar company, our solar calculator below shows estimates for professionally-installed systems in your area.
Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home
*Based on 350-watt panels
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Saving Money With Net Metering
A solar panel system is a workhorse and can often generate more electricity than you need for your daily use. This is where net metering is beneficial it serves as a billing agreement between you and your utility provider as a solution for any excess, unused energy. You can program your solar panel system to send any unused electricity to your citys grid, and in return youll receive credits on your electricity bill.
Net metering is especially useful since its rare that someone is at home using electricity all day and night. When youre out of the house, your solar panels will continue to generate energy and store it as backup power in a generator or battery. Or even when youre sleeping at night and not using electricity, you can tap into those net metering credits to offset your electricity bill.
This means that youre not only in control of your own energy, but youre able to give electricity back to your city, making sustainable efforts and also saving money in return. Triple win!
Location Of Your Home
Lets get real here: A home in Phoenix will create more solar electricity than one in Portland whether Oregon or Maine even if both homes are completely bereft of trees.5 Geography is essential to the efficient generation of solar power. You can always install solar panels on your roof wherever you live, but where you are matters, too.
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Solar Panel Cost By State
As interesting as it is to look at the average solar panel cost in the United States, its also very helpful to understand what solar will cost in each state, as prices can vary significantly depending on where you live. Why? There are a number of reasons, but one important factor to keep in mind is system size.
In general, states where homeowners need to use air conditioning more often have more average electricity used per household. As such, some of the largest solar panel systems are installed in sunny, warm states like Arizona and Florida. Why does this matter? For solar installers, the larger your system, the less they will usually charge per kilowatt-hour . Its like buying in bulk at Costco you might pay a higher sticker price, but your per-unit costs are lower when you buy more at one time. Well dive into this phenomenon more below.
Back to solar panels. In the end, this very roughly translates to lower $/W pricing in warm states and higher $/W pricing in cold states. But in the end, total pricing is usually close to a wash warm states have a lower price per watt, but larger system sizes, and cold states have a higher price per watt, but smaller system sizes.
Table: cost of solar panels by state
NOTE: These ranges are system prices BEFORE the 26 percent federal tax credit for solar. Additionally, EnergySage does not currently provide quotes in all 50 states, which limits our ability to provide solar panel cost estimates in each.
Hiring A Contractor Solar Panels System Costs Further Explored
One important advantage of installing solar panels on your rooftop, is the availability of the generous 26% federal solar investment tax credits that were recently extended through the end of December 31st, 2022.
Therefore, for years 2021 through 2022, whatever amount you spend on the installation of a PV solar system, you can get a rebate of 26% off the full amount . You will need to apply through the government first, but the savings of thousands of dollars are very likely well worth it.
Next is the realization that youll be generating clean home electricity, while also saving thousands of dollars per year on your home electricity costs.
So, essentially theres a cost per watt factor that needs to be calculated and then determined by you, the homeowner, to ensure it is worth your time and money. Chances are it is, and the latest information is that the costs of solar panels continue to decline, while their efficiency keeps improving.
If basing decisions on the information from even 5 years ago, it may lead you to think it is too unaffordable. Yet, what hasnt changed is that a typical residential solar panel system will save 30% to 70% off your utility bills when fully implemented.
Walking you through all the considerations is challenging to do in short order. Fortunately, the information at Center for Sustainable Energy, SunPower.com , and EnergySage.com , does this quite nicely.
Some key factors and considerations with professional installation include:
All The Ways You Can Save With Solar
Acquiring a solar panel system is a major home improvement project, but its well worth the time and financial investment. Most homeowners go solar with no money down up front thanks to local, state, and federal incentives that significantly help reduce costs.
Whether youre utilizing local, state, or federal rebates, net metering, or perhaps seasonal promotions, you have plenty of ways to offset the costs of your solar panel equipment and installation to help you gain a lifetime of free, renewable energy. To learn more about Freedom Solar or request a free consultation and quote, call +1 795-0577 or fill out our online inquiry form.
Can A House Run On Solar Power Alone
Practically, it is not often possible. This is because solar only works when the sun is shining – which means when it is cloudy or nighttime, they do not generate electricity. There are some battery solutions to provide power during these times, but they still tend to be quite expensive. Most homes with solar panels still rely on the grid from time to time.
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Effective Means Of Capturing Awesome Power
Each hour, there are 122 Petawatts of solar energy delivered to the earth from the sun. To help put this in perspective, this is around 10,000 times the power consumed by all humans in one trip around the sun .
In the last century, we are just learning to tap into solar energy in a meaningful way. Efficiency of solar cells and ultimately arrays is the ongoing work of research scientists. Highest efficiency arrays are either too experimental for mass production or are relegated to government and major industry purposes.
For a home, the process of solar generation into electrical power requires other technologies to be in play. Foremost is the placement of the solar arrays:
Positioning toward the south is a given in North America. Thus, rack mounting panels onto a southern-facing exposed and unobstructed rooftop is the norm. Though, not necessarily the most efficient.
A solar panel mounted on the ground that tracks the movement of the sun is currently the most efficient way to harness solar energy through a PV system. It can, rather easily, power itself, plus have most of the power left over to supply solar electricity for many other applications.
Yet, this type of system is generally more costly upfront, is not suitable to all forms of residential living, and requires much more ongoing maintenance than rack-mounted or rooftop systems.
How Much Does The Average Solar System Cost
Having solar panels has given me reassurance that my bills will stay manageable.
Kerrie Lane, Egg Harbor City, NJ
With Sunrun, you can take control of your own electricity, and not be left at the whims of your utility company with the next inevitable rate hike. Join the more than a quarter of a million American households who have gone solar with Sunrun.
Whenever youre ready, our solar advisors are here to help. We can provide you with a free quote. Feel free to try our Cost of Solar Calculator.
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What Is The Roi On Solar Panels
You can calculate the return on investment for installing solar panels by calculating your total payback. Calculate the amount you spent to install a solar panel system and then figure out the amount you will save on energy bills monthly. These two numbers show how quickly your savings will cover your initial costs. Electricity rates will vary by region, being higher in the Northeast than in the Northwest. Solar tends to be more cost effective where electricity prices are high and sunshine is abundant.
40 percent of homeowners