Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need For Your Home
The average American home needs between 19 and 23 solar panels based on the average electricity usage of 877 kilowatt-hours per month. Installing that many solar panels would cost between $13,000 and $16,200 after the federal solar tax credit.
However, chances are your energy usage doesnt line up exactly with the U.S. average, plus the number of solar panels you need depends on several other factors, like the location of your home and what kind of solar panels you choose.
So how exactly do you figure out how many solar panels you need? Weve got you covered.
Calculate how many solar panels you will need to power your specific home
How Many Solar Panels Will You Need
To know how many solar panels you will need, you will want to determine how much electricity you use in your home and the solar panel types installed.
The average house in the United States uses about 900 kilowatt hours a monthroughly 11,000 kWh a year. You can easily calculate your actual usage by looking back at your electricity bills. As a general rule of thumb
- A 3-kWh solar panel system will generate about 3,600 kWh 4,800 kWh per year.
- A 5-kWh system produces about 6,000 8,000 kWh per year.
- A 10-kWh system can produce about 12,000 kWh 16,000 kWh per year.
Depending on the size of the system, the solar panels cost would be between $4,000 and $16,000. Add in another $3,000 to $10,000 for other necessary components, such as racks for the panels, wiring, solar inverter costs, and the total solar panel installation cost would now be closer to $20,000.
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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.
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Charging An Ev Using Solar
Like any large household appliance, it is easy to charge an EV with rooftop solar during the day using any common plug-in or wall-mounted EV charger. However, to enable the system to use only excess solar energy for charging, especially during cloudy or intermittent weather, asmart EV charger is required. These chargers require an add-on clamp meter to measure the energy flow to and from the home and ensure only excess solar is used for charging. For more information, see our detailed review of the best smart EV chargers.
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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
Is Solar Energy Expensive
The size of your panel installation and the needs of your home will affect your costs. An average-sized system will cost between $25,000 and $35,000. Larger installations will require more hardware, planning and construction time. This can further increase costs. While solar panels are expensive, they have distinct benefits:
- Savings: An average-sized system can reduce up to 50% of your monthly electricity bill. Over a period of 20 years, these savings can add up to $30,000, based on your location and energy usagae. Federal tax incentives are also making it easier to purchase systems.
- Flexible payments: Solar purchase power agreements allow homeowners to purchase their panels with little to no money down. PPAs give homeowners immediate access to utility savings.
- Increased Home Value: Lower utility bills improve the value of your home. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that homes with solar panels sold for 17% more than homes with conventional utilities.
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What Exactly Are The Gaf Solar Shingles
Leading roofing manufacturer GAFs nailable solar shingles are designed with roofers top-of-mind in order to make installation a breeze. Image source: News Atlas
The top portion of the shingle is made of asphalt, which means it can be nailed right to the roof like regular shingles – no racking or extra mounting equipment necessary. This makes it incredibly easy for roofing contractors to install them.
The bottom portion of the solar shingle is what will generate the electricity. When installed, that portion will overlap the asphalt material of the solar shingle before it. The shingles lay flush against your roof, staying right in line with the regular asphalt shingles covering the remainder of the surface of the roof.
All of the wiring is located on the side of the shingle, where they can be easily connected together to create a functioning solar electric system.
Looking For A Way To Save On Your Bills And Do Your Bit For The Environment Weve Got The Lowdown On How Solar Panels Stack Up
With the cost of electricity having skyrocketed and experts predicting prices will go even higher, you might be wondering whether it’s worth investing in solar panels.
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Not only can they save you money on your electricity bills, but youll also be helping the environment by cutting your carbon footprint.
But solar panels dont come cheap and some of the more generous incentives to install solar systems have been withdrawn in recent years. So what can you expect to pay and save?
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Find Out How Many Solar Panels You Need To Buy And What Size Solar Energy System Is Best For Reducing Your Energy Costs And Saving You Money
Some solar panels are more efficient than others and generate more solar energy.
One of the trickiest parts of researching your switch to solar energy is figuring out exactly how much solar energy you and your family will consume.
In order to get the optimal solar system for your home and your households needs, you must be 100 percent certain of what size solar system will sufficiently power your home.
Its important to understand that the number of solar panels doesnt determine the overall output your solar system is capable of.
Some solar panels are more efficient than others and generate more solar energy. At the end of the day, a solar systems capacity is determined by the total sum of every panels wattage.
For example, a solar system with 10 x 500-watt panels resulting in a 5,000kW system is more powerful than a solar system with 20 x 200-watt panels for a total of 4,000kW.
Solar Panel Cost By Manufacturer
Another way to break down solar panel price data is by the panel brand. The following table was made using data from the EnergySage Marketplace and tracks the average cost of 6 kW and 10 kW solar panel systems by the brand of solar panel used in the installation project.
Table: cost of solar panels by panel manufacturer
NOTE: These ranges are system prices BEFORE the 26 percent federal tax credit for solar.
The price you pay for a solar panel brand is reflective of panel quality to a degree. For example, systems using SunPower panels see the highest average prices , and SunPower is known for producing well-made, high-efficiency products.
Interestingly, there arent that many outliers when it comes to brand pricing, and most manufacturers generally see similar cost ranges. Its important to keep in mind that when comparing system prices based on panel brands, there are so many factors aside from just panel manufacturer that impact the final system price like installer experience, location, racking equipment, inverter brand, and more.
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Solar Recordkeeping For Home Sale
When its time to sell your solar home, its a good idea to have records available for prospective buyers to view. Youll want to have proof your solar installation was completed by a reputable installer and that it was permitted properly.
Youll also want to keep records of your systems warranty information and ideally power bills which show before and after proof of your energy savings. Keep those materials in a safe place, and work with your real estate agent to ensure theyre well communicated when its sale time.
This will help you preserve the maximum value of your property.
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 Does Solar Home Heating Cost
Theres no better feeling than hopping into a nice hot shower, or enjoying a comfy, heated home during the colder months except knowing that the heating costs are almost non-existent! Thats what solar home heating is all about, and its why so many people are switching from traditional heating to using solar heating at home. But before making the switch, its wise to first figure out how much solar home heating costs and whether its a good financial fit for your household.
Modernize is here to help you understand just how much it will cost you to heat your home using solar energy. We discuss the costs involved with different solar home heating systems including installation, maintenance, and ongoing costs so you can better decide the potential savings are worth it for you financially.
Solar Roof Replacement Cost: A Simple Breakdown For Homeowners
Solar power continues to grow as people and homeowners find more sustainable ways to live to help the environment and save money on energy costs over time. One of those ways people are living sustainably is by installing solar roof panels.
Solar roof panels can power your entire home without the reliance on the electrical power grid. This can save you a lot of money over time, depending on your location and usage. Google has created a fun tool called Project Sunroof that allows you to plug in your address and determine how much money you could save switching to solar power, plus a customized solar analysis including estimated cost.
If you find that you could make back the money you pay for the installation of solar panels over time, then youll want to start looking into companies and the cost to replace your roof with solar panels. This post should help you get a ballpark idea of what that solar roof cost may be.
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How Much Does A 10kw Solar System Cost
The cost of a 10kW solar system varies by region. However, the average price of residential solar in 2021 averaged around $2.76 per watt. That would mean then, to install a 10kW solar panel system on your home, you are looking at an estimated $27,600 in total costs. This figure does not include local, state or federal tax rebates6.
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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Solar Panel Buying Guide Checklist
- Assess what energy you currently use and the system capacity you need .
- Check if your roof faces the right direction. Only north-facing panels will produce their full capacity.
- Make sure there are no trees, power lines or other structures shading your roof.
- Find out what local council approval is needed. Increasingly, local councils have staff on hand to help people make the best decisions on solar.
- Try to figure out your system’s payback time.
- The inverter is a key part of the system. See our guide to buying a solar inverter for all the details.
- If you’re considering adding a battery, see our guide to solar storage batteries to understand the pros and cons.
- Get multiple quotes from installers to ensure you’re getting a good deal, and make sure your installer is CEC-accredited .
- Make sure your solar panels meet the required standards .
- Check your solar panels’ product and performance warranties see below for what these are.
How Many Hours Of Daily Sunlight Does Your State Receive
The sunlight available to produce electricity varies greatly throughout the United States. Southwest states like California and Arizona get the most sunshine, while northeast states like New York and Massachusetts get the least.
However, you should not discard solar power just because you live in a state that isnt sunny. For example, New York only gets moderate sunshine, but it has very high electricity prices. Solar panels are worth it in this case, since they achieve high savings even with reduced production. Saving 750 kWh when you are charged 25 cents/kWh is better than saving 1,000 kWh at 12 cents.
After estimating how many panels are needed in your home, you can make better purchasing decisions. Keep in mind that you dont have to pay the full system cost upfront. Many banks finance for solar panels, and you can pay off the loan with the electricity savings achieved. Leasing solar panels is also a viable option, where you pay a monthly price instead of purchasing the system. Your local solar installer may offer several purchasing options, adapting to your needs.
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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.
Summary: How Many Panels Do You Need
Knowing the answers to the above questions will give you an idea of the ideal number of panels for your electricity generation needs or at least a realistic range. Next, a professional installer needs to assess your roof architecture, angle to the sun and other factors to see if and how youd be able to physically arrange the right number of panels on your roof to achieve your daily energy production goals.
You should also consider net metering as youre considering how much money youll save and make from your solar system. Net metering is how your utility company credits you for producing excess solar energy when the sun is shining and then lets you draw from those credits when youre using conventional power grid at night, if you dont store your excess solar energy in a battery storage system.
To get started, check out our solar calculator, which can help you figure out how much you might save going solar.