Faq: Are Solar Panels Worth It
Do solar panels really save you money?
In most cases, solar panels really do save you money. There are, however, cases in which roofs are unfit for solar panels or are covered by too much shade and prove uneconomical. The best way to assess whether your home is a good match for solar panels is to get an estimate from a solar installer near you.
What are the main disadvantages of solar?
Solar panels are not a perfect energy source for everyone. Disadvantages include lower efficiency when facing a direction besides south or west, potential complications with a solar lease or loan when selling a home, and upfront costs that can price out certain demographics. To see if solar panels would be advantageous to you, we recommend reaching out to a local solar provider.
Are solar panels worth it in 2021?
Generally speaking, solar panels are worth it in 2021. The cost of solar is near all-time lows despite supply chain issues, and the federal solar tax credit is still in effect until the end of 2022. However, there are a few disqualifiers for solar customers, such as too much shade over a roof, too little space on a roof or energy bills that are already too low to justify the purchase.
Cheaper Ways To Get Solar Power At Home Now
These budget alternatives offer the benefits of solar energy without the high price.
A solar water heater is just one way to add renewable energy to your home without installing a full-scale solar system.
Did you know that the cost of installing a solar power system for all of your electricity needs can be as much as $20,000 ? Ouch. But wait, don’t give up on solar just yet. If making your entire home solar is out of your budget, you can still add smaller and less expensive solar elements that help save on electricity. Let’s take a look at the options.
You Need To Know How Much You Pay On Your Electric Bill
This estimate assumes you will get all of your power from solar. While some homes will be able to get 100% of their electricity from solar, or even sell some surplus energy back to the grid, others will still have an electric bill to supplement usage. This will vary widely from home to home, depending on how many solar panels are installed, normal energy consumption and more. Get more tools to calculate your home’s potential savings here.
Now you have a sense of how much energy you’ll save, login to your electric utility company account and calculate an average of your last several electricity bills. Go back at least six months, if possible, to account for seasonal temperature changes and other fluctuations in cost. Let’s assume you get 100% of your usage from the panels and currently pay an average of $125 per month in electricity bills, or $1,500 per year. Now you have the information you need to estimate the payback period for solar panels.
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What Does It Mean To Go Off
Off-grid living is a characteristic of housing and lifestyle.
The term off the grid can be associated with people that decide to disconnect their homes from the national electrical grid.
Today, going off grid is still considered the ultimate path to living rough, but it does not have to be all that serious though.
Off-grid living can also mean people create and utilize their own utilities, like gas, water and electricity generated from solar systems .
In general, self-sustainable off grid homes tend to be popular in locations that are more isolated from common governmental utilities like electricity.
However, isolated homes are not the only ones that make use of solar panels to generate their own electricity.
Off-grid living also attracts environmentally conscious, forward thinking individuals who want to reduce their ecological footprint while saving on monthly utility costs.
- In summary, taking your home off-grid means you are able to create/supply energy, drinkable water, grow food and manage waste/wastewater for yourself.
How Do I Calculate How Much Solar Power I Need
Published by George Dixon on March 12, 2022
To determine the number of panels you need to achieve a given solar system size, divide it by the wattage of each panel . For example, if youre aiming for a 4 kW system, youll divide 4 kW by 320 watts to get 12.5.
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Is Solar Getting Cheaper And Should I Wait
Solar is getting cheaper as every year passes due to the large spike in Chinese production, and market hyper-consumption. This along with the Australian governments Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has meant that installers have struggled to keep up with the demand of the last few years, and for good reason.
Should you wait? Not really. With the cost of power steadily on the rise in Australia and the interest-free finance available specifically for solar installs, there is no reason why you should not get a solar system installed taking advantage now of this far cheaper form of energy production.
Utility Bill Rate Design
Good electricity rate design allows you to save money when you save energy. This might sound intuitive but not all provinces are same. Superior designs have low fixed monthly fees and tiered electricity rates. Inferior designs have high fixed fees and flat electricity rates.
Alberta score near last in this respect having flat rates and high fixed monthly fees averaging $40.
For example, reducing your electricity bill from 1,500 to 750 kWh per month will save you 54% on your electricity bill in British Columbia, 48% in , but only 41% in Alberta!
Note that fixed monthly fees dont disappear even if you switch to solar youll pay them as long as you remain connected to the grid. But this isnt a bad thing $40/mo is a small price to pay for using the grid as your back-up energy source!
The only way to completely remove your fixed costs is to go off the grid, something most homeowners in Alberta dont do because of high battery costs.
Disconnecting from the grid also means that you wont be able to participate in the your utilitys net billing program.
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Average Solar Panel Cost
Knowing the right solar panel system for you will largely depend on the size of your home and your energy consumption.
On average, solar panels cost $4,633 installed. The real range is more like $2,909 and $5,810 which includes 1.5kWh 6kWh Solar panel systems.
The quality of system components you use i.e Solar panel and inverter brands are a large factor in the makeup of the cost as well as rebates for your Postcode.
Solar Panel Costs By State
Solar panel costs in the U.S. typically include equipment and installation services. Visit the Solar Energy Industries Association website to learn about local incentives and tax credits in your area. Its usually in your best interest to take advantage of state clean energy programs when you can it lowers your upfront costs and shortens your payback period. According to our analysis, Washington is the greenest state, followed by Oregon and New Hampshire.
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How Big Is An 8kw Solar System
460 square feetA 8kW Solar Kit requires up to 460 square feet of space. 8kW or 8 kilowatts is 8,000 watts of DC direct current power. This could produce an estimated 500 to 1,400 kilowatt hours of alternating current power per month, assuming at least 5 sun hours per day with the solar array facing South.
How Much Is The Solar Rebate
The government solar rebate initiative reduces the cost of solar by a whopping 40-50% depending on the state.
Some states like VIC have their own rebates on top of the federal government rebates. They even have a battery rebate. Rebate amounts are based on STC zones in Australia, the current price paid for STC , and the size of the system being installed.
Below is a table to give you a quick look at what to expect to pay for a solar PV system before and after the rebate.
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Information You Need To Know Before You Buy
This Solar Panel Prices South Africa guide will show you what you need to know to get the right deal for your budget.We will also cover all the components needed for a complete solar system. We are often asked to quote on solar panels when the end user actually means a complete solar energy system, solar panels are just one part of whats needed for a solar panel installation.
Before you even get prices for solar panels decide what your requirements are and what type of system you want.
Do you want to supplement your energy needs and reduce your power bill or do you want to get off the grid totally? Or do you just need backup for when the power is down?
Complete Guide For Solar Power Alberta 2021
Congratulations! Youve found the ultimate guide for going solar in Alberta!
Published by Rylan Urban on Jan 28, 2018. Last updated May 1, 2021.
Alberta is currently ranked the #3 province in the country for installing a solar power system, scoring as one of the best provinces for sunlight levels, cash rebates, and installation costs.
This page contains all relevant information about installing solar in Alberta including utility policies, system financing, solar incentives, and natural factors
The guide begins by answering the two most common questions about solar systems, then it explores each solar ranking factor.
You can read from top to bottom, or skip to your preferred section by clicking on it below:
|3. System Costs
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Like Vitamin D For Your House
To envision how solar power can provide enough juice for an entire house, it’s necessary to cover a bit of the basics. We’ve probably all seen the more traditional solar panels by now flat, glare-inducing, unwieldy looking things that sit on rooftops.
Solar panels capture whatever sunlight is available and convert it to DC power. An inverter converts the DC power to AC power . For people who want to completely power an entire home with the sun’s rays, there are systems available to convert and store extra power in the form of battery energy. This way, the house still can have a source of power at night or in poor weather .
Solar shingles are also a subtle, streamlined alternative to the older, bigger panels. They are made from the same materials as traditional solar panels, act as traditional roof shingles and look pretty much like a regular roof … perhaps just a bit shinier. Contrary to popular belief, the newer panels can work even in weak or scattered sunshine conditions.
The smart consumer calculates electricity use, then assembles a solar panel setup that can meet that demand. If the setup seems like too much, cutting back on consumption might be in order.
General guidelines recommend a setup that generates 1 kilowatt per 1,000 square feet of house. But don’t let your optimism take over you need to ensure you can produce enough power to get you through the worst times, not the best. You’ll want to literally prepare for the proverbial rainy day.
Estimating Your Solar Needs: Start With Where You Are
Every households energy needs will vary widely. If youre currently living in a normal, grid-connected home, chances are pretty good you dont consider how much energy each appliance uses and how often you use it.
Before we built our off-grid house, we lived in a normal little mid-century ranch. We used electric for everything except the stove,furnace, and water heater, which were powered by natural gas. Our normal kWh usage per month ranged from 750-1000 kWh per month as stated on our bills.
If we were going to try to provide that same level of power to our house now, wed need at least 6250 watts of solar panels ! And that doesnt even take into account the amount of batteries wed need, not to mention the cost of mounting hardware, conduit, wiring, battery housing, and so on. A system this size could easily cost in the $20-30K dollar range. This might be okay if you have lots of money to throw at such a large project, but if youre like us youre on a budget.
So where do you start? What uses electricity in your house? And how can you design a system that fits your budget?
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Save On Electricity Costs With Solar Panels
Whether you are aiming to lower your electricity expenses or reduce your carbon footprint, the benefits of solar panels are hard to overlook. Invest the time to obtain all of the necessary information including house size, solar insolation, current electricity rates, and your yearly consumption. Go about the installation process wisely and make it worth the investment!
Reasons To Talk To Solar Professionals
There are many nation solar wholesalers and smaller local companies who are highly knowledgable about all of the solar components, installation procedures, and subtle details that go into designing a system from scratch. They are also committed to helping do-it-yourselfers like us do the best job possible without breaking the bank.
We ultimately chose a wholesaler called Mr. Solar, for several reasons. Their prices seemed the most reasonable of any companies we checked, and they were able to work with us to design as a system that could meet our needs.
We worked with our rep for over a year before we made our purchase. He was patient with us, occasionally giving us price updates and advice whenever we asked. Hes also been able to give us great assistance in figuring everything out as weve been installing everything and cooperating with our local electrical inspector. Whenever weve had changes to make, hes been super helpful!
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Adding To An Old Array
Voltage plays a huge role in being able to add to your array. Absolutely any panel with more than a 5V difference will simply not work and will cause you a lot of frustration. Additionally, it is important to say that your adding larger panels to an array that contains smaller panels will see your new panels performing as well as the old panels.
However, if you have an inverter with multiple MPPTs and have an MPPT available, you can add whatever panel youd like.
How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost
Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
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Yes You Can Afford To Go Solar
It’s the number one question everyone asks when considering solar panel installation: “How much do solar panels cost?”
The good news is that the cost to install solar electric panels on your home has seen a sharp decline over the past decade. A handful of factors determine the final price of a PV system, including its size, component options and configuration, labor costs, local permitting costs and available incentives and tax credits.
From 2010 to 2020, the cost of rooftop solar panels dropped 64%, thanks to greater efficiencies in solar technology, and a reduction in hardware costs. While long-term trends are on the decline, the residential solar industry is not immune from supply chain issues and pandemic-related market volatility. The escalated price and scarcity of raw materials, as well as elevated shipping costs, have increased the price of rooftop solar over the past several months a trend that is expected to continue in the first half of 2022 before leveling out. Experts agree that the price spikes are temporary and that well see the cost of solar return to its downward trajectory after these shortages and delays are resolved.
While solar prices have continued to decrease, in recent years, theyve done so at a slower pace and the cost has essentially stabilized. This means theres no better time to install solar panels on your home.
Type Of Solar Panel Systems
The type of solar panel system you chose will greatly affect the cost. Grid-tie, grid-tie solar and energy storage, and off-grid solar are all options differ in price. Remember, the best solar panels for your property will fulfill your needs and meet your price point.
Lets break down the primary purpose of each system:
- Grid-tie: You have access to the utility grid. Your primary goal is to save money on your electric bill
- Grid-tie solar and energy storage: You have access to the utility grid and your primary goal is to have backup power when there is an outage.
- Off-grid: You do not have access to the utility grid. Your primary goal is to live where it is not accessible.
Once you identify your goals, you can make a final decision based on price.
If you have access to the grid, you can lower the cost of solar panels by using a grid-tie system. When you choose a grid-tie system with energy storage, you have the potential to save even more. Storing electricity in the grid doesnt cost anything, and you may be able to sell your stored energy . An off-grid system is a significant extra cost.
With an off-grid system, youll need to purchase batteries which represent almost half the cost of an off-grid solar system.
If you have the option, we recommend connecting a grid-tied system. However, off-grid solar will still save you money in the long run if you want to live away from a utility grid.
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