Solar Panels Cost Data: Solar Choice Price Index
Solar Choice has been publishing the Solar Price Index for residential solar & commercial-scale solar since 2012 and 2014, respectively. We regularly compile pricing & product and warranty information from our pre-vetted network of over 200 installers to produce the Residential Solar PV Price Index and Commercial Solar Price Index.
Our price index is used frequently as a benchmark to residential customers and businesses as Australias best guide on how much solar panels cost and is included in reports derived by industry experts such as SunWiz and Bloomberg NEF.
How Much Does It Cost To Go Solarand How Much Can It Save You
Invest in years of savings with a one-time investment in solar energy for your home. Weather you chose to go completely off the grid, or just be able to reduce your electric bill by having part of your energy come from solar, 2021 is the time to compare rates and get moving on clean, affordable energy.
Things To Consider With Solar Panels
Calculate your sun exposure, costs and savings. In some parts of the country, solar panels will save more money and add more value to your home than in others. For example, someone in Seattle might not get the same value from solar panels as someone in Phoenix because of the disparity in sunshine.
To estimate your savings, you first need to know how many kilowatt-hours you use and how much youre paying for them. The average household pays about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for 877 kilowatt-hours each month, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Then, figure out what size system youll need. You can use the Solar-Estimate calculator to see how many panels your home would need and how much energy they would generate.
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Estimates For The Cost Of A Solar System For Your Home
At Unbound Solar®, we understand the cost of a solar system is a big deal.
Were here to provide you with as many resources as possible to help you decide whether solar is right for you.
If youre a DIY sort of person, our Learning Hub provides everything you need to install solar except the muscle power.
Its all in your hands.
We also offer lifetime support, so were always here when you need us.
How Can I Calculate How Many Solar Panels I Will Need
There is a somewhat basic formula to help you understand how much solar panels you”ll need to go off-grid and it looks like this.
Let me break this formula down even further so you can understand how to use it better.
Step 1 – Figure out how much electricity you use.
Go ahead and grab your most recent power bill and figure out how much energy you used for the last month.
Most energy bills will display the kWh used at the bottom of the document with the cost of electricity multiplied by that.
In the example below you can see that we used 1000 kWh for that month and were charged $134,35.
Step 2 – Work out how much sunlight your county receives
In order to know how many solar panels you’ll need to go off-grid, you have to figure out how many peak hours of sunlight your area receives.
Keep in mind though, that peak hours of sunlight do not equal the time between sunrise and sunset.
Peak hours of sunlight equal the amount of time the sun reaches an average of 1000 Watts per square meter.
So in summary, peak hours of sunlight equal the amount of time the sun is at its most powerful allowing the solar panels to be at their most productive.
If you live somewhere like California, an area with a very high peak sunlight rate, your solar system will not need to be as big.
However, if you stay in a less sunny place you may need more solar panels in order to produce the same amount of electricity you would with less panels in a sunnier location.
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You Plan To Move Or Sell Your Home
If you plan to leave your current residence in the next few years, you should pause and reconsider whether solar panels are the best option for you right now.
Thats because it can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to remove solar panels from your roof and reinstall them on a new one. Your new home may lack the appropriate space , or the local building codes in your destination could be more restrictive, preventing the relocation of your existing solar power system.
Even if moving the panels is possible, youll still have to pay a significant sum to a solar installer to remove the panels and reinstall them on a new roof.
All that said, I should point out that research by Zillow says that solar panels increase your homes value by 4.1%. This means that given the right circumstances, installing solar before moving home could actually prove profitable for you.
Other Benefits Of Solar To Consider
The benefits of solar dont stop at just financial savings and environmental benefits. There are plenty of additional reasons to go solar.
For instance, going solar contributes to local jobs, helping to boost your local economy. According to The Solar Foundations annual Solar Jobs Census, the solar industry employs over a quarter million people, most of whom work for local solar companies in your area. By investing in solar, youre also investing in your local jobs.
Home and business owners are also increasingly looking to solar plus storage as a way to avoid power outages as storms increase in severity throughout the country. Many install solar to be on the cutting edge of technology. And a not-insignificant number of EnergySage solar shoppers are looking into solar for the aesthetics: todays solar panels are quite sleek!
There are myriad reasons to go solar, beyond just the ones weve outlined above. Whatever your motivation for going solar, get started today with EnergySage.
EnergySage is the nation’s online solar marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for and invest in solar. .
Enter your zip code to see solar quotes near you
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Not All Homes Are Suitable For Solar Panels
To maximise what your panels can make, it’s best to make sure your home is right for them:
The Cost Of Solar After Installation
Its not talked about as much, but one thing to keep in mind about the cost of a solar panel installation is the cost to keep and maintain that system. In general, solar panels require little to no maintenance over their lifetime, and you shouldnt expect to shell out much money at all once your panels are installed and operational. Theres always the off-chance something happens thats not covered by your warranties, however. You may need to trim trees as they grow, or hire a cleaner if you live in an area of the country with abnormal air pollution. Learn more about what you could run into post-installation in our article about the costs of solar panels after theyre installed.
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Factors That Affect Solar Panel Price
There are a lot of factors that affect the overall solar panel installation costs. In actuality, the panels account only for approximately a quarter of the total installation expenses. The remaining price is made up of labor charges, operational costs, and other supplies such as inverters.
Here are some factors that affect solar panel installation costs:
Reasons To Find Out If Solar Panels Are Right For You
#1 Reduce Your Monthly Electricity BillAre you tired of paying the electric company for power? A solar panel system can help you generate your own electricity and in turn can greatly reduce, or even completely eliminate, your monthly power bills. Even if you only generate a portion of your electricity via solar panels, you can still save a lot of money over time by going solar.
#2 Get A High Return On Your InvestmentDo not think of buying solar panels as an expense, think of them as an investment opportunity. Most homeowners see return rates on their solar systems that far outperform saving, mutual funds, and even the S& P 500. The average American homeowner can see a return on investment of 20% or more over the lifetime of their solar panel system.
#3 Avoid Rising Energy CostsDid you know that, on average, residential electricity prices have increased by 3-4% every year over the past 10 years?! By installing your own solar power system you can reduce your utility costs and gain your independence from the rising utility rates.
#4 Increase Your Home ValueSeveral recent studies have found that homes with solar power systems typically will sell faster, and for more money, than similar houses that do not have solar panel systems. As home buyers become more informed about the benefits of solar panels the demand for houses with existing solar systems will continue to expand.
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Solar Panel Loans: Compare Solar Financing Options
Solar loans fund solar panels and installation. You can use an unsecured personal loan, home equity financing or cash-out refinancing.
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Solar panels can be a cost-effective way to shift your household to a sustainable energy source.
The average solar panel system, including installation, can cost between $15,000 and $25,000, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy, but systems can last 25 to 30 years and save you thousands of dollars in electric bills over their lifetimes.
One financing option is unsecured personal loans, which have fixed interest rates and terms of two to seven years. The short repayment terms on unsecured solar loans make them one of the quickest ways to pay off the purchase so you can start saving.
You can also consider a home equity loan or line of credit or cash-out refinancing to pay for solar panels. Federal and state tax benefits are also available to help you get some of the money you spend back. If youre not ready to commit to solar panels of your own, leasing is also an option.
Here are five lenders that offer unsecured solar loans, as well as details about other financing options.
If You Already Have Solar Panels And Get The Feed
If you already have solar panels and get the feed-in tariff, the closure of the scheme won’t affect you. Depending on when your panels were installed and certified you’re guaranteed to get the payments for at least 20 years:
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Longevity And Sustainability Of Solar Energy
Many people dont realize it, but commercial electrical power is a commodity. Its bought and sold based on supply and demand. When you draw from the power grid, youre subject to current market forces and user rates. Youre not protected from future costs. Thats because futures are unpredictable.
Most futurists predict the world will be less dependent on fossil fuel over the coming decades. Coal and gas-fired electrical generation stations will be more regulated on emissions and their carbon footprint. That means more costs for fossil fuel generation and that has to be passed on to the consumer.
Hydroelectricity is the main power source in areas that have a suitable water supply to turn generators. But the expansion of hydroelectric production means additional flooding. Thats not acceptable in areas where land is a premium. Hydro plants have a limited capacity for output and are already maximized in many stations.
Alternate electrical sources like nuclear plants have dubious futures. Given the volatility of accidents and the nuclear waste problems, the future of nuclear power generation is bleak. That leaves a virtually untapped renewable power source the sun. Solar power is the future solution to low overhead electrical production.
How To Run Your House Solely On Solar Power
By: Cherise Threewitt | Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Why wouldn’t everyone want to convert their family homestead to function off the sun’s rays? Sounds like quite the formula for happiness, right? Deciding to go solar can have some pretty big benefits. But be careful: There’s lots to think about before you cut the cord with your local utility provider.
But the initial costs of getting set up for solar power can be daunting. And once you decide to go fully solar, you may have to cope with foul weather, which could put a damper on your plans to live solely off the sun.
When you use solar panels, you can still get power provided by the utility company in situations where you can’t get enough electricity or don’t have any power stored. But the ultimate goal for many is to eliminate the need for fossil fuels entirely, to boot the fossil-fueled utility companies and to live a sun-powered life.
Planning to run your house completely on solar power requires considerable financial, mental and emotional investments. The infrastructure is a little more complicated than the traditional setup. The calculations of building your new system and running it must be more precise. A mistake can leave you without enough juice to get by.
But running a house completely on solar power is absolutely doable.
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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.
Talk to Contractors
Order Of Module Connection
Module electrical connections are made in series to achieve a desired output voltage or in parallel to provide a desired current capability of the solar panel or the PV system. The conducting wires that take the current off the modules are sized according to the current rating and may contain silver, copper or other non-magnetic conductive transition metals. Bypass diodes may be incorporated or used externally, in case of partial module shading, to maximize the output of module sections still illuminated.
Some special solar PV modules include concentrators in which light is focused by lenses or mirrors onto smaller cells. This enables the use of cells with a high cost per unit area in a cost-effective way.
Solar panels also use metal frames consisting of racking components, brackets, reflector shapes, and troughs to better support the panel structure.
Scientists from Spectrolab, a subsidiary of Boeing, have reported development of multi-junction solar cells with an efficiency of more than 40%, a new world record for solar photovoltaic cells. The Spectrolab scientists also predict that concentrator solar cells could achieve efficiencies of more than 45% or even 50% in the future, with theoretical efficiencies being about 58% in cells with more than three junctions.
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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.