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!
Connecting To The Grid
Most solar kits are designed for off-grid systems, which wouldn’t demand as much energy as the average home, such as tiny houses or sheds. A typical off-grid PV system costs about $2.50 per watt.
Grid-tied packages range from $2.00 to $3.50 per watt. The grid can be very useful, providing electricity at night or in times of low sunlight. Being connected requires more components, such as meters and safety equipment. You will need to consult your local utility company about regulations and hire a licensed electrical contractor to connect you.
Solar Panel Installation Cost By Type Of Mounting System
Another component you may not give much thought to in your solar installation is the . This is what your solar panels attach to. If you have a roof installation, the mounting system type is dependent on your roof material. If you cannot penetrate the roof to install it, then a ballast method must be used. However, nearly all residential roof installations are known as a fixed mount. If you have a commercial installation, you need a tilt mount or an adjustable mount. If you have a ground installation, you have even more options. Costs will not impact your total installation very much because the racking only makes up roughly 10% of your total costs. However, the solar mount type you choose can impact how it looks and works.
|$500 – $1,000
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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.
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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A Note About Pricing: Gross Vs Net Costs
Throughout this article , we usually talk about solar panel pricing in terms of gross cost, aka the cost before any solar rebates and incentives that can reduce the upfront cost of solar, or even get you some money back over time. For example, our cost per Watt figures throughout the rest of this article are always the gross cost. This is because solar rebates and incentives arent always available to everyone. Even the 26 percent federal solar tax credit isnt always available for everyone to take full advantage of you need to have enough tax liability to claim the credit.
Solar installations are a unique product just based on your state and the manufacturer of your chosen solar panels, average solar panel costs can vary widely. We analyzed solar quote data on the EnergySage Marketplace, and heres what we found:
Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels For Your Home
Like most things, solar power has its benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, some economic costs may be defrayed by the social benefits to the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, which exceeds pure monetary evaluation.
Green energy that lowers your carbon footprint
Net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced
You may be eligible for certain tax breaks
Installation and maintenance costs still high
Solar only works when the sun is out
Parts of the system need to be replaced every few years
Some tax breaks may have expired or will be expiring
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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.
Cost of solar panels by state
How Much Does Solar Installation Cost A Look Into Average Prices For Solar Panels
In 2010, an average homeowner in the United States would have paid around $40,000 for a full-size solar panel system for their home. Fast forward to 2021, the average cost for a solar panel installation has fallen 50% to roughly $20,000 .
Breaking down math is pretty simple. Just multiply the price per watt by the size of the system you need for your home: $3.20 per watt times 6,000 watts equals $19,200 there you have the average cost of a solar panel installation for your home. But where exactly do those numbers come from? And are there any local incentives available to slash that price tag even further? Thats what were here to help you understand.
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Do Solar Batteries Affect The Installation Costs
Adding a solar battery storage system will inevitably increase the overall costs of your solar panel investment, but it can also mean that you get even more out of your solar panels by using stored electricity when the sun has gone down.
The average prices for batteries can range between £1,200 and £6,000, depending on the battery type, lifespan, and quality. So, if you want to include a storage solution be prepared to pay more up-front.
Tesla Solar Installation Cost
Tesla solar panels cost $2.74 a watt. This translates to $14,940 to $17,940 for a 6kW system fully installed. Several factors impact the installation costs. These include your location, how much shade your property gets, roof pitch, and the panel and inverter types. Tesla makes a wide range of different panels and, in recent years, has aggressively pushed the market to make panels more widely accessible. They also carry a full line of batteries for those wanting to go off-grid.
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How Long Do Solar Panels Last
In short, a quality solar panel can last up to 25 years or even longer. Solar panels are designed to live a long life in the elements outside.
Your typical solar panels come with a warranty that lasts 25 years, so you are guaranteed to reap the benefits for quite a long time.
According to a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar panels last 80% longer than their warranty.
This can save you thousands on utility bills down the road!
How To Calculate The Number Of Solar Panels You Need
Our calculator below is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs – and you dont have to do any math.
Our solar panel cost and savings calculator is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs – and you dont have to do any math. Plus, well give you the average cost of a solar installation for your specific home and how much itll save you on your electric bills.
However, if you want to put pen to paper and work out the calculations for yourself, follow these four easy steps to find how many solar panels you need.
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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
Smart Export Guarantee Is It Worth It
The rate offered is 5.6p per kWh or 5.5p per kWh based on the companys tariff policy. However, you need not sell your excess energy to the company you installed the solar panels from. Due to this, the competition is set to increase on how much electricity someone can buy.
Here are some examples of utilizing the SEG system during electricity generation to save money:
- South-East England will have £240 with SEG as opposed to £120.
- Scotland can earn £195 and not £110.
Indeed, having the SEG in your electricity quota will gain you a huge ROI for the season!
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How Many Kwh Can Solar Panels Produce And How Many Panels You Need On Your Roof
The amount of power your solar energy system can produce depends on the number of solar panels that can absorb solar energy and convert it into electricity.
Assuming you are going to choose standard-efficiency solar panels, here are the most common sizes for residential solar systems and their kWh production potential to give you an idea of how many panels you would need to run a house.
- A 3kW solar system which consists of 12 panels can produce an average of 4,200 kWh per year. You will need a roof space of about 194 sq ft for a 3kW system.
- A 5kW solar system which consists of 20 panels can produce an average of 7,000 kWh per year. You will need a roof space of about 340 sq ft for a 5kW system.
- A 10kW solar system which consists of 40 panels can produce an average of 14,000 kWh per year. You will need a roof space of about 680 sq ft for a 10kW system.
Keep in mind that the amount of power your solar system can produce depends on how much sunlight your roof receives and your location.
For example, California has more sunny days annually than Washington. In this case if you live in Washington you would need a bigger solar system to get the same power as you would get with a smaller system in California.
The Renewable Resource Data Center provides average daily total solar resource information on grid cells by state and its free to use so check it out.
Potential Roof Damage And Insurance Premiums
Solar panels need to be firmly attached to your roof to stay protected from wind, rain, snow, and other natural elements. The installation process usually requires bolting the mounting rack to your roof and requires the installation team to open holes in your roof. When not done properly, the installation of rooftop solar panels can lead to a loss of energy efficiency in the home through compromising the insulation and thermal performance of your home. Ironically, a compromised roof through reduced installation and/or air leaks, might require more energy to keep your home warm during the winter, thus increasing your overall electricity requirements.
Furthermore, while most rooftop solar panel systems are eligible to be covered by a standard homeowner insurance policy, homeowners will most likely need to boost the amount of coverage they put on their home due to the increased cost that comes with the solar panel system. This may raise the premium, which is another hidden cost of rooftop solar panels that many homeowners fail to take into consideration.
Cost To Add Solar Panels To An Existing System
The cost of adding solar panels to an existing system is around the same as a new installation – about $2.50 to $3.50 a watt installed. The key is whether you can expand the existing system. Typically, roof-mount systems cannot be expanded much. Ground systems can be expanded if you have the space. This is a common situation in off-grid setups or when switching from grid-tied to off-grid. In these cases, you need to expand your system.
A 6kW or 8kW grid-tied system on most homes is not easily expanded because it will already take up most of the available space on the roof.
In some instances, you may be able to upgrade your existing panels to those with higher wattage. This has a cost closer to $3.50 a watt because these panels cost more.
Reduce Solar Panel Costs With Seg Payments
In the UK, you can reduce your solar panel costs even more by making use of solar panel grants, like the Smart Export Guarantee . Through the SEG, you can earn money for exporting surplus solar power that your panels have generated back to the national grid.
The tariffs for exported solar energy can vary from supplier to supplier, but a good rate is 4-6p/kWh.
SEG generators that are seeking further guidance, you can read this guide on Ofgem’s website.
If you have a 3kW system installed, you can earn £75 per year through the SEG. With a 4kW system, you can expect annual earnings of £100, and with a 5kW system you can earn £120 per year.
Before the SEG came into play, the Feed in Tariff was the main solar panel grant available. Those that are already registered under the FIT can continue to receive payments, but the FIT ended in 2019, and no new applications are being accepted.
Watch our video below to understand what funding options are currently available for homes looking to install solar panels:
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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.
Solar Panel Tax Benefits
For people who purchase and install a solar panel system, the federal government provides a 26% tax credit for solar panel installation through 2022. That credit will lower to 22% in 2023, and there isnt a tax credit for residential solar systems scheduled after that.
For example, you could receive a $5,200 credit on a $20,000 system in 2021 with the federal tax credit alone.
You can take advantage of tax benefits as long as you own your system, no matter how you fund it.
The federal tax credit is nonrefundable, meaning if you dont owe taxes or owe less than the 26% credit will get you you wont get that money back in a refund. You can, however, carry the credit over to a future tax year.
Some states also offer tax benefits and other incentives for solar installation. You can look up your states offerings in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
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