The Factors That Impact Ground Mount Solar Costs
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a ground-mounted solar system. Some of these factors are based on decisions youll make. Some are simply out of your hands, pre-determined by things like your locations climate and the terrain of your property.
Your solar system will be custom-designed to meet your unique energy needs and your financial goals. Here are the factors that will impact your solar energy systems price.
Average Cost Of Solar Panels By Number Of Bedrooms
The number of bedrooms a home has is not a good indicator of its energy needs. But it can be a good gauge of the homes general size. If you are unsure of your size and want a very general understanding of what the costs would be to install solar energy, this can be useful information.
But every household has very different needs. The best way to determine your energy needs is to look at your electric bill for the month. Then decide how much you want to reduce your dependency on the grid to get a more accurate sense of the size and cost of your system.
|Number of Rooms|
|$15,000 – $50,000|
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.
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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Leasing Solar Panels Vs Buying
Sunnova offers several energy plans so youll have an easier time choosing an affordable, worry-free solar energy plan for your home. There are pros and cons for each from a cost perspective. See below for a breakdown and things to consider when choosing the right option for you.
- Easy Plan Power Purchase Agreement or Lease
- Overall, your solar lease or Power Purchase Agreement payments and remaining utility bill are typically lower than your previous electric bill.1
- Receive competitive pricing on your home solar system without the hassle of applying for federal and state incentives and rebates.
- Ability to transfer the agreement to the new homeowner so they can lock in a low kWh rate.
- Gain protection against theft or damage to your home solar system and battery. Sunnova obtains insurance coverage at no extra cost!
When choosing the right payment option, it is also important to consider the following:
How Much Does Installation Of An Off
Off-grid solar systems are much more expensive than both grid-tied and hybrid solar systems. Off-grid systems require more solar panels and more battery storage capacity because there is no grid for you to fall back on during times of low solar generation or high electric use.
A typical off-grid system for a family home that wants to live a relatively normal lifestyle is in the range of $50,000-$70,000 before the federal tax credit and $37,500- $51,000 after deducting the current 26% tax credit.
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How Much Do The Solar Panels Themselves Cost
So how much does an actual solar panel cost? Well, it depends on a few things: how powerful the panel is and who is buying the panels.
If you are not a solar installer and are considering doing a DIY solar panel installation on your home, you will likely have to pay retail prices for each panel. The general rule of thumb is that installers who buy in bulk pay around $0.85 per watt, while retail consumers pay around $1 per watt.
A typical solar panel ranges from 150-350 watts, so for this example well cut right down the middle and use a 250 watt solar panel.
If you are going through an installer, youre looking at around $212.50 per panel . If youre going DIY and buying panels yourself, youre looking at around $250 per panel . Keep in mind that this is before tax rebates!
Average Cost Per 250 watt Solar Panel: $212.50
Solaria Sonal Panels Price
Solaria solar panels cost $2.80 a watt. This translates to $14,820 to $18,780 for a 6kW system fully installed. Several factors influence your final installation costs, including location, roof pitch, and inverter type. Solaria specializes in panels that are all black in color, which improves their appearance and aesthetics on your roof. Their panels are also highly efficient and designed to work in many circumstances.
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What Are The Labour Costs
When you are given a quote for your solar panel system, labour costs are typically included. There are two common ways of calculating the labour costs for solar panel installations in the UK.
One way is to calculate approximately £300-£500 per person, per day. As it usually requires two people to install the system, a final installation fee is normally £600-£1,000. If you are installing a larger system, it may take more than one day and the costs will naturally rise.
Another way to calculate the installation fee is to charge 20 pence per watt. So, for a 4kW system, you would be paying 20 pence for 4000 watts, resulting in £800.
Cost Of Solar Panels For A Small Household
If youre in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom property, a 1-2kWp solar panel system will produce more than enough electricity . This system consists of 4-8 panels, and needs around 10 square metres of roof space.
Want to find out what solar panels we recommend installing? Check out our guide to the best solar panels.
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How To Install Off
Lets face it, installing an off-grid solar power system to a small cabin, shed or barn can be a bit of a challenge for anyone unfamiliar with solar power.
For starters, there is the task of figuring out how and where to attach the solar panels. And then of course, figuring out everything else from batteries, to wiring, controlling the charge and more.
One thing is for sure, we certainly qualified as rookies when it came to installing solar power to our tiny cabin at the farm.
Other than a few small solar lighting projects, we had never tackled installing real solar power.
And by real power, we mean enough energy to run indoor and outdoor lighting, a coffee maker, laptops, TV, and a few other small appliances when needed.
We knew although our system wouldnt need to be huge, it had to contain the basics:
- Solar panels for charging
- A battery or battery bank for storage
- A charge controller to control the battery charge
- Wiring / electrical panel / outlets
And we also knew it would have to be easy enough for two solar rookies to figure out.
As you will see below, the project actually turned out to be quite simple to install. And that includes an easy and economical way to install solar panels to a roof as well.
How To Ensure You Have A Good Solar Installation
Based on what we learned from our case studies, here are the main things to think about when you’re trying to get your solar system actually installed.
Don’t rush the quoting process
Before you even begin the quoting process, it’s worth taking the time to read reviews of the solar installers you’re considering. Positive reviews are great, but also check the negative reviews and see if they involve legitimate problems you might face, or are simply written by angry people.
During the quoting process itself, your installer should be asking about or taking into account your usage habits and the position of the sun and shade during the times you use your energy the most to help choose the best spot for panels. A good installer may even take a look at your electricity bill before moving ahead, and ask quality, detailed questions throughout the process.
A good installer will survey your house and usage habits and come back with a recommendation for panel size based on your needs. Have a good idea of how much power you might actually require: some installers may try to upsell you on panels, but make sure they have made that recommendation based on your actual usage. If they upsell you straight away, then it could be a red flag.
Find a CEC approved installer
Ask about warranties
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Solar Panel Cost Per Square Foot
It is possible to use your home size to estimate the average cost of how much your solar panels will cost. Keep in mind that household energy needs vary a lot, regardless of the size. If you use many high-powered appliances, your energy needs could be higher even if your house is smaller.
In addition, the placement of the panels, which direction they face, and how much sun they receive also play a big role in your costs. The panel type and how many watts they produce also factor in. For this reason, you can have an enormous range of costs for this project, regardless of the home size.
As such, home size should only be used as a very general indicator of cost. A better way is to look at your region and your electric bill to determine how many watts you use each month. Then, you can determine how much you want to lower that by. The more you reduce your dependency on the grid, the higher the cost of your initial installation.
|$18,000 – $55,000|
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost
These are a few main factors that will determine exactly how much it will cost to install solar panels on your home:
- Your homes average utility costs and energy usage
- Your rooftops solar potential, or the amount of sun it receives yearly
- The average local cost for a solar panel system in your area
- The average labor costs and demand in your area
- Local incentives and rebates you could receive
Keep in mind that the cost to install solar panels varies from state to state. However, according to the Department of Energy, the cost to install solar panels is dropping nationally year over year due to new solar energy initiatives.
Solar costs dropped dramatically in the last few years, when the Chinese government influenced the worldwide solar market by pouring low-cost financing into the sector, which boosted solar panel manufacturing more than ten-fold. The DOEs goal is to cut solar installation costs by half by 2030, which means now is the time to invest.
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Leasing Vs Buying Solar Panels
Solar leasing has become relatively popular as more people hope to save on their energy bills without having to pay a huge amount of money to purchase a solar panel system. However, leasing and buying both have pros and cons. You often pay more over time for solar leasing, with costs of between $50 and $250 a month. This makes the most sense if you have higher-than-average energy bills. This could be due to higher electricity costs in your area or because you use a lot of electric-based appliances, such as an HVAC system.
With leasing, monitoring and maintenance are included. This may give you peace of mind. With owning, you get a full return on your investment within 10 years. This can actually save you more money long-term than it would have with leasing.
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
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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:
What Types Of Solar Systems Can I Buy
|Type||Who is it for?|
|Grid-tied||The most common system. Power is used from your panels before it’s used from the grid. Does not provide power at night.||Most consumers. These are a way to cut down power bills, boost the green level of your energy, and pay themselves off the fastest.|
|Hybrid/battery-ready||Hybrid systems function the same as grid-tied ones except they have backup batteries for the system to function at night. Battery-ready systems are hybrid systems where a battery has not been installed yet, but can be in the future.||People who want a bit more independence from the power grid, or like to have power stored for emergencies.|
|Off-grid||Completely disconnected from the grid. Off-grid systems are far more expensive and function through solar panels and a number of backup batteries.||Owners of properties that are too expensive to connect to the electricity grid.|
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What Impact Does Adding A Battery Have On Solar Panel Cost
Here is the number one, first thing you should know about batteries:
Just as the cost of solar panel installation has drastically diminished over the past few years, the price of the type of lithium-ion batteries used in solar installs has fallen by about 80% over the past five years!
Moreover, when evaluating the cost of adding a battery to your home solar system, you need to think about the additional benefits you get compared to getting energy from your utility, or even from a solar-only system its not necessarily an apples to apples comparison more like apples to oranges.
Unlike a solar-only system or traditional utility energy, a battery enables you to power your most needed lights and appliances during a power outage, and will also protect your from rising peak utility rates. Now those are two distinct advantages that homeowners can appreciate! See how long a home battery backup can power your home with our home battery backup calculator.
In fact, homeowners, and businesses as well, are increasingly demanding solar systems that are paired with battery storage. While this pairing is still relatively new, the growth over the next five years is expected to be significant. By 2025, more than 25% of all behind-the-meter solar systems will be paired with storage, compared to less than 5% in 2019.
Solar Batteries Add New Complexity To Estimating Average Solar System Cost In 2021
Prior to 2020, more than 90% of residential solar power installations were simple, grid-tied solar systems. Grid-connect systems are so popular because they are the cheapest to install and they offer the shortest payback period.
However, because theyre connected to the grid, they have no source of backup power in the event of a power outage. Now, many people are considering adding a solar battery to their solar systems in 2021.
There are four reasons for this:
- The frequency of storms and wildfires has made utility power less reliable in recent years, which is increasing demand for a backup power supply when the power goes out.
- Utilities across the country are changing their net metering programs to offer below-retail rates for excess solar energy production that is sent to the grid.
- Time-of-Use electric billing makes home energy storage solutions more attractive because the battery can be charged when utility rates are cheap and discharge when rates are most expensive, allowing homeowners to avoid paying peak pricing.
- The 26% solar investment tax credit can be used to cover a battery as long as it is connected to a solar power system. There are also a number of state and utility incentives, like Californias SGIP incentive, that help reduce the cost of battery installations.
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