Thursday, September 12, 2024

# How To Calculate Solar Panel Cost

## Solar Energy Cost Per Kwh

Solar panel cost calculator: Work out if solar makes sense for you

When looking at installing solar panels on your home, youll receive quotes that detail your system size in terms of kilowatts as well as cost per kilowatt hour . These numbers in the quotes can be confusing since we dont use these measurements in our daily lives. In this post, our goal is to break down these basic measurements to help you understand what a kWh means and to help you better assess any proposals for home solar energy systems.

Get ready for a quick refresher on the basics of how we measure power and the energy produced by solar panel systems. We promise we wont lecture, but we also know these are tricky concepts to grasp. If you arent in the mood for nerdy watt talk right now, take a kitten break instead! If you are ready, then were going to cover the basic measurements of solar energy to help you understand solar energy cost per kilowatt hour and kilowatt .

#### What Is a kW and a kWh?

Dieters are concerned with counting calories while gear heads are interested in horsepower. If youre in the dark and relying on your battery-powered flashlight, youre relying on amp hours stored in those batteries. There are many different measurements of energy and power, each unique to the specific applications. For solar energy, were talking about kilowatts and kilowatt hours.

## Factor : Your Monthly And Yearly Power Usage

Theres the cost, and then theres the usage. Your usage is listed in kilowatt-hours or kWh. Look for it on your power bill.

For a reasonable estimate of your usage, add up the total kWh you have used in the last 12 months and find the average. So if your total over the year is 11,000 kWh, that would be 917 kWh per month. That gives you a starting point to estimate how much power youll need your solar panels to produce.

Usage is separate from the cost. Your usage may not change much for ten years, but the price per kWh will change. This matters because solar panels produce a certain amount of kWh, and that amount wont change much. So even though costs rise over time with traditional power, your usage doesnt have to. In fact, with improved energy efficiency, your usage could actually go down.

Thats why, in addition to your average monthly power usage, you need to think about how your life circumstances might change in ways that increase or decrease your energy usage.

• Will you have kids? Theyll require more energy
• Are you planning to add in a hot tub?
• Do you want a new home entertainment system?

These sorts of things will add significant kWh to your monthly usage, so if you anticipate a couple of big power suckers in your future, factor those into your future energy needs.

## The Cost Of Solar Power For Homeowners

First, let’s look at the cost of installing a solar power system for your home. The average, upfront cost of a residential solar power system is between \$3,500 and \$16,000.

Why the huge range of costs? Well, a lot of the variation depends on the size of the system you’d like to install and the type of panels you want to use. Whatever system you use, keep in mind that solar power is capital intensive and the main cost of owning a system comes upfront when buying the equipment. The solar module will almost certainly represent the largest single component of the overall expense.

There are some additional costs, as well. Other equipment necessary for installation includes an inverter , metering equipment , and various housing components along with cables and wiring gear. Some homeowners also consider battery storage. Historically, batteries have been prohibitively expensive and unnecessary if the utility pays for excess electricity that is fed into the grid . The installation labor cost must also be factored in.

In addition to installation costs, there are some further costs associated with operating and maintaining a PV solar array. Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, inverters and batteries generally need replacement after several years of use.

Also Check: What Is The Difference Between Solar Energy And Electricity

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## The Climate Of The Area And Peak Sunlight Hours Calculation

The sunlight hours available to your location will directly impact the watts generated from the solar set up.

The more hours of sunlight available the less number of panels required to generate a given output.

Inversely, with lesser sunlight hours, more solar panels will be required. By dividing this average hourly wattage requirement by the number of sunlight hours daily at the location, you calculate the watts your panels need to produce every hour. Using this figure you can select the panels required. The sunlight hours and sun angles vary by season. This will also be a factor for calculating the number of available sunlight hours and thus the panels required.

Lets look at a simple calculation to understand this concept better.

Lets say the summer season sunlight at the location is available for 6 hours and for mid winter it is 4 hours. Then in mid winter a 10w panel will provide 10w * 4h = 40watt-hours of DC power into your battery. In summer the amount would be 10w*6= 60watt-hours. There would be a little energy lost due to resistance through the regulators, cables, and batteries chosen. In calculating the solar power system you would built some assumption of loss into the final calculation.

## Who Can Save With Solar Energy

If you rent a home or apartment, your options for going solar may be limited. Talk to the property owner about installing a solar system. They may be open to the idea if it means saving on their taxes. Otherwise, you may not be able to install panels until you buy your own property.

If you are a homeowner, there’s a good chance that installing solar panels may save you money. You’ll need to factor in your energy consumption and the size of the system to determine how long it will take you to pay for the system with your energy savings.

Depending on the size of your household, a smaller and less expensive system may be sufficient.

Once your total system cost has been paid off, you’ll enjoy free energy every month. That’s when the savings will really start to pile up.

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, contact Rhythm today. We provide honest and straightforward information so that you can make a well-informed decision. You can learn more about our renewable energy plans or our Rooftop Solar Buyback plan when visiting us online.

## Solar Panel Installation Cost Data

The average cost to install a 7 kilowatt solar panel system on a home is around \$21,000. When you take the 26% federal solar tax credit into account, that cost drops to around \$15,500. The price could be even lower, depending on what other state or local incentives are available in your area.

If you are already familiar with the cost of solar energy installation and average solar panel savings and would rather know more about the steps involved in the solar panel installation process, you can read more about that here.

For those of you who are just beginning your solar installation research or just doing general industry research, our solar panel cost guide is a great place to start. We show the most up-to-date data of the average cost of a residential solar panel installation in each state and the average cost for systems using the best solar panel brands on the market, as well as labor costs.

The averages in our guide are great as a starting point for your solar journey, but theyre just that – averages. Those numbers wont be 100% accurate for your situation because your home probably isnt average. Each house is unique – houses in different states can be different, even houses in the same state are different!

For a more detailed estimate, you can enter your zip code in the calculator below and get all of our solar panel cost estimates, plus youll be able to see exact bids from solar companies in your area.

Also Check: Is Solar A Good Investment

## Decide Whether Solar Is The Right Choice For Your Home

If you live in an area with high energy rates and a suitable solar rating and can afford the initial investment, its worth installing solar panels on your home while the 26% tax break is in place for the good of the environment and your wallet. But don’t expect to eliminate your power bill overnight.

If you decide to purchase solar panels, shop around and search for incentives. Consider financing with a solar loan if youd rather spread out the cost. Keep in mind that you dont have to buy solar panels you can lease them, too. That offers a lower upfront cost, although since you dont own the panels, they wont raise the value of your home, and you may not be eligible for incentives.

## Size Of The Solar Panel:

How to Calculate Your Solar Payback Period

Whenever you think of buying solar panels to run your property energy, you must know the dimensions of your roof area. It will help you to estimate the exact number of panels that would not only be able to produce enough voltage but also fit the roof area. To calculate the roof area required for the fitting of the panels, you may subject to this solar calculator for instant estimations.

Now what if the roof area is so small or has uneven dimensions? It would definitely put you in trouble. But do not worry as we have a couple of solutions for thai. One is definitely the use of our free solar system calculator and other include the following solar installation guide:

#### Solar Array Output:

Calculating solar power output gives you an idea about the units needed to obtain the desired electricity. So follow the expression below to calculate the solar energy production:

Solar Array Output = Electricity Consumption /

#### Environmental Factor:

The percentage of the electric voltages being produced and saved before as not affected by any environmental happenings like moisture in the air, pollution in the surroundings etc is known as the environmental factor.

You must keep in mind what is your actual solar energy demand and the environmental factor of your location. It will provide an edge in calculating the electricity bill offset right away. You can make use of the equation below to calculate your bill offset:

Solar Array Size = Solar Array Output *

#### Quantity of Panels:

You May Like: Are Solar Panels Worth It

## 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.

## How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For Homes

On average, solar panel installation and the system together can run between \$15,000 and \$25,000, according to the latest information from the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Location largely affects electricity rates. The national average is about 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to year-to-date 2022 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Before you make the leap, learn how your electric bill, location and incentives can impact your wallet over time. Here are six steps to take to determine whether youll save more than you spend on solar panels.

Also Check: How Do Solar Panels Affect Your Roof

## How Much Does It Cost To Operate Your Solar System

Even with solar tax incentives and the dropping prices for the equipment, some homeowners still feel uncertain about switching to solar power. They’re not sure they really will save on their monthly energy costs.

To address this concern, look at your energy bills and compare them to the \$2.58 per watt cost of operating a 5 kWh system. You’ll find that solar power is considerably lower.

When you calculate those savings, you’ll find that the system will typically pay for itself within seven years through consistent solar energy production. You’ll also generate an average lifetime savings of \$84,486.

You may be able to maximize your energy savings by installing batteries to collect and store your solar energy. Since the system can only generate electricity during daylight hours when the sun is visible, you might be left without power on stormy days and in the evenings.

A bank of batteries will collect and store excess solar power during the day, allowing you to use those reserves at night. Homes that don’t use batteries to store energy will still have to use electricity from the grid.

## How Many Watts Do You Currently Use

Look at your electricity bill for average usage. Look for Kilowatt Hours Used or something similar, and then note the length of time represented . If your bill doesnt show kilowatt hours used, look for beginning and ending meter readings and subtract the previous reading from the most recent one.

You want daily and hourly usage for our calculations, so if your bill doesnt show a daily average, just divide the monthly or annual average by 30 or 365 days, respectively, and then divide again by 24 to determine your hourly average electricity usage. Your answer will be in kW.

A small home in a temperate climate might use something like 200 kWh per month, and a larger home in the south where air conditioners account for the largest portion of home energy usage might use 2,000 kWh or more. The average U.S. home uses about 900 kWh per month. So thats 30 kWh per day or 1.25 kWh per hour.

Your average daily energy usage is your target daily average to calculate your solar needs. Thats the number of kilowatt-hours you need your solar system to produce if you want to cover most if not all of your electricity needs.

Its important to note that solar panels dont operate at maximum efficiency 24 hours a day. . Weather conditions, for example, can temporarily reduce your systems efficiency. Therefore, experts recommend adding a 25 percent cushion to your target daily average to ensure you can generate all the clean energy you need.

Also Check: Do Solar Panels Require Direct Sunlight

## Is Solar Power Worth It

Once you’ve worked through all of these calculations, you’ll likely end up with a single numberthe number of years it will take for a solar system to pay for itself in savings from your energy bills. If you live in a sunny part of the country and have high utility bills at the moment, you could be looking at a system that will reach this point in five years. Other homeowners may have to wait 10 or 20 years to reach this point.

In other words, most homeowners will eventually see a benefit from a solar power system it might just take decades for this to be realized. Whether it is worth installing such a system therefore often comes down to a number of much less technical factors than those we’ve listed above: how long you are going to stay in your home, the subsidies available in your area, and simply whether you want to do your bit for the environment.

## What Is The Right Price For A Solar Panel Installation

The SolarReviews Editorial team believes a fair price for a professionally-installed solar system in 2022 is between \$2.60 per watt and \$3.20 per watt.

If you are being charged more than that, there are probably better offers available. However, if you are paying less than \$2.60 per watt, you may run the risk of getting a low-quality installation or sub-par customer service. Not only that, solar companies that charge such low prices probably wont be able to earn enough money off of their sales to offer you the customer support you need for the 25-year lifespan of your solar panels.

Above all, you want to go with a solar company that has a good reputation and will be around for the long haul.

Also Check: How Many Solar Panels For A House

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