Process Of Installing Solar Panels
The entire process of choosing and getting a quotation from a solar energy company to the actual installation can take between one to four months. Here is a brief outline of the process of installing solar panels:
What Kind Of Warranty Does Sunpower Solar Have
*. 25-year coverage for all core components on the roof: solar panels, microinverters and racking system. 10-year product warranty term for monitoring hardware. While most solar warranties are full of headaches, the SunPower ® Complete Confidence Warranty keeps things simple with one company covering your entire system.
What Do I Get From Tesla Solar Panels
Tesla offers four sizes of solar panel installations measured in kilowatts: 4.25, 8.5, 12.75 and 17kW. Tesla allows you to package your solar panel purchase with a Powerwall, its well-regarded battery system that can store power for use during surge pricing, outages or after the sun sets.
As you might expect, Tesla boasts about its panels’ sleek, low-profile design. To my eye, Tesla’s installations are indeed less obtrusive than others. If that’s important to you, Tesla might have an advantage here.
Unless you’re really particular about who manufactures your panels, what’s really important is how long they’ll last and how well they’ll work. Tesla’s warranty says your panels are guaranteed to work at 80% capacity for 25 years or it will replace them. That’s roughly in line with other companies, though the specific details of the warranty aren’t available online and Tesla, which dissolved its press office last year, did not respond to requests for comment.
Tesla’s first foray into solar power was not with panels, but with storage. Its Powerwall battery is still one of the top choices in the industry, to the point that other major solar companies offer the Powerwall with their installations.
Tesla’s warranty says your panels are guaranteed to work at 80% capacity for 25 years or it will replace them.
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Calculating How Much Solar Panels Will Cost For Your Specific Home Given Its Location And Electricity Use
Our solar panel calculator is the easiest way to determine the costs and savings of a solar panel installation for your specific home.
All you need is your address and the value of your monthly electric bill, and our solar calculator will determine your local utility companys electricity rates and how much power you use in order to tell you:
- How many solar panels you need to power your home
- How much your solar panels will cost
- How much your solar panels will save you
How Do I Use Tax Credits And Incentives To Reduce The Cost
If you buy and have your solar panel system installed before the end of 2019 you can claim 30% of the cost as tax credit.
This amount is taken directly off your tax payment which essentially means your solar panels cost 30% less than the price you paid as you are able to claim this money back.
For example, if your solar system cost $10,000 then you can claim $3,000 off your tax payment. Essentially that means it actually only cost you $7,000 to go solar.
You can also reduce the cost further with rebates, state tax credits and incentives.
All together this can reduce the cost of your solar panels by 50%.
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In Conclusion: Are Solar Panels Worth It
At the end of the day, the cost of solar is only as important as the return youll get from installing solar panels. For most homeowners, solar is a worthwhile investment, and you can break even in as few as 7 or 8 years. From that point on, youre essentially generating free electricity and racking up the savings. During those 7 to 8 years, youll be generating your own electricity instead of paying for electricity from the grid, and any extra electricity you produce you might be able to get credit for thanks to net metering policies .
Of course, just like the cost of solar panels varies by state, your payback period with solar will also vary depending on where you live. As a general rule, places where electricity is most expensive will lead to the most lifetime savings from a solar panel system. Check out our article about electricity rates and solar savings for a more in-depth explanation of how this actually works.
Additional Factors Of Solar Panel Installation Cost
There are plenty of other factors that can impact solar panel installation costs. These include :
- The availability of solar panels in your area
- Your current electricity bill
- The current cost of shipping
- The number of providers competing for your business
- Supply chain issues
- Local electricity rates
The bottom line? You can learn the most by shopping around. Get a few different proposals from local companies, evaluate what services you might be interested in and ask about sales or specials. Familiarize yourself with the best brands of affordable solar panels if budget is your priority.
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How Much Cheaper Are Solar Panels
In 1954 Bell Laboratories invented the first solar cell which became available to the public in 1956.
The cost was astronomically high at about $300 for a one-watt solar cell. By 2019, the average cost per watt was $3.05 in the United States.
$300 in the 1950’s is the equivalent of $1,865 in 2019 .
Taking all these metrics into account means the price per solar watt has
Below we have included a chart outlining the cost per watt over a decade. You can see that in 2010, a residential solar system consisting of 22 panels would of cost you $7.53 per watt.
The average wattage of a solar system is between 1kW and 4kW .
Let’s use 3kW as an intermediary.
3kW = 3000 watts, this means that in 2010 a 3kW solar system would of cost you $22,590.
Today, in 2021 you will pay around $2,81 per watt. Therefore, for the exact same solar system, 10 years later you would pay $8,430 . Also, keep in mind that solar panel technology has gotten much better over the years, so not only is your system cheaper, but it is also more efficient.
Cost Of Solar Panel Mounts
Solar panel mounts cost anywhere from $10 to $3,000 each, depending on if its fixed, adjustable or a motorized tracking mount. Similar to the panel types, the least expensive option is the least efficient and the more expensive options are more effective.
- Fixed: $10-$15 each. These are completely stationary and cannot be adjusted to capture more or less sunlight depending on weather and season. They are the least expensive type of mount. Installing this mount is optimal in regions where continuous sunlight can be expected, as adjustments wouldn’t be as necessary in order to maximize on energy production.
- Adjustable: $50 each. These can be tilted depending on the intensity of the sun or the season. They are more expensive than the fixed mounts but will have more energy efficiency. Adjusting the panels to soak up more sun in varying seasons will equate to greater energy production. These adjustments can also be useful when the weather turns, as you can lay them flat to avoid damage from wind.
- Tracking: $500-$3,000+ each. Follows the arch of the sun and provides maximum efficiency. The amount of energy you will be able to generate depends not only on panel construction and mounting, but your location. Though the initial cost for tracking is higher than other mounts, these can often get you the highest return on investment, as they make the most of every ray of sunlight. Track mounting may add 45% energy production.
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Paying For Solar Panel System
Since many schools are public, non-profit institutions, they may not qualify for all tax breaks and rebates associated with solar energy. In light of this, many schools will debate whether it makes sense to buy the solar equipment outright, or lease it from a third party. This decision weighs heavily on the contractor or third party the school chooses to work with. While leasing with a power purchase agreement, or PPA, can make financial sense initially, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to purchase the equipment. Getting multiple quotes on installation and equipment lease costs will help paint a more vivid picture of what you can expect to pay in either scenario.
Solar Panel Cost For A 2500 Sqft Home
The cost range of installing solar panels for a 2,500 sq.ft. home ranges from $18,000 to $55,000. Many different factors determine the number of panels and cost. Homes this size require more panels than smaller homes even for basic needs. If you add in any major electrical systems, such as HVAC, your costs will be higher. If you want to reduce your dependency on the grid by a significant amount, your costs will be higher as well. If you have relatively low energy needs, your costs could be even lower than the average.
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Solar Costs Over Time Continue To Fall
A solar panel system hasnt always been $2.76/W. As recently as five years ago, the cost of solar panels was almost 20 percent higher than it is now:
Prices will likely continue to fall even more in the future. The solar industry is still young, and theres plenty of innovation still to come. As manufacturing and installation processes mature and become even more efficient, solar shoppers will hopefully start to see some of those cost savings impacting their sticker price for solar.
What Is The Return On Investment For Solar Panels
You can determine the return on investment for solar panels by calculating the overall payback period. Calculate the cost of installing a solar panel system and then calculate the monthly savings on electricity bills. These two figures indicate how soon your funds will pay your first expenses. Electricity rates will vary by area, with the Northeast paying more than the Northwest. Solar is more cost effective if power rates are high and sunlight is plentiful.
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Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value
At first glance, you may be wondering if installing a solar panel system is worth it given the price tag. But research has shown that installing solar panels can greatly increase your homes property value.
In fact, its reported that on average that your resale value is close to $6,000 for each 1 kilowatt installed. The increase can depend, however, on factors like where your home is located and how big it is. States with active solar markets yield higher returns, and larger homes generally see a bigger return of investment.
For many potential buyers, a solar system represents a home upgrade just like an added room or renovated kitchen. Solar panels can also be more cost-efficient than other electrical options, which can be enticing to potential buyers.
And beyond that, solar panels represent a commitment to clean energy alternatives, which is becoming increasingly important for all Americans.
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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.
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Calculate Your Energy Consumption
Utilizing your electric bills from the last year, find out how much energy you consume on average. This should be listed on your electric bill. The average American household utilizes 10,400 kilowatt-hours per year. From here, you can determine what type and size of solar panel system will meet your needs.
How To Pay For A Solar Panel Installation
Different solar installers may offer different financing plans, allowing you some flexibility. With that said, there are three standard options for paying for your solar energy system:
Our solar financing guide breaks down each of these options to help you make the decision that best fits your needs.
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What Is The Average Cost Of Going Solar
The cost of solar really all comes down to where you live. It is well known for that the United States has quite high prices when it comes to installing a solar system compared to Australia for example.
Besides your country, there are two other price dictators.
- Your monthly energy consumption
- The direct peak hours of sunlight your home receives
Obviously, the energy you consume every month determines the size solar system you will need to offset your electricity usage.
Without sun, you do not even need to bother with installing solar panels on your home. However, some locations are much sunnier than others. The more sun you receive, the less solar panels you will need to generate the sufficient electricity.
With this in mind, it is impossible to give you an average cost of an entire country. But we have made a table below which shows the average cost of installing solar per state:
Solar panel pricing in U.S. states
Size And Shape Of Your Roof
This one is a double whammy. The contours of your roof impact both the number of solar panels youll need to generate the necessary energy for your home and the labor involved in installing them for maximum efficiency. For example, gabled roofs with high peaks create lots of nooks and crannies for shadows, and they can be difficult for solar installers to navigate.
Average Monthly Energy Usage
This is the big one, if were being honest. Your energy bill will determine the size of the solar system you need therefore the number of panels you will need. While the average U.S. residential solar system is in the 5-kilowatt range, your family might be especially thrifty, meaning you might need only 4 kW to power your 2,000 square foot home.6 On the other hand, if you have a large family that entertains often and has installed lots of amenities in that same 2,000 square foot home, you might need an 8 kW system and that will cost more.
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Review Your Electric Bill
Solar panels generate their own power and can therefore greatly offset your monthly electricity bill, if not eliminate it. The higher your bill, the more likely you’ll benefit from switching. But you should note that electricity rates and usage the main charges on your statement are volatile.
“If a utilitys electricity prices fluctuate, so could the amount of savings,” says Garrett Nilsen, deputy director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar energy technologies office. “Similarly, if energy consumption changes, the amount of savings can also vary.”
Visit the EIA website to view the most recent prices per state.