Solar sounds like a fantastic way to reduce energy bills. Most homeowners are happy to take steps like this to help reduce their carbon footprint as well. Yet, for some, it seems like a big undertaking. It’s easier to just focus on what you have now. After all, just how much are solar panels? Is there even enough sunlight to power the home’s needs?
It’s not uncommon for property owners to feel overwhelmed by these decisions. Making the switch, though, can provide an opportunity for you to see significant improvement in your home as you go off the grid. Take a look at a few of the most common questions consumers have about getting solar.
What’s the Truth? How Much Are Solar Panels Going to Cost?
This is the most common question people have about solar, and with good reason. The problem is, there isn’t just one answer. Solar energy systems can range in size, type, and efficiency, all impacting the cost. Let’s break down a few key factors that influence what you will pay for solar.
What’s the Average Cost?
For a typical home that requires 3kW to 8kW of energy, the average cost is between $15,000 and $40,000. One of the key things to know about this number, though, is that the cost of solar has fallen significantly over the last 10 years or so. In many cases, you will find that the cost per kilowatt is lower than this. More so, if you need more energy, the cost per kilowatt tends to be lower overall.
Here’s another estimate method. According to Berkeley Lab’s Tracking the Sun report, the cost is between $3.2 and $4.5 per kilowatt. These are median prices – not actual cost. Since 2010, the report has found that the cost of solar power has dropped by as much as 61 percent. If you thought solar power was overpriced or out of your range, chances are good it is more affordable than you think.
What Factors Play a Role in Determining the Cost?
In either figure above, it is still difficult to know how much solar panels cost for your home. There are a number of factors that play a role in this cost. This includes:
State and Federal Incentives
In some states, tax credits exist that can help to reduce how much you pay for the solar panel system once you factor in the actual cost reduction of tax credits. Net metering can also play a role in determining how much you end up paying, depending on if it is available where you live. Here in Tucson, you may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost. There is also the Arizona tax credit of up to $1000 per home. This all helps to reduce your costs.
The actual cost of the solar panels can range, too. Like buying any other product, some manufacturers offer a lower price point than others do. There are also different levels of quality to consider.
The size and overall characteristics of your roof can also impact your costs. If you have a larger roof that is facing the sun most of the day, that’s going to work in your favor, requiring fewer panels.
The Solar Panel Characteristics
The characteristics of the solar panels matter, too. Some are more efficient, which means they need less sunlight available to them to turn that into electricity for your home. The truth is they are better able to capture sunlight and use it effectively.
Your Energy Needs
How much energy you need can be a factor. This influences the type of panels or the number of panels you require to power your home.
Look Beyond the Panels
The cost to install solar power is more than just the cost of the panels themselves. You also have to consider the hardware necessary to install them. There is also the need to store the energy obtained in a battery pack. Then there’s the need to pay for labor. Getting worried about these costs?
You generally do not need to be. Most of the time, these costs are built into the packages offered. Still, the types of solutions used – the type of battery system and the overall hardware needed – will impact your costs outright.
Are All Solar Panels the Same?
When you are thinking about how much solar panels cost, you also have to factor in just how well made they are. In an area like Arizona, you have an incredible amount of sunlight pouring in to the area – which means you should be able to use just any solar panel and reap the rewards, right?
That’s not the case. Solar panels systems are rated for how efficient they are. Imagine buying a refrigerator for your home. Two that have the same size and features may seem to be about the same. Yet, some run longer or more efficiently. These tend to cost a bit more but they give you more for their higher price point. Any other appliance is the same way. You can buy a low cost product and get a good working option. However, some solar panel options are more expensive, often providing better results for you.
Which is best for your home? When you meet with a solar panel installer, you’ll learn more about all of the options available to you. You’ll also be able to see a breakdown of the cost based on the benefits.
How Can You Save Money on Solar Panel Installations?
It’s not easy to commit to what seems like such a big commitment. There are tools and resources available that can help you to save money on your solar panel installation.
As noted, there are tax incentives available that can significantly reduce the cost of solar for your home. Both the federal government and the state of Arizona (if you live here) offer them. These are savings you get on your tax return for the year after you have installed a recognized, quality solar panel system.
There are also a number of financing options available. This can help you avoid having to pay the whole cost at one time. This is an important avenue for those who want to install solar without using a significant amount of capital upfront to do so.
Finally, factor in the actual savings opportunity for you. Solar panels mean you do not need to rely on electricity to power your home. Solar is accessible to anyone and works just as efficiently as any other system. There’s no significant change in the way you turn on and off the lights in your home. You also will find that managing these systems is easy to do.
Where Do You Get Started with Solar Panel Installation?
Now that you have some idea of what goes into the pricing of solar panels, your goal should be to get an estimate. An estimate is a simple process. A solar panel installation team comes to your home. They learn about the way you use energy as well as the positioning of your home, roof surface, and other factors. Then, you get a breakdown.
- You can choose from several types of solar panel systems to determine which one is right for your needs.
- You will learn how many solar panels you need based on how you use energy.
- You also will be able to determine how much money you can save per year on electricity use by installing solar.
The good news is there is no obligation here. You do not have to worry about paying for an estimate or having a commitment to installing solar on your home after this initial meeting. There’s no risk, then, in learning how much solar panels will cost for your home.
Want to Get a Free Estimate?
At Custom Solar and Leisure, we want you to be fully knowledgeable about your options and just how affordable solar can be. Remember, the prices here range widely and many of our clients pay much less to get solar installed. We can help you.
Give us a call to get a free estimate that gives you clear, accurate information on how much solar will cost for your home. It’s easy and takes very little time. Call us now at 520-247-3060 to learn more.