When making any sort of addition to your home, the first place most people look is the bottom line… But when it comes to solar power that is not the right place to start.
“How much do solar panels cost?” It’s the most common question we hear and honestly, it’s a bit tricky to answer.
Between federal and local incentives, the vast amount of installers, and dozens of DIY options the installation costs for your home could vary widely (sometimes by thousands of dollars)
The fastest way to get an accurate idea of what going solar will mean for you is to use our free online solar estimator
How many solar panels do I need for my home?
This is a very tricky question. It depends heavily on how much you want to offset your utility bill ( some people opt to only offset their bill by 50% while most prefer to offset their utility bill by 100%).
The number of solar panels you need also depends on your location; as where you are in the country will dictate how much solar energy is available on any given day. The roof type, amount of available space, hours of sunlight, and any obstructions on or near your roof could also impact the number of solar panels you need to install on your home.
The cost of solar panels can vary as widely as the number of panels you need to power your home and quite frankly, the quickest and easiest way to figure out how many solar panels you will need and what the total cost of your solar panels will be is to utilize a reputable online calculator, like SolarAnalyzer to give you a good idea of what you can expect to spend to go green. There are other, more manual options for calculating all of this but it does require more math and phone calls that frankly aren’t worth it when you can utilize the same information that the big companies use, for free.
How much do solar panels cost?
America has never been more ready to go solar and right now is the perfect time to save on solar panels. The price of panels has been in a freefall over the past decade thanks to a boost in competition that has pushed manufacturers to increase production and lower costs across the board.
It’s important to remember that the cost of the solar panels is not your only consideration when it comes to installing a solar array on your home.
You also need to consider the physical installation cost, inverters, wiring, framing, etc. When all of those are taken into account the average cost of a system comes to between $2.71 and $3.57 per watt (with an average of $3.14).
Considering that most people need to produce 5-6 kWh of power to offset their utility bill your system could run $10,990-$13,188 – after your federal solar tax incentive is applied and could be reduced even further with state and local incentives, and other sales that may occur in your area.
Use Solar Analyzer’s free instant online analyzer to see which savings you’re eligible for.
How much power do solar panels produce?
The answer to this question depends both on the quality of the panel you choose the physical location of your solar array.
Cheaper panels typically have a lower efficiency rating, which means you’ll need to install more panels to produce the same power as a higher quality system. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that installing the most expensive panels mean you’ll get more output. If your home is in an area with a lower amount of average daily sunlight more expensive panels may take much longer to ROI. Utilize Solar Analyzers estimator to be put in touch with a local installer that will be able to advise you on the right number and type of panels for your home.
Many people believe that areas with higher amounts of sun will produce more electricity through solar power but it’s important to note that the ambient temperature can have a drastic effect on your solar panels. Solar panel efficiency is temperature dependent and begins to reduce as the temperatures increase. Your installer will be able to guide you to the right decision when it comes to your solar array.
Can I install solar panels myself?
Absolutely! A DIY solar installation project is entirely possible and plausible but it is much more difficult. When you do the install yourself every single aspect is up to you. You must ensure that the panels are installed at the correct angle and that your system is properly wired. The act of ensuring permits will fall squarely on your shoulders.
If you are an experienced handyman with technical prowess a self-installation is entirely possible but there are many more risks that you will be liable for. And the savings are honestly not much when you factor in the headache of having to deal technical issues, warranty claims, insurance, hiring licensed electricians to make sure your system is up to code and doesn’t present a fire hazard and as the cost of full-service solar installation continues to fall, that savings will continue to diminish.
An average DIY kit has an average cost of around $1.67 per wat before hiring an electrician and or a roofer. At most you could end up saving .40-.50 cents per watt on your system (around a $$2,400 savings).
Given that you will be entirely on your own if there are any technical issues, or you need to prove a warranty claim, the savings of around .40 cents per watt. That $2.400 savings won’t seem worth it should you ever need to file a claim on your DIY kit.
Bottom line yes, you can install your own solar panels but we highly recommend you research full-service installers first.
Are solar panels worth it?
There is no denying that adding a solar array to your home is a big decision, but are solar panels worth it?
Absolutely! And now is the right time to do it. Solar panel installation costs are at an all-time low and with federal and local incentives that cost can be slashed by up to an additional 50% (even more in some cases).
Yes, there is a significant cost involved with the addition of solar power to your home but the right solar power system can completely offset your electric bill or even have the electric company cutting you a check every single month! In addition to removing your dependence on an aging and failing energy infrastructure, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint and leaving a better future to our children.
Going solar is one of the best decisions you can make for your home, your family and the future.