Residential solar energy use has been rising by 20% each year over the past 15 years. The reason for this surge is due to overall efficiency gains and rapidly falling prices. Homeowners can save large amounts of money by installing solar panels. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the costs of solar panels for homes.
Solar Panel System Costs
The cost of operating your own solar panel system after installation is typically around $3 per watt. If you select a power purchase agreement, these costs drastically decrease to about 16 cents per kWh. Purchasing a solar energy system for your home can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000, depending on where you live and how much energy you use.
You may be eligible to receive a federal solar tax credit that will allow you to deduct 30% of your total solar panel installation costs. There are also other incentives, rebates and state tax credits that you can be eligible to receive as well. It typically costs homeowners about $11,000 after they receive federal tax incentives.
Factors Affecting Solar Panel Installation Costs
Residential solar companies often feature a solar calculator on their website that can help you determine how much solar panel installation will cost and how much you can potentially save. There are a few factors that can affect how much installing solar panels will cost you. The solar calculators will take into account how much your electricity costs based on regional or national averages. They will also make assumptions regarding your financing options to determine your total cost. These options include property assessed clean energy financing, loans, leases, or flat rate cash purchases.
The choice of residential solar energy panels you select will also be a major factor in you total installation costs. The most common choices are polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. Monocrystalline panels are generally more efficient than polycrystalline, but they are also more expensive.
Determining How Many Panels You Need
Determining how many panels you’ll need will depend on your total energy usage. To figure that out, multiply your kWh power consumption by the average number of hours you use electricity. You can do this by looking at your utility bill and finding the Kwh used per month and adding up the numbers for the past 12 months. Take the total and divide by 12 and then divide that total by 30 to get your average daily use. You’ll need approximately one solar panel for every kWh of average daily use.
How Much Energy Use Can You Save?
You can potentially save up to 75% on your total energy bill by using solar energy. Most families typically see savings of about $1,400 each year. Depending on where you live, these savings can increase even more. On average, solar panels pay for themselves within a period of seven years.
The costs for residential solar energy panels are lower than they have ever been. With so many rebates and tax incentives available, you can save money on your energy use. By having these installed, you will be making an investment that can provide you with big returns far into the future.