Knowing the solar panels cost can help you choose the right version for your house without spending a lot.
Solar Panels Cost and More
The cost of solar panels is something you have to think about if you want them on your house.
Solar Panel Installation Components
There is more to solar panel installation than the actual panels, and knowing what goes into the process helps you determine how much you can expect to spend. The panels are what work to capture the energy from the sun, but they cannot be operated alone. The total cost of solar panels will also need to include the controller, which protects the battery by helping regulate electricity flow. You will also need batteries, which work to store the electricity for later use. Batteries will have to be replaced from time to time, so you can expect that to be recurring cost. Finally, you'll need an inverter, the piece that converts the stored energy into something you can use to power your home. When you get estimates for your solar panels, be sure you know what is included and what isn't so you can get a clearer picture of your overall cost. Don't forget to factor in the installation labor costs.
Size of the Panels
The size of the panels you choose will play a role in how much they cost. The size you decide on will be based on how much sunlight you get over the course of the day. If you live in a place that does not usually get a lot of sunlight, such as Seattle or Chicago, you will need more or larger panels to harvest enough sunlight to power your home. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that gets a lot of sun on a daily basis, such as Phoenix or Orlando, you may need fewer or smaller panels to get the job done. The more panels you need to have installed, the higher your overall solar panels cost will be.
In many parts of the country, you'll harvest more sunlight during the summer months and less during the winter. To save money on your solar panel cost, you can talk to your utility company about net metering. This involves using a special meter that goes backward when you get more sunlight than you can use, which you can average out for the winter months, helping prevent your electricity bill from going up during gloomy winter days. Net metering is a great way to ensure that you pay a similar price for your electricity year-round, which makes it easier to budget and can save you a few dollars at the same time. If you live off the grid, you will need batteries to make this system work.
Cost Per Watt
Now that you have some idea what goes into the overall solar panel cost, you can get an estimate that should give you a pretty good idea of how much you can expect to spend. According to averages, most homeowners pay $3 to $4 per watt to install the entire solar system. Experts say that the cost of solar panels is expected to continue dropping as they become more popular and easier to manufacture. Prices vary based on where you live, so be sure to get a few estimates before you make a purchase to ensure that you're getting the best solar panels price out there.
Another factor that goes into choosing the best solar panels is the size of the system. If you need or want to generate more electricity, you’ll need a bigger system and should expect a higher cost. That's because you'll need more equipment to run the system, and the labor costs will be much higher to install a larger system. A 6kW system costs an average of $15,000, an 8kW system will run you about $20,000 and a 10kW system will set you back $25,000. These prices are after the federal solar tax credit is applied. You might also be eligible for other tax credits, discounts and rebates that can save you some money on your solar panels.
Where You Live
The price of solar panels is based on what state you live in and what part of that state they will be installed. For example, you can expect to spend less in Arizona than you would in California, and solar panels in Ohio are generally less expensive than those in Washington. That's why it's important to get estimates from solar panel installers in your own area rather than relying on generic quotes online. Be sure to get a few estimates so you can compare prices and choose the one that works best for your budget.
Single Solar Panel Cost
When it comes to solar panels cost, many homeowners want to know how much the cost is per panel. You can certainly purchase solar panels on your own and install them yourself, which will save you quite a bit of money. You can expect to spend 75 cents to $1 per watt if you buy solar panels in singles. For example, a 250-watt panel would cost you about $185 to $250 if you buy them separately. However, you'll still have to purchase the equipment needed to operate the solar panels, so this price is only going to include the actual panel. You can save some additional money by choosing thin film panels, which are expected to hit the market for residential use very soon. So solar panels cost less than you might think.