How Much Does Solar Power Cost?
Are you ready to tap into an ancient source of power?
The Sun is 4.6 billion years old, and it’s one of the most efficient renewable energy sources around. As more and more homes start switching to solar power, you might find yourself wondering if it’s the right move for you.
Would setting up a solar array really be worth the investment? To help you decide, we’ve created this short guide all about solar power. We’ll walk you through the costs, price factors, and installation considerations to think of.
How much does solar power cost? Read on to find out.
How Much Does Solar Power Cost With Roof Repairs?
Does your roof need any special repairs before you can put the array up? If your roof needs a lot of maintenance or preparation, you’ll need to account for this in your budget. You can use this checklist to see if you need an entirely new roof.
Different roof repairs can include replacing cracked shingles, fixing the gutters, and upgrading your flashing.
Solar Power Explained
Before you can determine how much you’ll have to pay for a solar system, you’ll need to understand the different cost factors. For instance, what type of solar panels are you planning on getting?
There are budget solar panels and then more technologically advanced high-end models. There are also solar panels you can buy using special programs that help pay for the panels themselves.
The location where you’re installing the panels will also play a role in how much they cost. Roof installations tend to be more popular than ground installations. However, and certain situations having the solar array put on the ground will make sense.
Did you know that solar power isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution? Certain houses don’t even qualify for solar panels in the first place.
What’s the ROI on Solar Power?
As you calculate the different costs of solar array systems, don’t forget to think about the incentives and rebates. Depending on the different rebates that you might qualify for, you can make back a lot of your original investment. It’s also important to consider the long-term return on investment that solar energy can provide.
What exactly is the return on investment for using solar energy? The return on investment is going to vary from one location to the next. If you live somewhere with a lot of sunlight exposure, you could see a 20% ROI within your first year.
Homeowners who spend more on their systems will benefit from more efficient results. If you live somewhere where electricity is more expensive, your return on investment can also be greater. Keep in mind that your electricity use will also affect how much your investment pays off.
Did you want to calculate the exact ROI for your solar panels? First, you’re going to need to determine how much you spent on electricity for the last year. Then divide the total cost of your solar system.
If you’re working with the solar panel installation company, they can help you gain access to 12 months of your utility bill history. Oftentimes you’ll be able to access all of the information you need online.
Calculate Your Return
Once you know your energy consumption history, you can start calculating the ROI. Divide the total cost of your solar system by the annual benefit of installation. For instance, let’s say that a solar panel installation will cost you $30,000. Let’s pretend that the $30,000 includes everything, including the installation cost.
You need to take your total cost of electric bills for the last year and the total cost of the system installation and perform a quick equation. Divide the electric bill cost by the total amount of installation.
The number you get will be the payback period in a unit of years. If you’re having difficulty with the calculation, no worries. Professional solar companies will be happy to help you calculate your return on investment.
Cost of Monocrystalline Solar Panels
One of the most aesthetically pleasing solar panels is the monocrystalline design. Monocrystalline solar panels aren’t just efficient; they look great too. These panels do cost a lot more, but they’re definitely worth the high price point.
There are 8 intricate steps that go into making a monocrystalline solar panel. First, manufacturers have to create a special type of silica sand.
After purifying the ingredients, the silicone undergoes an intense distillation process. Through diffusion and improvement processes, the silicon wafers are positively charged.
To improve conductivity, manufacturers install a highly conductive silver alloy. The silicon wafers each have their silver alloy to conduct the highest amounts of electricity.
The last step of creating a monocrystalline solar panel is the assembly process. Each monocrystalline solar panel consists of 30 to 95 carefully crafted energy wafers.
If you want a reliable go-to choice, then monocrystalline photovoltaic electric solar energy panels are the right option. They’re one of the oldest and most trustworthy ways of producing energy from the Sun.
Since each module is carefully crafted from a single silicon crystal, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best photovoltaic technology. These panels are so durable that they’re even used to help with space travel!
Oftentimes you’ll be able to secure a performance warranty on monocrystalline solar panels that can last as long as 25 years. However, as long as you keep your panels nice and clean, they can produce energy for much longer. Besides having longevity and efficiency, monocrystalline panels are also less expensive to install.
Cost of Polycrystalline Solar Panels
A less expensive option would be to go with polycrystalline solar panels. These panels use arrays of crystals silicone crystals within a single photovoltaic cell. The same silicone used to produce the polycrystalline cells is on the panel.
You can think of a polycrystalline solar array as a type of mosaic. The unique-looking panels have a square shape, and they usually also consist of a shining blue color.
Since polycrystalline solar panels have multiple photovoltaic cells, they’ll function as semiconductor devices. When the photons from the Sun fall on specific locations, they can create free-flowing electrical currents.
You’ll find that polycrystalline solar panels are more eco-friendly than expensive monocrystalline designs. Less waste is produced because of how the silicone cells are set up.
On the downside, polycrystalline solar panels have less heat tolerance than monocrystalline panels. When there are extremely high temperatures, they aren’t as efficient.
Typical Panel Installation Costs
How much does it cost to install monocrystalline solar panels? The installation cost is going to vary from one home to the next. Anywhere from $10,000 and up is a fair price point.
If your home doesn’t need any modifications, the installation cost can be a lot lower than other systems. However, if your home needs more mounting rails, then you can expect to pay more.
Anytime mounting rails have to be installed, the installation cost goes up, and so does the overall project time. If you’re taking out an existing solar panel system, prepare for the takedown cost.
The panels tend to fall between 200 and 400 watts for each panel. The number of Watts for each panel is going to impact your overall project cost. The total number of panels you need will also impact your price point.
If you have a much larger home, you’ll need more wattage and additional panels. Since polycrystalline solar panels are made from small shards, they cost less money.
However, the design does also the design also means they’re going to take up more space. For basic polycrystalline solar panels, you can expect to pay around $1,300. For higher quality polycrystalline solar panels, it’s normal to pay closer to $4,000.
Cost of Solar Shingles
Were you planning on installing solar shingles instead of solar panels? Solar shingles are a new technology, and they’re pretty exciting stuff.
If you enjoy the look of traditional asphalt shingles, then solar shingles can be a great choice. They’ll be able to offer you the same flexibility and durability as traditional shingles while also helping power your home.
Solar shingles can produce as much as 63 watts of energy. Your energy production will depend on the brand of shingles that you purchase.
You’ll find that solar shingles are both lightweight and fairly easy to install. Since these shingles are designed to withstand all sorts of weather, they can be an excellent choice for energy-proofing your home.
How much are you going to spend on solar shingles? An entire solar shingle roof could cost as much as $75,000 or more. The overall price point is going to vary depending on the slope, size, and pitch of your roof.
Paying anywhere around $25 per square foot is a fair price point. Keep in mind that your cost is going to vary depending on the local solar roof contractor you choose to work with.
The amount of solar shingles you’ll need is going to vary from home one home to the next. The size of your house and your household energy usage are two of the most important cost factors. However, keep in mind that you’ll have a wonderful return on investment once you’ve had the shingles in place for a few years.
On average solar panels last about 20 to 30 years. However, solar shingles continue creating power well after the 20-year mark.
Similar to an old cell phone battery, they’ll be able to produce energy. However, when the shingles are older, they’re not going to produce energy at their maximum rates.
Cost to Maintain Solar Panels
So far, we’ve been discussing the different costs of installing solar panels. But what about maintaining your system after installation? Solar panel maintenance is a lot easier than you might think.
You can easily spend less than $500 a year and still keep your system completely maintained. We suggest paying for an annual cleaning. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $400 for an annual solar panel cleaning.
During the cleaning, it’s also a good idea to schedule your annual inspection. On average, inspection fees can cost anywhere from $100 to $200. However, sometimes you can find companies that offer bundle discounts.
By purchasing the cleaning and inspection at the same time, you could save a lot of money. The number of solar panels you have in the size of the panels will also impact your maintenance prices.
Whether or not the panels are flat or tilted and their location also plays a role in how difficult it is to maintain them. When professionals come to your house to inspect the solar panels, they’ll notify you of any necessary repairs.
If at any time an inspector tells you that a repair needs to take place with your panels, schedule it as soon as possible. By scheduling repairs sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to keep things affordable. The longer you wait to repair one of your panels, the more expensive it’ll cost to fix it. A
s long as you take care of the basic maintenance of your solar panels, they should be able to help you save a ton on your energy bill. Basic maintenance includes routinely clearing the panels of anything that might be blocking them from the sunlight.
Investing in Solar Energy
How much does solar power cost? Now you know! Depending on the type of solar array you put up, you can even apply for special tax rebates and incentives.
Don’t wait any longer to start saving on your energy bill. Reach out to a local solar installer today for your free quote.
Remember to get several quotes, too, so you can compare prices. Once you find a contractor you feel good about, you can set up an installation inspection.
Need a few more tips before making your choice? Just read another one of our informative posts!