What Is the Cost of Solar Panels?
The cost of installing solar panels can be a major factor when making the decision to go green or not. Understanding how much it will cost to implement and run a solar energy system can help narrow down your options, and figure out whether it makes sense for your home, based on your financial situation. The most affordable way to install solar panels is by using a leasing program that allows you to purchase the equipment over time rather than outright. However, buying the equipment outright can be cheaper in certain cases.
The cost of installing solar panels depends on several factors, such as The size of the system. A small solar panel installation can cost $5,000 or more while larger systems range from $17,538 to $23,458. The type of system you want includes the things like inverters and racking. The location where you plan on putting it in relation to other structures (such as trees) and how sunny it is where you plan on placing it.
Read on for more details about what costs could come with installing solar panels in your home.
How to Determine the Cost of Solar Panels
It’s important to determine the cost of solar panels before deciding whether or not you want to invest in them. Some homeowners choose to go with a leasing program because it allows them to buy their solar panel equipment over time and lower their total cost. If you want to purchase your solar panel equipment, here are some things you could do:
- Compare prices online. Start by comparing the prices of solar panels from different providers on sites like Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes. This will help you understand what other people are paying for similar products.
- Check local retailers. There may be stores in your area that carry different brands of solar panels for sale at lower prices than big box stores.
- Contact local installers. Find out if there are any installers nearby who offer discounts on solar installations and compare their prices with those found online in order to find the best value for your budget.
These methods can help you determine how much installing solar panels will cost, as well as which option may be best for your home’s needs.
Size of the System
The size of the solar panel installation can vary greatly depending on how much land you want to cover and how much power you want your panels to produce. The size of the system will determine the cost and it typically takes a few months for the installer to complete.
A small solar panel installation can range from $11,144 to $14,696.
Type of System You Want
The type of system you want to install is a major factor in how much it will cost. Today, there are three main types of solar panels: mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline, and thin-film.
- Mono-Crystalline Solar Panels – These are the most common type on the market today and they convert sunlight into direct current electricity. The initial cost is around $1 to $1.50 per watt, but they can last around 25 years.
- Poly-Crystalline Solar Panels – They are slightly less expensive than mono-crystalline because they require a little more raw materials like glass and aluminum to produce. Polycrystalline solar panels cost $0.90 to $1 per watt, so outfitting a 6kW solar panel system would cost between $5,400 and $6,000 making it a more affordable option.
- Thin-Film Solar Panels – This type of panel is made from flexible plastic that converts light into an alternating current (AC) electricity source. Because it’s so flexible, thin-film solar panels can be mounted on any surface. On average, thin-film solar panels cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt but some consumers claim that their efficiency comes out to be at about 15 percent lower than a conventional panel.
Location and Orientation
As with anything, the price of solar panels is going to vary depending on where you live and what your specific needs are. The average cost is $13,850 for a system that has a capacity of 5 kilowatts. This number can go up or down depending on the size of your home.
The orientation of your home will also have an effect on the cost. If you live in a sunny area, make sure that you avoid planting anything in front of the panels that could block sunlight from reaching them. This will reduce the amount of energy produced by the system and increase its cost considerably. Furthermore, if you live in an area where it’s cloudy most of the time and there’s no reliable sun exposure during certain hours, it might be best to purchase a different type of solar installation.
Racking and Inverter Installation
One of the most significant costs associated with installing solar panels is the cost of racking, inverters, and other equipment. This equipment can vary in price depending on the size of your system as well as what type of installation you want. Some installations might require different types of equipment for a proper installation, such as racks that attach to the roof or ground-mounted racks. If you’re interested in purchasing the equipment outright rather than paying over time, the cost per watt will be lower than leasing.
Another concern to consider when deciding how much it will cost to install solar panels is where you can put them in relation to other structures such as trees or buildings. For example, if you were installing solar panels on your roof, you would want to make sure that there are no trees located near your house. If there was a tree located close by, it could cause shading and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching your panels. Shading can reduce efficiency and ultimately reduce output
If you have any questions about what it takes to install solar panels then call us at 215-928-5141
Additions and Equipment Upgrades
As with most things, solar panels are not perfect. If you plan on installing solar panels, you might need to install an inverter, upgrade your wiring system, or add some storage. These upgrades can add up quickly, so it’s important to know what the costs are in advance.
The biggest factor that will have an impact on the cost of installing solar panels is how many you need and where you plan on putting them.
A small solar panel installation can cost $13,850 or more while larger systems range from $17,538 to $23,458. The type of system you want will also affect the cost. Including things like inverters and racking add to the final price tag. Lastly, depending on where you want to put it in relation to other structures like trees and how sunny it is there will be some additional costs involved in installing your system as well.