Buy And Install Solar Panels
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Buy And Install Solar Panels
On average, monocrystalline solar panels (the most energy-efficient solar panel option) cost $1 to $1.50 per watt, meaning that outfitting a 6kW solar panel system (also known as a solar system) costs between $6,000 and $9,000.
Less energy-efficient than monocrystalline solar panels, 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.
On average, thin-film solar panels cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt, meaning that outfitting a 6kW solar panel system costs between $6,000 and $9,000. Thin-film solar panels are more inexpensive than their counterparts but require a large amount of space, and hence, are primarily used in industrial settings.
The cost of solar panels is dependent on the solar panel company you choose. From the solar equipment system itself to installation costs to add-ons, the price will vary from company to company and the first step is to consider your options for the best solar companies.
There are three main types of solar panels available for residential use. They are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. The most energy-efficient and best solar panels for home option, monocrystalline solar panels, costs $1 to $1.50 per watt. Less energy-efficient, polycrystalline solar panels cost $0.90 to $1 per watt. Thin-film solar panels cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt.
Contrary to popular belief, winter is actually the best time to install solar panels. There is simply less demand for this service in winter, so the installation should cost less as a whole. Even if you live in a region that tends to be cloudy and/or chilly, your solar panels will still be able to generate energy and in some cases, will even generate more energy than they would in warmer months.
Installing solar panels during winter is, in addition to being cost-effective, efficient. With solar installation companies doing fewer jobs in the off-season, your panels are likely to be installed faster, and will be up-and-running in no time.
Though solar panels cost money upfront, they can save homeowners money in the long term. The question of how much solar panels will save you depends on several factors, including the hours of daily direct sunlight available to the panels, the angle of your roof and the size of your solar panel system. The most important factor in determining how much money solar panels will save you is your local electricity rates.
To determine how much money your solar panels will save you each year, calculate how much you spend on electricity annually (for reference, the typical American family spends about $1,450 annually on electricity). Then, determine your current utility rate, keeping in mind that utility rates tend to increase by 2.2% each year (yet another reason to install solar panels).
A common misconception is that solar panels will eradicate your electricity bills. While this is sometimes the case, solar panels significantly reduce your monthly electricity bill and are worth the investment.
Solar loans allow you to finance the solar panels to help alleviate financial stress. Plus, you can have the panels installed and start using them to power your home right away with little to no money down. The payment plan will involve monthly payments over a period of time with interest added.
In some states, homeowners can lease solar panels or finance them through what is known as power purchase agreements (PPAs). These leases or PPAs mean a third party will own and install the solar panel system on your roof while you pay that party for your energy each month. Some PPAs will lock you in for a set rate, but some have a payment schedule that rises each year.
To better understand the installation process, it is recommended that you speak to a solar energy consultant, especially since there are many things to consider regarding solar power for your home. For instance, a consultant can direct you on all the details of solar panel installation.
Before your installation, ensure you have the proper permits from your localities. The most time-consuming parts of the project are often waiting for the permits to be approved and scheduling the subsequent inspections.
Once everything is properly in place, it is time solar panel installation. Install the racking system, the panels, the heat sink, the charge controller, the battery bank, the power inverter and the energy meter. Next, double-check all wiring before connecting the energy system to the energy panel to complete the process.
If you live in a region with middle- to upper-level utility rates, you can pretty much guarantee that a solar panel will save you big bucks over time. Solar panels tend to be worth the investment as long as you go about the installation process wisely.
The second technology is concentrating solar power, or CSP. It is used primarily in very large power plants and is not appropriate for residential use. This technology uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricity. Learn more about how CSP works.
Solar panels are built to work in all climates, but in some cases, rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If there are trees near your home that create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the most ideal option. The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too. You should also consider the age of your roof and how long until it will need replacement.
Those interested in community solar can take advantage of a tool from SETO awardee EnergySage. The company's Community Solar Marketplace aggregates the many available options in one place and standardizes project information, allowing interested consumers to easily locate and compare multiple community solar projects in their area.
Solar co-ops and Solarize campaigns can also help you start the process of going solar. These programs work by allowing groups of homeowners to work together to collectively negotiate rates, select an installer, and create additional community interest in solar through a limited-time offer to join the campaign. Ultimately, as the number of residents who participate in the program increase, the cost of the installations will decrease.
Right now, the best way to install solar is through a qualified professional who holds a certification to do so and works with high-quality solar panels. The industry-standard certification is awarded through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
The amount of money you can save with solar depends upon how much electricity you consume, the size of your solar energy system, if you choose to buy or lease your system, and how much power it is able to generate given the direction your roof faces and how much sunlight hits it. Your savings also depend on the electricity rates set by your utility and how much the utility will compensate you for the excess solar energy you send back to the grid. Check the National Utility Rate Database to see current electricity rates in your area.
Consumers have different financial options to select from when deciding to go solar. In general, a purchased solar system can be installed at a lower total cost than system installed using a solar loan, lease, or power purchase agreement (PPA).
Navigating the landscape of solar financing can be difficult. The Clean Energy States Alliance released a guide to help homeowners understand their options, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Download the guide.
DOE created the Homeowner's Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics to provide an overview of the federal investment tax credit for those interested in residential solar photovoltaics, or PV. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance. And it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions, or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements.
DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy in the United States. It is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. By entering your zip code, DSIRE provides you with a comprehensive list of financial incentives and regulatory policies that apply to your home. Additionally, an experienced local installer should be able to assist you in claiming any state and local incentives, as well as the ITC.
Net metering is an arrangement between solar energy system owners and utilities in which the system owners are compensated for any solar power generation that is exported to the electricity grid. The name derives from the 1990s, when the electric meter simply ran backwards when power was being exported, but it is rarely that simple today. Whether or not your solar system qualifies for net metering payments depends on policies and practices in your state and electric utility. Your local electric utility would be a good place to source information on net metering in your service area. When researching net metering policies and practices in your service area, there are some basic questions to consider, such as availability in your service area, eligible system size and customer type, rates, and design of bill credits.
Yes! Building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV, allows homeowners to alter the appearance of their solar panels so they match their surroundings. SETO has funded projects that commercialized technology enabling homeowners to add a graphical layer to their solar panels so they blend in with the roof. Learn more about BIPV. 59ce067264