One of the most common questions people ask when they are considering installing solar panels on their home is “How much do solar panels cost?” . To help answer that question I have covered the average solar panel installation cost, simple ways to lower those costs, and how to get a truly accurate estimate of solar panel cost for your home below.
Remember that since not every home will have the same energy consumption rates, even if they are the same size, it is recommended to utilize a professional solar installer in order to get an accurate estimate for your home and household needs.
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Average Solar Panel Cost in 2018
Currently, in 2018, homeowners will typically spend around $3 per watt for a complete solar panel system with installation. Considering the average home will use somewhere in the range of a 5,700 watt solar panel system, that breaks down to an estimated $17,100 for an average-sized solar panel installation. Of course that is just an estimate and the odds are that your actual installation will cost more, or less, than that amount depending on how many people live in your home and your overall average energy consumption.
That figure also does not include any tax credits or rebates that you may qualify for, which can help to reduce the costs of solar. Some states and local counties offer solar incentives and the federal government offers the Investment Tax Credit which can save you up to 30% of your solar panel installation costs. With a 30% tax credit applied to a $17,100 installation it reduces the costs all the way down to $11,970, which is obviously a HUGE savings! The federal program is due to end in 2021 so be sure to take advantage of it now before it is to late. A good solar installer can help you out with this process as well to make things easier and provide you with information about programs that you may qualify for. They should know exactly how to maximize your incentives to the fullest potential by using any local and federal programs available.
What Should You Expect To Pay For?
For most homeowners the entire cost of a solar panel system will include the solar panels, inverters, and the other required equipment, plus permits and labor costs, at a minimum. You may also may need to do shingle repairs or roof upgrades, as well as pay for things such as tree trimming or tree removal if your roof gets to much shade. For example if your roof faces south with a 30-degree sloping angle then adding solar panels should be easy and not require additional fixtures. If however your roof is not in an ideal position then you may be required to spend a bit more to have the panels installed properly. A solar installation expert will be able to give you a quote that should include all of your total costs to install solar panels on your home properly, and in the most efficient manner possible.
How To Lower Solar Panel Installation Costs and Find The Best Deals
Here are some ways that you can you save on your solar panel costs and find the best deals, while still ensuring that you get a high quality solar system and installation.
Shop Around and Compare Local and National Installer Prices
One of the most important tips I can offer is to shop around and speak to multiple companies to get their rates, equipment types and costs, etc. to find the best deal and best company for your needs. In fact, a study by the National Renewable Energy Lab done in 2017 concluded that smaller local solar panel installers frequently charged about 10% less than large national solar panel installers such as SolarCity and Sunrun and so be sure to explore local options. That said, you should explore all of your options as their can be perks and money saving discounts from both national and local companies depending on your needs and location.
Pay for Your Equipment and Installation In Cash
If you can afford to pay upfront in cash then you probably should. It is the easiest way to save thousands of dollars on interest, leasing fees, and all the other expenses that financing will require. If you have the money to do it, then bite the bullet and pay up front! You will save as much money as possible in the long run and be glad that you did.
Take Advantage of ALL Available Incentive Programs, Rebates, and Tax Credits
As mentioned above, tax credits and rebates are certainly one of the very best ways to save money on solar costs. Talk to a professional installer and find out what local and federal programs are available for your home. Taking advantage of all of the available incentives can equate to a tremendous savings in many cases. Remember though that many incentive programs are limited and so talk to an installer and act quickly so that you do not miss out on these possible savings.
Best Way To Calculate EXACTLY How Much Solar Panels Cost for Your Home
Solar panel costs have never been lower than right now due to better, and cheaper, technology, as well as a reduction in installation costs overall. In the past 10 years solar cost has dropped nearly 60% and so now is a great time to buy a system, but the costs will vary depending on your home, electricity needs, and even location. The best way to calculate the true cost of solar panel installation, and how much you could save on electricity, is to get a free estimate from a solar professional. I highly recommend this approach as it will save you time and give you the most accurate estimate available. You can enter your zip code below and complete a quick questionnaire online to get a free personalized estimate right now from top rated solar companies in just a couple of minutes.
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