There are a wide variety of factors when it comes to the cost of solar panels. Both the equipment itself and the installation are things to consider. On average, solar panels will cost a homeowner around $16,000. They can run as high as $35,000 and as low as $3,500.
Your state may have incentive programs, especially in areas with more sunny days per year. It’s also important to do your research regarding the solar company you plan to use, as their prices vary. Of course, the size and shape of your home also determines the size and weight of the panels you can choose, as well as how many you will need. All of this helps determine the cost.
Location and Timing
There are different types of panels available to consumers. The most efficient are monocrystalline solar panels, but they’re also the most expensive. Other options include polycrystalline panels and thin-film PV cells, which are less efficient and cheaper by comparison.
Given the need to effectively reflect sunlight and capture electrical or thermal energy, your roof’s pitch is a factor in the cost. Solar companies will charge higher prices for installation when a roof is complex or especially steep and difficult to work with.
In terms of the calendar, the coming winter months may offer some upside. Contrary to what most people think, the winter is a great time to install. Because solar companies are typically less busy during colder weather, their installation price could be lower than during the summer.
The key to evaluating whether or not solar panels make sense is in the potential for long term savings. After looking into the upfront costs regarding equipment and installation, determine if there are any recurring fees with your solar company or power provider.
From there, the most vital piece of information is your local electricity rates. The most savings will be achieved in areas where utility costs are on the higher end or middle-of-the-pack. That’s because solar panels don’t always eliminate your electricity bill entirely — they often just reduce the total amount owed by cutting down on consumption. If the installation process is properly managed, solar panels can translate to significant savings over time.
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