After solar energy tax credits, the cost of a solar panel system on an average-sized home in the U.S. UU. The national average price of a 6 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system is about 10.55 cents per kilowatt-hour. By context, residential solar panels are usually 3 kW to 8 kW in size.
This is before considering potential tax incentives and rebates. But what does all that really mean? Let's break it down into what solar energy could cost your home. The amount of energy used by your home will determine the number of solar panels you'll need to install to offset your energy costs. Homeowners can check their electricity bills to calculate their average daily energy consumption and compare it to the number of panels that would be needed to generate all their energy needs.
The amount of sun exposure your home receives can affect how much energy solar panels absorb and, in turn, the amount of money it can absorb from your existing electricity bills. Where the landlord lives may affect the local installation fee, as well as the amount of incentives and rebates available in the area. Compared to other home improvement projects, solar panels are a relatively high-cost project. But, in turn, they can increase a home's market rate and eventually offset electricity bills.
In general, solar panels begin to pay for themselves in small increments during the first year. Homeowners can expect a larger amortization, with compensation of between five and 15 years, depending on the configuration and where you live. Homeowners use solar energy at different capacities in all 50 states, but some inevitably perform better than others. That's why where you live can be a critical factor in deciding if your home is a good candidate for solar energy.
To start estimating your own costs, see our table below. Find the closest square footage to your home and see the variety of panels you may need and the cost of those panels. The number of panels varies depending on whether you live in a state that is better or worse for solar energy due to the climate and whether or not you want to cover all or part of your electricity needs. See “How Many Solar Panels Will You Need? below for more information.
To find out how many solar panels you'll need, you'll need to determine how much electricity you use in your home on a daily basis. It will be necessary to install a solar inverter to transform the direct current (DC) from the panels into the alternating current (AC) that you can use in your home. An average household consumes 905 kWh per month, or about 10,850 kWh per year, in electricity. That means that an average-sized home with a decent amount of sunlight could install a 5 kW to 6 kW solar panel system to help reduce utility bills.
You may want to learn about the solar number score for solar energy, which is calculated based on the location of your home and your average exposure to sunlight. In addition, explore the different dimensions and sizes of solar panels with your contractor for more context. On the other side of the coin is the resale value of your home. An analysis by Zillow showed that solar panels can increase the value of a home by up to 4.1 percent.
Simply put, if your home can take advantage of the net solar measurement, solar energy that is collected in abundance and that is not needed in your home will go through your meter and reach the grid. A digital meter in your home records electricity moving in any direction when you enter and leave the house. The “net” part of the term means that the homeowner pays the “net” amount for the electricity used by the house minus the extra sold to the grid. There are several payment options that include solar installation costs in a consumer's electricity bill, either as a solar panel lease option or as an energy purchase agreement (PPA).
Solar leases allow the homeowner to install solar panels without paying anything (or much) up front, reducing the total cost of solar panels. Once the panels are installed, the owner pays only a fixed monthly fee. The fee includes installation costs, which are spread over time, and the cost of supplying electricity. It's worth noting that, in most solar energy lease agreements, the solar company generally sticks with the incentives associated with owning solar panels.
However, the consumer gets other benefits. The solar energy company may offer a monthly rate below the utility rate or one that doesn't increase like utility rates do. At the end of the contract, homeowners can renew, purchase the system, or have the solar panel equipment removed. If you decide to sell your house, having solar panels leased can work against you, as you would have to transfer your lease to a qualified buyer, which means, of course, making sure that the person making an offer on your home is qualified first.
Many homebuyers prefer not to deal with that extra paperwork, leaving homes with solar-powered leases to stay on the market longer than homes owned by solar panels. Solar energy may be simple in its concept, but in its application, it can be disconcerting. And the best approach for one homeowner isn't necessarily the best for another. Take the time to gather pertinent information about the size of the house, local solar insolation, existing electricity rates and consumption.
Is it worth calculating the potential cost of solar energy for your home. Not only can solar panels power your home's electricity for appliances, but they can also be equipped for other benefits, such as heating and cooling your home with solar energy, heating water by solar energy, and even heating a pool with solar energy. And since the cost of solar energy continues to fall, it's no surprise that residential solar systems are installed every 100 seconds in the United States. The number of solar panels you need will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of your home, the amount of daily sunlight you receive, and more.
Thin-film solar panels are the most flexible option today, as they are mounted on glass and metal in different shapes and angles. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that homes with solar panels sold 17% more than homes with conventional utilities. Solar energy can lower your utility bills, especially if you qualify for tax breaks and live in an area where solar panels are cheap. Sometimes it's cheaper to install solar panels on backyard rails, for example, when the roof surface is too steep, if the roof is mostly shaded, or if you don't have a south-facing roof to capture the most amount of sun.
Home energy technology is evolving so rapidly that we are watching the design and installation costs of solar panels change in real time. Expect it to take five to 15 years to recover the costs of installing a solar panel system by saving energy. Calculate the amount you spent to install a solar panel system and then calculate the amount you'll save on your monthly energy bills. In other words, you can save money on energy efficiency by installing more advanced mounting systems or by choosing higher quality panels.
Installing solar energy as a DIY project is difficult and will cost more because solar companies buy in bulk directly from manufacturers. Solar panels are constructed with three different types of materials: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. . .