Cost To Get Solar For Your House, Benefits, and Savings
But what is the cost to get solar for your house benefits and savings? Solar installation requires a high upfront investment. But after the payback period, you may never have to worry about high utility bills.
On a national average, expect to pay between $13,000 and $25,000 to install a solar panel system, but there are tax incentives that may reduce your overall cost.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM COST BREAKDOWN
There are three main components of a solar energy system: solar panels, inverter, and batteries. Here are the costs of these components.
• SOLAR PANELS – On average, panels cost between $0.90 and $1.50 per watt. For a 6Kw solar panel system, you will pay $5,400 to $9,000.
• INVERTER – Costs $1,000 or more
• SOLAR BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM – On average, batteries cost around $6,000, but you could pay up to $10,000 or more.
Other factors that might affect the final cost include:
• SITE SURVEY COSTS: After a site inspection, the surveyor might recommend tree removal, roof repair or replacement, electrical upgrades, and more.
• INSTALLATION FEES: Solar panel installers will charge different fees. Make sure you request a free, no-obligation quote from multiple companies near you to ensure you’re getting a good deal. On average, you will pay around $0.5 per watt for labor. The installation costs are about 10% to 15% of the entire solar energy system project cost.
• FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVES: If you install a solar energy system by December 31, 2022, you will be eligible for a 26% tax credit. If the project will take place before the end of 2023, you could claim 22% tax credits.
• STATE TAX INCENTIVES: States have incentives like tax credits and rebates that vary significantly. Homeowners in states like New York, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Maryland, Texas, and New Jersey have access to a higher number of solar incentives.
• GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Some areas are exposed to more sunlight than others. You will need more solar panels if you live where there are generally limited hours of strong sunshine.
HOW LONG DO SOLAR PANELS TAKE TO PAY FOR THEMSELVES?
The more hours of sun exposure, the more power you will get out of the solar panels. And that would mean a shorter time for the investment to pay for itself. Generally, the payback period is 9-12 years. Many solar panels come with warranties, promising to maintain more than 90% of their efficiency even after 25 years. If you’re not planning to sell your home, you can recoup the solar installation upfront costs and save on utility bills for several years.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS OF INSTALLING SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
Switching to solar panels is good for the environment, but we understand the main incentive for going solar is to lower your monthly electricity bills. Tapping into solar energy offers several monetary benefits over time.
Many cities have net metering policies allowing homeowners to sell excess electricity to their local utility grid. In return, the homeowners get utility bill credits. The bill credits can be pulled whenever the panels are not producing sufficient electricity to keep your home running.
Savings depend on several factors, including financing options, solar system size, local electricity rates, state incentives, and the electricity consumption rate. Speaking of financing options, many companies understand that the upfront costs can be prohibitive.
As such, you’ll find them offering a wide range of financing options with installation packages. With a little research, you might find plans with affordable monthly payments that fall way below your average monthly utility bills. You will likely realize savings from the first day if you get the right financing option.
ARE SOLAR PANELS WORTH IT?
The answer — it depends. Here are a few things you must keep in mind when evaluating whether installing solar panels is a worthwhile investment.
1. OPERATIONAL COSTS: Solar panels require maintenance to operate efficiently. Therefore, you will have to consider the cost of cleaning. The panels may need cleaning once or twice a year, with each cleaning session costing around $150 to $200. Solar panels also need to be inspected at least once every year, and this could cost you between $100 and $300.
2. PERIOD YOU PLAN TO LIVE IN YOUR HOME: Investing in a solar energy system is an excellent idea if you see yourself staying in that home for over 10 years. That would be enough time to recover the upfront costs involved in the project while enjoying more energy savings. Even if it comes to a point you have to sell your home for any reason, solar panels can make difference in your home-selling process. That’s because solar systems make your home more attractive and enhance its value.
3. FINANCIAL SITUATION: How do you plan to finance your solar energy system? For example, if you are borrowing a loan, consider the interest rates and monthly payments. The cost of a loan, especially if you get it with bad credit, can make your solar panels even more expensive. It might take you a long time before the investment pays for itself.
4. SUNNINESS OF YOUR LOCATION: A solar energy system can be installed even in areas receiving limited sunlight. However, you will probably need more panels to meet your electricity needs. Also, the payback period of your investment will likely take longer than in an area with maximum hours of sunlight.
The average cost of solar for your house benefits and savings is anywhere between $13,000 and $25,000 before tax incentives. The decision as to whether or not to go solar depends on your unique circumstances, starting with your budget and future home plans. If you are a long-term homeowner, you will reap significant savings while reducing your carbon footprint. Solar energy might prove the cheapest option to power your home in the long-term.