How Much Do Solar Panels Really Cost?
The cost of electricity has been rising for several years, leading many homeowners and consumers to look for other options. That’s where solar power comes in. More and more people are choosing solar power because of the savings that it can provide. With everything else skyrocketing in price, there is even more incentive to find ways to cut costs.
That said, while on the surface it will look immediately like you will get savings from installing solar panels, the actual cost will be slightly different. That’s because you will need to do some calculations to determine the difference between your electrical costs and your potential solar costs. Here’s how you can determine the true cost of having solar panels installed in your home.
Check your Electricity Bill
Since solar panels generate power all on their own, they have the potential to completely eliminate your electric bill. Every home uses a different amount of power, which means that the homes that use the most will save the most by making the switch. However, always remember that the price of electricity is always changing. As it fluctuates, the amount you potentially save will fluctuate as well. Plus, if you also choose to change how much energy you consume, that will change how much your solar panels will save you.
How Much Exposure Do You Have To The Sun?
The more sun your home is exposed to, the more energy your solar panels can collect and save. The more that your solar panels can provide, the more potential you have to save. This is because if you don’t have enough energy saved in your panels, then your electrical system will have to take over. States that have more sunlight during the day, such as California, will be able to collect more energy. Plus, your individual home may have more exposure or could be blocked from the sun by tree cover or other buildings. This can also affect the final cost of solar panels being installed on your home.
Estimate the Cost of Your Solar Panel Installation
The largest cost associated with having solar panels is the installation. Your calculations on the cost of solar panels will be based almost entirely on how much it will cost to put them in your home. The key with solar panels is that they will cost a lot upfront and save you down the road.
The price you will have to end up paying depends on several factors. For one, you will need to consider how much power you normally consume. This will determine what size of solar panel system you will need to provide you with the appropriate amount of energy. If you need a 5kW system, then you can expect to pay anywhere between $15,000 to $25,000, depending on where you live. That is a standard size for most average homes in the United States.
See If You Can Get Incentives
Another factor that will determine how much you really pay for your solar panels will be if you are able to take advantage of incentives. The federal government will provide excellent tax credits to people who install solar panels on their homes. If you have solar panels installed before the end of 2022, then you can claim a rebate for 26% of the cost. In 2023, that rebate is 22%. There is currently no rebate in place for solar panels installed in 2024. As you can see, time is of the essence if you want to get the best rebate possible, if at all.
Trade policies are always in flux, and often in ways that the general public doesn’t know. For example, in 2018 the United States imposed a 30% tariff on solar cells and panels. This cost gets passed onto the final consumer. This tariff may be here for a long time, or it may be removed soon. Either way, it is something for you to keep an eye on as you decide whether or not you want solar panels installed.
At this point, you can make the decision. The fact is that solar panels are most often the best choice. While you may not get the exact savings you think you will, there is still a significant difference in the cost between solar panels and having an electrical system.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Really Cost?