Companies that set up installations for solar power hesitate to provide quotations just off the bat, as every house has its own peculiarities that can change a quote. The information given here can, however, give you a rough idea of the cost of solar panels.
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Factors that Influence costs
Solar panel installation costs can depend on the number of panels, usage of extra power produced, time of the year and the exposure to the sun. Utility prices, and whether the planned installation is on-the-grid, or will work alongside a battery can also have an effect on costs.
Most households in America, on an average, use one kilowatt of electricity every hour and this is at a cost of $0.10. This could lead to a monthly expense of $73 for paying for electricity if usage is for 730 hours per month. On average, solar panels cost $7 to $9 per watt, and therefore, a 5-kilowatt system can cost anywhere between $25,000 to $35,000.
All these costs are average. Energy usage, as well as prices of utilities, can keep changing, both up and down. It is best if you can discuss the matter with a solar power company to assess your exact needs and then get them to give you a more accurate quote, and also determine whether solar power is the right solution for your home.
Solar Panels Can Add to the Value of Your Home
You can save on utility bills once you have solar power, and the installation can also add approximately $5000 per kilowatt installed, to the value of your home. A solar panel system of 5 to 8 kilowatts that has cost you $35,000 will increase the resale value of your home by $20,000. To add to this, you are also entitled to tax credits of $21,000, and as a result, you will get back all your investment if you do decide to sell your home, and meanwhile, you will live in a home that is more efficient.
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Is Your Home Right for Solar Energy?
You need to get an honest assessment from any solar power company that you approach. If your home is not suited to solar power, they will need to tell you so. Here are some of the criteria that these companies will look at to see if your home can run efficiently on solar power and if the installation of panels can save you money.
Size of Roof
The first thing to be done is to determine the size of the solar unit that can suit your needs. If your energy consumption is high, you will require more space on the roof to accommodate all the panels. A typical 12 percent conversion of solar energy to power gives you 10 Watts for every square foot. So, you will require 100 sq.feet of solar panels for every kilowatt of energy required.
Solar panels are best installed on roofs that face, east, south or west, or even a combination of any two directions. If your roofs face north, they are not suitable for tapping into solar energy. It can also be a problem if trees obstruct the sun falling on the roof, or if you need more area for the unit.
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The number of hours that you get sun in your geographical area also plays a role in the availability of power from the sun. While Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Chicago have to be content with the sun for three or four hours, homes in Arizona, California, and Colorado will get the sun for seven hours every day. So, if you are in a location, where you do not get adequate sun, you will have to invest in a greater number of panels.
When solar companies give you a quote, they will divide your daily average electricity consumption, with the power you can get from the sun, and use a factor of 71 percent to arrive at a figure. This percentage used is to cater to inefficiencies in the system and will give you a quote that is more accurate. This is the figure that will allow you to judge whether the installation of solar power panels can save you any money on electricity.
Cost and Incentives
Costs are involved for a lease, a PPA, buying or financing. Whichever option you use, you have to be sure that your solar panel installation will save you money. You can get rebates and tax credits, while you will also gain from the power that you sell back to the utility company. If the sum of all these factors is positive, then solar power is the right thing for you.
Get a quote from the best solar power companies if you want to start saving on energy.