If you’re thinking of getting solar panels on your roof and trying to get rid of your electricity bill, then you’re already on the right path. But doing this doesn’t come free of charge and there are a few expenses you need to be aware of before you start your journey switching from utility to solar power.
Using solar power doesn’t always mean you’ll get rid of your electric bill altogether, you can still make sue of both of them and you may even be able to sell electricity to your city instead of buying it from them, follow along and we’ll talk about this later on in this article.
Using solar power not only decreases your expenses on the long run, but it is also very good and healthy for the environment and contributes to making the planet a better place to live.
There are a lot of variables that need to be accounted for when it comes to figuring out how much installing solar panels will cost you. So, enough talk and let’s get right into it!
What Drives Up Cost?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors that will determine how much your solar panels will cost you:
- Your average utility costs
- How much sun your roof receives annually
- Average local costs of solar panels in your state
- Average labor costs in your state
- The average incentives you can get in your area
Depending on where you live, and the costs above, the overall costs can dramatically change. You can also get both state incentives as well as federal ones. If you’re planning to get your solar panels installed in 2020 then this is the best time to do it since as of next year, the incentives will drop to 0% of your overall solar panels’ costs.
This means that you will no longer be getting money back from the government for installing solar panels on your roof, so you’d better hurry!
Number of Solar Panels You’ll Install
Another important factor that you need to be aware of is how many solar panels you are planning on installing on your roof. You should calculate this precisely by measuring how much electricity you use in your home monthly or yearly. You should also know exactly what type of solar panels you are going for. This can easily be calculated if you go back to your previous electricity bills.
You should be aware that usually, the smallest solar panel system, which is a 3-kWh, is going to generate anything between 3,600 kWh and 4,800 kWh every year. Considering than the average American house consumes about 11,000 kWh a year, you would probably be better off if you go for something that is a little bigger, such as the 10 kWh solar panel system which produces anything between 12,000 kWh and 16,000 kWh.
The costs of the solar panels themselves can go up to $16,000, not counting the installation costs, which can be anything between $3,000 and $10,000.
Which Solar Panel Size You Should Go for
Depending on why you want to use the solar panel system for will largely affect which size you choose. If you want to completely go off the grid, then you should go for a bigger size that will cover all of your home’s electricity needs.
If you just need to lower your electric bill and not completely get rid of it, then you should consider going for a smaller solar panel system, something around 5 or 6 kW. You should know that no matter the size of the solar panel you go for, you will definitely get your money back since if you keep your solar panels well maintained, they can last you up to 20 years.
If you go for the bigger size on the other hand and end up generating more electricity than you need, you can actually start selling it back to the grid. You may be wondering how that works! Well, when you install a solar panel system, you don’t go off the grid even if you generate enough power, and when you receive your electric bill, the amount of money you need to pay is simply in the negative form. You should get in contact with your local electricity supplier to discuss whether or not you can claim your money, if not, you can just use electricity from the grid without paying for it in case you ever encounter days with no sun.
There a lot of moving parts when you want to install your solar panel system, and thus there are a lot of different parties that will require some bills to be paid.
This includes the labor costs. The men and women who will be installing the solar panels on your roof, this can be quite difficult for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, which is why it is always a good idea to hire professionals.
The other part of this is the costs of the equipment you’ll be using to install the panels. This includes the mounts, the materials you’ll be either buying or renting (although most workers have their own materials and equipment). And finally, the solar inverters that will be transforming the direct current from the panels into the alternating current that you use in your home.
This isn’t over, depending on where you live, you may be required to pay some additional permit fees, as well as some taxes.
Leasing Vs. Buying Solar Panels
Buying solar panels will definitely have a hit on your pockets when you first do it. It is a large amount of money that you’ll have to pay upfront and it may not be something everyone can do.
Most solar panels companies will offer you the chance to lease solar panels, this means that you will have to pay almost nothing upfront. But this will leave you with a monthly payment plan that includes everything from panels cost, installation, and maintenance. But you should be aware that the solar panels company in this case will keep all the incentives it receives from the state and federal government.
The monthly payments you’ll be making are always less than what you’re used to pay for the grid, and are a fixed amount no matter how much electricity you consume. At the end of the contract, you can either renew it, buy the panels, or have everything removed from your house.
Whether or not you should go for it depends on your willingness to put up a large sum of money upfront.
We hope this article answered all your questions and we wish you best of luck transforming your home into a more environment-friendly one!