With energy rates fluctuating faster and more often than the tide in a tropical storm, many people are putting forth the time and effort to change over to Solar Power. This process has led to many debates throughout the Energies Commission and has quite a few service providers taking a hard look at what the future may hold. However, consumers are clearly finding no debate, as they realize the initial cost in comparison with the long-term savings is music to their wallets.
Exactly How Much Does it Cost to go Solar?
If you’re wondering about the overall cost of starting out with solar energy, then you’ve come to the right place. The cost to transition into a solar energy system is actually quite reasonable. On average you will be paying around $300 for a 300-watt solar panel.
This cost will decrease if you can source your panels through a licensed installer (whether you plan to DIY or not is up to you). However, the cost of the panels is going to be approximately ¼ of your overall cost, so this is an important factor.
There are a few things you’ll need to consider in order to figure out how many panels you are going to need as well. For example, a 900 sq. ft. home is certainly not going to need a system as large as one needed for an 1,800 sq. ft. home, unless of course you are using a very large amount of power.
How Many Panels Will I Need For My Home?
To figure out how many watts of power you are likely to need you can consult your current utility bill. Be sure to look at the highest use date and multiply by 30 to find a total value. Once you have this value you can begin to look at the other factors, such as the design of your roof, to determine what size solar panels you will be using and go from there.
If you’d prefer to use a simple calculator for your figures, check out the outstanding work at Google Project Sunroof. This calculator can tell you quite a bit about the needs of your home, as well as the cost of the panels overall, making it an all-in-one calculator.
Why Does The Design of My Roof Matter?
Many newer homes are great candidates for easy solar installation. This is largely due to the fact that they have a mild pitch to their roof and there are typically one to two surfaces that will be used. However, for older homes, or those with with multi-level and multi-pitch roof designs, the installation can become a bit more complicated. So, expected greater installation costs
Another factor that you will have to consider is your location. Having plenty of roof coverage is one thing. Having plenty of light source is another. If you are surrounded by trees, you are going to find that you get less output from your panels without making changes to your foliage. This can bother some property owners, as they do not wish to remove trees that are blocking the sunlight source.
How Can I Find Cheap Panels?
Once you know the dimensions of the panels, the total wattage you will need, and whether or not you will need to make adjustments for optimum efficiency, you’re going to want to start looking for panels at a reasonable cost. There are some great manufacturers out there and we’ve made sure to include a few here for you to check out.
Depending on your location, you may need to consider ordering out-of-state to get the cheapest prices per watt. In 2016, the average price-per-watt was $3.70, which is outstanding. This average was significantly lower than previous years and we are continuing to see a drop in price over time, showing that there is a great supply out there to meet the ever-growing demand.
When you’re looking at going solar, you are looking at a commitment that can not only save you money over time, but also increase your property value overall, making this a very big decision. The outstanding customer service at each of these companies are driven to help you make the right decision for your location, home, and needs.
Is There a Calculator to Help Me Find the Estimated Cost for My Home?
There are several calculators out there that can do this. We’ve included a list of several of them below for your convenience, but we also strongly suggest taking the time to contact a local company to get a quote, as a calculator can do only so much.
To see how your home measures up, check out one of the calculators below, then make a call to a local provider and grab a few quotes in order to find the very best deal for your needs.
Wholesaler Solar Calculator
Affordable Solar Calculator (for a more technical result)
Going Solar Is Well-Worth the Cost
No matter which provider you choose, or what your home energy needs may be, the decision to go solar is one that will keep you smiling for years to come. Even if you choose a smaller system to supplement the energy usage of your home, you’re sure to realize that you’ve made a great choice. From energy savings to property value increases and federal rebates, you’ll be seeing a very bright future ahead.