Converting to renewable energy sources like solar power is one of the best steps we can take to meet the environmental challenges facing our planet. And increasingly, it’s getting easy on the wallet, too. The cost of solar power dropped by 80% in the last decade.
But it’s nevertheless an investment, so the savvy consumer will want to count all the expenses. To help you weigh the pros and cons of the venture, let’s take a look at the cost of both the panel arrays themselves, and the expenditure of professional panel installation.
Solar Panel Cost
Buying a solar system isn’t as simple as getting a pre-assembled array out of a box. There are some key variables you’ll have to consider in order to calculate the cost of solar energy.
The most substantial is the size of the system that you’ll need. Averaging out your energy costs will give you some idea of the system you’ll need. However, you’ll also need to account for the amount of roof or ground space you can allocate for panels and the amount of sunlight your region receives.
Consulting with a panel installation company will help you estimate these quantities.
There are also two main types of solar panels used in residential applications. Monocrystalline panels are more energy-efficient, generating greater savings in the long run at the expense of a greater upfront investment. Polycrystalline panels are the inverse, being cheaper but less efficient.
There’s also ancillary equipment like solar batteries, inverters, and mounts to factor into the total cost.
Lastly, your geographic location will play a role. As you might expect, solar panels tend to be more cost-effective in regions with a lot of sunlight. Some localities also offer incentives that can substantially reduce the cost of your investment.
Providing for Panel Installation
So buying a solar array is only half of the expense. The other half is the panel installation cost. And much like the array itself, there are myriad factors that can affect the price.
This time last year, the Solar Energy Industries Association published a report examining the average cost of hiring a panel installation service across the country. By their estimate, the average cost of a residential solar system came to about $2.94 per watt.
So for instance, after applying federal solar subsidies, a 5-kW system would cost $10,878 and a 10-kW system would cost $21,756. So you can expect the average residential system to cost somewhere between those figures.
There is considerable room for variation, however. Paritucalry depending upon your location. The best way to get a specific idea of what a solar system will cost you is to contact a local solar company for an estimate.
Going Green in 2022
As time goes marches on, solar power will only become further integrated into our infrastructure. Our current reliance on fossil fuel sources simply is not sustainable. Investing in solar panel installation now gives you the chance to get ahead of the curve and start reaping the benefits.
Of course, it’s only one developing trend among many. To make sure that you’re always ahead of the times, be sure to keep up with our latest tech news and views.