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Average monthly solar bill. Solar Panel Cost Per Watt

Average monthly solar bill. Solar Panel Cost Per Watt

    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Alabama?

    If you’re living in Alabama, you might have wondered more than once how to save money on electricity. With the second-highest average monthly bill in the country, the Cotton State could benefit from improving its alternative energy systems.

    After looking at solar panel costs in Alabama, homeowners can financially benefit from making the switch. So, how do you know where to start with pricing a budget? We’ve got you covered. From everything from the average cost to how much money you’ll save in the long run, continue reading.

    Average Solar Panel Costs in Alabama

    While several factors can cause the final cost to fluctuate, the average price of solar panels in Alabama runs about 5000.45 per watt. This number falls below the national standard of 3.00 per watt. Translated to a 6kW array, Alabamians can budget around 14,700 (well under the national average of 18,000).

    When compared to the typical electricity bill in the Cotton State, we begin to see the influence of installing a solar panel system. Homeowners in Alabama use about 1,145kWh per month at a rate of 13.6 cents per kWh for an average monthly bill of 155.72. When compared to the national average of 122 a month, Alabamians pay much more than most people across the country.

    With a lower-than-average price per watt and an incredibly high monthly electrical bill, homeowners in the Cotton State can financially benefit from utilizing solar energy. They can save even more on their installation with the federal solar tax credit, which promises a 30% return on solar purchases. After claiming the federal incentive, the average cost of a 6kW system drops to 10,290.

    How Much Solar Do You Need?

    The standard solar panels cost in Alabama can help give a ballpark estimate, but it can’t accurately represent your personal situation. Depending on a few aspects, your installation can cost more or less. These are:

    • Peak sun hours,
    • Wattage rating,
    • Average electricity usage.

    The peak sun hours in your area represent the amount of maximum exposure your solar panels receive. These times can vary with geographic location and have a noticeable influence on how many watts you need. In Alabama, the average peak sun hours is 4.23 per day, but it fluctuates across the state. For the most accurate reading in your city, check out this sun chart.

    The wattage of our solar panels represents how much energy they can produce in an hour of full sun. Individual panels usually range between 100W and 400W, and wire together to produce the appropriate amount of power.

    To determine the wattage of our solar array in Alabama, we’ll use our average electrical usage per month to determine a daily number. For this example, we’ll use the Alabamian standard of 1,145kWh:

    1,145kWh per month / 30 days = 38.2kWh per day

    Next, we’ll divide the daily usage by the number of peak sun hours. This gives us the number of watts per hour that our solar panel system should provide:

    38.2kWh per day / 4.23 peak sun hours = 9.02kWh per day

    With a standard daily electricity usage of 38.2kWh and 4.23 peak sun hours per day, this house would need a system of 9.02kWh per day. Using the average solar panel cost in Alabama (5000.45/watt), we should budget 22,099 before federal incentives.

    Factors that Affect Cost

    Now, it’s essential to know that the typical cost of solar in the Cotton State includes more than just the panels. For the standard 6kW array of 14,700, homeowners can expect to pay for all equipment (panels, brackets, inverters, storage), labor, marketing, and installer profit margins. Alabamians should know that a few factors can alter the price within the above aspects.

    Panel Type

    The type of solar panel can significantly affect the price of a full array. Monocrystalline panels are most common for their efficiency and manufacturing quality. However, they command a higher price and some prefer to go with polycrystalline for their affordability. Talk with your installer for recommendations on which panel type makes sense for your home.

    Wattage Amount

    Depending on the type of panel and its manufacturers, you can often find better on bulk orders. While the overall cost of the installation might go up, the price per watt will drop. This works in the favor of Alabamians, who may need more wattage than usual to cover electricity usage.

    Installation Quality

    Homeowners in the Cotton State should not overlook the quality of their installers. Because solar panels have lifespans of 20-25 years, you want to look for a company that can work with you over the course of your system. As such, it’s worth your money to search for the right solar installer for your needs.

    How much do solar panels cost?

    The average cost to install solar panels is 10,600 to 26,500 (after 30% tax credit) for a 6kW to 12kW system to power an entire house. Solar panels cost 5000.53 to 3.15 per watt installed for residential systems. Solar energy costs

    Solar panel cost calculator

    The average residential solar installation is 3 kW to 10 kW, depending on your home’s size, location, and energy needs.

    The federal solar tax credit reduces your overall costs by 30%. Many states and solar manufacturers offer additional incentives and rebates to further reduce your costs.

    How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

    The average family uses 11,000 kWh per year and needs 26 to 33 solar panels to power the whole house. One solar thermal panel generates enough energy to power a hot water heater for a family of four.

    The total number of panels needed depends on your location, roof size, and energy needs. To calculate how many solar panels you need, look at your annual kWh (kilowatt-hours) usage on your utility bills and referenced the table and map below.

    Table based on 250 watt panels at average solar production ratios of 1.3 to 1.6.

    Your home’s location is a significant factor when estimating how many solar panels you need to power your house. Regions with less sunlight require larger systems to handle 100% of their energy needs.

    • Multiply the number in your shaded region by the estimated size of your system in kW.
    • Then, multiply the result by 0.78 to account for inefficiencies and energy conversion losses.

    For example, if you live in Texas with a score of 1700 and install an 8 kW system, your system will produce approximately 10,608 kWh annually:

    1700 × 8 kW × 0.78 = 10,608 kWh

    The table below shows the approximate system size needed in each region to produce 11,000 kWh for the average home.

    .08 to

    Solar Savings Estimator

    The solar payback information below covers the average break-even period, which is when your power supply becomes free, and the projected savings over 20 years.

    Solar Panel Return On Investment (ROI)

    The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years, depending on where you live and the cost of electricity. Upfront costs are 11,000 on average, with savings of 450,400 per year on foregone energy bills. You’ll break even after 8 years and start generating a return on your investment.

    How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

    Over 20 years, solar panel savings range from 10,000 to 30,000, depending on your location and the cost of electricity.

    Solar energy saves 600 to 5000,000 per year by reducing your electricity bills and selling your solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

    6kW system powering 70% to 100% of your energy needs.

    average, monthly, solar, bill

    Here’s a more granular look at solar savings on power bills per year by location.

    Are Solar Panels Worth It?

    Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity in most locations, making them worth it over their lifetime. The 30% federal solar tax credit and state incentives make solar energy more affordable.

    .10 per kWh to produce on average. The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years. Solar energy saves 600 to 5000,000 per year on electricity costs.

    • Most solar panels last up to 50 years, have a 25-year warranty, and start generating a return on investment after 8 years.
    • Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity over their lifetime.
    • Solar panel savings are 10,000 to 30,000 over 20 years depending on your location and the cost of electricity.

    Use our solar calculators below to assess your total costs, or get free estimates from solar installers near you.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost Factors

    The cost to convert a house to solar power depends on your location, energy needs, type of solar panels, inverter and equipment options, permits, inspection, tax credits, and labor costs.

    Use the national averages in the following table to calculate a cost-benefit analysis for solar PV installation.

    Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

    The average cost of solar panels fell 65% from 7.34 per watt in 2010, to 5000.53 per watt in 2019 and continues to drop. A standard 6 kW residential solar system has dropped from 44,000 down to 15,200 over the past decade (not including the federal solar tax credit).

    Estimates are based on the average rate of decline.

    Labor Costs To Install Solar Panels

    The average labor cost to install solar panels is 27 per watt, or around 15% of the total system cost. A standard 6 kW system with 20 to 25 panels costs about 450,600 for installation labor before applying the 30% federal solar tax credit.

    Labor costs increase if your home has multiple stories, skylights, dormers, or a problematic 45° roof pitch. Contractors may need to design a unique system to make sure the panels receive enough sunlight to be efficient.

    How Does the Current Cost of Solar in Florida Compare to the National Average?

    Floridians can expect to pay about 450,000 less for solar equipment than most Americans. The average price of a 9 kW system in Florida is around 15,939 after the tax credit, relative to the U.S. average, which is 16,758. That means, as a Florida homeowner, you get excellent value out of each dollar you spend on your photovoltaic (PV) equipment.

    While solar equipment is expensive, the costs nationwide have been dropping over the past few decades, and the trend in Florida is the same. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the cost of panels in Florida has dropped an incredible 53% in the last ten years alone. 1

    As solar technology continues to advance and domestic mass production facilities become more and more popular, the likelihood is that the will only continue to come down. Although there’s no way to know for sure, we expect that solar equipment costs in Florida will be lower in another five to ten years, but will not continue to decrease at the same pace.

    With that being said, we still believe it’s worthwhile to go solar in Florida now rather than wait for lower equipment prices. Most systems in Florida pay for themselves in just around 10 years. While you could pay less for a system in a decade, installing one now would leave you with significant energy savings at about the same time.

    Additionally, news reports note that Florida’s electricity rates are expected to continue to increase. 2 This is due to inflation, the increased difficulty sourcing fossil fuels and the growing challenges with electricity transmission.

    By investing in solar now, you can avoid increasing energy rates and see an even greater return by locking in a low per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for the life of your system. Read on to see exactly how much you may be able to save by going solar today.

    How Much Can You Save By Going Solar in Florida Today?

    We found the average Florida homeowner can save over 21,000 by switching to solar — after the panels pay for themselves. This number could very well be higher, as electricity rates continue to rise. In most cases, this means going solar is worthwhile in Florida.

    Calculating your exact potential solar savings is difficult because there are so many factors that can affect what your system produces, how many solar panels you can fit on your roof and how efficient your system is overall.

    Keep in mind that the way you pay for your PV system will have an effect on how much you save. In the sections below, we’ll explain what your estimated savings will be depending on which financing option you choose. We at EcoWatch always recommend either cash or solar loan if possible. This way, you can take the most advantage of tax credits and other incentive programs.

    With system costs averaging well over 20,000 in Florida before any incentives, most residents will naturally look for ways to keep their costs down when converting to solar. There are a handful of things we recommend you do to save money:

    • File for the Federal Tax Credit
    • Take advantage of local incentives
    • Pass on battery systems

    File for the Federal Tax Credit

    First, make sure you take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. This is one of the best tax credits available, and all you need to do is file some additional paperwork with your taxes.

    The ITC is for 30% of your entire system price, including what you pay for panels, batteries inverters and the solar panel installation costs. The average credit in Florida is 8,729, so this can substantially bring down your effective cost of solar panels.

    Take Local Incentives

    Second, if you live in Jacksonville, Boynton Beach or Dunedin, you can take advantage of some local solar incentives to reduce the cost of solar panels:

    • Jacksonville offers up to 5000,000 in rebates if you install a solar battery
    • Boynton Beach offers up to 450,500 in rebates for installing a PV system with an efficiency of over 17.5% (includes most monocrystalline panels, but polycrystalline panels and other types of solar panels might not qualify)
    • Dunedin has a grant program that provides up to 5000,500 in rebates for energy produced with your system

    Most residents in FL will have Duke Energy as their electric company. Duke only provides a cashback incentive for performing an energy audit on your home and for installing an electric vehicle (EV) charger.5,6 This won’t bring down your solar conversion costs, but it can help improve your home’s energy efficiency while you save money.

    You can check with other utility companies, like Florida Power Light, for emerging incentives. However, as of this writing, there were none available for home solar systems.

    Pass on Battery Systems

    Additionally, we recommend passing on solar batteries (for now) if your budget is tight. Energy storage systems (solar batteries) can be great in Florida because the risk of power outages is so high due to the frequent extreme weather. As such, they do boost your property value when combined with residential solar panels. However, we believe they aren’t yet worth the added cost in most cases.

    Our Complete Solar System Cost With Battery Backup! 10kw Of Power

    You’ll pay thousands more for batteries, and they won’t save you much more in the long run. This is primarily because Florida mandates net metering, and the net metering program requires that your excess energy be credited at the retail rate. Batteries won’t help you keep energy costs down because net metering will already do that for you.

    Watch Below: Governor DeSantis vetoes a bill that would have diminished the financial benefits of net metering in Florida

    , up to several thousand dollars

    Up to 14 years 19,325 Lease

    What Factors Affect the Cost of Solar Panel Systems in Florida?

    Solar power systems in FL typically range from around 16,000 up to 26,500 after the federal tax credit is taken. In the sections below, we’ll discuss the primary factors that affect local solar system costs.

    The Equipment You Install

    The more efficient your solar panels are, the more expensive they will be. But because Florida receives so much sunlight throughout the year (around 230 days of sunshine), you may not need the latest and greatest solar technology to capture enough solar energy to power a home. This can help to reduce your overall project costs.

    However, Florida is prone to extreme weather — hurricanes and tropical storms are becoming routine. If you live in an area that experiences intense winds, it may be Smart to go with a brand of panel known for its durability, like REC. It may also be a good idea to pick a brand with a rock-solid warranty or a warranty offering extended coverage. These may add to your project costs as well.

    Thanks to net metering, solar batteries don’t make the most sense economically in Florida. However, if your area frequently experiences severe weather, you may also want to consider a solar backup battery as an important investment. Batteries store energy and supply your home with power in the event of an outage, allowing you to stay powered even through public outages. Whether or not you choose a battery as part of your installation may be the largest determining factor of cost for Floridians.

    Talk to your local installer to see what type of solar equipment is best for your needs.

    System Size

    The most significant installation cost factor when going solar will almost always be the size of your system. Your solar array is sized according to your energy demands and the number of panels your roof can support. Greater energy usage will drive up how large your system needs to be until your home can no longer take additional panels.

    A smaller 9 kW system designed to meet moderate energy demands costs around 16,000 in Florida. If you have above-average energy demands, you might need a system at the larger end of the size range. A 15 kW system would drive your price closer to the 26,500 mark.

    It’s important to remember that your system should always be sized specifically for your home and energy usage. Systems smaller than you need won’t save nearly as much money, and systems larger than you need are far less cost-effective.

    For example, installing a 10 kW system could save you tens of thousands of dollars over time on your utility bills. On the same home, a 5 kW system would cost less but also might not save nearly as much for the money invested.

    Your Solar Installer

    The solar panel installation company you choose to handle your solar project is another important cost factor to consider. Your system is priced based on a few things:

    • The equipment costs
    • The labor to design your system
    • The time it takes to pull permits
    • The labor to install and commission your solar array
    average, monthly, solar, bill

    Every company can charge different for the equipment installed. Even an equally-sized system consisting of the exact same equipment brands can vary in price among installers because of upcharges or discounts on the equipment costs.

    Additionally, the labor charges can vary from company to company. This is one reason why it’s important to shop around to find the best solar company for your Florida home; you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars less by choosing one installer over another.

    N/A 6,000

    These are conservative estimates intended to represent base-level averages. In most cases, customers can see an even higher ROI and shorter payback periods.

    Cash Purchase of Solar System

    When purchasing with cash, we estimate that Florida homeowners can save at least 21,632 over 25 years in energy costs. Our calculations assume that your Florida home pays 128 for electricity each month. If your electricity bills are higher than 128 per month, expect your savings to increase and your payback period to shorten.

    The estimated 25-year energy burden if you don’t switch to solar and continue using fossil fuels is around 50,727. Unless your home uses a far below-average amount of electricity, you should be able to expect significant savings by going solar.

    When you buy your system in cash, you’ll also see the shortest payback period. Your expected monthly energy savings will be around 128, which means annual savings of over 450,500. Those savings should add up to more than you paid for your system within 12 years.

    Over the remaining 13 years of expected system life, you’ll see an additional 21,000 in energy savings. Imagine what you could do with an extra 21,000!

    Keep in mind that this is only taking the federal tax credit into consideration. Any additional local tax incentives you take advantage of will decrease your initial cost, shorten your payback period and increase your total savings.

    Solar Loan

    A solar loan is a financing option designed specifically for solar power systems. You can choose to finance directly through your solar installation company in many cases. Alternatively, you can take advantage of special solar financing programs available in Florida, like the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.3 This helps keep financing costs down to maximize savings.

    Your monthly payment for your loan will depend on the amount you finance and your annual percentage rate (APR). The average monthly payment is around 270.

    This is higher than the average monthly electric bill in Florida, but you can pay off your loan in ten years or less, unlike electricity bills, which only grow over time.4 There are also loan programs that allow you to pay what you would normally for electricity to help reduce the burden of financing solar panels.

    Keep in mind that the payback period when you finance your panels will almost always be longer than if you pay cash. The reason for this is that your all-in costs are higher because of the interest that gets tacked onto your system cost. The average payback period when financing your panels in Florida is around 14 years.

    Once again, all of these numbers are based on taking just the federal tax credit. Other solar perks and incentives can make these numbers more attractive.

    Solar Lease

    A lease for panels is a different structure than a loan entirely. Rather than paying monthly toward owning your system, you pay a solar company a fixed monthly cost to use the solar equipment, but the company retains ownership of the panels.

    Solar leases are great for some people because they typically come with no-money-down options, and they’re designed to keep monthly payments below what you pay to your utility company monthly.

    The long-term ROI on a solar lease is easily the lowest of any payment option, which is a major downside of this method. However, you usually pay no money down and nothing in interest. Leases let you reduce your carbon footprint for free in many cases.

    Are There Any Maintenance Costs of Going Solar in Florida?

    Thankfully, solar energy systems are, for the most part, fairly maintenance-free. Florida receives plenty of rain to wash pollen, dust and dirt off of your panels to maintain maximum efficiency. Beyond keeping your panels clean, your system should be fairly set-it-and-forget-it.

    If you do run into issues with your solar panel system, chances are high that they will result from the extreme weather that frequents the Sunshine State. Hurricanes, cyclones and tropical storms can all put your outdoor equipment at risk of damage, especially if debris is blown into the panels.

    average, monthly, solar, bill

    Luckily, most of the solar brands available in Florida include lengthy and robust warranties that keep your system protected from significant damage and reduce the need for out-of- maintenance costs.

    average, monthly, solar, bill

    With the extreme weather in mind, roofs in Florida do need replacement more often than those in most other states. Your installer should let you know if they recommend roof replacement before installing your PV system.

    However, if you need replacement afterward, you could be looking at charges between 500 and 450,000 to remove and reinstall your panels before and after your roof replacement.

    Find out how much you can save

    California lawmakers are committed to creating more sustainable energy, and aim to generate 12 gigawatts of electricity from wind, solar, and fuel cells by 2020. Although that seems like a small number, 12 gigawatts of electricity can power millions of homes with clean energy. To achieve this goal, state officials have shifted their FOCUS to solar energy and making it more attainable for homeowners.

    In 2014, California lawmakers passed a bill that excludes solar equipment from being added onto property value (until 2025). This keeps property tax on homes lower, so more people can afford solar panels. While it’s unclear if California homeowners will eventually incur property tax on solar panels, there are savings to be reaped in the meantime.

    Additionally, in 2018, the California legislature passed a law that requires solar panels to be installed on any future houses. The new law goes into effect in 2020 and exempts homes that are often shaded. It also provides a financial incentive for people to add a high-capacity battery to their home’s electrical system, which further helps store the sun’s energy and reduces reliance on the city electrical grid.

    California Solar Facts

    California aims to produce 12 gigawatts of electricity from solar panels, wind, and fuel cells by 2020.

    than 76,800 people are employed at more than 2,700 solar companies in California.

    In 2018, California has installed 24,463.96 megawatts — the most in the country.

    Since one megawatt can power 1,000 homes, California’s current solar equipment can power nearly 6.36 million homes.

    California has invested 60.07 billion in solar energy development and installation.


    Learn about solar power legislation, solar tax credits, and more with the help of these resources:

    This organization regulates privately owned gas and electric companies in California. You can read up on news, file complaints, look up utility pricing, and more on the CPUC website.

    Contact local representatives, learn about laws that impact solar energy, and see if any bills are pending that could impact your solar savings.

    Explore energy trends in America, how solar and renewable resources can power the nation more efficiently, and more on this government site.

    The California Energy Commission’s goal is to reduce energy costs and promote environmentally safe energy solutions. Read up on news and projects that could affect your energy bill and community.

    Florida solar customers, others shocked over new charge on electric bills

    See if you qualify for energy rebates that can save you even more on your solar panels.

    Learn about California solar power incentives that benefit specific zip codes.


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