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DIY solar panels: pros, cons and installation guide. Solar cell installation

DIY solar panels: pros, cons and installation guide. Solar cell installation

    Solar Panel Installation in Thousand Oaks

    Upgrading your home to solar power may seem like a hassle, but at Smart Solar LLC, we make it easy. We can help you develop a customized solar energy plan for your property, using only the best products available and solar panel installtion services in Thousand Oaks and Ventura County.

    Whether you’re installing your first solar panels or adding to an existing clean energy system, our team has the experience, skills, and equipment to ensure you get access to all the clean, renewable, and reliable energy you need. We’ll communicate with you through every step of the process to make sure your home’s unique needs are met.

    Request your free proposal for Thousand Oaks solar panel installation by calling (818) 918-3037 or completing a contact form online today!

    What Are the Advantages of Installing Solar Panels?

    Installing solar panels is a great way to invest in a profitable future for yourself and our planet. Not only do solar panels provide clean, environmentally friendly energy for your home, cutting back on your use of less renewable energy sources, but they can also offer you a wide range of other benefits.

    Check out some of the many advantages of moving forward with solar panel installation in Thousand Oaks below.

    • Improve energy-efficiency
    • Reduce your carbon footprint
    • Increase your property value
    • Take advantage of solar financing
    • Become energy independent
    • Save on electricity bills
    • Claim tax credits rebates
    • Require little maintenance

    How Do Solar Panels Work?

    Before moving forward with your solar panel installation in Thousand Oaks, get a quick step-by-step overview on how these systems work.

    Here’s how solar panels work:

    • Solar panels consist of smaller units called solar cells made of silicon, which absorb photons from sunlight.
    • Photons are converted into electrons using photovoltaic cell technology, creating a flow of electricity called direct current (DC).
    • Since direct current electricity cannot power most appliances, the solar power must travel to an inverter, which converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC). In other words, the inverter converts raw electricity into ready-to-use electricity for your home.
    • Because solar electric systems can generate more electricity than your home requires, you can send the extra back to your utility grid. Most utility companies will offer credits for the extra energy to use on a future bill.

    Contact us today to learn more about all the advantages of a solar panel installation in Thousand Oaks!

    Built for the Future

    When we help you invest in solar energy, we want to make sure that you’re getting solar panels that you can rely on for decades to come. That’s why we refuse to cut corners or use sub-par materials. All of our solar panels are designed and installed using only high-quality, durable materials and secure mountings. Whether you’re getting panels installed in your yard or on your roof, we’ll make sure they’ll be providing you with a lifetime’s worth of renewable energy.

    Getting the Job Done Right

    When we install your new solar panels, we want to ensure that you can start reaping the benefits as soon as possible. Our installers have extensive experience working with local Thousand Oaks and Ventura County utility companies and regulatory agencies, so we know exactly what they require to get your solar panels up and running after the first inspection. Getting the job done right the first time is always our goal, and we don’t consider a job complete until your solar panels are correctly installed, the utility company has turned them on, and you understand exactly how they work.

    Submit a contact form online or call (818) 918-3037 to schedule fast, reliable affordable solar panel installation in Thousand Oaks, CA, or anywhere in Ventura County today!

    Hear From Our Happy Customers

    “Mark and his team made the whole process so easy. 24 hours after installation my system was up and running and I began paying myself! What a wonderful feeling! I love the Smart Solar app and how it enables me to monitor my production. Go with Smart Solar!”. Barbara G.

    “Their motto is to leave the property better than the way they found it, and they totally lived up to that promise! Mark and his crew are all so professional and their attention to detail is impeccable. We highly recommend Smart Solar.”. Debbie C.

    “They explain the product option thoroughly and clearly. They answer questions clearly. There installation was easy and detailed me with great care for the home. I would have no hesitation referring them to my friends and family.”. Candice A.

    “We purchased our solar system from Smart solar and couldn’t be happier. Their proposal was competitive, their customer service couldn’t have been better, The owner was on top of everything! Truly a pleasure to do business with.”. Happy Customer

    “They showed up when they said they would and completed the installation on time. Mark was involved with the installation went above and beyond with his helpful suggestions and efforts to make everything right. I would definitely recommend them!”. Sue M.

    DIY solar panels: pros, cons and installation guide

    To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering “do it yourself”, or DIY, solar. You can install solar panels yourself, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to doing it alone. In this article, we’ll break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do-it-yourself solar panel systems before making a decision.

    Can you install solar panels yourself?

    A solar panel system is complicated, which is why so many companies across the U.S. specialize in providing professional solar installation services. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t build your own solar panel system – you can install your own panels, a DIY solar panel setup can be a viable option for some solar shoppers wanting to tap into renewable energy.

    According to data from the EnergySage Marketplace, the average cost of going solar for homeowners (after accounting for the federal tax credit) is about 20,650 in 2023. Of that amount, design and installation labor costs contribute about 10% of the total bill; this 10% is what a DIY solar installation will save you since you’ll still have to buy the equipment and components yourself. Regardless, it’s still tempting to look into building your own solar panel installation to save money and be in full control of your home renewable energy project.

    Your solar energy system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years, so you must consider both the upfront costs and the relative financial benefits for all of your solar options. If you buy a home solar kit like the ones for sale at Costco or Home Depot, it may be less expensive per watt, but you aren’t getting the same quality equipment that solar installers can offer you. For the most part, solar installers buy from equipment distributors that don’t sell to the general public – and they’re often getting lower because they’re able to buy in bulk and have access to the best solar panel brands. Going for the more expensive option now may end up saving you money in the long run because you’ll likely have a system built to last a few decades, offsetting your monthly electric bills.

    Pros and cons of DIY solar panels and solar panel kits

    DIY panels can be a great option for going off the grid and some small home applications. For powering your entire home, however, it may be in your best interest to go with a professional installer.

    DIY solar pros and cons

    Pros of DIY solar panelsCons of DIY solar panels
    Provides more energy independence for homeowners by not being tied to the electricity grid. Require much more maintenance that would otherwise be covered by an installer warranty.
    Effective in powering smaller items like RVs, boats and other appliances For an entire home, installation may be difficult for an individual without the knowledge and experience of a professional installer.
    Allows homeowners to save roughly 10% on the overall cost of installation that would otherwise go towards labor. DIY installation may be illegal where you live according to local zoning laws.

    Most home DIY all-in-one solar panel solar kits (including items like solar batteries, and inverters) are designed for off-grid use, which means you can’t use them and remain connected to your utility. If you’re an average homeowner, going off-grid is probably not in your best interest – being able to access utility-generated electricity is important if your solar array doesn’t produce enough electricity to meet your needs at all times of the day throughout the year.

    However, home solar kits can be a good solution if you’re not trying to power your entire home. RVs, boats, and the increasingly popular tiny houses are all opportunities to explore do-it-yourself solar because they are already off-grid and mobile. Storage kits are also a good option for backup to help in the case of a blackout and can contain battery banks and battery systems.

    If you want to install a DIY solar project, compare several options beforehand. Grape Solar is a major manufacturer (among others) and offers a few different DIY products and components for both grid-tied and off-grid systems, which you can find more information on below.

    solar, panels, pros, cons

    DIY solar options

    ProductSystem size (watts)System costDollars per wattRetailer link
    Grape Solar 400 watt PV solar panel kit 400 588 1.47 Home Depot
    Grape Solar 600 watt PV solar panel kit 600 857 1.42 Home Depot
    Renogy solar 12-volt/24-volt premium kit 800 1,350 1.69 Renogy
    ECO-WORTHY off-grid solar panel kit 800 1,090 1.36 Amazon

    When you decide on DIY solar panels, remember that you get what you pay for. A home solar kit may be less expensive, but solar installers offer tremendous value for a relatively little additional cost (remember that 10% figure?). When it comes to installing an expensive electrical system on your property, finding someone who knows what they’re doing can save you both time and money in the long run.

    Some of the best solar installers have been in the business for decades – an experience that no amount of online research or DIY guides can replicate. Every state requires that installers are licensed and qualified to install solar, and independent certifications like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar PV Installation Professional Certification ensure that the company you choose to work with has an intimate understanding of the process. Because of this, they can provide experienced insight and help you assess what equipment is the best fit for your property and whether a battery system is right for you.

    Your solar installer will also help you complete and file the permits and applications that you need to submit to get your solar power system up and running. This is particularly important because your utility won’t let you connect your system to the grid without a sign-off from a certified electrician.

    Because of your solar installer’s experience, they’ll also have a strong understanding of the financial incentives for solar available in your area, and might even be able to help you save more money by finding any rebates and tax incentives that you may have missed. Lastly, it is important to note that many equipment manufacturers will only honor their warranties if a qualified installer installed their equipment. Many installers will also offer an additional warranty to back up their work, too.

    The 6-step guide to DIY solar panels: how to install solar panels

    The DIY solar panel installation process can be simplified into six major steps:

    Purchase your solar equipment and components (solar panels, batteries, inverters, racking, etc.)

    Equipment and components including panels can be purchased with help from the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide. You can compare panel, battery, and inverter models based on specs like efficiency, warranties, and more.

    Install the racking or mounts for the panels on a roof or the ground

    Once you have the necessary equipment, designs, and permits in order, it is time to install your equipment. For roof mount systems, this begins with installing your racking and mounting equipment. To start, mark where your system will be installed, drill where lag bolts will be put in place, caulk the holes, put in lag bolts, and lock rails onto them. For ground mount systems, the steps are similar, only the panels will be installed at the ground level on some type of racking system.

    Install your equipment

    The first items to install are the solar inverters, which convert the electricity generated by your solar panels into usable electricity. After these are installed using provided bolts, you will need to connect a grounding wire. This is a piece of copper wire across the rails that serves as a safety precaution against lightning strikes and other faults. After this, you can attach your solar panels to your racking equipment.

    Connect to your main electrical board

    After you have fully installed your panel and system, be sure to schedule an inspection with the local construction authority closest to you. This will ensure that your system complies with local ordinances. Once you pass this inspection, you can apply to connect to the grid. The local utility company will give you a meter to record your power exports.

    Get in touch with your utility company and request permission to turn on (PTO) if necessary in your area

    From there, turn on your system after you have the proper approval and check how the system is functioning with a solar monitoring app.

    Maintenance of DIY solar panel systems

    One of the benefits of working with a certified solar installer is the warranty that comes with their service. Solar panel manufacturers provide a range of warranties that guarantee you will have support and coverage in the unlikely event of an issue caused by unusual circumstances, such as large hail or falling tree branches. Power output warranties guarantee that panel performance won’t fall below a specified level over the term of the warranty (usually 25 years). For instance, a manufacturer might provide a warranty to guarantee that peak power output won’t fall below 85% for 25 years.

    Frequently asked questions about DIY solar panels

    If you’re considering a DIY solar panel kit, but still have concerns about the best options, process, and general cost, check out a few of the most common questions we encounter when talking to solar shoppers:

    DIY solar panels may be tempting to install, but their long-term worth may be up for debate due to quality alone. Typically, a solar panel system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years, so it’s important to invest in quality equipment and a reputable installer. If you purchase a home solar panel kit from a retailer, you may be paying less per watt, but you’re not going to get the same efficiency or quality that professional installers usually offer with their products.

    You’ll also likely forgo any warranties that come with your solar panel system, as warranties often only apply when the system is installed by a certified installer. It’s also important to mention that if you still need to rely on some utility power and remain connected to the grid, DIY solar panels are typically not worth it. They are best used for small off-grid applications, like RVs, where a solar generator or solar battery bank can provide you power when you otherwise may not have access.

    As a DIYer, you don’t need to be an electrician to install solar panels. It’s certainly not illegal to go the DIY route if you choose to. However, when it comes to installing a costly electrical system on your property, we recommend relying on professionals with technical know-how —their experience is invaluable and it can make a huge difference in the overall quality and performance of your system. Plus, solar installers will help you fill out permits and file important paperwork that you might not otherwise know is required.

    You can find reliable DIY solar panels at retailers like Home Depot or from manufacturers like Grape Solar, for between 6,000 to 11,000, depending on your system size needs. For lower cost options, some manufacturers sell DIY solar panels on Amazon for anywhere between 1,600 to 2,500. You may be looking at additional costs if you want to install a solar battery and charge controller system as part of your DIY project.

    Should you install solar yourself or hire an installer?

    If you’re wavering between a DIY solar system and hiring a solar installer, getting a ballpark estimate for an installation may help you in your decision process. With our Solar Calculator, you can see upfront cost and long-term savings estimates based on your location and roof type to determine if a solar installation is the best choice for you. If you’re looking to get quotes from local contractors today, be sure to check out the quote comparison platform in the EnergySage Marketplace.

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… How to install solar panels Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023 Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Are solar panels worth it in 2023?

    ,600 – 26,500 6 to 12 kW system cost installed

    Average cost of solar panels

    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 2.53 to 3.15 per watt installed for residential systems. Solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh to produce on average. The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years. Solar energy saves 600 to 2,000 per year on electricity costs.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost

    National Average Cost
    Minimum Cost
    Maximum Cost
    Average Range 10,600 to 26,500
    • 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 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.

    Solar Panel Cost Calculator

    System Size Before Tax Credit After 30% Tax Credit
    2 kW 5,060 – 6,300 3,542 – 4,410
    3 kW 7,590 – 9,540 5,313 – 6,615
    4 kW 10,120 – 12,600 7,084 – 8,820
    5 kW 12,650 – 15,750 8,855 – 11,025
    6 kW 15,180 – 18,900 10,626 – 13,230
    7 kW 17,710 – 22,050 12,397 – 15,435
    8 kW 20,240 – 25,200 14,168 – 17,640
    10 kW 25,300 – 31,500 17,710 – 22,050
    12 kW 30,360 – 37,800 21,252 – 26,460
    15 kW 37,950 – 47,250 26,565 – 33,075
    20 kW 50,600 – 63,000 35,420 – 44,100
    25 kW 63,250 – 78,750 44,275 – 55,125

    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.

    Solar Panels Needed To Power A House

    System Size Panels Needed Average kWh Produced Annually
    2 kW 6 – 8 2,652
    3 kW 10 – 12 3,978
    5 kW 16 – 21 6,630
    6 kW 20 – 25 7,956
    10 kW 33 – 41 13,260
    12 kW 40 – 49 15,912
    15 kW 50 – 61 19,890
    18 kW 59 – 73 23,868

    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.

    Solar System Size Needed To Produce 11,000 kWh Annually

    Region System Size (kW)
    1200 11.75 kW
    1300 10.85 kW
    1400 10.07 kW
    1500 9.40 kW
    1600 8.81 kW
    1700 8.30 kW
    1800 7.84 kW
    1900 7.42 kW
    2000 7.05 kW
    2100 6.71 kW

    Solar Panel Cost Per Watt

    Residential solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt with installation, before any tax credits or incentives. Commercial solar costs 1.06 to 1.83 per watt. Solar systems have ratings based on the electricity produced annually in average conditions.

    Solar Energy Cost Per kWh

    Residential solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh on average, and commercial or utility-scale solar power costs 0.06 to 0.08 per kWh. include the federal solar tax credit and vary drastically based on the amount of sunlight and type of solar panels installed.

    Solar Panel Cost Per Watt kWh

    Unit Residential Commercial
    Per kWh 0.08 – 0.10 0.06 – 0.08
    Per Watt 2.53 – 3.15 1.06 – 1.83

    These figures represent the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), which is the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of the solar panels over their life expectancy.

    Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot

    The cost of solar panels to power your house are 4 to 10 per square foot with installation. However, most installers estimate solar costs by the amount of energy needed, or 2.53 to 3.15 per watt before any tax credits or incentives.

    Below are cost estimates based on home size. Overall costs depend on the solar panel type, the roof’s size and design, and your energy needs.

    Cost To Install Solar Panels On House

    Home Size (SF) Average Cost
    1,000 4,760 – 5,950
    1,500 7,140 – 8,925
    2,000 9,520 – 11,900
    2,500 11,900 – 14,875
    3,000 14,280 – 17,850

    Residential Cost of Solar Panels By State

    The average cost of solar varies significantly per state, depending on the local cost of electricity. Below are the average per watt and by system size across the United States after subtracting the 30% federal solar tax credit.

    Cost of Solar Panels By State

    State Per Watt 6 kW System 10 kW System
    Alabama 2.02 – 2.85 12,120 – 17,100 20,200 – 28,500
    Alaska 2.23 – 3.13 13,380 – 18,780 22,300 – 31,300
    Arizona 1.88 – 2.35 11,286 – 14,118 18,810 – 23,530
    Arkansas 2.42 – 2.74 14,520 – 16,440 24,200 – 27,400
    California 1.82 – 2.29 10,926 – 13,758 18,210 – 22,930
    Colorado 1.96 – 2.39 11,730 – 14,310 19,550 – 23,850
    Connecticut 1.99 – 2.49 11,994 – 14,994 19,990 – 24,990
    Washington D.C. 1.75 – 2.57 10,518 – 15,450 17,530 – 25,750
    Delaware 1.95 – 2.13 11,742 – 12,810 19,570 – 21,350
    Florida 1.48 – 2.09 8,880 – 12,552 14,800 – 20,920
    Georgia 1.91 – 2.14 11,448 – 12,852 19,080 – 21,420
    Idaho 2.03 – 2.22 12,162 – 13,314 20,270 – 22,190
    Illinois 2.01 – 2.52 12,078 – 15,162 20,130 – 25,270
    Indiana 2.07 – 2.49 12,444 – 14,940 20,740 – 24,900
    Iowa 2.20 – 2.38 13,200 – 14,268 22,000 – 23,780
    Kansas 1.49 – 2.06 8,940 – 12,360 14,900 – 20,600
    Kentucky 2.35 – 3.04 14,100 – 18,240 23,500 – 30,400
    Louisiana 1.77 – 2.33 10,644 – 13,980 17,740 – 23,300
    Maine 1.85 – 2.35 11,100 – 14,100 18,500 – 23,500
    Maryland 1.67 – 2.16 10,026 – 12,942 16,710 – 21,570
    Massachusetts 1.94 – 2.37 11,628 – 14,376 19,380 – 23,960
    Michigan 1.99 – 2.50 11,976 – 14,976 19,960 – 24,960
    Minnesota 2.01 – 2.37 12,000 – 14,244 20,000 – 23,740
    Mississippi 1.98 – 2.75 11,880 – 16,500 19,800 – 27,500
    Missouri 1.71 – 2.42 10,260 – 14,520 17,100 – 24,200
    Montana 1.86 – 2.34 11,148 – 14,064 18,580 – 23,440
    Nebraska 1.74 – 2.88 10,440 – 17,280 17,400 – 28,800
    Nevada 1.92 – 2.13 11,526 – 12,762 19,210 – 21,270
    New Hampshire 1.97 – 2.55 11,796 – 15,300 19,660 – 25,500
    New Jersey 1.76 – 2.35 10,530 – 14,118 17,550 – 23,530
    New Mexico 2.02 – 2.73 12,102 – 16,362 20,170 – 27,270
    New York 1.80 – 2.64 10,824 – 15,840 18,040 – 26,400
    North Carolina 1.73 – 2.27 10,380 – 13,632 17,300 – 22,720
    North Dakota 1.39 – 1.97 8,340 – 11,820 13,900 – 19,700
    Ohio 1.79 – 2.29 10,740 – 13,740 17,900 – 22,900
    Oklahoma 1.88 – 3.34 11,280 – 20,040 18,800 – 33,400
    Oregon 1.63 – 2.20 9,804 – 13,224 16,340 – 22,040
    Pennsylvania 1.80 – 2.60 10,782 – 15,630 17,970 – 26,050
    Rhode Island 2.08 – 2.44 12,492 – 14,652 20,820 – 24,420
    South Carolina 1.92 – 2.38 11,544 – 14,292 19,240 – 23,820
    South Dakota 1.88 – 2.93 11,280 – 17,580 18,800 – 29,300
    Tennessee 1.30 – 1.97 7,800 – 11,820 13,000 – 19,700
    Texas 1.75 – 2.15 10,494 – 12,906 17,490 – 21,510
    Utah 1.83 – 2.41 10,950 – 14,454 18,250 – 24,090
    Vermont 1.79 – 2.58 10,716 – 15,480 17,860 – 25,800
    Virginia 1.69 – 2.11 10,134 – 12,630 16,890 – 21,050
    Washington 1.71 – 2.19 10,278 – 13,110 17,130 – 21,850
    West Virginia 2.17 – 3.38 13,020 – 20,280 21,700 – 33,800
    Wisconson 2.11 – 2.42 12,666 – 14,490 21,110 – 24,150
    Wyoming 2.39 – 2.78 14,340 – 16,680 23,900 – 27,800

    Cost after subtracting the 30% federal tax credit.

    solar, panels, pros, cons

    Average Solar Panel Installation Costs By Brand

    Below are total installation costs for 6kW and 10kW residential solar systems by brand after subtracting the 30% tax credit. Most solar manufacturers offer similar pricing. However, the price is typically reflective of panel quality.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost By Brand

    Manufacturer Per Watt 6 kW System 10 kW System
    Axitec 1.57 – 2.10 9,450 – 12,642 15,750 – 21,070
    Astronergy 1.85 – 2.35 11,130 – 14,154 18,550 – 23,590
    Canadian Solar Inc. 1.65 – 2.26 9,954 – 13,566 16,590 – 22,610
    CertainTeed Solar 2.06 – 2.48 12,390 – 14,910 20,650 – 24,850
    Hanwha Q CELLS 1.73 – 2.31 10,416 – 13,860 17,360 – 23,100
    Heliene 1.71 – 2.28 10,290 – 13,692 17,150 – 22,820
    Hyundai 1.87 – 2.14 11,256 – 12,894 18,760 – 21,490
    JA Solar 1.72 – 2.29 10,374 – 13,776 17,290 – 22,960
    JinkoSolar 1.98 – 2.58 11,928 – 15,498 19,880 – 25,830
    LG Solar 1.89 – 2.47 11,340 – 14,868 18,900 – 24,780
    LONGi Solar 1.69 – 2.07 10,164 – 12,474 16,940 – 20,790
    Mission Solar Energy 1.52 – 2.06 9,156 – 12,390 15,260 – 20,650
    Panasonic 1.89 – 2.45 11,340 – 14,700 18,900 – 24,500
    Peimar Group 1.86 – 2.24 11,172 – 13,440 18,620 – 22,400
    Phono Solar 2.10 – 2.49 12,642 – 14,952 21,070 – 24,920
    REC Group 1.92 – 2.32 11,550 – 13,944 19,250 – 23,240
    RGS Energy 2.31 – 3.47 13,860 – 20,874 23,100 – 34,790
    Renogy Solar 2.10 – 2.39 12,642 – 14,364 21,070 – 23,940
    S-Energy 1.77 – 2.35 10,668 – 14,112 17,780 – 23,520
    Seraphim Solar 1.85 – 2.24 11,130 – 13,482 18,550 – 22,470
    Silfab Solar 1.70 – 2.45 10,206 – 14,700 17,010 – 24,500
    SolarTech Universal 1.72 – 2.21 10,374 – 13,272 17,290 – 22,120
    SolarWorld 1.73 – 2.15 10,416 – 12,936 17,360 – 21,560
    Solaria 2.06 – 2.35 12,390 – 14,154 20,650 – 23,590
    SunPower Corporation 2.01 – 2.77 12,096 – 16,674 20,160 – 27,790
    Trina Solar 1.72 – 2.22 10,374 – 13,356 17,290 – 22,260
    Tesla 2.33 – 3.10 13,986 – 18,606 23,310 – 31,010
    Winaico 1.92 – 2.21 11,550 – 13,314 19,250 – 22,190
    Yingli Solar 1.70 – 2.21 10,206 – 13,272 17,010 – 22,120

    include 30% tax credit and reflect installation costs from solar contractors. Total costs depend on the location, installers experience, inverter, and other equipment.

    How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost?

    One 150 to 300-watt solar panel costs 112 to 450 on average or between 0.75 to 1.50 per watt, depending on the panel type, size, and energy-efficiency rating. Solar companies that purchase in bulk typically spend 0.75 per watt, while homeowners spend 1 per watt.

    Most distributors only sell solar panels to local contractors at bulk wholesale prices. Hiring a solar installer will drastically reduce your equipment costs.

    The following table shows for the panels only. Additional installation costs include inverters, batteries, mounting hardware, wiring, and more.

    Solar Panels For Home Cost Per Panel

    System Size Average Cost
    14 Panel System (4.2 kW) 2,600 – 4,200
    16 Panel System (4.8 kW) 3,000 – 4,800
    18 Panel System (5.4 kW) 3,350 – 5,400
    20 Panel System (6.0 kW) 3,750 – 6,000
    24 Panel System (7.2 kW) 4,450 – 7,200
    28 Panel System (8.4 kW) 5,236 – 8,400
    32 Panel System (9.6 kW) 5,984 – 9,600
    36 Panel System (10.8 kW) 6,732 – 10,800

    Solar Panel Lease Cost

    A solar panel lease costs 50 and 250 per month, depending on your location and energy needs. Leasing solar panels is cost-effective and typically saves 50 to 100 per month on your electricity bills with little to no down payment.

    Solar leasing companies are responsible for the installation and maintenance fees for the duration of your contract. If you move, expect to pay additional fees to end your leasing agreement because transferring the lease to another buyer can be difficult.

    If you own a solar system outright that generates 100% of your power, the monthly cost is less than 10 per month for minor grid-tied connection fees. An off-grid system has no monthly costs other than general maintenance.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost

    A Tesla solar roof costs 22 to 45 per square foot, which includes the solar roof tiles, a Powerwall, roof and site repairs, and complete system installation. A 9.45 kW solar system installed on a 1,800 square foot roof costs between 39,600 and 81,000.

    On average, solar shingles cost up to 8,000 more than installing a new roof with traditional PV solar panels. Glass-faced solar shingles mimic the appearance of a tiled roof and cover more surface area than mounted PV panels to catch more sunlight.

    Solar tiles have a lower efficiency rating than solar panels. They may not last as long as PV panels because their design doesn’t allow much room for ventilation, which can lead to overheating.

    Commercial Solar Panel Cost

    A 10 kW to 2 MW commercial solar panel system costs 1.83 per watt before any tax rebates or incentives. Larger fixed-tilt or one-axis tracking utility-scale systems greater than 2 MW cost 1.06 per watt on average.

    Commercial solar installation costs for small and mid-sized businesses range from 43,000 for a 25 kW system to 175,000 for a 100 kW system. Businesses recover about 45 percent of solar panel costs within the first year through tax credits and rebate programs.

    Commercial Solar Panel Cost

    System Size Average Cost Before Tax Credits
    25 kW 43,500 to 56,000
    50 kW 87,500 to 113,000
    100 kW 175,000 to 225,500
    250 kW 437,000 to 563,500

    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, panels, pros, cons

    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 1,400 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 2,000 per year by reducing your electricity bills and selling your solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

    Solar Panel Savings Calculator

    Location Savings Over 20 Years Payback Period (Years)
    Albuquerque, NM 17,576 – 25,109 15.06
    Austin, TX 14,627 – 20,896 7.04
    Baltimore, MD 16,349 – 23,356 6.90
    Boston, MA 17,449 – 24,928 9.66
    Charlotte, NC 15,035 – 21,479 8.20
    Chicago, IL 14,591 – 20,844 11.85
    Denver, CO 15,035 – 21,479 13.30
    Honolulu, HI 34,104 – 48,720 6.55
    Houston, TX 14,627 – 20,896 7.57
    Indianapolis, IN 11,637 – 16,625 14.60
    Jersey City, NJ 18,349 – 26,214 9.95
    Las Vegas, NV 13,918 – 19,883 9.05
    Los Angeles, CA 25,414 – 36,306 11.99
    New York, NY 17,247 – 24,639 10.58
    Philadelphia, PA 13,689 – 19,556 9.35
    Phoenix, AZ 18,325 – 26,179 7.50
    Portland, OR 11,351 – 16,216 11.66
    San Francisco, CA 14,700 – 21,000 11.34
    Seattle, WA 6,863 – 12,805 11.26
    Washington, DC 21,840 – 31,200 6.78

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

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

    Solar Panel Savings On Electricity Bills

    Location Average Savings Per Year
    Albuquerque, NM 1,349
    Austin, TX 782
    Boston, MA 2,196
    Charlotte, NC 805
    Chicago, IL 1,059
    Jersey City, NJ 1,762
    Los Angeles, CA 2,477
    New York, NY 1,404
    Philadelphia, PA 1,006
    Portland, OR 864
    San Francisco, CA 1,822
    Seattle, WA 633
    Washington, DC 1,127

    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.

    The average residential electricity rate from utility companies is 16.4 cents per kWh, depending on the location. An 8 kW solar system costs 15,000 and generates 11,000 kWh annually or 880 to 1,100 worth of energy. Over the lifetime of the solar panels, this equates to 8 to 10 cents per kWh, which makes solar panels worth it after the hefty upfront cost.

    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 To Convert House To Solar Power

    Item Percent Average Cost
    Solar Panels, Inverter Parts 30% 3,188 – 3,969
    Balance of System 20% 2,125 – 2,646
    Labor 15% 1,594 – 1,985
    Permits and Inspection 15% 1,594 – 1,985
    Operational 20% 2,125 – 2,646

    Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

    The average cost of solar panels fell 65% from 7.34 per watt in 2010, to 2.53 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).

    Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

    Year Cost Per Watt
    2010 7.34
    2011 6.44
    2012 4.55
    2013 3.97
    2014 3.49
    2015 3.23
    2016 3.02
    2017 2.84
    2018 2.70
    2019 2.53
    2020 2.34
    2021 2.22

    Estimates are based on the average rate of decline.

    Labor Costs To Install Solar Panels

    The average labor cost to install solar panels is 0.27 per watt, or around 15% of the total system cost. A standard 6 kW system with 20 to 25 panels costs about 1,600 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.

    Materials Needed For Solar Panel Installation

    Akshay VR. 13 Dec 2022

    With time, energy resources are depleting faster from the globe. With this, the importance of using alternative energy sources generally helps prevent the exhaustion of energy resources. With the help of photovoltaic cells, solar energy can be converted to electrical power. Solar panels can be installed differently depending on the users’ needs.

    The installation of solar panels can be done over the roofs. The homeowner can process easy installation, or one can also take the help of a solar installation professional to install the solar panels. For installing the system, the materials that are required for installation are roof anchors that are made up of aluminum or steel, a unique key lock system between the roof anchors and the mounting frame, mounting frame, bolts to screw it tightly, clamps to fix the solar panels to the mounting bracket, and obviously the solar panels.

    The essential requirement of the process has the proper place that is technically suitable for the installation of the panels. The roof anchors’ position must be correctly measured and marked before the structure of the mountings. Right after fixing the roof anchors to the roof, attach the mounting frame. After this, select the photovoltaic panels in rows or columns. As per the availability of the space on the top, the panels can be wired to each other = to get the complete electrical system.

    Planning for solar panel installation before the actual procedure initiates is essential. Below are mentioned the requirements and the overall structure of the solar panels.

    Six Main Components Of Solar Panel

    Solar photovoltaic cells

    A solar cell is an electrical device whose role is to convert the energy of light into electricity directly by photovoltaic. It is a physical and chemical phenomenon. Individual solar cell devices are often the electrical building blocks of photovoltaic modules that are popularly known colloquially as solar panels.

    Solar cells’ primary attributes are absorbing light and developing electron-hole pairs.

    The lithium-ion batteries are the best option for a solar panel system. If the energy developed is not used or processed immediately, it can be stored in a battery array. Any extra electricity generated after the batteries are charged can be sent back to the power grid in a grid-hybrid system.

    Extruded Aluminium frame

    These Aluminium frames are the solar panel glass covering placed on the top and the back sheet at the bottom. The structure helps in generating electricity from sunlight by utilizing the photovoltaic effect of the sun battery semiconductor materials. An assurance is fed into the main electricity supply of a building which can also be sold to the public electricity grid.

    Solar Inverters

    A solar inverter will generate the (DC) from batteries and convert the same into (AC). There are mainly two types of inverters, grid-capable and standalone units. They are string inverters and microinverters, where a string inverter will convert the energy from a string of AC electricity utilized in the home or business. Simultaneously, others allow the power from solar panels to existing independently.

    The back sheet is the rearmost layer in solar panels. The back sheet acts as a moisture barrier. Its final external skin helps facilitate both electrical insulation and mechanical protection. The rear sheet material is made of various polymers or plastics such as PET, PP and PVF, which offer different thermal stability levels, safety and long-term UV resistance. The colour of the sheet is white but is also available as clear or black, depending on the manufacturer and module.

    Junction box – diodes and connectors

    The junction box has one of the essential roles as it is known for housing all the electric bits on a solar panel while protecting them from the environment. Some wires connect to diodes inside, which eases the link between the boards.

    Which Types Of Solar Equipments For Home Are Required For A Solar Electric System?

    A solar system can be designed as per the requirement of the house or the organization. A solar electrical system must have total exposure to sunlight where the installation is done. The entire solar panel must be exposed to sunlight for the panels to work correctly. In case there is plenty of availability of sunlight, harnessing the sun’s energy can be done by putting a few components together.

    Four Essential Equipment Needed For Solar Energy

    Solar Panels

    Solar panels are the most significant of all solar energy equipment. Solar panels harness the energy that is being generated by the sun so that the production of the power can be processed.

    Batteries are designed to discharge and recharge energy at infinite times over a day. In case of the unavailability of the sun, the batteries can help facilitate consistent power to the system. Solar batteries are recommended as they are designed to be charged and discharged repeatedly.

    Charge Controller

    In high sun exposure, the voltage produced by the solar panels can potentially damage the batteries. The charge controller is used to prevent overcharging a charge controller. Thus, its role is to regulate the charging, which eventually increases the life of the battery and performance.

    Power Inverter

    A power inverter is solar energy equipment required on battery power exclusively. There are two primary uses of a power inverter; one is to convert low-voltage DC to the 120 volts of AC needed for appliances, and the second is to charge batteries if connected to a utility grid or an AC Generator.

    How To Do The installation of Solar Power System For Home

    Overall the complete installation of the solar panel system is a relatively easy task to accomplish. The basic design is to initiate the installation of a rack or platform. If the panels are roof-mounted, the primary structure of the roof racking system is to be done. A ground platform is needed if the panels are ground-mounted.

    Step 1: Finding Best Location

    The primary goal of the installer of the solar system is to find the best location for the array to receive the most sun and the best quality sunlight. The ideal location may be the roof of your house, garage, or barn or done on the ground.

    Step 2: Running Conduit

    The conduit connects the solar panel or array to the house or battery backup system. It is preferable to dig the trench or run the pipes at the end of the process. After this, run the wires through the conduit and leave them unattached until you are all set to connect them.

    Step 3: Building The Platform

    Building the platform is much easier and will save time if you use a kit. Frame kits may also be less expensive than sourcing parts for a durable solar array platform.

    Step 4: Mounting of Panels

    The connection of the solar panels is made to a roof-mounted frame. The solar panels sit on the edge and are clamped with a bolt, bracket, and other clamping devices. When utilizing a kit, the clamps will match the structure that helps secure the panels to the roof.

    Step 5: How To Install Solar Panels And Inverter

    In this step, the FOCUS is made on the installation and connection of the solar panel to the inverter. This states that the solar array is grid-tied without a battery backup system. If a battery backup system is placed right, one can connect the solar panels to a solar controller to prevent the overcharging of the batteries.

    What Is Required To Connect The Solar Panels To The Inverter?

    Wiring guarantees the connection of the system. Use the similar gauge of wire that you used to connect the solar panels.

    Ferrules and heat shrink tube to cover the electrical wires.

    A multimeter is used to test the connections.

    An inline fuse unit protects the solar inverter from electrical spikes.

    Generally, the wires from the solar panels run through a conduit to the inverter. Make the attachment of the inline fuse unit and then the fuse unit to the inverter. Keep considering that the positive wire should be connected to the positive terminal, the ground to the ground terminal. Always remember to double-check the connections are correct before powering up the inverter.

    In case the user of the solar system is making use of the kit, the components may snap together.

    • Strip the ends of the wire.
    • Include the ferrule and crimp at the place.
    • Include the heat shrink tube and shrink it to fit over the connection. The box’s purpose is to remove any spot where the bare wire may accidentally cause an earth ground.

    Step 6: Wire the System And Components

    If you are unaware of the electrical wiring standards, you must leave the task of wiring the system to a solar professional. The objective of the step is to connect the solar panels into strings or groups and then attach them as a unit to the conduit wiring for better safety.

    Step 7: Form The Circuit By Connecting The Electrical Components.

    It is dependent upon the configuration of the solar array. If the user has a solar battery backup, then there will be more components included in it.

    Step 8: Testing of System

    Before testing the system, review each electrical connection and double-check that the positive wire is in the positive terminal and the grounding wire is attached to the ground and at each component connected to the grounding terminal.


    Following these above steps can guide you to set up a solar power unit at your home. The high costs incurred in installing one can be reaped later on as solar energy is not only clean but also a cost-effective investment.

    Republic Of Solar

    Insights, Resources and Opportunities.

    The True Cost to Install Solar Panels in 2023

    In the United States, the national average cost for a residential solar energy system ranges between 16,870 and 23,170 after federal tax incentives.

    Before you get discouraged by the price tag, remember that this number can vary depending on several factors:

    • Your location
    • The number of solar panels
    • Solar panel brands
    • Solar panel efficiency
    • Professional installation vs. DIY installation

    This article will cover the specifics of solar panel installation costs. Additionally, we’ll also share some tips on saving money with your solar system and installation.

    How Much Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels?

    Your total cost for installing solar panels breaks down into a few different components. Here’s what you can expect:

    • Solar panels are approximately 25% of your total cost
    • Inverters are approximately 10% of your total cost
    • Racking, mounting and BOS are approximately 10% of your total cost
    • Installation and soft costs are approximately 55% of your total cost.

    Let’s take a closer look at the costs of each component.

    Solar Panels: 25% of Solar Installation Cost

    The cost of solar panels varies from 70 to 1.50 per watt. While the difference seems nominal on paper, you’ll need to multiply that per-watt cost by the total wattage of all your solar panels combined.

    Here’s what impacts the cost per watt of a solar panel:

    • Solar Panel Manufacturer: Factors like the brand’s reputation, its number of years in business and the quality standards they employ in the manufacturing process will all affect solar panel costs.
    • Solar Panel Warranty: Extended warranties or warranties with more benefits will result in a higher cost per watt. It’s up to you to decide if a generous warranty is worth the higher price. Learn more about warranties before making a decision.
    • Solar Panel Efficiency:Higher efficiency means higher power output in a smaller space, but these panels are more expensive. We advise using high-efficiency solar panels only if you have limited space for your solar panel installation. Otherwise, you’ll be able to save quite a bit of money.
    • Type of Solar Panels: There are three main types of solar panels to choose from. Thin-film solar panels are cost-friendly but take up the most space. Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient, but generally more expensive. And finally, polycrystalline solar panels, which are less efficient than mono, but also cost less. Today, most consumers opt for monocrystalline panels.
    • Solar Panel Aesthetics:Solar panels with black backsheets and frames look great on your roof, but they cost more. Opt for aesthetic solar panels if you’re planning to install them on the front of your home or if you have limitations with your neighborhood or HOA.
    • Number of Solar Panels: The number of solar panels you need doesn’t affect the cost per watt but will affect the overall cost of your solar system. Check out our Solar Calculator to determine how many solar panels you need and find the best system size.

    Inverters: 10% of Solar Installation Cost

    Inverters convert DC power into usable AC power for your home’s energy needs. Expect to pay around 30. 40 per watt for your inverter(s). Factors that affect cost include the inverter brand and solar system size.

    Some solar inverters, like the latest Enphase microinverters, cost a little more but come with excellent features and benefits and are easy to install.

    Racking, Mounting and BOS: 10% of Solar Installation Cost

    Every solar energy system must include either a roof racking or ground mounting system, plus its attachments. The cost of these parts will vary based on your home’s roof material or the racking and mounting option you choose.

    You’ll also need BOS or balance of system pieces. These include grounding hardware, system labels, junction boxes, disconnects, combiner boxes, wires and conduit, which you can obtain from your local home improvement store.

    The cost of racking and BOS pieces are specific to your location but generally run about 25. 50 per watt.

    Installation and Soft Costs: 55% of Solar Installation Cost

    Over half of your total cost — often up to 2.00 per watt — might go to the professional solar installer. These costs cover things like:

    • Labor and wages
    • Worker’s compensation insurance
    • Permitting fees
    • Interconnection fees
    • Indirect corporate costs, especially if you’re working with a major solar company primarily looking to profit.

    You can save a significant amount of money if you opt for a do-it-yourself solar panel installation. on this below.

    Average Solar Panel Installation Costs by Location

    When it comes to determining your solar panel installation cost, geography matters too. Here is the typical cost range for a solar installation in some states before considering the federal tax credit.

    Arizona 2.50. 3.75 per watt
    California 2.50. 4.50 per watt
    Colorado 2.75. 5.00 per watt
    Connecticut 2.50. 4.00 per watt
    Florida 2.50. 3.75 per watt
    New Mexico 2.50. 4.50 per watt
    New York 2.75. 4.50 per watt
    Oregon 2.50. 4.25 per watt
    Texas 2.50. 4.00 per watt

    How to Reduce the Cost of Solar Installation

    There are several ways to cut back solar installation expenses. Let’s review them.

    Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Rebates

    The US government offers a 30% solar tax credit that can be claimed on your federal income taxes. It applies to all solar installations between 2022 and 2032.

    Remember, if you want to finance your solar panel installation, choose a financing option that allows you to take advantage of the federal tax credit. Most solar lease options don’t offer this benefit.

    Lastly, check for state or local rebates for solar installations.

    Carefully Evaluate Financing

    It’s best to pay for your entire solar system upfront, but you can finance your solar system if you’re unable to.

    Remember, there is always interest associated with borrowing money and financing items. Solar leases and loans often span 20 years, so read the fine print regarding interest rates and whether or not you’ll even get the federal tax credit. You may want to consider a home equity loan versus a solar-specific loan instead.

    Opt for DIY Installation

    A DIY solar installation is a great way to save nearly half of your total solar costs.

    Keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay for things like permitting and interconnection fees. However, you can significantly reduce or eliminate labor costs and corporate costs, which will make a major difference in the total cost of your system.

    Try a Hybrid DIY Installation

    Not comfortable doing a complete installation all by yourself? You can still save money by doing some parts yourself and getting help from a contractor when needed. Some DIYers install the racking and panels first, then hire a contractor to complete the electrical work.

    Get Expert Help

    When it comes to solar panel installation, you’ll want to do it correctly the first time. Using incompatible equipment or making errors during installation is dangerous and can add to your solar panel installation cost.

    To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, work with a skilled and knowledgeable solar company like GoGreenSolar.

    The folks at GoGreenSolar are industry veterans and DIY experts. If you’re looking to save money with your installation but want expert help by your side, reach out to GoGreenSolar today.

    • Customers receive free technical support from certified NABCEP professionals via phone or email
    • Permitting service and interconnection service available — we’ll handle the paperwork, so you don’t have to!

    By choosing GoGreenSolar for your system and DIY installation, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars and feel confident about installing your system right the first time!

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