How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
Saving money is Smart. Going solar is a Smart investment. Everyone asks about cost, but if your goal is to maximize how much you make from your investment, then the most important questions are “how much money will you save each month on electric bills?” and “how quickly does your solar system pay for itself?”
To calculate that payback period, you need to account for factors like the quality of your solar system, how much sun reaches your solar panels, whether you lease or own the system, the cost per watt, available tax credits, and quite a few more. Reputable solar providers can calculate those factors to show you how quickly your system will pay for itself in electric bill savings.
But understandably, you want to know how much it will cost to put a solar system on your roof. Below we’ll break down cost and some of the other major factors that you should consider.
Estimating how much home solar panels cost in 2021
One of the first questions someone interested in home solar asks is, How much do solar panels cost? It’s important to know there is not a one-size-fits-all answer because every home is different, and there are many geographic variables and federal and local tax incentives to consider.
The easiest thing to do is to contact a professional solar installer. The installer will give you a free evaluation that entails looking at your electricity bill to find out how many kilowatt hours of electricity your household typically uses and evaluating your roof and shading, to determine how many panels you’ll need. That, combined with local solar incentives your community may offer and the federal solar tax credit, will give you a full picture of how much your home solar system will cost. The good news is that no matter where you live, the cost of solar panels is coming down.
We look at the price per watt when figuring out the cost of your system, but you may find it more useful to think about the price of leasing a solar system separately from the price to own one. That’s because with a lease it’s important to think about how much you can save for each month of the lease, but when you own the system it’s more important to understand how quickly it can pay for itself.
What is the cost of individual solar panels?
Very few people are going to buy just the solar panels themselves, just like few people would buy the components of a car and build their own vehicle. We recommend you use a SunPower-approved installer for your solar system.
Yes, it’s possible to buy a single solar panel for as little as 100, but a solar panel does not operate in isolation. You need a system of hardware and software to generate electricity from the sun, including solar panels, an inverter, mounting hardware, wires and cables., It is also beneficial to have a monitoring system that tracks the production, energy use and savings of your system. And you need to consider the cost of installation and operation.
Once you get an estimate for the cost of your solar system, you should subtract the potential savings on your utility bill over time, including any incentives offered by your local or state governments. Then you’ll have a better understanding of how going solar will impact your finances.
What are the factors that affect solar panels?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors, including the:
- Quality of the solar system
- Household’s energy needs
- Local weather
- Available roof space and shading
- Financing options selected (cash, loan, or lease)
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.
We found that the cost of installing a 5 kW solar system in the U.S. ranges from 11,150 to 46,100, or in other words, from 2.23 to 9.22 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
The chart below shows the average cost of a 5 kW home solar system in each U.S. state.
How do I know how much sun my roof gets?
The more direct sunlight your home receives, the more power the panels can produce. But there’s a little more to it than just sunlight. To see if your house is a good candidate for solar, try out a solar panel suitability checker such as Google’s Project Sunroof. Then set up an appointment for a solar consultation with an expert who’ll visit your home to inspect its orientation (solar panels facing south capture more energy), roof angle and tree shading to see if your roof will receive enough sunlight to meet your family’s electricity needs. SunPower’s solar consultations are free, online or in-person, and you can learn more about your home electricity needs and savings options.
SunPower panels are proven to be the most efficient on the market —not to mentioned unmatched at generating power in low-light situations—but, excessive shading will reduce the amount of power that can be generated.
It’s also important to know a SunPower Equinox ® solar solution has unique, factory-integrated microinverters in each panel. Meaning, if one panel isn’t producing energy because of shade, neighboring panels receiving more sunlight can still generate solar energy for your home.
What are the most efficient solar panels?
Remember that the adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies to home solar technology. Not all solar systems are alike. The quality of the technology matters in the long run. The durability, reliability and efficiency of solar panels can vary widely by manufacturer. If you settle for a conventional home solar system that might cost less out-of-, you can expect to see average (or below average) results and less savings over time. Watch these videos about the lifespan of SunPower® solar panels and their durability and reliability.
In short, SunPower panels are the most efficient home solar panels you can buy. A higher quality panel like SunPower’s might cost a little more upfront, but you’ll see a higher—and quicker—return on your investment in the long run. Our panels come with a 25-year Complete Confidence warranty and have an expected useful life of 40 years. And since they’re more efficient than other panels on the market, you’ll need fewer of them on your roof. Our panels produce up to 55% more energy in the same space over 25-years than conventional panels, ultimately saving you more money on your electric bill.
Industry measurements such as the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems’ PV Durability Initiative can give you a better idea of a solar panel’s expected lifespan—a factor that can have a tremendous impact on the system’s lifetime value.
The superior efficiency and durability of high-quality panels can provide increased savings over time and lower maintenance costs. You can get a personalized SunPower solar savings estimate using our solar calculator, which lets you factor in variables like buying solar storage and/or having an electric vehicle.
What solar incentives or solar rebates are available?
There are many different tax incentives, subsidies and financing and billing solutions at the state and local levels that can make going solar more affordable. To see if you might be eligible for renewable energy incentive programs, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency (DSIRE®).
If you purchase your solar system, you may qualify for the 26% federal tax credit (ITC). The full solar ITC is available to home solar owners through 2022. It drops to a 22% credit in 2023 and is scheduled to go away completely in 2024, so don’t put off buying solar for too long.
Get a solar estimate
Ultimately, the easiest way to answer the “How much does solar cost” question is to give our solar advisors a call at 844-578-6793. They’ll help you get a free estimate for your home. Or you can contact a solar installer in your area directly. Get more tips on Choosing a Home Solar Installation Company.
When you’re getting solar estimates, be sure to ask about the technology the installer intends to use, their hardware, their monitoring software, their past installations and their maintenance plans. It’s especially important to ask about their warranty.
Most solar companies offer multiple, separate warranties for each component on a solar system, and there can be hidden fees like shipping fees when replacing a broken panel. With SunPower Complete Confidence Warranty, one company backs your entire solar system, including battery storage and monitoring.
Ready to get started? Enter your address into our solar savings calculator to find out how much you can save with the world’s best solar.
- . Tax credits are subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
- . Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
- . Based on survey of datasheet values from websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of June 2020.
- . Based on survey of datasheet values from websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of June 2020.
- . SunPower Module 40-year Useful Life. SunPower whitepaper. 2013.
- . SunPower 400 W, 22.6% efficient, compared to a Conventional Panel on same-sized arrays (280 W multi, 17% efficient, approx. 1.64 m²), 8% more energy per watt (based on PVSim runs for avg US climate), 0.5%/yr slower degradation rate (Jordan, et. al. Robust PV Degradation Methodology and Application. PVSC 2018).
- . Tax credits are subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in 2019?
In 2019, a typical residential solar system may set you back between 11,200 to 14,400 to install after tax credits and rebates.
Solar energy is a long-term investment. To budget correctly, you must look at costs and savings over 20 years and determine the payback period and payback amount. The right calculation includes:
- The cost of photovoltaic panels and other components
- What your solar installer charges
- Your current and electricity bills
- Any applicable federal, local, or state tax credits
- Projected savings on your energy bills
Put it all together and you can calculate the actual solar panel cost for your home. If you want to skip all the math, we advise getting a free quote from a solar power professional. If you’d like to figure out the costs yourself, then keep reading and learn how the math works.
Breaking Down the Cost of Solar Panels
The standard way to evaluate a solar panel system cost is cost-per-watt or dollars-per-watt. This measurement is calculated by taking the total cost to install the system (parts and labor) and dividing by how much power it produces in kilowatts (electrical output). For reference, the average U.S. home would use a 4kW-7kW solar system.
Solar panel price will also vary based on the state you live in, the installation company, and any rebates and incentives you collect. In 2019, someone in California can expect their cost-per-watt to range anywhere from 4.39 for a small system to 3.56 for a vast system.
At the time of this writing, solar panel installation costs range between 7-9 per watt. So a 5kW system would cost around 25,000-35,000 before rebates. While that cost is a stiff pill for many households to swallow, it’s common for utility companies to offer incentives or subsidies to offset solar system costs.
For example, a system that costs 18,000 has a payback period of about 20 years. The cost of a solar panel today is around 3 per watt, and the extra cost of installation brings expenses up to 5- 6 per watt. Installation costs for PV systems include both labor and the electronics needed to tie the solar array into your existing electrical system.
Homeowners interested in solar roofs should note solar shingle systems are more expensive than the traditional roof installation. Energysage estimates solar roofs can range from 4.15 cost per watt to as much as 8.14 for the more advanced offering from Tesla’s Solar City.
How to Calculate Solar Energy Costs
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Solar Power Cost Calculator
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Estimated Savings with Solar
The rule of thumb is that the average U.S. household consumes electricity at the rate of one kilowatt per hour (kWh). There are about 730 hours in each month, and the national average price of a kWh of electricity is 0.10. So an average monthly bill would be around 73 for 730 kWh of electricity.
The average electricity bill can vary considerably if you have non-standard items, such as a hot tub, or some electrical appliances running continuously. Extended computer use, plasma screen TVs and video games consoles can also make an impact. Your usage will also increase significantly in months when you run an air conditioning unit or heater. Finally, the cost of electricity varies widely across the USA, from as low as 0.07/kWh in West Virginia to as much as 0.24/kWh in Hawaii. To get a precise estimate, you’ll want to adjust our estimated calculations to fit your electricity usage patterns.
A conservative value to use as a solar panel’s generating capacity is 10 watts/sq. ft. This value represents a panel conversion efficiency of about 12 percent, which is typical. This means that for every kW you generate, you need about 100 sq. ft. of home solar panels. If the sun shone 24 hours a day, you could put up 100 sq. ft. of panels and have enough energy to power the average home.
The average sunshine across the country varies. In Seattle, Chicago, and Pittsburgh you’ll likely get up to three hours of direct sunlight. In states like Colorado and California, you’ll probably absorb five or six hours of sunlight. Homes in sunny Arizona can get nearly 7 hours of sunlight per day.
The amount of average sunshine means that the size of the panel array required can vary, anywhere from 400 sq. ft. to 800 sq. ft. (i.e., 4 kW to 8 kW), depending on where you live. You’ll need more panels if you live in a location that gets less sunshine per day, and fewer panels if you live in a location that gets more sunshine.
How Utility Companies Affect Solar Power Costs
If your utility company allows you to have net metering — that is, they supply you with a special meter that will spin backward when you generate more electricity than you use — your annual bill can average out at zero. Because of shorter days in the winter, you’ll likely be a net purchaser of electricity in that season and a net producer in the summer months. A grid-tied system like this is different than off-grid systems used in remote locations with no electrical service; those require batteries, which can significantly increase overall system costs.
Standard Solar System Components
As we mentioned earlier, equipment is another factor to consider when calculating how much it costs to install solar panels. Each standard residential solar array uses four components:
Solar panels – captures the sun’s energy and converts it to electricity Controller – protects batteries by regulating the flow of electricity Batteries – store electricity for later use Inverter – converts energy stored in a battery to voltage needed to run standard electrical equipment
The entire system, plus installation, is what drives solar panel costs. Plus, equipment like batteries sometimes need to be replaced over time.
The good news is that the costs for solar panels are expected to continue to drop as thin film panels from companies like First Solar, Nanosolar, and AVA Solar become available to the residential market, which could drop to 1-2 per watt — and at volumes that are several times today’s total output.
Assuming that installation and auxiliary equipment costs can be reduced to around 1 per watt, then a 5 kW system in upcoming years may cost as little as 10,000, with a payback period of about 10 years. This makes the future of PV solar installations much more attractive.
How much solar panels cost vary across a multitude of factors. Want to get an idea for how much you can save? Try our solar savings calculator or give us a call to find out!
How Much Does a Solar Panel Cost?
Jul 15th 2022
As 60-celll 300 Wattage solar panels are the typical option for residential solar installations, one such solar panel can cost between 169. 430. In this price range, we are sure you can find a solar panel of fine quality. If you pursue higher quality, the price will surely go higher.
In this guide, we will discuss not only “how much does a solar panel cost”, but also other costs that might add up to the total costs of solar panel installation costs, for example, labor costs, maintenance costs, interconnection fees, and so on, so that you can have a basic understanding of how much you will need to pay for a solar panel system for your home.
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How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels?
According to EnergySage, the average cost of a residential solar systeminstallation in the U.S. in 2022is 20,498. However, the actual cost can vary higher or lower, as every homeowner’s roof space, electricity needs, lifestyle, and budgets are different. Even when choosing a solar power system, the costs can vary due to many factors.
For example, how much does a 6000 watt solar system cost?
As we’ve mentioned at the start of this article, a 60-celll 300 Wattage solar panel costs somewhere between 169. 430. Dividing 6000 by 300, you will figure out that 20 solar panels are needed for a 6000-watt solar power system. Multiplying that with the price range, you will get 3380. 8600, which will be the estimated cost to invest in the solar panels of a 6000-watt solar panel system. However, a complete solar power system still require inverters, charger controllers, and other components, not to mention the labor cost for the installation process.
Generally, the overall cost of solar installation involves:
Costs of the Equipment of A Solar Panel System
Breaking down the cost to install solar panels first requires you to know that different types of solar panels have varied pricing. Solar panels account for only about one-quarter of the cost of a solar project.There are three types of solar panels each with different construction, performance and cost.
Polycrystalline:These panels are blue in color and use multiple silicon crystals melted together. They are a bit less efficient than monocrystalline but are a more affordable option.
Monocrystalline: Monocrystalline are made from a single silicon crystal and typically have better efficiency and are smaller in size than polycrystalline. They also tend to be the higher cost option.
Amorphous solar panels: They are lightweight, flexible and have portable options, buthave much lower efficiency than Polycrystalline or Monocrystalline. They are also larger and require twice the space than monocrystalline panels.
The number of panels you’ll need for a system is determined by how much energy your home uses. Typically, consumers aim to offset 100 percent of their electricity usage with solar to get their energy bills as low as possible. For example, a typical 2,000 square foot three-bedroom home will require a system with about (20) 350-watt panels with a cost of 15,000 and 40,000 including installation.
Most American homes need about 30 panels to cover 100 percent of their energy usage. Where you live may also impact how many panels you need. In areas where there are more peak sunlight hours, you may require fewer panels to generate the energy you need or vice versa for areas with fewer peak sunlight hours.
Inverters are solar components that convert the DC power your panels produce to the AC power your home uses. There are a few types of power inverters with varying equipment and installation costs. Inverters typically account for about 5-10 percent of a project’s cost.
Grid tied vs. off grid systems
Grid Tied Solar Systems are tied to the electric grid. That means your home remains connected to the power grid and draws energy when solar panels or batteries are not producing. Grid tied systems also allow your home to send excess energy produced by solar back onto the grid, which means you can sell extra solar power for extra income to offset the solar cost. These systems need to be installed by professional installers, which means you have to pay the installation fees.
Off-Grid Solar Systems are, in most cases, only an option where there is no access to electricity from the grid. These systems are fully self-reliant and require batteries to provide power at night or when the sun isn’t out. Off-grid systems can be installed DIY, but you have to buy a solar battery.
Installation fees includes the cost of:
- Additional equipment like mounting brackets and cabling
- Fees for permitting and inspection
If using a professional installer, installation represents a sizable portion of the cost of a solar project.
The material your roof is made of will also impact installation costs. Materials such as asphalt shingle tend to have lower installation costs, while materials like clay tile have higher installation costs. A flat roof surface requires supplementary brackets.
Grid connected systems will need to be permitted and inspected by either the local housing jurisdiction, the utility, or both. That’s why grid-tied systems are typically installed by professionals.
Permitting and inspection require fees that are bundled into installers’ estimates in most cases. There will also be an ongoing interconnection fee from the utilities to remain connected to the grid.
Solar panel maintenance is typically not a significant expense. Modern panels are nearly self- cleaning with natural rainfall usually sufficient to keep them clean. At times you may need to clear your panels of tree debris or dust. You may want to hire a professional to do this.
As for repairs and replacements,residential solar systems don’t have moving parts so equipment failures are relatively uncommon. However most solar equipment comes with 20-30 warranties that cover equipment failures and defects.
Incentive and rebates
Through 2022, the federal solar tax credit is 26 percent of system costs. In 2023 the credit goes down to 22 percent. Various other financial incentives are available to make solar more affordable forresidential customers. Incentives vary depending on where you live and are available through government agencies, utilities or both. To learn more about incentives, visit dsireusa.org.
During our research, we find that some professional incentive terms can lead to misunderstanding easily. In this regard, we make the chart below to offer you a clear overview and you can compare which policy can offer you real benefits in reducing your solar cost.
Information source: energysage, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy, and Database of State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency.
If you are interested in learning more details about solar tax credit, click Everything You Need To Know About Solar Tax Credit .
Solar cost per square foot
While some solar panels of the same wattage come in different sizes. In that situation, calculating the solar cost per square foot can make things easier. The cost per square foot can vacillate between 4 and 10.
How much do solar panels cost in pa?
The average cost of solar panels in Pennsylvania is 12,281 to 20,216 before applying for solar incentives. That means the average cost of solar panels in PA ranges from 2.64 to 3.56 per watt.
How much does solar cost in Texas?
On average, the solar panel costs in Texas is 2.77 per watt. That being said, a typical 6000 watt (6 kW) solar system can cost 11,647 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit now available.
Commonly Asked Questions
How many solar panels do I need?
How to calculate how many solar panels i need? You have to know how much residential electricity to keep your house appliances running before deciding how many solar panels are needed. Here is a simple method: check out your electricity bill. From the bill history, you can easily find out your daily electricity consumption. Then plug the figure, as well as your appliances working hours, charge controller efficiency and average sun hours per day, into the Renogy Solar Calculator, you can get the answers in a flash!
How long to recoup costs?
It’s easy to calculate return on investment or ROI for solar. Just divide the total cost of your system (after incentives)by your average energy savings per month. ROI or “payback” time is measured in months and years. It tells you how long it will take to recoup your solar investment.
Even though solar may come with a substantial upfront investment, those costs can often be recouped in as few as 5 to 15 years. In that time, not only are you saving on energy, but you’re reducing your carbon footprint. That should be enough to get anyone excited about joining the clean energy community.
Solar power, as one of the most affordable, accessible and reliable electricity for households, offers the best electricity alternative for faraway areas that cannot connect to the grid, as well as families that are longing to reduce their electricity bills. Installing an off grid solar power system or grid tied system will be the best practice to go solar.
If you’ve been ready to join the clean energy community, Renogy will be your first stop to start the solar journey. Renogy is an aspirant in solar panel industry, dedicated to push forward the sustainable living and energy independence.We are confident that our DIY friendly and reliable renewable energy products will enable the energy independence of 50 million people by 2030. We have the off grid solar kit, portable solar panels for home. MPPT solar charge controllers, and solar batteries for sale!
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels In Maine?
To help you make the most informed decision about solar, we designed this free solar calculator. Input details like the exact location of the property, your current electrical usage, and information about your roof’s orientation, shade, and pitch to receive an estimated price and potential energy cost savings for your custom system.
What Type Of Solar Electric Systems Are Available?
The average system costs noted above are for a grid-tied, roof-mounted solar electric system. Grid-tied, rooftop solar systems are our most common type of solar electric system installed throughout Maine.
However, other solar system options are available, such as grid-tied, grid-tied battery backup, off-grid battery-based systems, and ground mounts. To ensure you get the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of solar system will work best for you, we have outlined the options available below.
These are the most common type of solar electric systems in Maine. With this system, your home can be powered by the sun when it is shining. You are still connected to your utility provider (often called the grid), so you still have power when sunlight is unavailable. Net Metering allows the electricity generated by your solar system to offset the electricity used from the grid during the night or on a cloudy day. This ensures that all of the electricity your system produces offsets your usage and ultimately your electric bill. However, if the grid goes down, your system will shut off, and you will lose power. Grid-tied systems are the less expensive option due to not needing batteries and other additional equipment.
Installing a grid-tied solar electric system is an excellent step towards energy independence. However, during a power outage, your system does not provide power. By pairing a grid-tied solar electric system with battery backup, you can bank the energy you produce for times when you need it, like when the grid goes down. Although whole-house backup is achievable, most grid-tied battery backup systems are designed only to power “critical” electrical loads. If you are thinking about going solar now but want to add batteries in the future, we can design your system to accommodate your future battery needs. These systems are more costly than grid-tied alone.
Many people like the idea of installing an off-grid solar system because of its independence. However, it could require a lifestyle change to reduce energy consumption as you cannot rely on the grid. These systems tend to be most popular in rural locations such as camps or where the nearest power line may be miles away. You will need batteries to store your energy, must monitor the battery health, and be aware that you have a finite amount of energy you can collect and store on a daily basis. These systems have special design and operation requirements making them more challenging to install and service than a more common grid-tied system. They also require more components and usually cost more. Maine Solar Solutions has a design and installation team experienced with off-grid solar systems if you would like to learn more.
Rooftop Solar Versus Ground Mounted Solar
There are two common types of solar panel installations for grid-tied solar systems: roof-mounted and ground-mounted.
Most of the solar electric systems installed in Maine feature rooftop solar arrays. But sometimes aesthetic concerns or heavily shaded roofs make consideration of a ground-mounted solar array advisable. Ground-mounted solar arrays typically cost between 15 – 25% more than rooftop solar arrays. The expense of ground anchors, racking, and trenching accounts for this higher cost. Although a ground-mounted solar array costs more than an equal-sized rooftop array, many of our customers have found that a ground-mounted array provides the best balance of cost, aesthetics, and value. Our experienced solar consultants can show you the relative costs of both options and help you determine what makes the most sense.
The Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar In Maine
This free resource is packed with answers to the most common questions we receive about solar energy installations in Maine.
What Factors Affect The Cost Of A Solar Electric System?
During your free solar site assessment, we gather information about your home that we use to design your system. We prepare a proposal based on your electricity usage and we show a couple of different solar panel options. Below is the information that we gather that helps us get you a fixed-cost system price.
- Electricity Usage:We review your electric bills and calculate the amount of electricity you use over the course of a year.
- Roof Information: People often ask, “Is my roof good for solar? Does my house face the right way for solar panels? What’s the ideal roof angle for solar?” To answer those questions our solar consultants will measure the angle or pitch of your roof and determine the orientation of your home towards the south. Roofs that face towards the southeast or southwest may require an additional panel or two to produce the same amount of power as a roof that faces directly south. People are often surprised to learn that even if their roof faces directly towards the east or west, annual solar production can still make installing a solar system an affordable investment.
- Shading Measurements: For electricity production, the more exposed your roof is to sunlight throughout the day, the better. Your roof does not need to have full sun all day to be a good candidate for solar, and a partially shaded roof may only require a few additional panels to match the production of an unshaded roof.
- Solar Panel Type:Solar panels account for the greatest equipment cost for a solar electric system. We offer several different solar panels to choose from. There are many solar panel manufacturers, and each manufacturer offers multiple solar panel models. Solar panels differ in size, wattage, efficiency, appearance, and warranty. Each of these specifications impacts the solar panel’s cost and factors into their relative value. Our customers find it helpful when we present a range of solar panel options and take the time to educate them about the differences in panel features, performance, cost, and value.
What Incentives Are Available For Installing Solar?
The primary incentive available to homeowners installing solar in Maine is the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC). Solar electric systems installed between 2022 and 2032 qualify for a 30% federal tax credit. This tax credit is scheduled to fall to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. It is currently set to expire in 2035. There’s a lot of information about the ITC out there, so to help, we gathered answers to some commonly asked questions about the federal tax credit here.
What’s Included In My Solar Electric System Costs?
Once your system is designed, and you have chosen which solar panels and optional add-ons you would like to include in your system, we prepare a fixed-cost installation contract that includes all of the equipment and labor required to install a safe, code-compliant system. Your fixed-cost solar electric system includes the following:
- Solar Panels
- Inverter system
- Power Optimizers
- System monitoring so that you can watch the entire array and each panel’s output information on your desktop or your phone
- Racking and roof attachment equipment
- Roof-specific attachment points
- Electrical components required for a safe, code-compliant installation
- Installation labor by Maine Solar Solutions qualified electricians and installers
- Maine Solar Solutions 10-year Workmanship warranty
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PAPERWORK
- Assistance with all required paperwork, utility, and permitting
- Utility interconnection application fee
- Electric and building permits and associated fees
What Are The Additional Costs Involved To Go Solar?
During our site evaluation, we may determine that your electric service or breaker panel will need to be upgraded to accommodate the solar installation. Your solar proposal will detail the cost of any additional electrical work, and the final system cost will include these costs.
What Add-ons Or Options Are Available When Installing A Solar Electric System?
Battery Backup Systems:A grid-tied solar electric system will not provide backup power during a power outage. We offer battery systems for customers seeking to add a backup power source to their grid-tied solar electric system. The most popular battery backup system is the Telsa Powerwall. Battery systems are eligible for the 30% federal tax credit. If you’re curious about batteries, your solar consultant will review options with you. Even if you aren’t ready for batteries during your initial solar installation, your solar electric system can be designed to allow for the easy addition of batteries later.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers:With the growing popularity of electric cars, many of our solar customers are requesting the installation of an electric car charging station at their homes. Combining an electric vehicle with a solar electric system in your home allows you to fix the cost of operating your electric car and truly enables you to operate your EV as a carbon-free, renewable energy vehicle.
Is Going Solar A Good Return on Investment (ROI) In Maine?
Owning a solar electric system is one of the few investments that truly pays for itself in savings over time. A properly sized and designed solar electric system can eliminate nearly your entire annual electric bill. For most Maine homeowners, the solar electric system will pay for itself in as few as 7-10 years. Customers choosing to finance the purchase of their system may see longer payback times.
Once the system has paid for itself, a typical Maine solar system owner will only have to pay their fixed utility service charge – currently around 15 per month. Whether you pay for your solar system out of or choose to finance the purchase you have essentially fixed your cost of electricity and protected yourself from ever-increasing electricity price increases!
For someone in their 50’s, I looked at installing solar panels as saving for my 401K. Because when I am 70, who knows what the price of electricity will be. I am fixing the cost of most of my electricity for life!
– Cathy G., Gorham, ME
What Are The Ways To Pay For Solar Electric Systems?
Most customers choose between paying upfront for their solar electric system or financing the purchase and paying a monthly payment.
Direct Purchase: Choosing to pay for a solar electric system out of will give you the highest return on your investment. You’ll own your solar panels immediately and not have to pay any interest. Many of our customers have taken advantage of low-interest rates and increasing home values to pay for their solar systems with home equity loans or when refinancing their mortgages.
Solar Loans: Financing the purchase of a solar electric system allows you to fix your cost of electricity for the lifetime of your loan. Your fixed monthly payments may at first be higher than your monthly electric bill, but over time as electricity rates go up, your monthly payments will stay the same. Maine Solar Solutions offers solar financing through Mosaic. Mosaic offers no money down, low-interest rates, and a variety of term lengths with no prepayment penalties. Additional financing options may be available through your local bank or credit union.
Cost should not be the only factor when choosing a solar installation company. A solar electric system will last more than 25 years; it’s important to consider a qualified, experienced company that will provide guidance and support throughout the entire system life span. From initial consult, through installation, with ongoing support and consultation, choose a company with a proven track record. Keep in mind that solar electric systems are installed to meet the requirements of the National Electric Code and as such need to be installed by licensed electricians and qualified technicians under their supervision.
Free Solar Site Assessment
Curious to see what a solar electric system would cost for your home?
At Maine Solar Solutions, our goal is to give you the information you need to make an informed decision. Schedule an informative, free, no-obligation solar consultation with one of our knowledgeable solar consultants today and begin your path towards energy independence.
What’s the Cost of a Ground Mount Solar Panel System?
Ground-mounted solar systems are free-standing structures that support solar panels. Because they can be installed wherever conditions are best for solar power production, they’re a great alternative to the traditional roof-mount solar system.
In this blog, we’ll talk about how much it costs to install a ground-mounted solar panel system, as well as how much money a ground-mounted system could save you.
The Factors That Impact Ground Mount Solar Costs
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a ground-mounted solar system. Some of these factors are based on decisions you’ll make. Some are simply out of your hands, pre-determined by things like your location’s climate and the terrain of your property.
Your solar system will be custom-designed to meet your unique energy needs and your financial goals. Here are the factors that will impact your solar energy system’s price.
- How Much Electricity You’d Like to Produce. The more free electricity you want your solar system to produce, the larger it’ll be. This means more equipment and labor, leading to higher costs (but it also means greater savings).
- Added Technology. Ground-mounted solar systems can be installed as a static structure or as a tracking system. Tracking systems, or pole-mounted systems. utilize added technology to orient the solar panel to face the sun. They’ll change their direction as the sun moves across the sky during the day. While this does improve production, it is an additional cost and may require additional maintenance.
- Brand of Solar Panels. Top-of-the-line solar panels offer industry-leading warranties and oftentimes are more efficient. Mid-tier brands can deliver great value but may not be as efficient.
- Types of Solar Panels. Solar panels come in two main types —monocrystalline and polycrystalline. They also come in a variety of sizes and models. These factors can all impact the cost of your system.
- Brand of Inverters. Inverters convert the DC power generated by your solar system to usable AC electricity. What brand inverter you select will also impact the cost of your system.
- Type of Inverter(s). There are three main types of solar inverters that you’ll have to pick from. You’ll have a choice between string inverters, microinverters, and string inverters with power optimizers.
- Shading and Local Weather Patterns. The more sunlight your solar panels get, the more electricity they produce. If you’re located in a cloudy climate or your property is shady, you may need to increase the size of your system to compensate.
- Interconnection Costs. These are fees required to connect to your local electric grid. They vary from utility to utility. Additionally, the further your system is from the interconnection point, the longer your wire run will need to be. This will increase the installation cost.
- Available Incentives. While some cost-saving incentives are available on a federal level, others may be available to you depending on your state, local government, or utility. Here’s a look a the solar incentives in your state.
The Cost of Ground-Mounted Solar Systems by Size
Now that we’ve discussed the various factors that can impact the cost of your ground-mounted PV solar system, we can give you a rough idea of what one would cost.
It’s worthwhile to note that these are broad estimates. The cost of your custom-designed solar system could be more or less, depending on your energy production goals, the equipment you choose, and the location and terrain of your property.
Cost of Installing Ground-Mounted Solar Systems for Homes
The average homeowner can expect to pay between 27,000 and 60,000 for a ground-mounted solar system.
|Average Monthly Electric Bill||System Size (kW)||Cost Before Incentives||Cost After 30% Federal Tax Credit|
Cost of Installing Ground-Mounted Solar Systems for Businesses and Farms
Businesses can expect to pay 150,000 to 500,000 for a ground-mounted solar system.
|Average Monthly Electric Bill||System Size (kW)||Cost Before Incentives||Cost After Tax Incentives|
Note: Depreciation savings are based on a 24% federal tax rate and do not include any depreciation on state taxes.
For both residential and commercial/agricultural systems, there’s a significant difference between how much ground-mounted solar panels cost before and after incentives.
The after-incentive on the above charts reflect the widely available solar investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation. The tax credit is available to any tax-paying homes, businesses, and farms that own a solar system, and accelerated depreciation is available to any business or farm that pays federal taxes and owns their system. The savings from both incentives can be recovered the year the solar system is energized.
These may not be the only incentives available to you. State and local governments and some utility companies may offer additional incentives that further reduce the cost of your solar installation. The incentives your system qualifies for will vary depending on your location, the type of property on which you’re installing solar, and the size of your system.
Do Ground Mounts Cost Than Roof Mounts?
Generally, ground-mounted solar panels will cost more to install than an equally sized roof-mounted system. This is partly due to the structure on which the solar panels are installed.
A rooftop system is supported by the roof, and the building’s structure, meaning erecting a supporting structure is unnecessary. Instead, the panels are attached to a racking system which is then secured to the roof.
But with a ground-mounted system, an independent structure will need to be erected to support the panels. The structure will consist of posts pounded deep in the ground for stable support, then cross-beams are added in addition to the racking system and the solar panels themselves.
Is The Extra Cost of a Ground Mounted Solar Array Worth It?
In some situations, the additional installation cost is justified by the advantages ground-mounted systems offer.
A ground-mounted solar panel installation gives more freedom in terms of where it’s located. With rooftop solar panels, you’re confined to your roof.
Sometimes, your roof may not be large enough to hold a system that fully meets your electricity production goals. Or, your roof may not get enough sunlight to be an ideal location for solar. In a few cases, your roof may not be able to support the additional weight of the equipment.
With a ground-mounted system, you have more control over its location. As long as you have the available land, you might be able to install a larger system. You can also pick a sunny spot and orient it to maximize energy production.
If your building’s curb appeal is important, and if you don’t love the look of solar panels on your building’s roof, you can install a ground mount in a much less visible area.
Overall, installing a ground-mounted solar system can greatly reduce your monthly costs, save on taxes, and set your property up for long-term, sustainable savings. Many solar panels have 25- or 30-year warranties, guaranteeing they’ll produce a significant amount of free electricity for many years to come.
Get the exact cost for a solar panel system that fits your needs
The best way to determine the cost of your ground-mount solar system is to request a free custom quote. With a custom quote, you’ll see the complete installation cost, all available incentives, and the payback and ROI. Not ready for a quote? Check out the cost of a roof mounted solar system or use our Solar Savings Calculator for an instant price and savings estimate for a solar system sized for you.
You can also view The Solar Energy Channel on YouTube for short, educational videos that cover all things solar. Don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there!
Last updated on February 16, 2023.