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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost. Whole house solar cost

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost. Whole house solar cost

    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

    In this article, we attempt to answer that question to the best of our ability, but it’s important to remember that each solar system is a custom solution. The price can vary drastically from system to system.

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    It’s also important to understand what goes into determining the cost of a solar energy system. We dive into those components first, then provide the average installation cost for commercial and residential solar panels.

    Factors that Impact the Cost of a Solar Panel Installation

    Type of Installation

    There are two main installation methods for solar: roof mounts and ground mounts. Roof mounts are attached to existing structures. Ground mounts and carports require additional posts that must be anchored into the ground. This often results in higher labor and component costs.

    Type of Equipment

    Solar Panels:

    There are two basic variables with solar panels: power density and color. Power density is the amount of power that a solar panel can produce per unit of size. For example, a solar panel that is the same size may produce between 300-400 watts, depending on the power density. Generally speaking, the more power-dense the panel, the higher cost per watt. Color is the other variable with solar panels. The basic panel has a blue cell, white back sheet, and silver frame. Modules with a black frame, black back sheet, or black cell are generally more expensive.

    Solar Inverters:

    There are three types of solar inverters: String, Micro, and Power Optimizers.

    String Inverters link p anels together in one or more groups. Each group feeds into one string inverter, feeding several panels into one inverter. String inverters tend to be more cost-effective than other types of inverters.

    Microinverters are installed on each individual panel. Although this type of inverter has its benefits, they tend to be the most expensive type of inverter.

    Power optimizers have many of the benefits of micro-inverters. They are generally more expensive than string inverters but less expensive than micro-inverters.

    Solar can be installed on metal, shingle, and flat roofs. Each one requires different components and varying levels of labor. Shingle roofs require a specific flashing piece to attach the panel racking to the roof. For a ribbed or standing seam metal roof, the racking is attached directly to the metal. Panels are installed on a flat roof using a ballast mount. a tray held in place by a concrete block.

    Energy Consumption

    Most solar systems are designed to offset as much energy consumption as makes sense financially. The more energy production needed, the more panels and equipment the system will require.

    Depending on how much shading a system will be exposed to will impact the amount and location of the panels. If a system is installed in an area with shading, it may require additional panels to meet the customer’s energy coverage requirements. On the contrary, a system in full sun could produce the same amount of energy with fewer panels.

    Weather Patterns

    Weather patterns in each region are different. Some locations receive more sun than others. Other regions receive more snow. Our systems are designed with this data in mind, impacting the system size and the necessary equipment.

    Interconnection Cost

    Interconnection is the process of connecting the solar system to the power grid. Each local utility has specific requirements that must be followed. Some of these requirements could impact the type of meter you need or whether transformer upgrades are required. The interconnection cost is different for each project, depending on how much solar is already in your area, the age and strength of the equipment on your line, and the size of the solar array itself.

    Distance from the Solar Array to the Interconnection Point

    Since the power produced by the solar array must be transported to the utility meter, the farther the solar array is from the interconnection point with the utility, the higher the installation cost will be. This is due to the conduit installation or trenching required, as well as the size of the wire required (the farther the distance the larger the wire is required to be).

    Incentives available for solar panel installations

    There are many incentives available for solar owners. These need to be considered when examining the cost of a solar system.

    • Reduced monthly electric bills
    • Protection from rising energy rates and independence from your utility company. You’re in control
    • The 30% federal tax credit can be used to recover taxes from the prior three years and also carried forward 22 years for businesses and 12 years for homeowners
    • Businesses and farms can quickly recover their investment through accelerated depreciation. Those who qualify can apply for a USDA Reap Grant and other local grants
    • There are many local government and utility incentives
    • It’s sustainable and good for the environment

    With that in mind, we’ve listed below the average installation cost for commercial and residential solar energy systems.

    The cost of solar panels for a business

    The average size of a commercial solar system is between 50 kW (600/mo. electric bill) and 200 kW (1,200/mo. electric bill). Solar systems of this size will typically cost between 145,000 and 500,000 before incentives are utilized.

    With the available incentives, most commercial solar owners could receive 60-90% of the system’s cost back within the first few years of installing the solar system.

    The average agricultural and commercial solar owner can expect to save 150,000 to 375,000 over the 30 years of the solar system’s life.

    Without solar, the average business and farmer will spend 240,000 to 715,000 on electricity over 30 years.

    Average MonthlyElectric Bill Solar System Size Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives) Federal Tax Credit Depreciation Cost After the Tax Incentives
    600 50 kW 147,500 38,350 37,304 71,846
    1,200 100 kW 268,800 69,888 67,982 130,930
    2,400 200 kW 494,400 128,544 125,038 240,818

    The cost of solar panels for homeowners

    The average size of a residential solar system is between 5 kW (60/mo. electric bill) and 10 kW (120/mo. electric bill). These solar systems will cost between 25,000 and 40,000 before incentives are utilized. Solar owners could receive 30% of the system’s cost back with the available incentives almost immediately after installation.

    The average residential solar owner can expect to save 4,000 to 25,000 over the 30 years of a solar system’s life.

    The average homeowner will spend 30,000 to 60,000 in electricity over 30 years without solar.

    Average MonthlyElectric Bill Solar System Size Total Installed Cost (Before Incentives) Federal Tax Credit Cost After Incentives
    60 5 kW 26,480 6,885 19,595
    120 10 kW 38,960 10,130 28,830
    180 15 kW 53,285 13,854 39,431

    Keep in mind these are average costs and system sizes for roof-mounted solar systems (Here’s what it costs to install a ground-mounted solar system). The cost will vary depending on your specific requirements. We provide free estimates that will provide you with the exact cost and available incentives to help you decide if solar is the right investment for your business, farm, and home.

    Get the exact cost for a solar panel system that fits your needs

    The best way to determine the cost of your 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? Use our Solar Savings Calculator to get an instant estimate of how much money solar will save 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.

    How Much Does a Solar Generator for Home Cost in 2023?

    This post may contain affiliate links from the Amazon Associate program.

    Are you tired of the constant power outage in your home? Do you want to solve this problem with a solar generator for home backup? You’re not alone. Due to an increase in blackouts, the use of solar generators has tremendously increased, thus raising its cost.

    According to Statista, the global solar generator market size projections for the 2017 to 2023 period are expected to reach 525 million US dollars by 2023.

    The cost of a solar generator depends on its size and its capabilities. The cost of the powerful solar generator ranges between 7,000 to 50,000, offering over 5,000 watts. This will be able to power your entire home fully. Medium generator cost ranges from 2,000 and 4,000. Also, you can get small-size generators for as low as 100.

    The size of the solar generator for home will depend on your power usage. Homes differ in terms of power consumption. Understanding your home needs in terms of electricity will help you choose the best fit for your home.

    Discover Energy Audits with Solar Energy and ONIT Home

    Try our Free Energy Audit to make sure your home is performing at optimum energy efficiency. We’ll inspect every nook and cranny of your home to make sure it’s best serving your needs. We’ll also give you tips on lowering your energy bills, conserving energy, and creating a more efficient space. To learn more about how we can help you maintain a top performing home, visit us online to get started!

    What is a Solar Generator?

    A solar generator is a machine that uses solar energy and not fossil fuel to provide backup power. In this case, solar panels come in handy in the capture of energy from the sun. The generator’s inverter converts the energy and stores it in the built-in battery.

    A solar generator to be effective requires inverters, batteries, solar panels, and a charge controller. The charge controller manages the voltage level of the energy before it reaches the battery.

    A solar generator comes with an inverter. This is a device that converts Direct Current or DC to Alternating Current or AC which is then usable as power in the house.

    Features of a Good Solar Generator

    Below are some ideas to guide you when choosing a good solar generator once you’ve identified the size you need.

    • Battery: Your battery should store energy that will be enough for your home power needs. So choose the right size that has enough watts.
    • Inverter: You may need to upgrade your system in the future. An inverter that allows for an upgrade will be better than one that’s constant. In addition, using an upgradable inverter will help reduce the costs once you decide to upgrade.
    • Charge controller: Opt for a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller for optimal charging efficiency. The MTTP will be most helpful during cold weather.
    • Solar panels: Solar panels should collect energy fast and efficiently, enabling the generator to recharge quickly. This is because the solar panel has limited time (day) to collect enough energy.

    Price Breakdown of a Solar Generator

    The cost of a solar generator for home will depend on your power needs size, make, model, and quality. You can choose from:

    • Small size solar generators: Low-power solar generators can power small appliances such as phones, laptops, and lights. They can cost as low as 100 and have less than 1000 watts.
    • Medium size solar generators: These generators are between 1000 and 3000 watts. But most have 1800 to 3000 watts. They can power phones, laptops, lights, refrigerators, and microwaves. range between 2,000 to 4,000.
    • Large-sized solar generators: These are the most powerful solar generators that can power your entire home. With over 5,000 watts, their cost is between 7,000 and 50,000.

    Large-size solar generators are expensive, but they have more juice to run the entire home as if there was no power outage. If you find yourself with no power, here is a guide to help you survive through the dark moments.

    The average cost of installing a solar generator ranges between 9,000 and 30,000, depending on the generator size.

    You’ll need to add shipment costs for large solar generators depending on your supplier and where you live. This means an additional cost of 500 or more.

    The cost is determined not only by the machine you select but also by labor, installation, and shipping fees.

    The Pros and Cons of Investing in a Solar Generator

    The solar generator is an excellent source of energy that is always available when you need it.

    The advantages of a solar generator outweigh the disadvantages.


    A good way of saving money while still conserving the environment is by using a solar generator. Here are some reasons for you to invest in a solar generator:

    No Fuel Is Required to Run the Generator

    No fuel is one of the most outstanding features of a solar generator. Unlike a traditional generator that uses gasoline or diesel, a solar generator uses solar energy.

    A solar generator does not have any smell when running. But when a gasoline or diesel generator is running, a pungent smell lingers in the air. This smell can even make people sick.

    Has a Clean and Renewable Energy

    The energy source for a solar generator is sunlight. It operates without the use of fossil fuels. A solar generator does not contaminate the environment. Hence it helps to protect it.

    They are safe to use, unlike the gasoline and diesel generators which emit a poisonous gas- carbon monoxide. This gas is dangerous when exhaled for long periods. It can lead to illnesses and even death.

    When you have a solar generator for your home, you can rest assured that you are free from poisonous chemicals.

    Needs Less Maintenance

    Since there are no movable parts in a solar generator, maintenance or parts replacement is minimal. This is because parts that don’t move don’t break regularly.

    The traditional generators burn fossils and require regular cleaning and replacing parts.

    Quiet Operation

    Have you ever used a gas generator? Did the noise affect you? The solar generator would be like magic in your home if it did. This type of generator works in silence because it has no moving parts.

    You can even forget that your power is on the generator because there’s no noise to remind you otherwise.

    Reduce Operation Costs

    Fuel costs escalate now and then. The good thing about the solar generator for home is that it uses the sun as its fuel, so there will be no added cost.

    The operation cost of a solar generator reduces since there are no movable parts that need regular servicing and maintenance.

    It’s Portable

    Portability is one great feature of a solar generator. In addition, solar generators use lithium-ion batteries, which are light compared to traditional deep cycle batteries.

    These batteries make the generator lightweight, making it portable. This means you can quickly move your solar panel together with the generator to a place with maximum sun exposure. You can do this when on a hike or camp, where you have not installed your generator in a permanent location.


    Despite the outstanding features of solar generators, they also have some drawbacks.

    It’s Weather Dependent

    This is the major drawback of solar generators. They depend on the sun for them to recharge. So during cloudy and rainy days, the energy will be less than sunny days.

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    But the good thing is that solar panels can still use indirect sunlight to create energy. So you can still use the generator, but the power will not be enough compared to sunny days.

    Limitation of Use

    A solar generators capability to power your home depends on the size of its battery. This creates a limitation on how to use the generator. Gas generators do not have these limitations since you can add fuel anytime.

    If you have appliances that require a lot of energy, you need a battery that stores more energy. Even so, the generator will not run on for long.

    Acquiring a Solar Generator is Expensive

    The initial cost of acquiring a solar generator for home is very high. It can be twice the cost of a gas generator.

    But the remedy for the high cost of buying the generator is less operation cost. So you can save more in the long run with a solar generator than with a gas generator.

    Slow Recharging

    A solar generator requires the sun to recharge. Unfortunately, its recharging capability is low and can take a long to charge fully, even when the sun is scorching hot.

    When there’s no sun, the recharging takes even longer. As a result, you may go for some hours without electricity.

    Are Solar Generators Worth the Money?

    Yes. The initial cost of acquiring a solar generator may be costly, but the operating are low. If you compare it with gas generators, you’ll find it to be the cheapest option. There are no fuel costs, and maintenance costs are very low.

    Trust The Experts For Successful Installation

    Are you looking for a solar generator for your home? You can only get high-quality solar generators from a trusted supplier. With over ten years of experience, ONIT Home offers top-quality products and dedicated services. At ONIT Home, customers are the number one priority. We thrive to serve with integrity and provide our customers with the best products and technology that best fits them.

    For more information about the security technologies we provide, give us a call at 1-833-433-0331 or visit us online! Whatever you need, we’re ONIT!

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    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


    • 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.

    Other Considerations

    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.

    The Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panels: Should You Install Them Yourself or Pay Someone Else?

    Decide whether do-it-yourself solar panels are worth the extra effort.

    If you’re a homeowner, it’s not hard to see the appeal of solar panels. Whether you are conscious of your carbon emissions or your budget (or both!), installing DIY solar panels can shrink your impact on the planet and lower the monthly energy bill.

    But while the DIY solar panels can be an elegant and eco-friendly option in some situations, they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone’s energy-related issues. Below, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of undergoing the DIY project of installing your own solar panels. And we’ll help you decide if you want to take on the task or pursue another option like a solar power purchase agreement or having solar panels installed professionally.


    One of the primary appeals of any DIY project, other than the satisfaction of a job well done, is saving money. When you choose to install solar panels on your property yourself, it means that you won’t have to pay for anyone else’s expertise or labor, which typically adds a considerable amount of cost to the project.

    Can solar panels save you money?

    Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.

    According to research conducted by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, labor typically accounts for about 10% of the total price tag for installing solar panels. Given the average cost for installing solar panels is 18,500, that means a savings of nearly 2,000. That’s a significant amount of money to keep in your bank account.

    However, there is a trade-off. If you aren’t paying someone else to do the work of installation, it means you are doing it yourself. That means a significant amount of manual labor and time spent to set up the system, which you’ll be doing on your own. You also may not be able to claim certain incentives offered to homeowners who install solar panels. Some of the tax rebates that states offer for going green require a certified company to do the installation for you. To make sure you’re actually saving money, it’s worth checking into these incentives and how much they will save you.

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    Can solar panels save you money?

    Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.


    It is possible to do the process of installing solar panels on your own. There are solar systems designed specifically for DIYers that, while sometimes time-consuming, should be more than doable.

    It’s worth noting, though, that many DIY solar panels are not designed to hook up to the traditional energy grid. They are designed more for off-grid purposes, like powering RVs or other spaces that are not typically served by a standard utility. If you are only looking to supplement your traditional energy source, DIY solar panels can get the job done. If you are looking to power your entire home with solar power, it might be better to trust an expert.

    Installing a full solar energy system requires at least some knowledge of electrician work so you can properly handle the wiring and other technical aspects. You will likely have to work in relatively dangerous settings, including doing work on your roof and working with buried wires. The stakes are high for a mishap; crossed wires can result in malfunction and even electrical fires. It also may be illegal for you to do this work without a professional’s help, depending on your municipality’s zoning laws.

    As always, consult a qualified professional if you have any questions about your home install project.


    As mentioned, most DIY solar panel projects are not meant to replace traditional energy sources. They offer the ability to supplement power from the grid or power smaller spaces like an RV or a tiny home. But for a full-size home, a professionally installed solar system is likely best.

    There are some settings that are ideal for a DIY solar project. If you have a garage or shed that requires electricity, you can go off the grid and keep it powered with solar panels. DIY solar panels often offer a bit more flexibility in size and placement, so they can be set up in an alignment that works best for you in these settings. DIY solar panels are also useful as a backup option if you were to lose power for the electrical grid, as long as you have a functional solar battery to store the generated power.


    Solar panels typically last about 25 years, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be issues along the way. DIY solar panels in particular can be subject to requiring maintenance because the quality is not guaranteed.

    Perhaps you tried to save in your up-front costs and purchased cheaper panels that are more susceptible to wear and tear. Unfortunately, you can end up being on your own in replacing them. Unless a failure falls under the warranty of the manufacturer, you may have to replace the panel on your own. It’s much easier to accidentally void the warranty if you’re installing the panels yourself, as well.

    Oftentimes, professionally installed panels come with some sort of warranty from the company that does the installation. They will be able to service any issue that you may be experiencing, and may even cover the cost.

    Decide what is best for your home

    DIY solar panels can make for a fun project and a functional feature for your home, offering additional electricity from a renewable energy source. However, these panels are better served for smaller spaces like sheds or tiny homes. If you are looking to ditch the grid entirely and power your whole home with solar energy, consider a professional installation. It may cost more upfront, but the additional benefits of an expert installation, support in case of future failure, and access to full tax incentives may end up paying for itself over time.

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