When you go solar, how much do solar panels cost per square foot?
Solar panels can be sold in two ways: in the form of a fully-assembled panel or per square foot. When you’re going to buy a solar panel system, you need to estimate the number of feet you need according to your energy requirement and output of each foot. The question then becomes: “how much do solar panels cost per square foot?”
We answer that question here.
On Average, How Much Do Solar Panels Cost Per Square Foot?
The output of a solar panel is measured in terms of watts. An average solar panel system costs around $95 per square foot. This produces around 10.6 watts of energy during peak sunlight hours. This then translates into $8.95 for every watt generated.
The cost of solar panels per foot varies. But it’s primarily dependent on three things:
- Where you live
- The season
- The manufacturer
Additionally, the government provides rebates which differ from state to state, which makes timing very critical.
On the surface, it’s cheaper to install a solar panel system by yourself than paying a solar panel installation professional to do it for you. You can go this route if you really want to save a few bucks. The procedure is not as hard as you think and will leave you with enough money in your pocket. The money you save can be used to pay the electrician who will install the inverter that comes with the system.
However, if you damage your roof or break your solar panels by accident, going the “do it yourself” route may actually cost you more in the long run.
Additional Cost Factors When Installing Solar
Although the three factors above affect the cost of solar panels quite a bit, there are additional factors to take into consideration as well. They are:
Quality: The quality of the solar panels you install depends on the rated power per square foot. This is also referred to as the power density. The higher the value of the power density, the more you will have to pay per square foot. This is an important consideration because the power density determines the space you will need on your roof for the panel to generate the required energy.
Type of Silicon: The type of silicon used in producing the solar panels affects how much you pay for the system. Solar panel systems manufactured from polycrystalline silicon will cost more per foot as compared to those constructed from monocrystalline silicon. This is because polycrystalline is more efficient and aesthetically appealing than monocrystalline.
The Manufacturer: The manufacturer of the system determines the final cost of each solar panel. Many top solar companies in the world such as Sanyo, and Siemens produce solar cells that are of high quality and a bit expensive at the same time because of the technology used in the production process and the cost of the components used.
Remember that depending on where you live, you will be entitled to various incentives offered by different government agencies. If you live in Massachusetts, for example, the incentives are very good. These incentives include rebates, exemptions, state tax credits, federal grants and low-interest loans awarded for switching to solar energy.
How Do You Cut Down The Cost of Solar Panels?
The biggest thing you can do to reduce the cost of installing solar is by putting in place energy efficient measures in your home. An energy efficient house will require less electricity; therefore you will end up saving on the cost of the solar panels.
Before buying your solar panels, you need to closely look at the technical specifications and warranties. Remember, this system is going to be a part of you for the next twenty years or more. Make sure the solar panel system you get has proper warranty which means that when you have a problem with it; it can be replaced by the manufacturer – no questions asked.
The bottom line is this though, regardless of cost, there has never been a better time than right now to make the switch to solar.