I want solar in my home, but money’s tight; how much does solar cost to install?
When getting into solar, everyone’s biggest fear is the money. Spending thousands of dollars on a solar system just doesn’t sound feasible to homeowners, even if it means getting massive cuts on your utility bill.
Most don’t realize it, but solar has decreased in cost exponentially in the last century; in fact, solar has become extremely affordable to massive number of homeowners and citizens, even for residents of less sunny states such as Massachusetts and Michigan. For most people though, solar always boils down to the one question related to money: how much does solar cost to install?
Inner Workings of Solar
Solar technology was created with the use of a material-based cell called photovoltaic, which creates electrical energy using sunlight. There are also thermo-based cells in solar that convert sunlight into thermal energy, but most citizens are focusing on photovoltaic solar panels, even if thermal panels are becoming a good option.
Most of these panels are made of silicon and use a certain crystalline structure that makes them more durable, thinner and more lightweight, and/or more efficient; the catch is all these factors are affected by the cost. For example, a mono-crystalline panel is very efficient and durable, but costs more than a less efficient panel.
The exception to this tradeoff is a new technology called CIGS cells (copper, indium, gallium, selenide) that is as lightweight and durable as thin-film and as efficient as mono-crystalline. These cells were employed by Dow Powerhouse into solar roof shingles (normally made of thin-film silicon) and have been marketed across the country in the last year, looking to be the most successful solar product.
How much does Solar cost to Install?
The best way to install solar properly is to follow three basic steps: get your panel, get your installer, get your rebates/benefits. The steps in getting the panel are mentioned above; there are three types of panels (mono crystalline, poly crystalline, thin-film) in addition to solar shingles and there are also manufacturers to look at such as SolarCity, Kyocera, SunPower, and others.
A solar installer is another important step, as the best installers will help you keep costs low; a couple good companies to look at are Cazeault Solar and SunRun. Finally, getting your state’s rebates and tax cuts available will definitely assist you in cutting costs on solar panel installation.
Overall, a solar panel installation is inexpensive if you take the proper steps. Using a solar calculator to determine all of the factors such as panel size and power consumption in addition to the factors listed above will help you determine how much it will cost you, but it’s guaranteed to be in the thousands and below, and not multiple thousands as people have worried.
Recommended ways to cut Costs on Solar
One of the best ways to cut on solar is to use the benefits available; specifically SREC’s, which are certificates that give you money for however much solar energy you use to power your home. Another good option is to look at solar shingles, specifically Dow’s shingles, as they are some of the less expensive solar products to both purchase and have installed (solar shingles take under 10 hours).
Solar technology does provide most of the cuts in itself, as when you talk to a solar professional or a solar installer, they usually will discuss with you how you want your solar system set up, and how the system can cost less (i.e. use LED’s, less/more panels, battery for nighttime, etc.)
How much does Solar cost to Install and is it Affordable?
Getting a solar system for your home is never easy, especially considering the money you have to put in to get the return investment in the form of saving energy. That’s why the question “how much does solar cost to install” is so common, as so many worry that they may drain their wallets in the process.
If you’re one of these people who fears solar is not affordable, the worry is over: with new, low-cost solar panels, solid installation companies, and various cuts and rebates to help you out, solar is easily inexpensive and affordable for any homeowner, and can get to work immediately in helping you gain energy for your home while saving money.