How Much Does Solar Installation Cost and Is It Worth It?
Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes
Solar energy is increasingly seen as an alternative source of energy for residences to be self-sustainable and eco-friendly. Solar energy doesn’t release any carbon footprints like fossil fuels and available in abundance. Solar energy is also ideal for remote areas and villages where transmission of electricity is difficult and expensive. Despite the initial investment, harnessing solar energy is easy and the savings you do on your energy expenses is impressive. Solar panel installations are necessary to harness solar energy and people are generally curious about the cost of installing solar panels. In this article we will discuss about solar installation costs and look at the average a US home spends on the installation.
How to determine the solar installation cost?
There are two factors that mainly determine the cost of installing solar panels or how much do solar panel installation companies charge. We will look at those factors in detail and see how they affect the overall cost of the installation.
• Your requirements: Your energy requirements will decide the number of panels you are going to need and your requirements will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the number of heating and cooling systems you use, the electronic items you are going to run on solar energy and your consumption behavior. The more panels you need, more the cost of installing solar panels.
• Renovations and Expansions: Sometimes it is not possible to predict your energy requirements, especially if it is a commercial space. You might decide to get your house renovated or plan to expand the number of solar panels to meet your increased energy demands. Renovations and expansions will certainly add up to the solar installation cost.
What is the average cost in the US?
So to have a basic idea of how much the installation would cost or know how much solar panel installation companies would charge, we have pulled out numbers to understand the average electricity consumption of a typical US home, average energy generating capacity of a solar panel and how much it costs for the installation.
• An average home in the US consumes 1kW of electricity per hour and pays approximately $73 a month for electricity. Based on this number and your electricity requirements you can have a fair idea about the number of panels you would need.
• A typical solar panel generates 10 watts per square foot with an efficiency of 12%. This means the panel will convert 12% of the sunlight it receives into electricity. Thus, 100 square feet of solar panels generate 1kw of electricity. 400 to 800 square feet panel is sufficient to power a home for 24 hours, depending on the geographic location and the sunlight received there.
• A typical installation will have four components: the solar panel, the controller, the battery and the inverter. Combining the cost of all these components the cost of installing solar panels averages at around $7-$9 per watt. Thus for a typical 5kW system the solar installation cost is between $25,000-$35,000.
Is it Worth the Investment?
As mentioned above, an average US home would have to spend $25,000 to $35,000 or solar panel installation companies would charge so much. Many homeowners are often confused as to whether to spend so much and worry if it is worth the investment. Here are a few reasons why we think it is worth it that you spend on solar energy:
• First and foremost, this is a one-time investment and solar panels have very low maintenance costs. Thus, using solar energy as an alternative source of energy won’t burn a hole in your pocket. You have to arrange for the one-time investment to make and not worry about the maintenance costs that will follow.
• The second reason why you should invest on solar panels is the savings you will be making on your monthly electricity expenses. As long as there is sunlight and the panels are working fine, you won’t have to spend on electricity or any other source of energy. The initial amount charged by solar panel installation companies will be recovered by the savings you make here.