As of writing, there are more than a million solar installations in the USA. More homeowners are making the switch to solar now that the operating costs get increasingly cost-efficient per year. Not to mention, solar electricity is enormous, renewable, and sustainable.
Case in point: just one hour of the summer sun in the noontime can already cover the country's annual electricity demand, according to the US Office of Energy Saver.
With several excellent solar resources scattered in each state, a home solar electric system continues to rise in popularity.
The Basics of Home Solar Power
If you're wondering, "How does a home solar panel work exactly?" or “How much do solar panels cost?” – we will cover everything you need to know in this article, including the necessary financial aspect involved. When sunlight reflects onto a solar panel, its energy will be absorbed by the PV cells in the solar panel.
Consequently, this gives off electrical charges that move accordingly to the internal electrical field. Electricity then flows shortly after.
Now that we've covered the basics, let's discuss other essential factors you need to consider in planning to switch your home electricity needs to solar.
It includes the annual solar panel maintenance costs, solar installation expenses, and other related upkeep.
How Much Does Solar System Cost?
To many homeowners, the upfront solar panel installation cost can be rather expensive. Generally, you can expect to shell out somewhere between $20,250 to $40,500 for a home solar installation. Prices may vary depending on several factors. A 2 kW set-up is priced at $8,000 to $10,200, while a 10 kW system runs for $40,000 to $48,500. (Related: The Cost Of Solar Panels In Florida)
A standard 6 kW system costs $20,200 on average– including labor expenses, equipment, and permits.
The hefty sum makes it a considerably significant financial investment for many homeowners looking into home improvement projects.
The total costs of your new solar system can be divided into three main parts:
It's important to get quotations from several companies to determine the average price in your area. In most cases, you will be taken aback by the difference in standard offers, considering the soft costs involved.
Those who take time in browsing the solar panel market may end up saving thousands on installation costs from large contractors and small companies.
If your situation is more challenging to work with, such as a poor roof surface, your installation costs will also increase accordingly.
What Size of Solar System do I need?
After confirming that your home is suitable for a solar panel installation, you will need to determine the best system size to run your house without any problems next.
Remember that the ideal size of solar panels that fit your home needs will also greatly determine the total costs.
Some factors to consider are the amount of solar you need. You can determine the upper limit based on your home's average energy consumption for the previous 12 months.
Take a look at your electric bills to determine your annual energy usage pattern. If you cannot check your previous bills for the past 12 months, get an estimate based on your peak winter and summer season energy usage.
It is the solar power amount you typically need to power your home efficiently.
You will need to work around your home's limitations, especially your roof size. Ideally, pick a size that fits nicely on the available space in your roof or on the ground.
These are just a couple of factors that affect your ideal solar system size. Keep these in mind to approximately estimate the size you need.
Some other important factors to consider are as follows:
What is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)?
The amount of electricity a solar panel produces is measured in watts and kilowatts (1,000 W = kW). You’ll pay anywhere from $0.90 to $2 per watt for the solar panel roof cost. A home solar system cost will be approximately $3.50 to $4.70 per watt with labor and other factors.
A good rule of thumb in determining an ideal system size is to remember 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar energy approximately gives off 1,300 kilowatt hours (kWh) in a year.
Suppose your home spends 12,000 kWh on annual electricity needs. In that case, a 9.2 kW solar panel system is ideal to meet your home power needs. (12,000 divided by 1,300 is equivalent to 9.2).
There are also a few general benchmarks you can use to estimate your system’s potential output.
If you want to get into specifics, you can measure the average daily amount of electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) produced by solar panels for home.
Keep this formula in mind:
- 1Size of one solar panel (in square meters) multiplied by 1,000
- 2That figure multiplied by the efficiency of one solar panel (percentage as a decimal)
- 3That figure multiplied by the number of sun hours in your area each day
- 4Divide by 1,000
Panel has a size of 1.6 square meters:
6 x 1,000 = 1,600
Panel is currently 20% efficient:
1,600 x 0.2 = 320
The location of your property gets an average daily 4.5 sun hours:
320 x 4.5 = 1,440
Divide by 1,000:
1,440 ÷ 1,000 = 1.44 kWh per day
Now, calculating the average monthly total involves taking the daily kWh figure and multiplying it to 30 (with one month having 30 days on average).
1.44 kWh multiplied by 30 = 43.2 kWh on a monthly basis
Average Output per Square Meter
Another considerable benchmark is to calculate your solar panel system’s average output on a square meter basis. Many solar panels for home use systems start at 4 kW, with 16 panels at around 1.6 square meters (m2) in size. It is commonly rated to generate 265 watts of power given the most ideal conditions for harnessing solar energy.
Below is the general formula to determine the approximate output per square meter basis:
- 1Number of panels multiplied by the solar panel system’s capacity
- 2Capacity divided by the total system size (Computed by multiplying the number of panels and the size of each individual panel)
16 panels each with 265 W:
16 x 265 = 4,240 kW capacity
Total size of the system (16 panels overall with a size of 1.6 m² each)
4,240 ÷ 6 = 165 W per square meter
Nowadays, most residential solar panels are designed to produce 250 to 400 watts in an hour. Domestic solar panel systems typically start at a capacity of between 1 kW and 4 kW, just enough to power necessities in your household.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Solar Panel Installation
Solar Panel Type
In general, there are three common types of solar panels for residential use. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, such as price points, durability, and efficiency.
To select the best solar panel type to meet your home energy needs, refer to the table below for a quick overview:
Solar Panel Type
Average Price per Watt
Average Life Expectancy
$1.30 - $2
$0.90 - $1.30
$1.30 - $2
25 - 35 years
23 - 27 years
14 - 17 years
Several factors will come into play in determining the total solar panel installation cost. Hence, there’s no one price that fits all as every system's expenses will be unique given each home has different needs.
Let's discuss some of the most prominent factors that affect the average cost to install solar panels:
The majority of solar panel installations are done on the roof. However, some have a ground set up or at the side of your home. With that in mind, your contractor's labor rate may increase depending on the system's ease of access.
Should they require more prolonged project duration or more laborers to install your home solar panel unit, it's best to prepare your budget accordingly.
Accordingly, the per-watt price of solar panel installation will vary from one state to another at $3.40 to $4.80.
Several deciding factors include:
In the west, Hawaii has a relatively high rate at approximately $3.85 per watt. Meanwhile, in the south, Georgia has a lower cost at $3.37.
Throughout the country, the general price of labor per watt is around $0.67. You can expect your labor expenses to increase according to the various system sizes.
A standard 6 kW solar system unit will cost you approximately $4,185 on labor, while a smaller 2kW unit will have you spending $1,350 and a larger 10kW solar unit at $6,750 labor costs.
Several other factors, such as your roof grade, can also affect the installation costs. If you have a steep roof that requires more time and safety precautions to work with, it will hike up the total expenses accordingly.
Permit and Inspection Fees
Since installing a solar panel system can be rather complicated and risky, proper protocols are strictly implemented. Several local governments impose a strict set of permits and inspections to ensure every solar system project will be safe.
For standard residential solar installation, permits will cost you a few hundred dollars on average. In Colorado, the residential permit fee will cost a maximum of $500. Meanwhile, it runs at approximately $450 in California.
The local government also offers generous subsidies on solar installation permits in several states.
Generally, solar inverters for an average-sized system will cost $2,025. It accounts for roughly 10% of the upfront equipment expenses (or less), at approximately $0.24 to $3.9 per watt.
If you notice your inverter expenses take more than 10% of the installation costs, it would be best to talk to your contractor so they can explain the breakdown of the costs in detail.
It may only be one of two things: the inverter unit comes at a high price, or their professional construction costs are increased depending on your home needs.
Depending on your solar panel mount type, it will generally cost you somewhere between $15 and $3,000 per piece. Keep in mind that the cheapest option may be less efficient and durable than the high-end ones.
There are three main types of solar mounts: fixed, adjustable, or motorized tracking. Let's discuss the difference between the three below:
Solar Roof Shingle and Tile
Opting for solar (photovoltaic) shingles will give you panels that function similarly to standard roofing materials. The catch is, they can generate electricity for you to use. On average, this will cost you anywhere between $54,000 and $108,000.
If you're big on aesthetics and functionality, solar shingles are a significant home investment. You can count on its durability and energy efficiency.
Installation Costs with Solar
Wood Shingle Roof
Tesla Solar Roof
$28,350 - $54,000
$31,050 - $70,200
$26,500 - $33,750
$54,000 - $108,000 (With Battery)
Like we always say, the total costs will depend on the location of your property, home size, and the average amount of sunlight exposure.
Are you planning to get your solar panel system connected to the grid? It will range anywhere from $2.7 to $4.7 per watt on average. A grid connection will be a helpful feature to generate sufficient power even during the nighttime or low sunlight days.
However, grid connection will typically need a few more equipment, including meters and other relevant components. A licensed electrical contractor can discuss the essential regulations to shed light on the matter before connecting your solar panel system to the grid.
In contrast, most solar kits run on an off-grid system for lesser power needs in small sheds or tiny house settings.
How do Solar Panels Work for your Home?
The basics of how residential solar panels work are already covered in the previous paragraphs. Now is the time to take a closer look at the step-by-step process:
- 1Solar panels at home absorb energy from the sunlight, converting it into DC electricity.
- 2Inverter technology transforms the DC (direct current) electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity. You will need AC electricity to power the majority of your appliances at home.
- 3Electricity will be evenly distributed throughout your home, giving power to your appliances, devices, and electronics.
- 4Should you have extra electricity from the solar panels, it will be re-routed back to the electric grid for storing.
Solar panels utilize the semiconducting material (silicon) to generate power. Once a silicon cell is exposed to sufficient sunlight, electrons start to flow, producing electric current. The process is commonly known as the photovoltaic effect.
Pre-installation Checklist for a Home Solar System
At this point, your home solar panel project might just be waiting for the signal. Here's a practical checklist to serve as a guide in the pre-installation process:
1. Measure your Property's Energy Efficiency
It's crucial to determine the energy efficiency prowess of your home before the actual installation. It allows you to measure your average energy usage and plan for any upgrades down the line.
Some helpful resources to increase your home's energy efficiency are as follows:
2. Solar Potential Assessment
Before giving the green light to your highly-anticipated residential solar panel installation project, it would be best to assess the solar energy potential in your property.
Fortunately, advanced PV technology makes use of direct and scattered sunlight to generate electricity. The defining factors in measuring your property's solar power depend on its average sun exposure and system size. If you want to determine your property's exact solar energy potential, use several mapping tools and services and talk to your local contractor.
Some other factors you need to take into consideration are:
3. Get Different Bids and Quotes
Before signing a closed deal, ask your contractor about any proof of licensure. A good reference would be the solar industry-standard certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
Accordingly, you may also ask for word-of-mouth recommendations from your friends and loved ones who also recently made the switch to solar. Online reviews and testimonials are also a great resource to ensure you'll work with the best installer in your area.
No matter how tempting one bid is, ensure to gather at least three quotations for your home PV system installation. It will help you make an informed decision about your investment.
Some other crucial factors to consider are the following:
Remember that your bids must outline a total cost estimate in setting up a home PV system– including grid connection, hardware, permits, and warranty.
For your reference, the most valuable metrics are the cost per watt and estimated cost per kWh when comparing different prices from several installation companies.
What are my Options for using Solar?
If you’re worried about the expensive costs associated with a standard solar panel installation, the good news is– you’re not solely limited to an upfront purchase option anymore. Not all hope is lost even if you can’t afford the average $20,250 to $40,500 total initial expenses at the moment.
Nowadays, you can apply for different solar initiative programs from which you may benefit from switching for your home energy needs.
Here are some available options you may want to consider:
You may make a direct solar energy system purchase through cold cash or bank loan financing. It enables you to maximize the financial benefits such as tax credits and boost your home’s market value.
An upfront solar energy system purchase will be beneficial if:
Accordingly, you may also make a small profit off your new solar panel system at home. If you have unused electricity from your system, you may opt to sell this to your utility using a net-metering arrangement.
Community or Shared
Besides financial constraints, many households in the country shy away from a rooftop solar system since they have inadequate space in their roofs or they are merely renting the property.
If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot do a rooftop system, you can consider investing in a community shared solar program. These may be owned by a private solar developer, nonprofit organizations, or several community members.
Generally, participants pool funds together to purchase a large-scale solar panel system that can generate sufficient electricity for many households.
A community-backed system proves to be a great choice if:
Leasing a solar energy panel will also be another possible option to consider. In this case, you can benefit from the system’s solar power, which is technically owned by another person or entity.
Similar to property leasing, you will need to pay regularly to continue using the equipment. It often involves significant upfront expenses and monthly payments over some time. The monthly fees will be based on the average amount of electricity produced by the system.
If you’re looking to save on monthly electricity costs, this option will suit you best. On average, homeowners who avail of a solar lease spend less than they do on their regular bills.
Consider solar leasing if:
Power Purchase Agreements
Another method is to sign a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), where you may host company-owned solar energy systems and purchase the generated power.
A developer will offer to settle the system set-up, financing methods, and relevant permits with no additional costs.
Through this method, you may pay for the solar electricity generated by the system at a set price. It is usually available per kilowatt-hour of electricity.
Generally, purchasing the system’s generated power costs less than the retail rate offered by your local utility company.
It is a great option to consider if:
Another efficient way for neighborhoods to switch to solar would be through Solarize programs. In essence, a group of local businesses and homeowners gather funds to cover a solar panel system purchase at a discounted rate.
A bulk purchase allows more homeowners to benefit from solar electricity, especially with the model making the process more streamlined, increasing solar demand, and reducing installation expenses.
For further reading, check the Solarize guidebook to ensure this method suits you the most.
Solarize programs can be a good option if:
It would be best to consult your professional installer and local utility company to know the available programs in your area. Remember that every situation varies, and the best solar financing option for your property will heavily depend on many factors.
How Effective are Solar Panels?
Several major influencing factors measure the average amount of electricity generated by your solar panels.
If you want to determine the efficiency of your home solar panel system, keep these factors in mind:
Maintenance Costs of Solar Panel System
The expenses in setting up a home solar panel system don't stop at the upfront costs. You will also need to consider spending on ongoing maintenance and upkeep.
On average, maintenance-related work will cost you $100 per hour. The annual maintenance will combine to $18 per panel. When availing of the services of a professional repair technician, prepare to pay both the hourly rate and material cost.
Since the upkeep varies from one domestic solar panel set-up to another, the total expenses may be somewhere between $100 to $3,200.
What are some of the most popular maintenance fixes for a solar panel system at home? Let's discuss them in detail below:
Removal and Cleaning
To remove an existing system, you can expect to spend around $2,500 to $2,800. The per-hour rate for a single panel replacement will cost you $135, with the replacement unit priced at $202 to $472. After removing the old solar panel system, you may also opt to give it a thorough cleaning– which runs from $14 to $27 for each panel. However, if you live in an area with frequent rains, you can count on the system to clean itself.
Meanwhile, dry or polluted environments will make your system prone to dirt and debris accumulation over time. It will also affect the efficiency of your solar panel system by up to 30 percent.
With that in mind, it's always advisable to ensure annual cleaning and maintenance services for your unit for guaranteed energy optimization.
Broken Glass Panels
Repairing broken glass will only set you back approximately $20 for an epoxy bucket or up to $475 if you need to install a brand new panel.
Removing the broken piece and replacing it with a new one could be tricky for newbies– as you will need to prevent interior water condensation and glass fogging.
It's best to consult a professional to carry out the process successfully. Experts can even help salvage a broken glass by applying epoxy or stained-glass tape to secure a fractured cell that's still generating sufficient output.
Fixing cracked panels or any cracks in your solar panels may cost you $270 for about 2 hours of professional labor. It doesn't include the expenses for new materials yet, which will depend on the severity of the cracks.
Expect a total panel replacement to cost an additional $270 to $405. In some cases, a professional may rescue the unit by soldering the edges together.
Once you notice any visible crack in your system, it's best to work on addressing the problem immediately. Doing so will help you save on severe repair costs eventually.
The cost of individual solar panels varies depending on several factors, but keep in mind that it's still cheaper to solder cracks than opt for total replacement.
Repair Loose Connection
Similar to repairing cracks, it will cost you $135 for 1 hour of loose connection repair.
This common problem causes the connection to cut in and out, the panels heat and cool. You can quickly determine this if you strike the panels sharply.
Typically, a trained professional will cut through the soft silicon material to work on the back of the cells. Doing so makes any cuts and padding material to be easily fixed. Afterward, they will re-solder the equipment to complete the process.
How much do Solar Panels save?
In a year, expect to save between $880 and $2,025 once you make the switch to solar. In 25 years, that would amount to approximately $20,000 to $54,000 extra savings on your end.
State Solar Panel Rebates and Deductions
Different states and localities also have their policies and incentives for solar power system installations.
In some cases, utility companies offer up to 10% to 20% rebates on installation expenses. If you combine this with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) incentive, your savings may add up to 50% at most.
Here are some general rebate guidelines for certain states:
Property Tax Exemptions by State
Benjamin Franklin once said: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." As your property value increases, the same applies to your property taxes.
Fortunately, several states offer tax exemptions when it comes to solar system installation. Refer to the table below for property tax exemptions per state:
Solar Property Tax Exemption
100% Tax Exempt
Arizona, Colorado. Connecticut District of Columbia. Florida. Indiana. Kansas. Louisiana. Maryland. Michigan. Minnesota. Missouri. New Jersey. New Mexico Oregon Rhode Island Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin
Alaska. Hawaii Now Hampshire. Ohio. Virginia
100% exempt for 20 years
100% exempt for 10 years
100% exempt for 5 years
Iowa. New York. North Dakota
100% exempt until 2025
Illinois, Nebraska. Tennessee
Tax exemption of 550 000 or 70% of total property value
Alabama Arkansas. Delaware. Georgia. Idaho Kentucky. Maine. Mississippi, Nevada. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania. South Carolina. Utah Washington West Virginia. Wyoming
Several studies have proven that a home solar panel installation will raise property values. In particular, one study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) determined that a standard system can increase your home value by $15,000 more.
Keep in mind that energy-efficient features are a good selling point for properties in the real estate market. Not to mention, it is a money-saving addition in the long run.
Of course, this would still depend on your property's location. If you live in sunny California, your home value will significantly increase. For cloudy, rainy regions such as Washington– the rise will take on a lesser margin.
Refer to the table below for a quick overview of the average home value increase based on size according to LBNL:
Solar Panel System Size
Average Increased Home Value Amount
Note that the average amounts are somewhat on par with the installation costs of a home solar panel system. Consider it a significant factor in deciding to make the switch.
Factors Affecting the Home Value-add of Solar Panel System
Several factors may affect the home value-add of residential solar panels. Listed below are the most defining aspects for your reference:
Are Solar Panels a Great Home Investment?
At one point, many homeowners wonder if their property is a good candidate for a solar panel installation.
Questions such as: is my roof suitable for a solar panel system? Will I save more money if I make the switch? Will my system accommodate my home power needs? It's wise to weigh the overall impact of solar on your property's value before signing a contract with a professional solar installation company.
Some impactful factors to help you with the decision are as follows:
In discussing a solar PV system, you will surely stumble across a solar battery storage system that costs $44,500 and $63,800 on average. These batteries can store any generated energy from your home solar panel system– which you can use later. If your panel runs out of sufficient power from heavy usage or extreme weather conditions, solar batteries are there to your rescue!
It is an excellent addition for homeowners with an off-grid system or those who opt to store excess energy rather than returning it to the grid (net metering) for small bill reductions.
Any surplus energy from your solar PV system will accumulate into the battery– which will make it ready to use on-site whenever you need it.
Selecting the battery type for energy storage purposes is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Common Solar Battery Types
Having solar batteries at home is one step closer to energy independence. If you want to maximize your home's solar power potential, consider investing in this technology.
You will no longer worry about running out of solar electricity on days with severe weather conditions. Count on its stored solar energy that’s readily accessible the moment you need it. How convenient, right?
Project Process of Solar Panel Installation
If you're considering a home solar installation project for quite a while now– you are probably curious about what goes down in the installation process.
There's quite some work involved before the solar panels are set up on your roof.
We'll streamline the general step-by-step guide below for your reference:
1. Engineering Site Visit
Upon signing a solar contract, expect an engineer to pay an on-site visit to your property. They are in charge of conducting necessary evaluations to ensure your new solar energy system will function without fail.
Generally, they work with your installer for a streamlined, uniform project– although it can also be an independent provider in some cases. The engineering site visit will begin shortly after signing a contract to keep the ball rolling.
The current roof condition and the home electrical panel will be evaluated by a technician accordingly. It is a crucial step to ensure your new system's maximum efficiency and safety.
If you are advised to do an electrical panel upgrade, it's usually because your new solar panel system needs higher amps of current. Hence, it's better to increase its ampere capacity.
Note that an engineer visit is different from a general site visit. The latter is when an installer inspects your property to determine the ideal system size for your needs, considering various factors such as your roof type, shading, and the like.
Since a home solar panel system is a hefty investment, you can expect the project to require tons of relevant paperwork.
A good thing about hiring professional services is that your installer will deal with securing all necessary permits. It includes all applicable local solar incentives (federal ITC, financial incentives, government rebates, solar programs, and solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).
Aside from incentives application, other necessary paperwork such as local building permits also needs to be secured. Keep in mind that permits vary depending on the location of your property.
Some areas require at least three feet of clear space around the solar panel system, while other locations allow total panel occupancy on your roof surface. Ideally, your installer will be aware of all the relevant requirements and restrictions in your area.
This step will heavily depend on how fast your installation company can finish submitting all paperwork. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to check in every once in a while to track progress.
3. Equipment Delivery
After securing all necessary paperwork and permits, it's time to place an order for your equipment from solar distributors across the country.
Usually, a solar company will lay out all the necessary equipment in your home solar panel system before the contract is finalized. For homeowners who want some wisdom on selecting the best equipment in the market, pay attention to the quality of your chosen solar panels and inverters. These two main components will significantly define the efficiency and performance of your new home solar system.
You can ask your installer for personal recommendations on the best brand for your needs. Some may also offer several alternatives should you want to consider a few choices. In choosing a brand, keep in mind factors such as efficiency, durability, and warranty.
It would also help to do quick online research on the top-rated solar panels in your area. Doing so will help you narrow down your list further.
Expect the inverter, panels, and other equipment to arrive on the exact date of installation. It happens once all the previous paperwork has been settled, which runs for about a month or two.
The waiting period until installation day will also depend on your contractor's current pending projects. If you want a quick home solar panel installation, schedule the project sometime in the winter as it is the off-peak season for most solar companies.
4. Installation Process
This stage in the project process involves the actual installation of your residential solar panel system. You'll finally get a glimpse of what your roof will now look like with all the solar panels set in place!
First, a technician will prepare your roof to ensure all tiles are correctly attached. Next, electrical wires are connected to the panel and the power system.
Once the electric wires are all completely sorted out, tracking is installed to support the panels. It's usually the only equipment to be attached to the roof.
After ensuring the racking is evenly attached, panels will then be placed accordingly. The final step of the system set-up involves connecting the inverters to the panels- which converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) energy. Then, you can now start converting sunlight energy into usable electricity to power your home.
The entire installation process typically takes 1 to 3 days, depending on the size of your solar panel system. Another factor that may affect the duration will be adding a power meter for net metering, which adds a few more hours to the process.
5. Approval and Interconnection
Finally, you are now one step away from generating clean solar power directly from your roof. You will need to secure approval from a local government representative before connecting the solar panels to the electric grid. Usually, a post-installation inspection will take place to ensure your installer sets up the system properly.
It includes double-checking all connected wires, sturdy mounting placement, and ensuring the system follows applicable electrical and roof setback codes. After passing this inspection, the official grid interconnection will push forward. If there are no faults or issues in the installation project, you can expect your panels to function after the final connection.
The waiting period for local government and utility company approval usually takes at least two weeks to one month.
With that in mind, installing a solar panel for your home doesn't happen overnight. It involves an intricate process that may run for one to three months before you can start producing clean energy for your home's electricity needs.
Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
With over a million residential solar installations in the country, solar energy continues to soar in popularity. This clean, plentiful, and money-saving home energy source is only expected to grow in numbers for the next few years.
Let's take a look at the benefits and drawbacks involved in making the switch to solar:
Pros of Solar Energy
Why are over a million households in the country making the switch to solar? To give you an idea of the several benefits of a home solar system, we've listed down the most prominent ones below:
Cons of Solar Energy
Like every alternative energy source, several drawbacks are associated with having a solar energy system at home. Here are some of them:
Choosing between Solar Contractors and Companies
Deciding between a local installer and a large, nationwide solar company will be entirely up to you. Can you use some savings from the installation expenses? Do you prioritize the quality of the service more, without minding the costs?
Usually, the choice boils down to large, national companies that work throughout the country or small-scale solar companies operating in a specific locality or region.
To help you make an informed decision, refer to the table below to determine the pros and cons of choosing local companies or installers in your area:
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Local Solar Installation Company
Wide range of product options
A support to the local economy
Lower service prices
Trusted word-of-mouth recommendations
Lesser business stability
Inadequate reputation assurance
The fair price points are because most local companies face less pressure and red tape on service pricing and profit criteria than large, nationwide companies.
Smaller companies also operate in a relatively tight-knit working environment. It usually motivates employees to do a fantastic installation job and encourages teamwork. Should one team member fail to live up to the company expectations, the company leader can easily be held accountable to improve their craft and do a better job moving forward.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Renowned Solar Company
Flexible solar loans and leases
High business stability
More expensive services
Limited product choices
Fixed service prices
Outsourced labor crew
Large companies on a national level of operation boast more resources and successful projects. However, their services aren't offered at a fair price.
One study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) proved that large-scale solar installers typically give higher quotes 70% of the time compared to local companies. These quotes also came at an additional 10% more than the average price point.
Large firms are expected to adjust their service pricing according to their financial goals and current market share. Many of their contractors are also publicly traded, and they are accountable for keeping a specific profit margin to their shareholders.
If budget is not an issue on your end, signing with a national solar installer is one excellent investment to make.
So, how do you determine the best choice for your home energy needs? First, prioritize your main priorities, current financial capacity, and expectations. These key factors will help you make the ideal choice for your situation.
At the end of the day, it's better to choose a solar installation company that guarantees exceptional service and quality work at a relatively fair price that won't have you breaking the bank.
Checklist in Choosing Solar Contractor
Running a background check and browsing positive online testimonials– all of these steps may be overwhelming for an inexperienced homeowner regarding home improvement projects.
With that in mind, here are some guidelines for choosing a reputable solar contractor in your area.
Additionally, here are some guide questions you need to keep in mind to figure out if a particular solar company fits what you're looking for:
It is crucial to ensure you're signing with a reputable solar company in your area to make the most out of your new residential solar panel system. There are so many irresistible sales pitches and offers that making the best choice can be somehow challenging.
Nonetheless, the guideline above may help ensure you're making the right decision.
Solar Panel: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In every home improvement project, damaging other parts of your house results from improper installment methods. Therefore, installing solar panels can’t damage your roof as long as you invite a qualified professional to do it for you.
In an age where we can easily access do-it-yourself videos on the internet, some people might be capable of installing solar panels themselves. However, we highly recommend leaving this kind of job to licensed professionals to prevent risking your safety and additional costs due to an improper installation.
The total generated energy from solar panels is defined by several factors such as sun hour, orientation, and shading. On average, solar panels can still produce 250 to 400 watts of power per hour in today's market.
Will I save money with solar?
Solar panels will require you some investment upon purchase, but they can save you a lot of money in the long term. Having it installed can give you enough power to decrease electricity costs from your monthly bill.
Is solar safe to use?
For most homeowners, solar panels are safe to use and do not produce any hazardous chemicals or create a danger of any kind. It is probably one of the main reasons why solar is definitely worth your investment.
How often should I replace solar panels?
Studies show that the efficiency level decreases around 0.5% annually and has to be replaced once it dropped below 80%. Computing through these figures, your solar panel might last for at least 40 years before you can decide to purchase a new one.
What is the life expectancy of solar panels?
Solar panels are durable and made to last. On average, a solar from today’s market may last for about 35 to 40 years when it is not physically damaged.
More than a million households in the USA have already made the switch to solar. And it doesn't stop there, as more homeowners are continually expressing interest in a residential home panel installation.
Think of this alternative power source as your way of giving back to the environment, given that it produces clean and green energy.
Additionally, you are also future-proofing your property by making the switch to solar. California and Maine already issued mandates for all-electric systems in 2020 to reduce individual carbon footprint.
The trend of renewable living and all-electric systems will only continue to soar in popularity in the long run. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact your local solar installation company today!