One of the primary reasons why homeowners decide to install solar panels is to save money on their monthly power bill. As the world’s crude oil reserves begin to dwindle down, the cost of non-renewable power is inevitably going to rise. This is simple supply and demand, and unfortunately there’s no other way around it. With that said, more homeowners are seeking alternative methods to power their homes, such as using solar panels. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the cost involves with their installation and use, and we’ll reveal how much the average solar panel system costs to set up.
Before we go into the actual costs associated with solar panels, it’s important to understand that most setups won’t provide enough energy to power a house. Depending on how large and complex your setup is, it may harness 60 to 80% of your home’s power, which is good enough for most people including myself. Of course you can always go the extra mile and install bigger and better solar panels, but the price will quickly rack up when up start doing this. For this reason, it’s recommended that you stick with basic solar panel setups until you’re familiar with how they work.
Size and Scope of Your Solar Panel Project
Before you jump into purchasing and installing solar panels for your home, you should try to determine how large of a project you’re willing to invest your time, money and energy into. As stated above, most average-sized solar panel systems will provide your home with roughly 60 to 80% power, meaning you’ll still need to have a backup power source. So, just how much money does it cost to purchase and install an average-sized solar panel system on your home? Depending on the type you decide to go with, you should be able to buy them for as little as $500, making them a smart investment that’s sure to pay off in future power bills. Generally, solar panels are priced based on the amount of energy they are capable of producing.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more on the initial cost of your solar panel system, you can generate enough energy to completely free yourself from the clutches of the power company. As you can expect, though, the prices starts going up when you add larger panels into the mix. Depending on your home’s energy needs, large-capacity solar panels can run you well over $10,000, and that’s usually on the low end.
One of the unique benefits to creating more than enough energy to power your home is that you may be able to sell it back into the local power grid. Call and check with the power companies servicing your area before installation to determine whether or not this is a viable option for you. The few minutes it takes to call them could potentially leave you with a passive stream of income for automatically selling unused solar energy.
Miscellaneous Costs Associated With Solar Panels
In addition to the cost of the actual solar panels, you’ll likely be confronted with a few other miscellaneous costs. One of the most expensive “other” costs necessary for solar panels to work is a power inverter. Going back to the basics of science, you might remember how Direct Current (DC) power must be converter to Alternating Current (AC) to be used in most modern-day homes, which is the purpose of a power inverter. It takes the DC power generated from your solar panels and converts it into ready-to-use AC power that travels throughout your home. Although their prices vary depending on a number of factors including regional location, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $1,500.
It should go without saying that you’ll need some mounting hardware to properly install the panels onto the roof of your home. This usually consists of screws, brackets, rails, clips and occasionally support beams. The type of mounting hardware required will depend on the size and type of solar panels you choose.
Last but not least, you’ll need to run wiring to and from each of your solar panels. This is something that you’ll need to hire a professional electrician to come out and do for you, as messing with electricial wiring is both dangerous and oftentimes illegal.