Are Solar Panels Expensive?
That depends on who you’re asking! Of course, the nay-sayers will always find a way to make the cost of this efficient and effective technology seem outrageous. But considering the rising prices of traditional fuels, along with the environmental cost of the damage of emissions, solar companies are assisting in reducing expenses more than they are adding to them.
There is no denying that outfitting your home or business with solar panels and the additional infrastructure can be a hefty cost upfront. But what’s often overlooked is the potential to earn money by selling energy excess energy to the power companies operating your local grid. Not only that – when comparing monthly costs of purchasing from energy suppliers versus utilizing a solar system, there is usually at least a $10,000 to $30,000 difference in expenses. That’s enough extra cash to cover a good portion of someone’s tuition!
We haven’t even discussed the fact that solar panel installation is more affordable now than it ever has been. As the industry develops and more options become available, various incentives continue to come into play when considering the market value of solar panels. There are many government rebates available for those willing to make the switch.
Costs of Installation and Materials
If you’re interested in the kind of savings mentioned above, you’ll need to know more about what it takes to get a solar system installed. Remember, you’re not just covering the cost of the panels themselves: you have to consider labour, installation of solar mounts, installation of solar inverters, and other miscellaneous costs such as local permit and inspection fees, as well as any taxes on the panels themselves
Overall, depending on the size of the building you will be powering, as well as the scope of the whole project, the upfront costs can vary quite a bit. Costs will also vary by area, but in general, the price of solar technology has been greatly reduced over recent years due to an increase in low-cost manufacturing as well as new solar energy incentives.
Expense by Size
An extremely brief example of the cost to install a solar panel based on its size is as follows. For a 2kW panel, the average installation cost is $6015. For a 4kW panel, that doubles to approximately $12,035. Doubling that again, an 8kW panel will cost about $24,552. These are general US national standards – they will vary by state and country.
Less Isn’t More
Although the upfront costs of investing in a solar setup can be quite high, it is a capital intensive investment that is designed to be sustainable in the long run. Spending more upfront is the best way to ensure that you are truly saving your money. One reason to spend more initially is solar energy batteries. When these are part of your system’s installation, you can cache even more energy, which can sometimes negate net metering altogether.
You also need to consider just how much energy your building consumes. It is wiser to invest in a larger area of solar panels when possible, as you can offset any additional energy costs by net metering excess energy from your solar panels back to the power grid. If you don’t have enough solar energy to power your home, you will still be paying monthly electrical bills. While you can control the decision to invest in a larger amount of solar panels, you can’t control the weather and how much sun you will be receiving!
It is extremely important to have a genuine grasp on just how much sun your panels will be getting in the area you have installed them. You need to understand how much sunlight is generally available in your area throughout the year, and factor in details such as how to position the panel correctly to get the most sun. If you live in a densely wooded area, a valley, or a city amongst lots of buildings, this will also play into how much sunlight is available to your system.
A Wise Investment
Overall, as solar power systems continue to grow in popularity and the panels themselves become more easily available, investing with a solar company may seem expensive but is likely to save you money when correctly planned and executed.