How Much Do Solar Panels Cost to Install? Your Complete Cost Breakdown for Solar Panel Installation

If you’ve been thinking about installing alternative energy for your home or business, such as a solar power system, it’s helpful to know how much it cost. Solar power does cost less. However, it takes time to recoup your investment.

By understanding how much it cost to install solar power, you can figure out how many years it will take to recoup your upfront investment in solar energy. One of the first questions that most people ask when checking out solar power is, “How much do solar panels cost to install?”

Most likely, you’ve probably already heard that solar power can help you to save on energy costs. However, you may want to know the exact amount of those savings.

The easy way to figure out how much you can save with solar power is by figuring out how much you pay per watt for electricity. Across the United States, this rate is relatively consistent. However, things may start to get a bit more complex when you consider the cost of installing and using solar power.

To learn how much it cost to install solar panels, read on.

Average Cost for Solar Panels

On average, solar panel cost comes to about $22,600 for a new system. What’s more, that cost is dropping steadily.

Most homeowners pay between $6,500 to $30,000 for new solar power installation. For systems that put out 3 kW to 10 kW, you may pay about $2.50 to $3.50 per watt.

However, you can save more. Until the end of 2020, you can continue to deduct 26% of solar panel installation cost from your federal taxes.

Utility costs will continue to rise. Accordingly, it makes sense to get in on solar power now to get the most out of the investment.

Each year, solar power engineers make improvements in the field. Because of these advancements, solar power systems have become more affordable and easier to set up with each passing year.

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular. What’s more, it’s getting cheaper to make solar power products. Resultantly, the cost for solar power installation is also dropping.

Things are very different from what they were just ten short years ago. Now, homeowners have more options, and there are solar power systems to fit a range of budgets.

Solar Panel Cost per Watt

When figuring out solar panel system cost, there are four things that you want to note– the material, price, efficiency, and life expectancy of the panel. Monocrystalline panels cost between one dollar and $1.50 per panel. They last from 25 to 35 years and provide 17-percent to 24%-percent efficiency.

Polycrystalline panels cost between $0.70 and one dollar per panel. They provide 15-percent to 20-percent efficiency and they last 23 to 27 years.

Finally, thin-film solar panels cost between one dollar and $1.50. They provide 7-percent to 14-percent efficiency and may last 14 to 17 years.

Bear in mind that these are the costs of the panels, not including labor. These estimates also do not include fees for any other overhead for installing new solar panels.

It’s also important to know that solar panels can last beyond their estimated lifecycle. However, they will most likely produce significantly less energy once they expire.

On average, solar panels cost anywhere from $0.70 to $1.50 per watt. If you add up the total installation costs, solar panels may cost $2.50 to $3.50 per watt.

Solar Panel System Cost vs. Value

Solar energy installers use three common kinds of panels – monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, ranging from differences in price to efficiency.

It’s important to understand the differences and solar panel materials when deciding what will work best for your home, budget, and needs. A monocrystalline is the most energy-efficient material of the three kinds of solar power panels. Also, it takes up the least space.

It’s the highest quality solar panel material of the three and typically last longer. Because of this, manufacturers will usually warranty this panel for 20 to 25 years.

Meanwhile, polycrystalline panels aren’t as efficient as monocrystalline ones.

Still, they’re compact and more cost-effective compared to monocrystalline. Manufacturers make polycrystalline panels using silicon that’s not as pure as that of monocrystalline panels.

Because of this, polycrystalline panels are less efficient than solar panels. However, they’re more economical to produce. Resultantly, they cost less.

Thin-film solar panels are very flexible and versatile. Manufacturers create thin-film solar panels by layering photovoltaic material on glass or metal.

Thin-film solar panels are also a lower-cost alternative compared to monocrystalline panels. However, they take up much more space compared to either monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost to Install?

Installation adds considerable cost to the overall price of a new solar panel system. However, there are many things involved in the process.

Of course, there’s the cost of the panels. But you must also purchase an inverter and have it installed. Contractors must also charge for labor.

After installing the system, there’s also the work involved with balancing a solar power system. Furthermore, there are costs connected with the design and permit application process for solar power installation.

Most residential solar power customers install 5 kW systems. In total, the system may cost around $3.50 per watt to install. That amount comes to about $17,500.

However, you can save money on installation with a Solar Investment Tax Credit. By taking advantage of this incentive, you can save 30-percent on your installation.

That brings the total installation costs down to $12,250. Top solar companies will explain the process of taking advantage of this tax benefit.

Learn More About Tech!

Now you know the answer to the question, “How much do solar panels cost to install?” However, solar power isn’t the only interesting technology out there.

It seems like engineers come up with new and amazing tech every day. Fortunately, there’s someplace for you to stay on top of the latest trends in technology.

Visit our site often for a steady stream of the latest in tech happenings.

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