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Cost of Solar Panels

What is the typical cost of solar panels? Now that's a simple yet tough question, because there are so many details that have to be considered when appreciating the total price of a solar powered panel!

Cost Means More than the MRP Sticker

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People usually refer to the 'cost' of an object as the price of that item, but the truth is in case of panels run by sunlight, things aren't this simple. The cost of solar panels is not a simple sticker with a three digits price.

When estimating the total costs involved by mounting your own solar panels, you have to consider the materials you need to purchase, the accessories and extra features, the installation labor and also the maintenance cost. But that's not all - besides the expenses, solar panels also mean savings! Energy and money savings, as they not only provide lots of extra electricity, but they are also very efficient in decreasing the electricity bills! So you should think of solar home or portable panels as long term investments - a little expensive in the beginning, this kind of devices are surely worth the money due to their long term benefits.

How to estimate the cost of solar panels?

Understand Your Requirements

First of all, think about the reason you want to purchase these devices and the purpose you're getting them for. Are you looking for solar roof shingles or tubular skylights? Do you want to mount some photovoltaic panels on the roof of your house, but on a limited area, perhaps for heating up the water or saving some expensive electricity during nighttime? It's really important to make it clear why do you want to purchase solar panels and where are you going to put them. Then, ask yourself if your home's structure is resistant enough to support them and whether the frame needs some changes or not. The installation space will influence the dimension of your future solar panel, and this is actually one of the most important parameters that decide the final cost of solar panels.

Factor In the Installation Costs

The installation labor will increase the price of your solar powered equipment but it's better to pay some extra money and to be sure the panels are mounted properly and safe than to do this work by yourself and assume the afferent risks. The average price per each watt produced by the panel is somewhere around $7-9, but with the installation labor it reaches $12. Most of the photovoltaic cells available on the market are able to provide up to 3 watts of energy, so the more energy you need for your house, the more you're going to pay for your solar powered cells.

Decide on the Quality and Size of the Devices

In case of average residences, the cost of solar panels is usually around $20,000-25,000. Larger photovoltaic devices can reach even $50,000, and even if the size of two different panels is the same, their prices can be different as this also depends on the producer and retailer. The quality of the cells used, the materials they're made of, the technology included in the solar panels system and other similar factors can boost up the final price of any sunlight powered equipment.

If you're really not comfortable with paying so much for a solar panel, you can try purchasing a less complex, older system. The minimum deal is about $4-5 per watt, for a basic solar powered photovoltaic device, so for each 50 watts produced you'll be paying $215. Now multiply this number in order to obtain a panel that's able to fulfill your home's electricity needs and check yourself the final cost of solar panels required by your house.

Check the Local Government Norms for Rebates

Check out whether you're eligible for receiving governmental support as an incentive to buy the photovoltaic system. These incentives can significantly reduce the total price of solar panels but they're available only in certain states. A recent federal law provides a 30% tax credit for photovoltaic energy generators, and sometimes companies and retailers can also offer some discounts, so if you're really interested in these aspects and do a little research before purchasing the system, you can reduce the initial cost of solar panels with almost 80 percents!

These being said, perhaps it's time to take a look at the financial benefits of home solar panels as well!

Benefits and Payback Period

It's more than obvious that such an investment increases the value of your residence, so in case you consider selling it and you're not sure about the new final price, here's a quick estimation. In average residences, value rises about $20 for every $1 decreased in the total energy costs - therefore, if your solar panels help you reduce your electricity bills with $500 a year for example, your home value increases by about $10,000! Sounds promising, doesn't it?

The total cost of solar panels is usually recouped in about 8-10 years, for average homes, but it can take even more for larger residences and commercial buildings. So if you decide buying some photovoltaic cells for your house make sure you're already aware of all the aspects involved and don't hope for a quick investment recovery period. It will take some time but you'll be seeing the energy benefits from the first months after installing the panels! Beside this, the cost of solar panels is really not that important compared to the positive feelings associated with the investment. Not only you'll have your own electricity source - independent from the grid, so safe and secure even during power failures, but you'll also reduce the air and water pollution associated with traditional energy forms!

Now you can calculate and estimate how much it would cost you to power your entire home using photovoltaic panels. If it really seems a lot of money, perhaps you should wait another 2-3 years, as researchers and producers plan to make future improvements in solar energy systems. These improvements refer mainly to the materials used for solar cells but also to increasing the efficiency of sunlight powered devices and they'll surely reduce the cost of solar panels.

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