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Solar Panel Cost: What You Need to Know

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If you were ever thinking about adding solar panels to your home, now may be the time. The solar panel cost for installations is dropping across the nation. In fact, researchers with the Solar Energy Industry Association say solar panel costs are down about 70 percent since 2012. This may finally provide you the chance to add a solar energy system and begin saving money on your electricity bills.
Everything from the size of your roof, to the type of panel you choose, to where you live can affect the price. When you’re putting together your residential solar system, the savings can add up pretty quickly.
So, if you’re weighing the pros and cons, and wondering what a solar panel system will cost you, here are some of the things to consider.
  • Wattage Amount

Your solar panel system cost will be reflected by how much wattage you’re looking for. You can approach it any way you’d like. You can start small and add on, or put together your entire solar energy system at once.
But we recommend that you build a system that does not cover your entire wattage amount each month. So, a system that generates enough power to cover about 80 percent of your energy output each month is what we recommend.
  • How To Plan for future electric needs

If you plan on buying an electric car and want to power it with affordable solar power to save even more money, you might want to add some panels to your solar array. In one fell swoop, you could eliminate your home electric bill AND your car’s fuel costs.
  • Roof and Solar Panel Cost

Your roof may determine your solar panel cost. Not only will the size of your roof help determine the system size, but so will things like:
  • Pitch
  • Materials
  • Wear and Tear
Solar panels can be attached to just about any roof, but it must be in good shape. Learn here when it is time to replace your roof. Your solar energy system installer will also check to make sure the surface area is not blocked by trees. Trees sometimes have to be trimmed to allow more sunlight to reach your roof. 
  • Type of Solar Panel

There are different types of solar panels you can choose. They’re priced by efficiency, so the more efficient the solar panel, the higher the price. The most commonly installed panels in the residential market include:
  • Monocrystalline panels: 15% – 20% efficient
  • Polycrystalline panels: 12% – 15% efficient
Monocrystalline solar panels do cost a little more, but they are the most efficient. You will get more bang for your buck.
Geography Affects Solar Panel Cost
Where you live will also play a role. Someone living in Texas or Louisiana may have more sunny days than someone in Ohio.
Also, the price of electricity varies from state to state. Here’s a breakdown of a few states, according to a chart the U.S. Energy Information Administration put together:
State Cost- Cents per Kilowatt Hour
Louisiana
9.82
Arkansas 
10.61
Mississippi
10.98
Texas 
11.11
Georgia 
12.74
These are just a few examples, but you can see how much it can vary. It can help you determine whether you think it will be a cost-effective move to add a solar panel system.
  • Solar Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit has been around since 2006. It’s a federal policy designed to encourage you to install a solar energy system. It helps by offsetting the cost.
Until 2019 you’ll save 30 percent of the amount you invest, so you can get $3,000 back on a $10,000 solar panel installation. But keep this in mind, the tax credit drops to 26 percent in 2020, and 22 percent in 2021. After 2021, the residential credit goes down to zero.
  • Net Metering

You can also make a net metering arrangement with your utility company. During a sunny day, you may create more power than you are using. Your meter will actually run backwards and you will be credited with the excess power that you sold back to the power company. If you sell back more power than you use in a month, you can receive a credit for the extra power from the power company that will carry forward to the next month.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a solar panel system. But the fact of the matter is, it is more affordable than ever to install home solar. If you’re interested in getting a solar energy system for your home, or would like to estimate your solar panel cost.

Sunpro Solar can help you power your home or business with clean energy for years to come. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at 866-450-1012.

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