How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
When first introducing solar to customers, we’re often asked, “How much do solar panels cost?” A person might say, “My house is X square feet, how much will
solar panels cost?” or, “What is the typical cost?” While these questions are valid and commonly asked, unfortunately there’s no short answer to them. There are just too many things to consider that vary from customer to customer. To get a better idea of what goes into a custom solar installation design, here are the factors our solar energy consultants consider.
Energy Usage On Your Electricity Bills
The first factor considered in solar panel cost is your historical energy consumption. Our consultants like to look at a typical year of usage so they can know how much electricity is used over the entire course of a year, not just certain months. With this information, they can design a solar system that will produce enough electricity to cover the demand over the course of a year. This also allows them to address future plans or lifestyle choices with customers. If a customer tells our consultants that they use their AC some but not as much as they’d like, our consultants can then estimate how much more electricity that extra AC use will consume. Same principle applies to other high-demand appliances – pool pumps, EV chargers, hot tubs, etc. Your energy usage determines the needed output of the solar system.
Our consultants design custom solar systems that are intended to meet the energy needs of customers for the next 25 years, so understanding past usage and future plans is critical when determining solar panel cost.
How Much Energy Does My Home Use?
When our solar energy consultants sit down with potential customers to determine solar panel cost, they’ll ask for electricity bills because they need to know the historical energy usage of the household. While home size does affect this, there’s more to it than X amount of square feet equals Y kWh of electricity. They’ll also ask customers about lifestyle habits and future plans – Do you run your AC as often as you’d like? Are you considering an electric vehicle? Are your kids moving out in the near future?
Roof Orientation For Solar Panels
For most successful rooftop solar installations, the rooftop orientation for solar panels should be facing south. This is so they’re exposed to as much sunlight as possible. In the event that the panels cannot be placed on the southern side of a home, panels can be installed in what is called a reversed-pitch.
If a rooftop installation is not an option, or for those homeowners with large yards, a ground mount may be a good alternative. Mounting is another factor in solar panel cost.
Rooftop Solar Installation
Type of roof is another factor to review when asking yourself “How much do solar panels cost?” Some roofing materials are more complicated to work with than others. Composition shingle is the easiest for a rooftop solar installation, while clay tiles require a lot more attention. Also, a roof must be in somewhat good condition prior to having solar installed on it, so applicable roofing work may need to take place, which may factor into the total solar panel cost.
Solar Financing Or Solar Purchase
After a solar energy consultant considers these factors and others, a “solar panel cost” can be determined. Solar financing vs. solar purchase is another factor that has an effect on cost. If you’re ready to get more information, call us today!