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Solar Panel Costs

Solar Panel Costs

So, you’ve decided to switch to solar energy. You have already settled on where the system should be installed, what should you expect in terms of the system’s costs? Solar panel costs can vary, but the easiest way to compare is by price in dollars per watt. This metric is relatively standard across the United States, so you can use this when figuring out your solar panel costs.  [/vc_column_text]

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Factors to Consider

The costs for an average-sized installation of a PV system in the U.S. usually range from $2.51 to $3.31 per watt. So, what does this mean for you? The size of installation that you choose to put on your home will change the cost. Installing a larger system will require more equipment and more labor, which will increase the cost. The type of panel that you choose to install will also change what price you payMonocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film panels all have different costs and efficiencies.  Other factors, such as tax credits and the general cost of electricity in the state you live in, will also influence the cost of your system.  


Pros and Cons by State

Every state in America has different energy costs. When it comes to solar, these price variations are no different. However, almost every state’s cost falls within a $0.50 cent margin of the $2.96 per watt national average for 2020. For the most part, the different costs in each state fluctuate with the state by state electricity costs.  

Not only do the costs of solar vary by state, but the savings as well. Different cities and states have electricity costs charged by local utility companies, different amounts of sunshine, and different local rebates and incentives for going solar. The solar panel payback period will also vary depending on where you live. The average U.S. household can break even on their solar energy system in just over 8 years, but in many cities that number is even lower. Using an online calculator can be a huge help in determining whether solar is right for your roof. 

Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. As long as you own your solar system, you are eligible for the solar tax credit. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. However, this tax credit is expiring. In 2021, the tax credit will fall by 4%.  

Single Panel Costs

If you don’t have a huge installation to do, or just feel like you have enough knowledge to do it yourself, you may be wondering the costs for single panels. Solar installers have direct relationships with distributors and can buy in bulk. Therefore, they can often purchase solar panels at a much lower rate than the average consumer. Solar companies can typically get a single solar panel at a price of $0.75 per watt. If the solar panel output is 250 watts, that single panel might cost you $187.50.  

However, if a homeowner is trying to buy one or two panels for their own for a small DIY project, they will pay closer to $1 per watt. That means the same solar panel could cost closer to $250. Typical solar panel costs run from as low as $0.85 per watt to $1.25 per watt with output ranging from 150W to 350W. The inverters, solar batteries and other additional equipment that are needed for a fully working system also add to the solar panel costs that you saw earlier in this article. There is no doubt that having a contractor install your whole system is cheaper than trying to do it yourself.  

Maximizing Savings

There are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to switch to solar. Getting a variety of quotes from different companies can help you weigh your options, and make sure that you are not being overcharged. Homeowners who get 3 or more quotes can expect to save $5,000 to $10,000 on their solar panel installation. Also, when determining which company can get you the best price, it is our first instinct to look at big companies. When it comes to solar, however, big companies tend to charge more than smaller companies. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. And finally, consider all of the possible equipment before deciding on your panels. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in the highest quality solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find out what is right for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers. 

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If you are taking steps to make the switch to solar, check out our website and let us help you find the right fit for your roof! We hope this article was helpful, and that you consider looking into our services.