How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar On My Home?
The first question that comes to mind for many homeowners who look into solar is, how much does it cost? The cost of solar is composed of more than just panels – to give you a better idea, we’ve broken down some factors that influence the cost of your solar system as a whole.
Factors That Affect The Cost of Solar Energy
- How You Finance Your System
- Energy Demand and System Size
- Current Condition of Your Home
- Net Metering
- Rebates and Incentives Available
How You Finance Your System
You can lease, finance, or purchase a solar energy system. If you lease a solar system, you essentially rent it. This way, you get to reap the benefits of a solar system with paying to install it. With this option, you do not own the system so you won’t be eligible for rebates and incentives. If you finance your solar system through a loan, you are eligible for rebates and incentives because you are the owner of the system – the same goes for purchasing a system outright. When you finance through a solar loan or purchase upfront, it will likely increase the value of your home – only boosing the value of your investment. We have several financing options that allow you to make the switch to solar with zero down payments.
Before you decide how to finance your system explore all of the options so you can find the best fit for your home and financial situation.
Energy Demand and System Size
An unsurprisingly key determinant of the cost of solar is the size. The size of your system is largely dependent on the amount of electricity that gets used in your home each month. To determine your home’s energy demand, look over your utility bills for a whole year. You can calculate it by finding the average monthly usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The kWh is a good indicator of how much solar capacity you will need to cover your family’s electricity needs.
You can purchase a system that will offset all of the electricity that your home uses. However, buying a larger system usually means there will be a larger price tag. You can help offset even more of your electric-demand by using other various strategies. You can switch to energy-efficient appliances, install LED lightbulbs, install a smart thermostat, and seal any openings or cracks. There are so many different ways you can make your home a green, energy-efficient space.
The materials necessary to complete a solar project make up only a portion of the total cost of solar. Materials include but are not limited to the panels, inverters, mounting brackets, and other hardware for electrical work. When you meet with an ION representative, they will quote your solar project with the cost of materials and labor included.
The manufacturer, type, and model of the solar panels used for your install affect the cost of solar. One of the biggest differences between ION Solar and the other guys is that we use only top-of-the-line equipment. That means more efficient production, long-lasting panels, and a better-looking install.
Current Condition of Your Home
Before solar is installed on your home a site assessment will be done to ensure your roof and home are suitable for solar panels. Your roof’s age and condition will be considered before the process can move forward. There could be costs added to the price of switching to solar if there are necessary repairs or replacement needed to your roof. This also applies to any main service panel upgrades or out of the norm electrical work that is required.
Where you are geographically located is a determining price factor. Certain states are more solar-friendly than others offering more incentives and rebates to homeowners looking to switch to solar.
Living in a sunny area means you could need a relatively smaller energy system. The smaller the system the less-expensive it is. Vice versa. If you live in a more overcast climate you could need more solar panels increasing the overall cost of your system.
Solar energy production varies depending on the time of day and year. Solar systems are likely to hit peak production during the day when people are out of their houses. Excess electricity that is produced and not used immediately is fed into the utility grid. In the evening or during winter months when your solar system isn’t producing at full capacity, the electricity you consume will be pulled from the utility grid. This back-and-forth exchange of power is known as net metering.
Net metering plays into the cost of your system because homeowners can sell excess solar that is produced by their panels back to their utility company. Depending on the net metering laws in your area; you can either receive credits for your extra energy production or in some instances you can even get paid for them.
Tax Credit and Solar Incentives
The federal tax credit can effectively reduce the total cost of solar. Homeowners can deduct 30 percent of their system costs from their federal tax liability. The tax credit applies to both residential and commercial systems until the end of 2019. The federal tax credit will drop to 26 percent in 2020, then to 22 percent in 2021.
The cost of solar can be reduced even more depending on your state’s solar incentives and local and municipal incentives. Our ION representatives will be able to provide the most up-to-date information on solar incentives when you meet for a solar consultation. You can also find a comprehensive list of solar incentives and policies by states on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables. EnergySage also has a great tool that can help you identify solar rebates and incentives in your state. Take full advantage of the incentives and credits available to offset the cost of solar.
Get a Free Solar Estimate
The best way to know “how much solar will cost” is to set up a free solar consultation with one of our ION representatives. You can schedule a consultation on our website or by calling us at 855-208-5625. Our ION representatives will help determine if solar is right for your home. They’ll answer all of your questions and prepare a savings estimate.
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