What is the average cost of solar panels – Forbes Advisor


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Solar panel costs

Solar panels cost on average around $ 16,000, or between $ 3,500 and $ 35,000 depending on the type and model. While solar panels can help you save money on energy costs, it is important to know the overall start-up costs of solar panels so that you can plan a budget.

Average cost of solar panels

Cost of solar panels by type

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

On average, monocrystalline solar panels (the most energy efficient option) cost $ 1 to $ 1.50 per watt, which means that equipping a 6kW solar panel system (also known as a solar system) costs between $ 6,000 and $ 9,000.

Polycrystalline solar panels

Less energy efficient than monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels cost $ 0.90 to $ 1 per watt, so equipping a 6 kW solar panel system would cost between $ 5,400 and $ 6,000 which makes it a more affordable option.

Thin film solar panels

On average, thin film solar panels cost between $ 1 and $ 1.50 per watt, which means that equipping a 6 kW solar panel system costs between $ 6,000 and $ 9,000. Thin film solar panels are cheaper than their counterparts, but require a lot of space and therefore are mainly used in industrial environments.

Solar panel installation costs

Installing solar panels can cost between $ 15,000 and $ 25,000. This price will depend on location, with solar power costing more in areas further from the equator, such as Alaska, and less expensive in sunny areas.

When to install solar panels

Contrary to popular belief, winter is actually the best time to install solar panels. There is simply less demand for this service in the winter, so the installation should cost less overall. Even if you live in an area that tends to be cloudy and / or cold, your solar panels will still be able to generate power and in some cases even generate more power than they would during the peak months. hotter.

The installation of solar panels during the winter is, in addition to being profitable, efficient. With installation companies doing less off-season work, your panels will likely be installed faster and be up and running in no time.

How much do solar panels save?

While solar panels cost money up front, they are sure to save you money in the long run. The question of how much solar panels you will save depends on a number of factors, including the daily direct sunlight hours available for the panels, the angle of your roof, and the size of your solar panel system. . The most important factor, however, in determining how much money solar panels will save you, is simply your local electricity rates.

To determine how much money your solar panels will save you each year, calculate how much you spend on electricity each year (For reference, the typical American family spends about $ 1,450 per year on electricity). Next, figure out what your current utility tariff is, keeping in mind that utility tariffs tend to increase by around 2.2% each year (yet another reason to install solar panels).

Use an online calculator to estimate your annual savings by filling in information such as your location, energy use, and the current average price of installing solar panels in your area.

A common misconception is that solar panels will completely eradicate your electricity bills. While this is sometimes the case, solar panels will dramatically reduce your electric bill each month and are worth the investment as a whole.

Final result

Whether you are looking to reduce your electricity costs, your carbon emissions, or both, solar panels can deliver significant savings. The main factor in determining how much money a solar panel system will save you in the long run is the cost of electricity, which can vary widely depending on your location.

If you live in an area with mid to upper tier utility rates, you can pretty much guarantee that a solar panel will save you a lot of money over time. Solar panels tend to be worth the investment as long as you go through the installation process wisely.

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