How Much Do Residential Solar Panels Cost For An Average 2000 Square Foot Home
Solar panel cost is often measured as the cost per watt of solar. This makes it easy to compare the relative value of solar systems of different sizes in terms of the watts of power they can produce.
Our data shows that the average cost of a residential solar system in 2021 is $2.85 per watt, before the federal tax credit. At that price, a typical 7 kilowatt home solar system would cost $19,950. The cost would fall to $14,763 after claiming the 26% solar tax credit.
The cost of residential solar panels has dropped dramatically over time. In fact, it has fallen over 70% in the past decade.
In 2019 alone, the cost of solar dropped by 5%.
How Are Solar Panels Installed On A Tile Roof
Tile roofing is one of the most popular kinds of roofing. First, the tiles have to be removed. Stainless steel brackets are attached to the rafters. After this is done, the tiles can be put back on as they were before.
Next, railings are mounted onto the brackets. Finally, the panels are placed along the railings. A gap is left between the roof and the panels. According to LG Energy, air circulation cant happen without these gaps. This is why they are so important.
Impact On Electricity Network
With the increasing levels of rooftop photovoltaic systems, the energy flow becomes 2-way. When there is more local generation than consumption, electricity is exported to the grid. However, an electricity network traditionally is not designed to deal with the 2- way energy transfer. Therefore, some technical issues may occur. For example, in Queensland Australia, more than 30% of households used rooftop PV by the end of 2017. The famous Californian 2020 duck curve appeared often for a lot of communities from 2015 onwards. An over-voltage issue may result as the electricity flows from PV households back to the network. There are solutions to manage the over voltage issue, such as regulating PV inverter power factor, new voltage and energy control equipment at the electricity distributor level, re-conducting the electricity wires, demand side management, etc. There are often limitations and costs related to these solutions.
When electric networks are down, such as during the October 2019 California power shutoff, solar panels are often insufficient to fully provide power to a house or other structure, because they are designed to supply power to the grid, not directly to homes.
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So Is Solar Really Worth It
When installations are assessed, designed and performed properly, solar energy is one of the best investments you can make. Solar panels are worth it for the majority of customers in the country, but there are certainly some disqualifiers, as described above.
Given the current price of solar energy and an expiring solar tax credit, we predict 2022 will be one of the best times to go solar. Those waiting for prices to drop further may be disappointed when either the tax credit expires or solar prices stabilize due to booming demand.
How Much Is Your Energy Bill
Knowing how much you pay for energy is the first step in evaluating whether your house is a good candidate for solar. The main question is, will it save you money? In some areas, electricity is very inexpensive. For most homeowners, the electricity bill is a dreaded monthly expense. The general rule is that solar makes the most financial sense for someone with a monthly electricity bill of at least $75. Why? Because going solar replaces utility energy with solar energy, and we want our customers to see a return on that investment by paying less for that energy. A utility bill of $75 is the threshold at which residential solar customers will see solar savings. There are several ways to go solar, depending on a customer’s needs and goals. SunPower offers zero-down lease, loan and cash purchase options each with different benefits. Ask your local solar expert about local and federal incentives and electricity policies where you live.
The overall idea is to pay less than you currently pay, lock in your electricity rate and save money by generating your own clean energy onsite.
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What You Need To Know About Solar Panels And Different Roofs
We at Svea Solar often get questions regarding solar panels and roofs:
- “Which angle is best?”
- “What happens if my roof faces southwest?”
- “Can I integrate solar cells directly into the roof tiles?”
In the following blog posts, we work out some of the most common questions about solar panels and roofs that we hear from our customers.
Replacing Roof With Solar Panels: Money Matters
Imagine for a minute that youve already installed solar panels without changing your roof, and suddenly after some time, your roof starts sagging.
Not only will you have to pay an additional price for removing and then reinstalling the panels, but you might even risk damaging your solar panels in the whole process.
Plus, while the panels are off, you wont be generating any electricity. This means your electricity bill will also go up during this period.
So, while replacing roof with solar panels may seem quite costly initially, but in the long run, its saving you from a lot of trouble. There are plenty of different solar panel funding options, which will make your decision a bit easier.
You can find an option that makes the most sense for you.
We also suggest you sit down and do a cost analysis before you call in the solar/roof installation team. This will help you get a better idea of how much it will cost and how beneficial it will be for you in the long run.
See Related: Solar Panel Insurance Guide
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Beating High Power Costs
The Garon family of San Diego, California, couldnt justify the utility costs for their sprawling 4,500-square-foot home. San Diego has high utility rates, and with our family of seven, someone is always turning on lights, watching the television, or using their computers, Lorraine Garon says. It cost us nearly $30,000 to have our solar system installed two years ago, but we saved over $6,000 just the first year in electric costs!
Can Residential Solar Panel Owners Participate In Real
ComEd and Ameren customers with rooftop solar installations can still participate in their utilitys real-time pricing program , but this is only recommended if you own your panels. If you are on a solar lease or Power Purchase Agreement, you will be charged a different rate than what you received in net metering credits on your utility bill. Customers who receive net metering cannot also participate in ComEds Peak Time Savings, ComEds Time-of-Day Pricing, or Amerens Peak Time Rewards.
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Offsetting Solar Panel Costs
Another big driver of solar’s growth are the federal and state-specific solar programs deployed to provide financial assistance for solar installations. These programs include local and federal tax credits and other rebates. Top solar companies should be able to help you identify and apply to any programs you are eligible for. These incentives have proven effective in areas like the Northeast, which may not be known for their sunshine but have made the benefits of solar available to a wide demographic.
The current federal solar investment tax credit provides a 26% credit for systems installed through the end of 2022. State incentives can be added on top of this for even more savings. Rather than cutting down the initial cost of solar, most statewide incentives focus more on rewarding you for the solar energy that your home produces to accelerate your ROI. You can learn more about your state’s incentives by searching the DSIRE database.
Solar Power For The Home: Benefits
A significant benefit to PV installation is a lower energy bill, but the magnitude of this benefit depends on the amount of solar energy that can be produced given the available conditions and the way in which utilities charge for electricity.
The first consideration is the solar irradiation levels available in the home’s geographical location. When it comes to using solar panels, being closer to the equator is generally better, but other factors must be considered. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory produces maps for the U.S. showing solar irradiation levels the tools on its website provide detailed solar information for specific locations within the U.S.
Similar maps and data are available in other countries as well, often from government environmental agencies or renewable energy organizations. Equally important is the home’s orientation for rooftop arrays, a south-facing roof without trees or other objects obstructing sunlight maximizes the available solar energy. If this is not available, panels can be mounted on external supports and installed away from the house, incurring additional costs for the extra hardware and cables.
The final benefit is the potential effect on a home’s value due to the addition of a solar array. In general, it is reasonable to assume that solar panels would raise the value of most homes.
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How Long Do Solar Panels Last
Most standard solar panel warranties ensure that your solar panels will last at least 25 years. As solar panels age, their power output decreases. Its normal for a warranty to guarantee that they will produce over 80% power output at the end of 25 years.
However, this is just a minimum lifetime. Its possible for solar panels to last well over 30 years. In fact, premium panels, like SunPower’s, will guarantee at least 92% power output in Year 25.
Replacing Your Roof Its A Great Time To Add Solar
If youre thinking about replacing your rooflike millions of other homeowners every year in Americayou may also be considering adding solar at the same time. In fact, an average of 2.3 million single-family, detached homes per year will require a roof replacement over the next decade. If just a fraction of those homes go solar at the same time, it would represent significant progress toward U.S. decarbonization goals. Heres what you need to know.
First, costs: the average cost to replace a roof is about $10,000, depending on the size of the roof and other factors, and it will last anywhere from 20 to 50 years depending on the materials used. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory , the average cost of installing a residential rooftop solar array is $19,000. Combined with a roof replacement, the total bill can amount to nearly $30,000 however, NREL researchers estimate that when done together, the average cost could be $25,000, potentially saving homeowners an average of $4,000. You may also be eligible for the federal tax credit for solar photovoltaics, which could increase your savings by providing a tax credit for 26% of the cost of solar arrays installed in 2021 or 2022. You can find other potential savings at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
Thinking about taking the plunge into solar energy? Check out our Homeowners Guide to Going Solar to learn about how to get the process started.
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Reasons Why I Dont Have Solar Panels On My Roofyet
Living near Boulder, Colorado, we enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Thats more than Miami or San Diego have. We have a south-facing two-story home with the roof positioned about optimally for panel arrays. Several of my neighbors have large arrays, and the colorful trucks and cars of solar install crews and salesmen are as plentiful as the neighborhood rabbits.
So, why dont my wife, Char, and I go with the flow and get a great deal on a rooftop solar installation?
Well, I agree that rooftop solar is generally a good thing for a whole lot of reasons, but because of the following, Im just not readyyet.
1. Not Yet Economicfor me
Solar installation costs have fallen to less than $4/Watt and a few states have reached grid parity meaning that power from those panels costs the same as that provided by the local utility grid. As far as I can tell, Colorado, where I live, isnt one of those states, even though we have plenty of sunshine. Thats because the economics depend so heavily on various tax and rate incentives, which vary from state to state. Its not just a matter of cheap panels.
Panels are expected to drop to less than $2/Watt by 2020, and by 2017, Colorado will probably reach true grid parity, again assuming incentives stay the same. Thats only two years away another reason to wait a bit before pulling the trigger.
2. Big Changes Coming
I think Ill wait and see whats coming down the pike.
3. Unrealistic Lifetime Expectations
If You Decide Solar Panels Are Right For You Find A Registered Installer And Get Three Quotes
As we’re MoneySavers, not electricians, picking installers isn’t our speciality. You can see the firms shortlisted for the British Renewable Energy Awards 2020, run by the Renewable Energy Association, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.
The system and the installer should meet the standards of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme . And make sure the installer is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code.
As always, get at least three quotes, and get ’em in writing. When comparing quotes, check the following are included: scaffolding, removal of the existing roof and other roofing works, internal wiring works, sorting out a connection agreement with the energy supplier, electrical connection work, and a generation meter. Fitting the panels themselves is a one or two-day job.
Once they’re fitted, registering your panels is a must you’ll need an MCS certificate, which you’ll use to register for smart export guarantee payments with a licensed energy supplier.
Never borrow from solar companies to pay for the panels
Some installers let you buy solar panels on credit. If you don’t have the cash upfront, panels aren’t for you. The loan’s interest could dwarf the savings.
Solar panels are generally low maintenance
The Energy Saving Trust says little maintenance is required on a properly installed, well-designed solar PV system, though you’ll likely need to replace the inverter a gadget that is a key part of the mechanism within about 25 years .
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Why You Should Choose A Company That Provides Roof Replacements And Solar Installation
You started this article just wanting to get solar panels for your home, and now you might to replace your roof too! That means you have to search out roofing companies in your area, schedule consultations, sign a contract, bring that team out and then do it all over again for your solar installation contractor!
Yikes, thats a lot of work!
It doesnt have to be. Some solar installation companies also offer roof replacement services, including Semper Solaris. There are many reasons to work with just one company for your roofing and solar needs. First, youll save a lot of effort. Its much easier to work with a single project coordinator than to research, assess, and hire two separate companies. Next, youll save time. It can take weeks to get on a contractors schedule. By combining projects, it will all be done be done together.
Probably the biggest benefit of working with a single company for roofing and solar is that you can enjoy significant cost savings. At Semper Solaris, combining a roof replacement with solar installation allows us to be as efficient as possible. We are happy to pass those cost savings back onto our customers. We can even offer you financing options to make your roof replacement and solar panel installation more affordable.
What Are My Other Options For Solar Panels
If you want the benefits of solar panels but dont want them on your roof, there are ways to make this work.
According to Pick My Solar, you can choose between a ground-mounted system or community solar. These options dont require solar panels to be mounted on your roof. This is especially useful if you have a wood roof and want to prevent the fire risk.
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Identify Roofing Problems On Your Own
Sometimes you donât need a professional roofer to tell you that somethingâs wrong with your roof. Hereâs a few roof problems that are easy to identify on your own.
- Missing shingles. This is easy to spot, and a common problem. Severe wind can lift roofing material away, leaving a gap in coverage.
- Damaged shingles or tiles. Curling shingles and cracked roofing tiles are easy to spot from the ground. Asphalt shingles that have lost too much of their granules will start to quickly degrade from UV exposure and start to curl around the edges. If you see this, itâs time for a replacement.
- Lots of shingle granules washing away. If you see a lot of shingle granules washing out of your downspouts or caught in your gutters, thatâs a sign that your shingles are nearing the end of their life. Granules will start to separate more easily from the shingle as the asphalt dries out and degrades, so if you see a lot of granules at the base of your downspout, thatâs a sign that you need a roofer to take a closer look.
- Damp spots in the attic roof. If you donât have a cathedral ceiling , go up to your attic and take a thorough look at the underside of the roof sheathing. If you see any signs of rot or water stains, thatâs a sure sign that you have an issue.
If you see any of these issues in your home, call a roofer right away.