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Having solar panels installed can help you save money on your utility bills. These panels also allow you to produce your own supply of energy for your home. Before deciding whether switching to solar is right for you, it’s important to understand the costs involved. More specifically, how much are solar panels for a home? Keep the following information regarding the cost of solar panels in mind:
- Types of solar panels
- Solar panel number and wattage
- Solar panel components
- Financial incentives
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Types of Solar Panels
The type of solar panels you get can affect the total cost. Some variations of solar panels include:
- Monocrystalline: These panels offer a high amount of energy efficiency and don’t take up a lot of space. They also last for up to 35 years. Costs typically range between $1 and $1.50 per watt for each panel.
- Polycrystalline: These panels aren’t as energy-efficient as monocrystalline panels, but they generally cost less. Polycrystalline panels have a slightly shorter lifespan that ranges from 23 to 27 years. Costs usually range between 70 cents and $1.00 per watt for each panel.
- Thin-film: Thin-film panels cost around the same as monocrystalline panels, but they take up more space. They also have a shorter lifespan that ranges from 14 to 17 years. Costs range between $1 and $1.50 per watt for each panel.
Solar Panel Number and Wattage
Other factors that affect how much you’ll pay for solar panels are how many you need and how much wattage they are. Solar panels can range from 2kW to 10kW in terms of wattage. Lower wattage solar panels typically cost less than ones with a higher wattage. For example, the cost of a 2kW-panel system can range from $5,000 to $7,000. The cost of 10kW-panel system can range from $25,000 to $35,000.
Solar Panel Components
When you have solar panels installed, you’re not only paying for the cost of the panels. Your overall cost will also include other components that are part of these systems, such as:
- Mount, including wiring and hardware
Mounts vary widely in terms of cost, depending on the type you get.
Different Types of Solar Mounts Include:
- Fixed: Fixed mounts have no movable parts that you can adjust to maximize sun exposure. These mounts are typically the least expensive, but they’re also less efficient than adjustable and tracking mounts. Costs can range from $10 to $15.
- Adjustable: You can adjust these mounts so that your solar panels absorb greater amounts of sunlight throughout the day. Adjustable mounts generally cost more than fixed mounts, but not as much as tracking mounts. The average cost for these mounts is around $50.
- Tracking: Tracking mounts are designed to follow the sun as it moves throughout the day, resulting in a high amount of efficiency. These mounts are usually much more expensive than fixed and adjustable mounts. Costs can range from $500 to $3,000.
Financial incentives can affect the cost of solar panels for your home. At the federal level, you can deduct 26% of the cost of eligible solar panels from your taxes. However, this rate only applies to 2020. In 2021, this tax deduction goes down to 22 percent. These tax deductions can help you recoup some of the cost of having solar panels installed.
In Texas, there are no financial incentives at the state level. You can check with your local electric company to see if any local incentives are available, such as a discount on the cost of solar panel installation. Keep in mind that you’ll need to meet the requirements for these incentives to use them.
Different financing options are available for solar panel installation. Solar loans allow you to purchase your solar panels while paying for them a little at a time. This might cost more upfront, although you can look into financial incentives.
Solar leases and solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) typically cost less upfront. However, you won’t be able to qualify for financial incentives for these, since you won’t technically own your panels.
Labor and Maintenance
How much are solar panels for a home overall? This will end up varying based on the factors mentioned above, but keep the following cost estimation breakdown in mind:
- 47% for equipment
- 35% for installation, including labor
- 18% for operational expenses, such as repairs and maintenance
The average cost of solar panels can range from $22,000 to $38,000. However, you might pay as little as $9,450 for lower-end panels or as much as $51,000 for high-end panels. Labor costs can range considerably depending on the size and wattage of your solar panel system. For example, you can expect to pay more in labor costs for installing a 10kW-panel system compared to a 2kW-panel system or a 3kW-panel system.
When it comes to maintenance and repairs, these costs can vary. Factors such as where you live and what kind of solar panel system you have can impact maintenance and repair fees. Keep in mind that maintaining your solar panels is an important part of helping them last for years before you need to replace them.
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