What Do Solar Panels Cost?

Solar prices are falling, which is good for homes and businesses. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s yearly Tracking the Sun report, the average price of adding solar to your property, has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past year. That’s certainly something to think about the next time you decide to renovate or build your home or business office.

The dip in prices is attributed to lower soft costs. Median installation prices this year continue to take a dive: $0.3/watt for residential solar panel systems, $0.2/watt for non-residential systems above 500kW in size, and $0.5/watt for non-residential systems below 500kW. While the price trend for associated costs declines, solar panels cost remains steady.

One median sized gridtie system that generates some 815kW a month would cost about $10,500, before Federal tax credit. There are also rebates from the state or utility company to consider. So naturally, that number would still go down.

Before you set a budget for your solar panel system and its installation, it’s worth going over key factors that determine cost.

You’ll need to think about whether you want to generate 100 percent of your electricity or just a portion of it. If you intend to generate your own electricity, you may want to go with an off-grid type of system.

You should also take a look at your previous electric bills. This will allow you to figure out just how much electricity your home or office may be using.

Other considerations that affect the cost of your solar panel are its physical size, the quality of materials, its durability, its warranty period, and the certifications that might come with the system.

But choosing the best solar panels for home should not simply rely on the cost of the module alone. An expensive solar panel might not necessarily deliver all the benefits; a high price is not a guarantee of quality. You might have chosen the best solar panel, but if it is not installed the right way, it might not provide efficiency and performance.

Quality installation means better efficiency, better performance for your solar panel system. And quality installation will depend on the credentials and experience of your solar panel installers. They will need to determine the best area to put it in and the ideal position, making sure that it gets sufficient sunlight.

Solar panels are no longer expensive. With the average system costing a little more than $10,000 (without installation), it’s a good investment for your home or business. Especially when you consider how you’re able to save $20,000 over 20 years.