They’re green. They’re easy to install. And they may just be the solution to saving our planet from climate change.

When it comes to solar vs. electric, solar is the obvious choice for the climate-conscious person. As long as you have consistent sunlight in your area, you can install them. The question is, how much does solar power installation cost?

Solar power costs vary from place to place, and you may purchase more panels after you calculate solar savings. In this guide, we’ll discuss the cost of solar installation.

Solar Power Installation Cost: Calculate Your Wattage

It’s important to know that solar panel installation comes with an upfront cost. That said, you need to understand how that investment will pay itself off in the years to come. Whether it’s energy savings in solar power costs or government subsidies, there are ways to reduce the financial burden.

For starters, the general rule is to calculate via wattage. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay per watt about $3-5. That means that the average 5kW system will cost you between $15,000 and $20,000.

Of course, this all depends on your house size and energy needs. A larger house with higher energy needs will obviously require more panels, which means more installation fees and the cost of supplies.

Cost by State

Another factor to consider is the state you live in since the price of electricity varies from place to place. Places like Alaska (which don’t receive as much sunlight to begin with) have some of the highest energy costs at 19.36 cents per kilowatt hour. This is compared to places like Arkansas, which have a much smaller 7.78 kWh cost.

If you live in a state with high electricity prices, a solar panel may make more sense, financially speaking. Assuming that you get enough daily sunlight, it could prove to be far cheaper than paying full price for electricity.

However, you may live in an area with affordable electricity. You may employ different energy-saving methods, such as cooling your home in the evening when electricity costs are the lowest. You will have to do the math and determine if the cost is worth it in the long run.

Electricity Intermittency

Residents of Texas are all too familiar with the shortcomings of the Texan electric grid. There have been sporadic outages, and the crushing demand has driven up the cost of electricity. 

Further, you may live in a small town or off the grid. In either case, you may not have a consistent supply of electricity. Solar allows you to be more independent, giving you power when your neighbors may have none.

In these situations, the only alternative option may be a backup generator. But a quality, all-house backup generator is not cheap. It runs on gasoline, which in recent months has spiked to never-before-seen high prices. 

Solar power may be the cost-effective solution in these situations. Not only does it give you electricity when the grid is down, but it may prove to be cheaper than other backup options.

Battery Storage

Since solar only works when the sun shines, many use battery storage to store the surplus energy. This allows you to have energy at night and during poor weather. 

Prices vary widely for your storage battery solution. You may pay no more than $300 or as much as $15,000. Average prices hover around $6,000. 

That means that battery storage could save you a lot of money if you have high energy usage at night. It also solves the intermittency problem if you have brief periods of bad weather.

However, keep in mind that a battery system has a limited lifespan. Most lithium-ion batteries lose their full charge capacity after 10 years or less. You may need to replace your battery system, and that will likely cost full price.

Government Subsidies

The government continues to pour more and more money into green energy. They realize that we are in an energy crisis and that green energy must replace fossil fuels within the coming decades.

If you install a new system by 2022, you could receive up to 26% in tax credits. Even if you don’t manage to install it this year, you can still get around 22% before the end of 2023. 

Depending on your yearly income, this could provide massive savings. Be sure to research your area before you make this decision.

Geographic Area

Perhaps most important, your geographic area will decide the sort of savings you get. 

If you live in Arizona, air conditioning is a necessity. But air conditioning is costly to keep running all day. Since Arizona is sunny all year round, that makes solar panels an excellent solution.

The same applies to most of the southwestern United States. New Mexico, Nevada, Southern California, and others are very sunny. Even without high air conditioning usage, these places will benefit a great deal from free electricity.

Residents of Alaska, on the other hand, may not see the benefit. They experience months where the sun only shines for a few hours a day and inclement weather that obscures the sun. Despite high energy costs, there may be much cheaper options available.

Find the Right Solar Installation for You

Solar power provides free energy, helps with intermittency, and is essential in hotter climates. So how much is solar power installation?

Your solar power installation cost will vary depending on your area, the price of electricity, government subsidies, and more. You need to research everything you can for the place you live in before contracting an installation.

However, you can expect to pay between $15,000 and $20,000 on average.

Solar panel installation is just one aspect of owning a home. Follow our blog for more informative articles on home ownership.

By Manali