How much do solar panels cost? This is the question. The benefits of installing solar panels, such as their ability to decrease your reliance on fossil fuels and power up your home without being connected to the grid, are well known. In some cases, it can help you save money overall, thanks to reduced energy bills in the long term. However, those benefits need to be weighed against the overall cost of the system, too. If you have been wondering how to work out the actual energy costs of your solar system, here is what you need to know.
What are you paying for?
You might think that paying for solar leads to better habits as a homeowner as it relates to monitoring and staying abreast of your power consumption. You are getting a lot more when you hire a reputable company that provides engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC). You pay for all the hardware, including the stacking system, investors, conduit, wiring costs, and more.
Aside from the costs of the equipment itself, there are what is known as soft costs, which are the services that the company provides. This includes the site survey used to check the viability of solar at home, the system’s design, permits from the local utility infrastructure for interconnect, facilitation of solar financing products with incentive options, installation, and labor costs. The ongoing maintenance of the solar system through equipment monitoring technology is often included in the prices.
As such, when you consider the price of installing solar, keep in mind that you are paying for all the above, too.
Working out how much you are paying
Most reputable solar companies charge on a price per watt (or PPW) basis. To determine the specifics of your pricing, you will want to know how many watts per year you are using and the PPW cost. If your solar system is designed to provide 11,000 kW hours per year, then you have an 11-kW system. This is also known as your system size.
You can multiply your kW hours by PPW to determine your total system cost. For instance, 11,000 kW x $3.30 per watt = $36,300 per incentives. This is the total system cost or EPC value
You can also down the same in reverse if you know your system size and total cost, but not your price-per-watt. You would divide your total system cost ($36,300) by your system size (11,000 kW) to work it out at $3.30 per watt.
How much are you likely to pay?
Most reputable companies in the northeast typically charge $2.50 to $4 depending on various project requirements and soft and hard cost changes. For example, a ground mount system typically costs more than installing a solar system on the rooftop.
The residential solar companies provide a comprehensive approach while providing turn-key business leads and a full-service customer experience. This means that less time is spent on the process, and you can enjoy greater peace of mind that you have a single point of contact for the entire process.
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