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Determining Home Solar System Cost

Many consumers may wonder what the ideal home solar system cost will be if they choose to go that route. While there are a number of components that go into creating a complete set-up, the basics are fairly consistent from structure to structure, with each piece adding to the bottom line. There are a number of additional elements that come into play, dependent on the individual energy needs. What a home solar system cost will be varies from case to case, but that is exactly why there are knowledgeable professionals to assist throughout the process.

Obtaining this specialized type of equipment will allow property owners to utilize the free energy that the sun’s rays give off during those sunny hours of each day. This environmentally friendly source of power decreases or even eliminates the cost of the standard energy they normally receive from the local power company. Besides the actual panels that absorb the sunlight to be converted into solar electric power, there are a number of other parts that make up the whole equipment arrangement. Specialized batteries are utilized to store this energy for future use, such as during the night time hours or overcast days when the sun is not shining on the equipment.

An inverter is necessary as it receives the electricity from that battery and switches it to the correct current level that is compatible with electrical units around the property. The controller is the last core element, and its job is to defend the battery by controlling the stream of energy between it and its recipients. Additional items that will add to the overall home solar system cost include mounting hardware, wiring, and actual installation, including any necessary permits and fees required in the local area.

With all of these required elements, the first question may be what the overall price tag would be to have it installed on an individual property. There are a number of further aspects that come into play when calculating the final rate. It can depend upon the location of the structure and whether or not it is on or off the grid. Falling off the grid will require added parts such as monitors, a controller, and extra storage batteries. Other factors to consider when determining the final home solar system cost include the general energy usage on the property, the climate and amount of sunshine for the particular locale, the size the building will require, and the goals the owner hopes to achieve with the equipment. Whether it is to ease energy expenses slightly or to become a zero-power property that takes advantage of net metering when permissible, these considerations can cause price fluctuations. 

Once the type and size of equipment is decided, it is important to understand the invoice breakdown. There will be the equipment charges as previously mentioned, all installation and fees necessary to obtain the proper inspections and permits, future maintenance, and any monitoring required throughout its lifetime. There are federal and local incentives to help offset the bottom line which may be 30%-50% off of the total.

With all of these components considered, the average home solar system cost from start to finish can range between $18,000 and $40,000 for a common 3-7 kW set-up. The lower end will result in roughly 20 years of payback, yet net metering, energy bill reductions, and the positive impact on the environment will compensate for this additional expense. While equipment prices have decreased over recent years, it is unclear as to how much more they will drop and how soon.

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