3. Estimate and compare residential solar panel costs – The brunt of the expense with solar panels is in installation and the purchase of the actual panels. Minimal long-term costs can make up for the upfront costs. “Most systems don’t require much maintenance and are designed to last for 20 years or more with little change to the amount of electricity produced,” Nilsen says.
When calculating the total price, consider how much energy you regularly consume — your usage is listed on your monthly utility bill — and what size system will generate the amount needed. Some tools, like the SolarReviews calculator, estimate the system size for you. With installation, an average residential 5-kW system costs from $3 to $5 per watt, according to the CSE, which results in the $15,000 to $25,000 range.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost? – Cost of Solar Panels in 2021 Explanation
That cost is before any tax credits or incentives. If you know your current energy usage, you can calculate how much you’ll need to pay for solar panels. Then comparison shop for solar panels as you would other big-ticket items, such as a car or TV, says Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of the solar marketplace EnergySage.
How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?
What is a Good Solar Payback Period? – The most common estimate of the average payback period for solar panels is six to ten years, This is a pretty wide range because there are many factors that will influence the number of years it can take to pay off your panels and the monthly savings you can expect.
For example, a larger solar installation is going to have a higher upfront cost, but higher monthly savings. And if the electricity rate from your utility goes up significantly, that can have a large impact on your long-term savings as well. Modern photovoltaic (PV) solar panels should last at least twenty-five years, with at least 80% efficiency at the end of that period.
Some new models of solar panels can last even longer than that. So, if your payback period is ten years, you are still looking at around fifteen years of additional savings on your electrical costs.
Are there grants for solar?
2. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – The RHI is a government scheme which, as it says on the tin, promotes the use of renewables. Solar thermal panels are available through this scheme, providing they are Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified.
- This is an important point and you’ll need this information as part of the application process.
- The scheme ends in March 2022, so you’ll need to be quick to get your application in.
- Under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which will replace the RHI from 1 April, solar thermal will not be directly supported.
- But the government has said some solar panels can be installed as part of a heat pump system which is funded on the scheme.
You can apply if you live in England, Scotland or Wales and you own your home. Self build homes are eligible, too. Homeowners can apply through the Ofgem (opens in new tab) website. However, before you can receive payments, you’ll need to have an EPC completed, and any recommendations made, such as additional insulation, will need to be installed.