The Cost of Installation of Solar Panels
If you are shopping around for solar panels, you should look at the overall cost of installation it could bring. Understanding the solar panel system’s durability and ability to extract renewable energy are just some of the factors that can affect its price.
The very first thing that hinders many households from switching to solar power is the price. Before going solar, homeowners often ask how expensive solar panels are and how much it would cost them if they choose to invest in it. “Are solar panel systems really as expensive as many people say they are? If yes, then why?” Read on for the answer to these questions.
Numerous factors affect the cost of solar panels. Perhaps one reason of its price is the availability of raw materials to produce it. The panel’s lifespan and efficiency can also affect its price. According to a recent update by Global Sources, a reputable manufacturing database, the average solar panel will cost you between $1,750- $2,500 per kW (kilowatt) of installed capacity.
To help you understand how solar panels are given its final price tag, here is a breakdown:
Solar Panel Parts Costs
- Solar Panels. The average cost of solar panels from manufacturers scale around $1.10 per watt and they retail for around $2.00-2.50 per watt for the common residential consumers. However, for large utility scale solar panel buyers, the cost is lower. The size and number of solar panels are major factors that dictate a system’s price. The costs for solar panels are cheaper for thin film solar cells but have lower efficiency. Generally, solar cells cost between 40-60% of the overall system costs.
- Solar Inverters. A solar inverter costs around $0.50 per watt for small buyers of solar power systems, but can cost lower for larger kilowatt inverter sizes. In addition, it makes up around 10% of the overall solar panel system costs.
- Installation. It is the cost paid to the installer or the fitter to connect the solar panel systems and the balance of systems (BOS) to the roof. The cost of solar installations may vary between 10-20% of the overall costs.
- Balance of Systems (BOS). Balance of Systems or BOS comprises the solar mounting systems such as wires, cables, and batteries that are necessary to connect the solar panels to the inverter, and at the same time mounting the solar panels at the right leaning to produce the upper limit energy. BOS can amount between 15-20% of the overall solar system.
- Permit, Inspection, Regulation and Other Costs. Solar panel installations need permits, inspections, and regulations from the government to acquire incentives. In the United States, these can form between 30-40% of the overall costs.
The Cost of Having your Solar Panels Installed
- Solar Panel Companies. There are companies that offer products and professional installation services. The installer or fitter doing the work will have to consider the solar panels itself, difficulty level of the job, type of system you want installed, and the customary installation to come up with the final cost. These factors vary according to the fitter. You will be spending around $4,500 for the actual components and installation labor.
- DIY solar panel installation. Self-installed solar panels can save you up to 50% of the watt price. Before you decide for a DIY solar panel installation, you should consult with the dealer to check if the warranty will be applicable in case you carry out the installation yourself. Solar panel kits contain everything you need for the installation. The kits’ prices differ from each manufacturer. You will most likely spend less than $800 for a DIY kit.
- Building your own solar panels. Households can also build a solar panel system for themselves. While this method can save on some costs because you will be buying your own solar cells, panels, install the wires, and mount the panels yourself, if you are not experienced with DIY, it might not be the best solution for you. Expect to shell out at least $300 on installation supplies if you want to build your own solar panel system.
Bear in mind that a lack of knowledge in the manufacturing and installation process of solar panels may cause you to over-excess within your budget. Therefore, a careful and thorough research between the different factors that affect the price of solar panels may help reduce costs and help you find the best solar panels that fits your finances and needs. Understanding the costs involved is the initial step to having a solar powered system that will bring down your electricity bills for the many years to come.
Examples of Solar Panel Costs
For specific examples, you can get details on the cost of a complete solar PV system, with rebates included, by clicking here. They make it really easy to understand how much a PV system for your house would cost and how to set it up depending on your location.