How Much Does Solar Panels Cost?

Updated January 22nd, 2023

Did you know that the number of solar power systems is growing fast every year? In the US, installations of small-scale solar power grew by up to 23% in 2021.

Solar energy is a fantastic way to power your home, and many people are making the switch each day. The cost of going solar has gotten a lot easier over the last few years, and you do not need to invest thousands of dollars as you may have in the past.

Are you interested in learning more about how much solar panels cost? Then be sure to read our easy-to-understand article then.

Common Cost Factors of Solar Panel Purchases

Solar panels are an increasingly popular energy source for homes, businesses, and public institutions. They provide a renewable source of energy at a much lower cost than traditional electricity costs.

You may check Blue Raven Solar as one of the most competitive solar energy system providers on the market. The upfront cost of installing a solar panel system can range from $15,000 to $25,000. Yet, the price of solar panels can vary based on several common cost factors when making a solar panel purchase.

Quality of the Product

Higher-quality panels maintain their efficiency for longer periods. They are more reliable, durable, and able to withstand harsh weather conditions.

For example, higher quality panels may come with a longer warranty, be able to generate more power, or be more resistant to damage. Additionally, higher-quality solar cells are made with higher-grade silicon. This can increase conversion efficiency and reduce the number of cells needed.

Installation Costs

Solar panels are relatively straightforward to install, and the costs are largely dependent on the size and complexity of the solar panel array being installed. The larger and more complex the solar panel array, the more costly the installation is.

The main expenses associated with the installation of a solar array include the hardware, labor, and installation materials. Additionally, some extra considerations, such as permits, inspection, and homeowner insurance, may contribute to the cost of installation.

Type of Hardware

Solar panels are composed of several hardware components, such as mounting brackets, panels, and inverters. Mounting brackets help secure the panels in place. Inverters convert the energy produced to usable energy for a home or business.

Depending on the type of hardware used, notable differences can be seen in the cost of the solar panel

Local Regulatory Fees

Local regulatory fees are one of the biggest cost factors in purchasing solar panels. These fees are typically incurred by the jurisdiction if you install the solar and can add up quickly. Different regions can have varying levels of fees and regulations, so it is significant to understand them before embarking on a solar panel project.

You can use local regulatory fees to offset the cost of connection, licensing, and inspection on a solar project.

Financing Options for Solar Panels

Financing options for solar panels are becoming increasingly accessible to consumers. A variety of financing options are available to help homeowners cover this expense.

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Loans

PACE loans are property-backed loans available in many states. They are designed to finance energy-efficiency improvements such as solar panels. They are typically low-interest, long-term loans you can repay through property taxes.

This may allow households to spread the costs over many years, making the cost of the installation easier to manage. Also, they give access to consumer financing with no money down and no out-of-pocket costs. It is an attractive option due to its long-term payoff, with environmental and financial benefits.

Solar Leases

Solar leases are arrangements between the homeowner and a third party. This includes solar panel leasing or financing companies.

The third-party owns the solar panels. Then the homeowner will pay the third party a set rate each month for the power the solar panels generate. This payment is generally lower than the homeowner previously paid for electricity through their standard energy provider.

With a lease, the homeowner may take advantage of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) for solar energy produced.

Power Purchase Agreements

A PPA is a financial agreement between a customer and an energy provider. The customer agrees to buy electricity generated by solar panels installed on their property.

Under PPA terms, an energy company typically owns and maintains solar equipment. This allows the customer to enjoy lower energy costs with no up-front investment.

PPA contracts generally have fixed rates and defined maintenance services. They provide certainty on the expected size and savings of the solar system.

Different Types of Solar Panels and their Costs

Solar panels come in several types and sizes, with each type having a different price tag. Overall, the cost of solar panels can vary significantly, depending on the type of solar panel and the amount of electricity you want to generate.

Monocrystalline Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are the oldest type of panel and are still one of the most popular. They are made of single semiconductor crystals and are known for their superior efficiency and thin profile.

Monocrystalline solar panel prices have come down quite a bit, making them much more affordable for the average homeowner. The cost of an installed system typically ranges from about $1 to $1.50 per watt.

Polycrystalline Panels

Polycrystalline solar cells are typically the least expensive option than monocrystalline solar panels. They have an average cost ranging from $0.90 to $1 per watt.

Having many small crystals, this type loses some efficiency compared to other types of solar panels, but it still provides a solid return when investing in solar panels.

Thin-film Panels

More efficient thin-film panels, such as those made from copper indium gallium selenide, cost between $1 and $1.50 per watt and are becoming increasingly popular.

TFPs have a longer lifespan than other types, which helps offset the slightly higher cost per watt. They can last up to 10-20 years, depending on the type and their environment. As a result of their excellent durability, TFPs are the most popular choice for many PV (photovoltaic) applications.

Consider This Solar Panels Cost Guide

Solar panel prices depend on the type, size, quality of the panel, and complexity of installation. With this in mind, the cost of installing solar panels can vary widely, from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

There are financing options for solar panels available for you. To invest in solar and learn more, contact a professional solar installer today to get a detailed quote and to determine if they are the best choice for you.

If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out our blog for more guides.

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