It’s undeniable that one of the major appeals of solar energy is the potential for financial savings over the life of the system. As is the case with most great ROIs, though, a solar installation does require an initial lump sum to become operational (it’s called a return on investment for a reason, after all). So, just how much can you expect to pay when first installing your solar panels and energy system? There are a variety of factors that can affect the price tag, and the better informed you are, the more affordable your system may end up being.

The Basic Cost of Solar

Solar energy is becoming more and more affordable as its popularity increases. In 2018, you can expect to pay an average of $3.14 per watt of solar panels, including their installation. The amount of wattage you will need depends on the size of your home or business, the amount energy you consume, and the level of energy independence you are looking to achieve. The best way to determine your precise wattage is to contact a professional solar panel installation company and have them assess your home or business and create a proposal. Your proposal will include a full analysis of your property and a detailed ROI that will consider the financing and rebates available to you.   

Factors That Affect A System’s Cost

There are a variety of factors that can cause the cost of a solar energy installation to fluctuate. First, there are many different types of solar panels and inverters you can use for your home or business, and their prices vary. Solar panels are rated on different tiers. A professional will know which panels are best for you based on your needs.

The placement of solar panels on your home or office and the number required can also raise or lower your costs. This can be determined by a professional based on the following and more:

  • size and structure of your building
  • pitch of your roof
  • amount of sunlight accessible to you in your geographical location during different seasons
  • location of the sun in relation to your building at different times of day
  • amount of energy you’ll need to generate to power your building.

If your home or business requires more than one array of panels due to any of these factors, your material costs will generally increase due to the connections required between these sub-arrays.

One additional consideration when determining your solar panel installation cost is your location relative to your solar company’s office. If you choose to work with a local company, they will have less travel costs and can pass those savings on to you.

How to Cut Your Costs Through Rebates and Grants

When considering the cost of installing solar, it is important to remember the grants and rebates available to both commercial and residential solar customers. For commercial solar panel installations, the list of financing and rebates available is lengthy. These include the Federal Investment Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit of 26% of the cost of your solar panels, and the Minnesota-specific PACE program, where you can be approved for financing that equals up to 20% of your property’s assessed value. This all adds up to less initial investment and bigger returns for commercial solar panel users. In addition to the financial benefits, being a solar-powered company offers a variety of additional benefits for your businesses that really cannot be quantified.

If you are interested in installing residential solar panels, there are a variety of financing and rebate options available to you as well. For example, you may be able to receive a bill credit from your energy company. Residential solar energy systems also qualify for the Federal Investment Tax Credit. Does this seem overwhelming and time consuming to research? The professional team at Cedar Creek Energy will do the research for you and find the best financing and rebates available based on your location and needs.

DIY Installations: Money Saver or Money Pit?

Another important consideration when attempting to determine the cost of solar panels is whether you will be installing the panels yourself or hiring an expert team to install them. While you may pay less initially with a DIY project, you can certainly run into costly issues if you aren’t well-versed in solar and electrical projects. As previously discussed, there are so many factors that cause installation costs to fluctuate. Without the necessary experience and certification, you can easily overlook these variables and end up paying for it in the long run. For this reason, it’s best for most people to utilize the assistance and electrical expertise of professionals when installing a solar energy system.

Obtain A Personalized Estimate

The most foolproof way to determine your cost to install a solar energy system is by consulting a professional solar panel company. When you contact Cedar Creek Energy for a complimentary energy audit and consultation, we will meet with you at your home or business to determine your current energy usage and costs before recommending solar solutions that can drastically cut your monthly energy costs.

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