Saving the world is becoming simpler and cheaper than ever. The U.S. alone invested nearly $55 billion in renewable energy in 2019, proving that renewable energy uses are on the rise of the average cost of solar panels.
Solar panels are among the renewable energies that have risen in popularity in recent years thanks to a massive drop in their cost. For example, of the new power capacity added in 2019, approximately 67 percent was wind and solar power.
Keep reading to learn about the factors that determine the average cost of solar panels and thus their rising popularity.
Average Cost of Solar Panels
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Solar panels with the installation cost approximately $3 per watt currently, with most homes using a 6-kilowatt system. On average, with installation, solar panels range between $15,000 and $21,000.
While this sounds like a hefty amount of change, the costs of solar panels have dropped and keep dropping significantly. Solar panels cost 99 percent less than their original amount in the 1980s.
Cost Factors of Solar Panels
Solar panel cost consists of the cost of the panel and the cost of installation. Several factors affect the overall cost including the amount of sun your geographical location receives, the amount of access your home has to sunlight, your roof shape and size, and the amount of energy your home requires.
Solar panels generally cost the same no matter which solar company you use. But your home’s location will determine how many solar panels you need, and this affects your overall cost.
Think about it. Places like Yuma, Arizona, have full sunlight 90 percent of their days in a year, whereas Seattle has sun only 43 percent of their days. Even if you have no tree shade covering your roof, you cannot control when the sun shines.
The more sun you have, the more effective your solar panels will be.
Your roof needs full access to the sun for you to receive maximum benefit from your solar panels. So if you have large buildings or trees nearby that cast shadows over your roof, you may need more solar panels to receive the maximum benefit.
Solar panel companies will assess your home’s maximum potential for solar panel usage, noting where the best sunlight is for a panel on your roof.
Roof Size and Shape
The cost of solar panels includes the cost of the panel themselves as well as the cost to install solar panel. The size and shape of your roof largely determine both of these factors.
For example, installers may struggle to navigate the nooks and crannies of a gabled roof that creates shadows. You need a large area of the roof with few shadows to receive maximum benefit from your solar panels.
Energy Usage through Solar Panels
The amount of energy you use is the biggest factor in determining the solar panel installation cost. The more energy you use, the larger a solar system you need.
Average U.S. solar systems are in the 5-kilowatt range. However, if you have a large family or if you entertain guests often, you may need a bigger system, and this will cost more money.
Go Solar, Save the World
If you’re interested in a new way to save money and the planet at the same time, you can go solar. Your energy savings will make up the average cost of solar panel quickly.
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