Installing a solar panel system costs an average of $23,079. Depending on the kind you prefer, you could pay as little as $2,000 or as much as $40,000. However, most homeowners pay between $16,258 and $30,306.With energy prices on the rise, this may be the perfect time to go solar. Especially considering that improvements in this field of technology have made it more cost-effective and easier to set up. Homeowners have several options available to them which weren’t on the market in decades past and which fit a variety of budgets. Here are a few things to consider that will affect how much you pay.
Solar Panels Cost Per Watt
There are three types common in the residential market. Each one has its own pros and cons, from price to efficiency. It is important to understand their differences when deciding which will work best for your home and energy needs.
Monocrystalline – $1.00-$1.50 per watt
This technology will get you the most energy efficiency while taking up the least amount of space. Their solar cells are made up of a high-purity silicon which is very efficient at converting the suns light into electricity. A sheet of silicon is cut to form solar cells, which are arranged to create panels. These have the longest life expectancy and often come with a 20 to 25-year warranty.
Polycrystalline – $0.90-$1.00 per watt
These have a lower efficiency than Monocrystalline, but they fit better into smaller budgets without taking up a lot more space. In the manufacturing process, multiple crystals of silicon are melted and poured into molds to form the solar cells. This makes the silicon less pure and less efficient, but it cuts down on waste and production cost. The resulting modules are blue in tint.
Thin-Film/ Photovoltaic – $0.70-$1.00 per watt
These are extremely flexible and versatile, made by layering photovoltaic material on metal or glass. They cost less, but they will require a lot more space in order to power residential homes. They also have a shorter lifespan, lasting an average of 14 to 17 years. Therefore, they come with shorter warranties. One benefit of thin-film technology that has the others beat is its high tolerance to heat.The efficiency of thin-film technology will depend on the photovoltaic material used. Amorphous silicon, for example, will only operate at 7%-9%. CdTe and CIS/CIGS operate at about 10%-14%.
Estimated Solar Energy System Prices Per Watt
The per-watt price of installing solar ranges from $2.50 to $4.00. Youll see the greatest difference between the Southern and New England regions. This does not necessarily mean that it is less cost-effective in New England as opposed to other regions. Different states, even different counties, will have varying returns on investment dependent on other factors. These factors include: state and local incentives, average electricity bills, and the amount of sunshine expected per day.Below you will find the average rates of having your system professionally installed, according to region and wattage. These figures do not include any tax credits or incentives. Consider that the average size is 5kw. Hawaii, included in the Western region, has the highest rate per watt at $3.40 to $4.00. Georgia, in the Southern region, has the lowest at $2.75 to $3.50.
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