17 Sep How much does a solar panel system really cost?
The burning question everyone wants to know the answer to is: how much do solar panels really cost?
The answer is…it depends.
As with most home renovations or additions, there is a multitude of factors that go into the final price. There’s also the customer’s preferences and lifestyle to consider as well. Adding solar panels to your home is no exception to this rule.
For instance, a 2,000 square foot household with two adults that turn up their thermostat seven degrees in the summer and down seven degrees in the winter will have much different energy costs than a family of six that keep the house at 72 degrees year-round.
Solar panel installers consider the household’s energy consumption to create a solution that will meet your family’s needs. This way, you don’t end up with either too many or too few solar panels.
Taking into account your household’s energy can provide you with a range of prices that you can expect to pay for solar panel installation. This way you can accurately budget for when you choose to go solar.
Solar Panel Pricing Breakdown
First, let’s take a look at what makes up the pricing for solar panels.
- Panels and Materials
- Permits and Paperwork
- Incentives and Rebates
Each of these categories affects the final cost of solar panel installation but differ from household to household or state to state.
For the state of Texas, you can start by finding your annual kWh usage. Most bills show a graph on them or if you are in a deregulated area then you can go to www.smartmetertexas.com. Once you determine the annual kWh then you can divide that number by 1.5. This will give you an approximate estimate for the number of watts you will need to offset your bill.
12,000 kWh / 1.5 = 8,000 watts
The range of price per watt to install solar panels in Texas is $2.51-$3.31 (after tax credits). So, you can then multiply the 8,000 watts by the price per watt or $3.31 x 8,000 = $26,480.
If you don’t want to do all the math yourself, no problem. Check out our solar panel calculator for an accurate estimate.
Make sure to review the tax incentives for your city or county. Texas does not offer a state-wide tax incentive for solar panels, but there is a federal tax credit of 26% of the entire cost of your solar panel system. Check out the database for a complete list of state incentives here. Keep in mind that these are tax credits and won’t actually discount the upfront price.
Quality of Materials
Although solar panels might seem like a commodity, there are differences in the quality of materials used and installation practices. These variations are why there is such a large price range for solar panels.
As with most products, you get what you pay for, so finding the cheapest option is not always the best route.
Local Installers are a Better Choice
While the national companies come with some brand recognition, they generally provide a much lower degree of customer service and finished product. When choosing a solar panel installer, make sure to check out their reviews and testimonials from their customers at www.solarreviews.com.
While national companies typically rate less than 2 out of 5 on average, companies like Longhorn Solar consistently rate in the high 4’s.
This means that you can get a customized, affordable solution with no loss in quality by choosing to use a local or regional solar panel installer like Longhorn Solar.
How Can I Get an Estimate for Solar Panel Installation?
If you are considering getting solar panels installed, we have a solar panel calculator that can get you an accurate pricing estimate. Already set on going solar? Great! Contact us at Longhorn Solar today and we can get you started.