How much does home solar energy installation cost ?

Solar power has been used for centuries in different forms, but recently it has become very popular and the touted solution for many of our modern energy problems. How does it work? Simply, a solar panel collects and coverts rays from the sun into clean non-polluting electricity through using silicon based photovoltaic cells. This produces DC current similar to any battery, which can then be converted into AC current for personal domestic use at home.

Are the costs of home solar energy worth it ?

If you’re thinking about installing a home solar energy system to help supply some of your energy needs, then you’ll want to do a bit of homework on the costs involved before taking the plunge and investing in such a system. There are various factors to consider and take into account with home solar energy costs. Solar power’s big benefit is: it’s clean, non polluting and completely renewable.  If you live in an area where there is a decent amount of good sun exposure on a daily basis, then a home solar energy system can help lower your household energy bills significantly. However, the flip side is the costs associated with such solar energy systems. Although installation costs for this type of energy system have been on the decrease in recent years, it is still more expensive than installing other types of energy systems.

Calculating home solar energy costs.

A typical system has a lifespan of around 20-30 years. You’ll need to consider the total amount of available sunlight in the area where you live, and this means unblocked exposure, not just mildly sunny days. An average of 3.5 peak hours of unblocked sunlight is normally used to calculate the typical output of home solar energy systems.

It has been calculated that an average US home will need to install a solar panel with an area of 600 square feet to be able to provide sufficient energy to power the house. The cost of installing such a system is around $92 per square foot, or a little over $55,000 in total for the complete system.

Such a panel is capable of producing on average between 8 and 10 watts per hour of useable energy per square foot. This would mean that it could provide energy for approximately 5 hours per day. If the average home solar energy system costs $92 per square foot and the average output is say 10 watts per square foot, then the home solar energy system costs per square foot would be $9.20 per watt.

Home solar energy installation costs.

The typical cost of a photovoltaic solar panel is around $12,000 for the panel itself, the biggest outlay of the whole system. The power inverter, the unit which is responsible for converting the DC power from the panel into AC power to be used in the house, will be between $1,250 and $3,000 depending on the size of the panel used in the system. The necessary mountings, supports and housings etc. will probably cost an additional $800 - $2000 and the wiring and cabling installation costs anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on location of the system and the design of your home. As well as the home solar energy system installation costs, local permits and fees might run from $2,500 to $6,000 depending on your location.

Important questions before installing a home solar energy system.

Based on the above information you’ll need to consider some of the following:

  • What is the average cost for energy from other sources in the area where you live?
  • Would you receive any subsidy, from the government for example, for installing such a system?
  • What is the likely power output per square foot, per year, based on where you live and the amount of direct sunshine available?
  • Do you have sufficient roof space on your home to generate enough power to justify the investment?

If having considered all the facts, it seems that it is worth installing a home solar energy system, then get in contact with several local specialists in your area and get them to provide quotes for home solar energy costs based on your particular property and location, so you can decide which one is best for you.

To get a better idea of costs, here are some heating system estimates from professionals.

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