The average cost to install solar panels is $10,600 to $26,500 for a 6 kW to 12 kW system, after subtracting the 30% federal tax credit. Residential solar panels cost $2.53 to $3.15 per watt, including installation. However, the cost of solar panels continues to decrease each year as solar energy becomes more popular.
The cost to convert your house to solar power depends on the type of solar panels, inverter, and equipment, your location, your energy needs, and local labor rates. Labor costs are higher if your home has multiple stories, dormers, skylights, or a steeply pitched roof.
Solar panels reduce or eliminate your electric bills, boost your property value, and reduce your carbon footprint. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a home's value increases by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. This equates to an increase of $10,000 in home value for every $500 in energy savings per year.
Solar panels typically pay for themselves in energy savings in 6 to 10 years. Homeowners in states with above-average electricity costs will recognize the most value. Solar panels work best for homes in sunny areas with southern or southwestern exposure and don't provide as much value in areas that are regularly cloudy or rainy.
Solar panel installation typically takes 1 to 3 days. However, the total process may take 2 to 6 months and goes through several stages:
Most solar panels last 25 to 50 years and come with a 25-year warranty.
Yes, solar panels can be installed on a metal roof or a flat roof. Metal roofs are strong enough to easily support the weight of the solar panel array. Solar panels installed on flat roofs are typically mounted in frames that angle toward the sun.
Solar panel installation typically does not void a roof warranty if the racking system and fasteners are installed correctly. However, the warranty may be void if the roof is damaged during the installation. Common issues that will void your roof warranty include:
It's important to choose an experienced solar panel installer who can provide references from past satisfied clients. A reputable installer will perform an on-site evaluation to determine your energy needs. Follow these tips to hire the best installer near you:
Ask these questions to help you find the best solar panel company for your project:
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