Without a doubt, every single home improvement project is weighed with a variety of considerations – and one of the biggest is “how much will this cost?” That’s because – unfortunately – most of us aren’t so flush with cash that we can take on large projects without consulting our bank accounts. But, what about solar panels? We hear this question pretty often: “I thought it wasn’t going to cost me anything?” Well, it’s actually kind of true!
Okay, let’s back up. We know that “kind of true” probably just threw you for a loop. In reality, there’s always going to be a cost associated with a solar panel installation, which is determined primarily by the size of your system. Most folks can expect to pay between $15,000 and $40,000 for their solar panel system. However, the way the installation is paid for will determine how much (if anything) you owe upfront and on a monthly basis.
How Much Will My Solar Panel System Cost?
As we mentioned before, the cost of your system depends on the size of your system. If you’re going to max out your energy creating potential and cover your entire roof with panels it’s going to be more costly than if you only have a few panels that will offset a lower percentage of your energy usage.
So, as you can see, it’s difficult to say for sure. The best way to find out how much your system will cost is by having one of our consultants take a visit to your home to discuss your needs and see your property.
What we can tell you is that your upfront costs can be $0! With Solar Rebates, Tax incentives and local rebates, your monthly costs can be lower than (and replace) your monthly electric bill.
Like we’ve talked about in other posts, there are a few different payment/financing options for your solar panel installation. You can purchase the system outright, take out a solar loan, or invest in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The option you choose will determine how much you pay upfront and on a monthly basis. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
Solar Panel System Payment Options
If you purchase your system outright, you’ll have to forgo the $0 down option. However, once you own your system – you own it! There won’t be any monthly fees associated with paying off your system, which means that you’ll be able to generate your own electricity and reap the rewards of lowering your energy bills. Hooray!
Solar Loans are fairly similar to other types of loans that you might take out for large purchases, although they’ve got some added benefits. These $0 down loans carry low-interest rates and no early repayment penalties. The monthly loan payments are also typically lower than your highest monthly electric bills and are fixed throughout the year. Since you’ll be generating your electricity with the system and lowering your monthly energy bills, you’ll be making payments to the loan holder rather than the electric company. So you should still be saving money month over month! And once your loan is paid off you’ll realize the same benefits as if you had purchased the system outright.
Power Purchase Agreement
Power Purchase Agreements are similar to solar loans in that you aren’t making large payments upfront. However, with a PPA you also don’t – and never will – own your system. And since you don’t own the system you still have to purchase your energy. Where? From the solar panel company. This will be more cost-effective because solar energy is less expensive than energy generated by the grid. So, technically with this option, your system will cost you absolutely nothing. Although technically, it’s also not your system – you just get the benefits of it.