Cost of Solar Energy

Solar energy systems will contain the largest costs up front.  The current average of installation from a third party could be $3-$8 per watt.

Committing to solar energy means getting a longterm payback on your investment, but it requires a large initial payment.

Once the initial costs is made, there will also be random maintenance costs throughout the tenure of your solar system to insure you are getting efficient output from your product.

Going solar is a decision that should not be taken lightly, and if you are not well educated on the subject, it should require professional advice and assistance.

What are solar energy costs today:

Purchasing a home solar power system could cost anywhere from $10,000 – $60,000, depending on the scale of the project as well as many other variables.  Let’s look at some of the reason’s that a solar energy costs vary from depending on the project:

1.  The cost of solar energy, like any other good, varies from year to year, and varies by manufacturer.  The government also plays a critical role in the cost of solar energy by offering subsidies and tax credits to households and companies that go solar.  (learn more about government tax credits and subsidies)

2.  Installation costs will vary depending on whether you decide to do it yourself or hire an outside contractor.  If you do it yourself, the installation costs will be the cost of renting or buying the proper tools and equipment for the project.  If you hire an outside contractor the cost will either be a fixed installation cost or an hourly rate.

3.  There may be fees for a required permit, depending on current federal, state and local laws.  A contractor will usually include the permit fee in the total cost.  If you install yourself, this cost will come out-of-pocket. There may also be a homeowner association fee, usually in the hundreds of dollars.

4.  There may be an increase in your property taxes.  Usually there will not be a tax increase for installing a solar power system, but rather tax incentives that will reduce the solar energy costs.

Maintenance Costs:

1.  Maintenance costs are practically inevitable for a solar energy system.  Some solar systems and products will have a warranty, but this does not guarantee no additional maintenance costs in the future.  Also, if a problem takes a long time to repair you will not be saving money from the system while you rely on another source of power.

2.  If you received financial help for the purchase of the system whether from a bank, or perhaps a second mortgage, you will have to pay interest on the borrowed money.

Solar Energy Cost per Watt:

This can only be calculated on a case by case basis of the solar energy system.  No system will work 100% efficiently due to changing of seasons, unexpected cloud cover, solar panel orientation, and other unpredictable occurrences.

Again, solar energy systems require a large up front cost with the expectations of a long term return on your investment.  With careful planning and a legitimate strategy for operation and upkeep, installing a solar energy system can be a sound investment.  Solar energy costs have steadily decreased over the last few decades and are expected to continue to decrease while technology and the demand for solar energy increases.