How Much Does Solar Power Really Cost?
It’s a common question among homeowners and business owners weighing the costs and benefits of installing a solar power system: “How much will it cost me?” It’s a straightforward question and one that deserves a straightforward answer. Unfortunately, there is no direct straightforward answer. There is no one size fits all solar power system. So, there is no one size fits all estimate of what solar power systems cost to install.
The cost of installing solar on your home or small businesses depends on a great many factors. Are their solar lease options in your area? What kind of incentives and tax credits do your local, county, and state government offer on top of federal incentives and credits. What are your current power needs? How big is your roof? What is your geographical location? What’s the weather like where you live?
All these factors and more, weighed against the cost and nature of conventional utility power in your area, will go into the final estimate of what your system will cost and how long it will take to pay for itself.
Buying a Home Solar Power System
If you have the money to purchase a solar power system out of pocket, then you put yourself in a position to reap the deepest discounts available while maximizing the amount of government incentives and tax credits you can claim. But a solar power system can be a pricey investment.
Residential photovoltaic systems can range in cost from ten thousand to forty-thousand dollars on average, depending on your location, ease of installation, etc. Not all systems are created equal, and you still generally get what you pay for. Though, all solar power system components have fallen in price over the last decade.
Government Incentives for Going Solar
Your federal, state, county, and local government may offer a wide variety of incentives designed to get you and other homeowners into solar power. Incentives range from subsidies for installation, special low-interest loans that cover some or all of initial price, and tax credits for generation of energy over the life of the system.
Make sure that you check with applicable government agencies in your area and compare what they say against the claims of your installer prior to installation.
Operational Costs of Solar and the Leasing Option
The good news about solar is that once it’s installed, it is practically maintenance-free, generating no additional operating costs. In fact, if your new solar power system is hooked up to your local utilities power grid, you’ll most likely receive credit on your bill for generating power during peak hours.
Also, check with your solar installer about the potential to lease a system for little to no money down. While leasing does take away many of the government incentives to installing solar and can potentially affect the reseal value of your home, it can often make solar power a viable option regardless of how much of an investment you can afford to make.
[Photo Via: GizMag]