One of the first (if not the first) questions someone interested in a solar electric system for their residence is, “How much will it cost?”
There simply is no standard answer to this question because there are so many things you have to take into consideration before even beginning to formulate these results.
Here is a list of just some of the things you’ll need to think about:
- Your specific location in reference to the sun: The sun can shine a different amount of time at your home than another house in a different location.
- The amount of electricity you currently use: Some people are very frugal, others are not. Look on your most recent power bill to estimate how much power you use.
- Where the panels will be installed on your home: If you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to install them facing the south, where they’ll get the most sun.
- The thickness of the panels you want: The thicker, the better. Just remember that, as the old adage says, you get what you pay for.
- Where you live: This is important, because there are all kinds of incentives and tax breaks available to you, but it varies significantly based on where you live.
- What you’ll be able to afford at first: The upfront cost is substantial, no matter how many incentives or tax breaks you get.
- The size of your home: This will help you figure out how many panels you need.
- Your ability to perhaps build the panels yourself: You’ll have to do the research to figure out how to do it, but if you can it can cut your costs by as much as about 50%.
Whether you are seeking to save money long-term due to less (or no) dependence upon your power company; or simply trying to do the right thing by supporting the country’s effort to move toward alternative energy sources, cost is almost always a major factor. Do your due diligence before you buy, and you could save big.