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Solar Energy

Budget Breakdown: Encompassing How Much Do Solar Panels Cost to Install

June 7, 2019

From gorgeous sun-kissed skin to asphalt so hot you can fry an egg, Florida, the Sunshine State, is home to over 20 million residents. As technology keeps improving, so does our ability to be more environmentally conscious and budget-friendly.

With average costs of services, products and life, in general, continue to rise, how does our level of electricity consumption make any difference or impact on our daily lives?

It’s quite simple really!

In fact, you probably use more energy now than you did five years ago, but why does it matter?

Most households in Florida use somewhere between 25-37 kWh every single day!

As traditional energy costs continue to rise, a once unobtainable, but now affordable method of energy generation is starting to make a name for itself.

Let’s clear the confusion. We’re talking about solar energy and how solar panels save money on energy and is considered a green renewable source of energy.

The major deterrent here is cost. Often times, the first questions asked is, “How much do solar panels cost to install?”

Great question! And depending on the type of system you choose, your budget can fall anywhere between $12,000 to $20,000.

Sounds like a hefty tag, but the savings alone make this investment a steal. Let’s look closer. Is it worth to install solar panels at home?

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost to Install?

Searching across the World Wide Web, you’ll come across all sorts of information that will tell you this or that, but to really assess the value of solar panel installation cost, you need to know more.

Moving along, there are several factors that play a hand in figuring out is it worth it to install solar panels at home?

So what plays a hand in solar panel system installation costs?

Do You Need Solar Panels: Solar Panel Installation Factors to Follow!

There are a handful of vital characteristics to look at when you want to buy and install solar panels at your home.

I’ll be the first to tell you.

Stick with professionals!

No matter what you’ve read, watched or have been told, installing solar panels are not easy.

Professionals have solar panel installation training and have spent numerous hours getting their trade down pat, that’s what makes them professionals.

Oftentimes, homeowners are looking to save a buck or two and figure they can install the system with the tightening of a few bolts here and there.

*Loud Buzzer*

You’re going in the wrong direction!

It takes more than following a simple solar panel installation guide and having the right equipment. Your home’s location, size, and energy consumption all play a role in determining how many panels you will need and where the best place to install solar panels on a home is.

3 Key Factors That Determine Your Solar Panel System Size and Cost

We all know how solar panels work, but how much do they cost and is it even worth the money to install solar panels?

1. Home Location

Where your home is located plays a role.

How?

Are you surrounded by trees? Does your house receive adequate sunlight during optimal conditions? DO you live in an area where your home gets a lot of shade? Do you experience a lot of cloud coverage?

These are the type of questions contractors ask themselves when appraising homes who are interested in solar energy.

The largest concern with solar panel installation cost is obviously, how much is it going to cost overall?

There is no down to the cent system that can be used, but there are several ways to determine where your home is on the cost spectrum.

We know location now, but what are the other key factors that determine installation cost?

2. Size and Design of Home

For obvious reasons, the size of your home will have an impact on the type and size of solar panel system needed for your home.

What is the pitch of your roof?

Is there adequate space to set up a solar panel system?

Size and shape of your house can have an impact, but these can be labor-related costs; the main tell-tell on how big and how much a solar panel system will cost you will boil down to the third and final factor.

3. How Much Energy Do You Use?

This is one of the biggest components when trying to budget and figure out what size and type of solar panels you will need for your home. Do you always have something going on and devices that stay running?

How much energy do you use?

In Florida, the average home uses roughly 1100 kWh monthly, which makes them the sixth most consumptive state of electricity, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This puts residential monthly energy bills between $120-$130, thirteen percent higher than the current national average of $112.

You can find out your monthly electrical usage by examining your energy bill to observe the kWh use and how they can vary month-to-month.

To DIY or Not to DIY? That is the Contractor’s Question!

Now, what if you could make an investment to reduce and eventually eliminate that bill altogether?

Would you try it?

How would you do it?

I know some of you reading this are asking:

Can I buy solar panels and install myself?

While you can install solar panels yourself, it will be difficult because there is more than just setting up involved. It’s not like putting together a playset for your child your building a new armoire. Installing solar panels is something that requires a lot of math knowledge, ingenuity and city ordinance.

In order to properly have your solar panels installed, an engineer is required.

The reason for using professionals is because they have a key tool they use to make sure everything in place as it should be. It’s called an engineer and they are responsible for designing, creating the plans needed in order to have city approval and to get the permits required to build your solar system.

Not only is there the serious risk of falling from your roof, but you’ll also need specific equipment and permits that have to be approved by the city before installation can happen.

If you were to try and install solar panels yourself, let’s see how it would go:

How to Install Solar Panels Yourself?

The question more importantly is:

How to install solar panels step by step?

We’ve seen solar panel installation videos and know the gist, but sometimes, seeing the steps listed can help stay on track.

  1. Determine how much energy you use
  2. Figure out what system helps you achieve optimal output in order to keep up with your energy consumption.
  3. Select a solar panel kit and install
  4. Once installers are finished, your system will be up and running.

Notice the word installers in step 4.

A solar panel system is considered an investment because over time it becomes an asset that will completely pay for itself within just a few years and will last for more than 20.

Using a professional service is the right choice. It ensures the job was done right, makes the best use of your budget and is backed by warranties and guarantees.

In a government study of collected data, nearly 93% of homeowners use a professional or contractor instead of buying solar panel kits from a distributor and going the DIY route.

For most homes in Florida, the average type of solar panel kit needed is between 6kW and 12kW, due to the high levels of energy consumption.  Here is the tricky part. Systems of these sizes require a certain amount of roof space.

How Much Roof Space Do My Solar Panels Need?

Not all solar panel systems are created equal, they certainly do not all take up the same amount of space. Let’s see where your system is:

Panel Size Required Roof Space
4kW 270 sq/ft
5kW 335 sq/ft
6kW 405 sq/ft
8kW 535 sq/ft
10kW 670 sq/ft
12kW 800 sq/ft
20kW 1,340 sq/ft

As you can see, the larger the system, the more roof space that is needed in order to install a solar panel system of the selected size.

In Florida, the average 5kW solar panel system costs between$12,000-$15,000 with total lifetime savings over $40,000.

That means more green in your jeans!

Now that you know how much solar panels cost to install, there is only one final piece of information you need to leave with.

This is probably one of the biggest perks of installing a solar panel kit because it means more savings and more money back in your pocket.

Some states have it and some don’t, but if you live in Florida then you’re in a state that does.

In fact, Florida offers a thirty percent tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels to their homes.

I know. Unbelievable, right?

So not only can you go green with your energy and save money on your monthly electricity bill, but you even get a tax credit for installing solar panels.

For any additional information or if you just want to say your peace, feel free to leave us a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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