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Solar Power Costs – The Costs of Owning Solar

Do you wish to produce your own energy? Want to stop worrying about the utility company increasing your electricity rate whenever they want?

Do you know that utility companies have been raising rates on average of more than 6% year over year in most states? And who knows that the rate increase will be in the coming years?

Now it’s the best time ever to install your own PV electric system. Thanks to advancements in manufacturing technologies, the price of solar panels has decreased steadily over the years while efficiency has improved quite a lot. And as the market for solar continues to grow, more price decrease is expected.

Additionally, in an effort to spur the adoption of solar, federal/local governments and utility companies are providing financial assistance in form of cash rebates and tax credits.

Cost of Solar Energy System

The cost will depend on the system size. To figure out the system size, you have to figure out your yearly energy consumption, the size of your roof, the solar panels, the orientation of the solar panels with respect to the sun, how much sunshine you get in your particular area, and available rebates and incentives you can qualify for.

As a rough estimate, a 2kW installed photovoltaic solar system will cost between $16,000 – $18,000 (between $8-$9 / Watt) before rebates. The average system size for most typical homes is between 2-4 kW. With incentives, you end up paying less than 65% of the cost of the installed solar PV electric system.

To illustrate how much you have to pay after incentives, let’s look at an example below:

Example: For a 3 Kilowatt system (current utility bill around $100 per month)
Cost of Solar electric system including Installation: $27,000
Subtract Government Rebate: – $8,400
Subtract: Tax credit: -$1,395
Final Cost after Incentives: $17,205

Note that the above prices are only estimates and can vary depending on various factors. Check with your energy consultant to get a more accurate cost analysis.

Want to build your own solar panels for home electricity?

As you can see from above, even with government incentives, it still cost some money to install a solar PV system.

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