Many people worry about the cost of going solar — and for good reason. PV solar panels result in long-term savings, but they carry an upfront cost. But exactly how much do PV solar panels cost in the United States?
What Are PV Solar Panels?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made from photovoltaic cells, which are also called solar cells. These cells convert the light from the sun into energy your home can use. The process is based on the PV effect, which was discovered in the mid-fifties.
Originally, solar cells were made from silicon, but advanced technology has made available new opportunities to save money and produce better efficiency, such as with solar inks and dyes. The important thing to know is that PV solar panels are an efficient way to generate energy for your home.
What Determines the Cost of PV Solar Panels?
There are three factors involved with the cost of PV solar panels:
You have to buy the actual solar panels as well as any necessary equipment, such as inverters, batteries, and controllers.
Each of these elements allows the sunlight to be converted into usable electricity that will power your air conditioner, lights, electronics, and more.
You need a professional company to install your solar panels as well as any other equipment needed to make the system run. Your installers will inspect your home first and determine what type of system will work best.
Many states offer tax incentives to install PV solar panels. You might also get tax breaks and rebates. Since these programs vary depending on where you live, the amount of impact they’ll have on your total costs will depend on geographic location.
You’ll also save money on electricity usage. If you’re using a grid-tied system, you can effectively reduce your electricity costs to zero, depending on how much energy your home uses. However, those savings come farther down the road, so they aren’t always figured into the upfront cost.
How Much Do PV Solar Panels Cost?
The total upfront cost will depend on your home’s size and construction. For instance, the usable roof space will contribute to how many panels you can actually get installed.
According to SunRun, the average cost ranges from $15,000 to $29,000. The cost will also depend on whether you decide to finance the system and whether you can get 0% interest on the loan.
You might consider working with a company that offers discounts on things like materials and labor. Many installers run seasonal programs to help homeowners save on the cost of installing PV solar panels.
If you’re thinking of going solar, don’t let the cost stop you. Investing some of your cash into solar energy can pay off significantly in the long run.