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How much does going solar cost?

Understand the key factors that determine the cost of going solar

The cost of solar will vary per household

The cost of solar panels and installation depends on many factors, so unfortunately it’s not as easy as ballparking the square footage of your home. Be wary of any solar provider who gives you an off-the-shelf price, as it means they haven’t considered the unique needs of you and your home. 

We’ll take you through the personal factors our solar energy consultants will help you consider when customizing your quote.  

How much energy do you use and how might this change in the future?

The first factor considered in solar panel cost is your historical energy consumption. Our consultants like to look at a typical year of usage to see how much electricity is used over the entire course of a year, not just certain months. 

This information helps us size your solar system to produce enough electricity all year long. We’ll also consider your future plans or lifestyle choices. If you tell our consultants that you’d like to use your air conditioning more once you’re freefrom high energy costs, we can estimate how much more electricity that will consume. The same goes for other high-demand appliances like pool pumps, EV chargers, hot tubs, etc. Your energy usage determines the needed output of the solar system.

Our goal is to design a solar system to meet your energy needs for the next 25 years, so understanding past usage and future plans are critical when determining solar panel cost.

Roof orientation for solar panels

South-facing rooftops are classically known as the most effective option for solar panels because they’re exposed to as much sunlight as possible. But if the southern side of the roof isn’t available, we can install solar panels in what is called a reversed pitch.

If a rooftop installation isn’t an option for you but you have a large yard, a ground mount may be a good alternative. Both mounting systems have different benefits and costs that we’ll help you understand.

Rooftop solar installation

Some roofing materials are harder to work with than others. Composition shingles are the easiest for a rooftop solar installation, while clay tiles need more attention.  It’s also important for your roof to be in good condition so if you need any work, that will  factor into your total solar panel cost.

Solar products used

Not all solar panels are created equal, and this is reflected in their price tags. Solar panels are manufactured differently with a range of wattage outputs and warranties. Baker offers a variety of high quality makes and models to fit your solar project.

Along with your solar panels, you’ll need quality roof mounting components. When it comes to selection, there are cheap, single-flashed roof mount products and then there’s Quick Mount PV. Cheap roof mounts could cost you thousands of dollars in damage in the long run. Quick Mount PV offers the highest quality waterproof mounting systems available. That’s why Baker chooses their products for all systems we build.  They’re a bit more expensive than the other cheap brands, but we wouldn’t put our name or your roof behind anything less. 

Solar purchase, lease or loan?

There are three main ways to pay for your solar installation: 

If you purchase your solar system, you pay the full price upfront and that’s that. You are the proud owner of solar panels! A  typical installation will pay for itself in 5-7 years. From then on, it’s free electricity.

If you choose a loan, you’ll avoid the large upfront investment and instead make monthly repayments with interest.  This, factored with your savings on electricity, will still be lower than your current bill, and once you’ve paid off the loan you’ll own your system.

A final option is to lease your solar panels.The advantage of this option is no upfront costs so you can start enjoying the savings from your monthly electric bill right away.  With a system that offsets 100% of your electricity, that could be 25% to 35% less than your current average electric bill! You can expect that over time you’ll pay more for your solar panel system than if you had purchased it, but much less than if you stuck it out with the utility company. But keep in mind, you’ll never own your solar system; it will always belong to the leasing company.

Next steps

Once you have a general sense of how much solar panels cost, it pays to talk with qualified experts, which is why we offer free, no-obligation consults. Call today for a personalized quote from our Solar Consultants.

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