Solar Savvy: Choosing the Right Panels and Determining the True Cost

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Solar Savvy: Choosing the Right Panels and Determining the True Cost

By this point in your switch-to-solar journey, you’ve learned all about determining whether solar is right for your home. You’ve also learned what incentives you can get from your city, state, or at the federal level. You’re probably a little eager to hurry the process along now that you have some understanding of what savings you can expect to receive from installing solar panels on your home, but what about the cost and efficacy of the solar panels themselves?

Your potential solar panel savings is hugely impacted by which panels you choose, alongside any solar batteries or other add-ons you choose to incorporate into your system (that’s right, there is such a thing as a solar battery or a solar battery bank, and you should consider whether your home might need one based on your overall solar energy needs). By the end of this, we’ll have helped point you toward the answer to your biggest question. How much does it cost to have solar panels installed? You’ll be one big step closer to joining the solar energy revolution. 

Let’s start by discussing how to choose the right solar panel option. Then we’ll get into the factors that impact how much solar panels cost.

How to Choose the Correct Solar Panels

Before we get into the different types of solar panels you can choose from, you might be wondering: how will you even get them up there? In case you didn’t know, your panels don’t have to go “up there” at all; you have lots of options for installation placement. Solar panels can be installed on the ground, on your roof or on any adequate south-facing wall. When the time comes to pick your panels, however, you’ll want to consider some specific evaluative criteria: Efficiency and yield, warranty, durability, aesthetics, sustainability. It’s a short list, and out of these few considerations, efficiency takes the cake in terms of influencing your decision making.

Let’s say you’re keen to join the fast-growing community of electric car owners, and you’re perhaps wondering what the solar panel cost is per kWh to power your vehicle, or more specifically, how much Tesla solar panels cost. When considering purchasing Tesla solar panels, you have to remember that some of your expense is attributed to these panels being a luxury good, and while the cost of Tesla solar panels won’t deter every homeowner, some will certainly find that their needs can be handled by a more cost-effective brand. 

You certainly don’t want to go through all of this research, planning, and spending just to find that your system isn’t efficient enough for your particular energy needs. That being the case, you’ve got to factor in product materials for your panels. This is where panel type takes center stage in the decision making process. Not all solar panels are made equal, after all. Your panel’s efficiency comes down to what it’s made of, and monocrystalline silicon is widely revered as the best of the best. Our website has tons of information about this material alongside a rundown of the top solar panel manufacturers.

Here’s some good news: on average, solar panels last approximately 25-30 years. But that longevity makes selecting the right system components that much more important. When you start to consider solar batteries or a solar battery bank, or even when you find yourself asking, ‘how many solar panels do I even need?’, you have to think about your overall satisfaction 30 years down the road.

If that seems nearly impossible to conceive of, the team at Freedom Solar Power can help out in a big way. We’ve seen it all, and we’ve answered every question. Once you move into the custom proposal phase of working with Freedom Solar Power, you’ll have the opportunity to review all the pros and cons of every panel type available to you, and things like their functionality and efficiency will become clear as day. That way you can focus on things like determining which solar panel type has a cost that fits your budget. (And yes, we can discuss the primary difference between low cost solar panels and how much Tesla solar panels cost.)

How to Determine the Cost of Solar Panels

It’s time to talk dollars and cents. On average, Freedom Solar Power customers spend approximately $42,000 for an 8 kilowatt (kW) residential SunPower system before rebates and incentives. When it comes to costs, there’s a lot to consider. But a good place to start determining the expense of a solar panel system for your home is our state by state breakdown of the average costs for both panels and installation. 

Let’s get into some niche considerations that you might not have considered, like the cost of solar panels per square foot or the cost of solar panels for a 3 bedroom house. Those notions, though important, aren’t nearly as important as how you utilize energy in your home.

Each step you’ve taken as you come to understand the true solar panel cost and what you’ll need to make the most of your investment has lead you here: we talked about your SunScore in our first piece, Going Solar: The Smart Choice for Your Home and Wallet, and that information is going to come in handy in a big way now. Let that information power your decision making while you work with the Freedom Solar Power team and make sure you don’t end up with underwhelming energy output just because you cut the wrong corner.

We are ready to help get you across the finish line, and we can address any questions you might have about your options for solar panel installation costs or even what a solar panel lease costs (we could go on and on about leasing versus buying—trust us). 

FREE TIP: you may be able to get solar panels installed for no money down! Solar PPAs are an incredible opportunity for particular buyers to score additional solar panel savings, so be sure to figure out if you qualify.

Now is a great time to ask: how are you feeling so far? Are you still wondering ‘how many panels do I need for the best solar output?’ Questions are good – in fact, we have a whole list of questions you should ask your chosen solar panel installer in our handy Solar Project Planner, which you can download by clicking below. You’re almost ready to pair your knowledge about the average savings homeowners receive when they have solar panels installed with things like solar repair and maintenance costs or even expanding your newfound relationship with solar power to a business venture by exploring what commercial solar panels cost. Honestly, at this rate, you’ll be so knowledgeable we might as well hire you.

In our next write-up, Finding the Right Solar Panel Installer, we’re going to wade into what makes one installer more ideal for a particular homestead than another. It should come as no surprise that a big part of this conversation will hinge on the age-old question ‘how much does it cost to install solar panels?’ Spoiler alert, it’s not uncommon for certain installers to add administrative fees to the cost of your installation without making things clear. We here at Freedom Solar Power believe complete transparency is the most powerful benefit we can offer our customers, and we look forward to providing every homeowner with the cost clarity they need to make the right decision and fall as deeply in love with solar power as we have. 

See you on the bright side.

Download the Solar Project Planner

Featured image via Pixabay.

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Willie Nelson for Freedom Solar

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