- Solar panel cost depends on a lot of factors that should be considered.
- Generally, though, their cost is per wattage with average prices of $3.50/W.
- 5 kWh solar panel setups, which are the most common, cost somewhere from $12,000 to $17,000.
- There are other costs such as space.
- SunPower offers better panels at slightly higher costs but with better savings and better future-proofing.
Solar power may be the future of mankind but like anything new, it always comes at a cost. This has always been the case whenever mankind discovers a new technology that could change our way of life, oil, for example, made huge industries possible but the at the cost of the environment and finite resources.
Thankfully, solar power does not come anywhere near the damage which fossil fuels can do. In fact, the biggest drawback of solar panels is its monetary cost, and that is always getting alleviated each year with new advancements to efficiency and construction costs for the technology.
The thing is, solar panels are actually at their most affordable right now, and you can even bet that you can say the same thing next year. Still, it is good to know just how much solar panels actually cost right now for the regular American, after all, when it comes to investing in solar power, the more you know, the better it will be.
The cost of the sun
So, rest assured, the supply of resources for solar power is near infinite, thanks to the sun. That means no more worrying about electricity price fluctuations once you have made the switch to full solar. As stated above, solar panels only have a few costs, monetary or otherwise, and it is good to know that using them produces little to no pollution for the environment.
Now if you are ready to invest in solar panels and are just asking around for quotes on prices, you should know that their value lies in how much electricity they can produce. Basically, you are buying them for their capacity. Hence, solar panel prices are per Watt instead of per panel, though some panels have set Watt capacities.
Right now, the average price per Watt in the U.S. comes down to $3.50/W. Multiply that with the necessary wattage your home consumes or needs every month and you have what you need. However, before we get to that, there are lots of other factors to consider when solar panel pricing is concerned.
- The brand of the solar panels;
- The efficiency of the panels;
- The size of your house;
- The number of appliances in your house;
- The number of people using these appliances;
- Your monthly electricity consumption;
- How much of your electricity would you like to be replaced with solar power;
- And of course, how much you are willing to invest.
Math, math, math
So then comes the math which you will have to do to determine just how much you will spend on your solar panels. The average American household consumes about 900 kWh of electricity per month or 30 kWh per day. Since one human-sized solar panel (typically 250 Watts) can produce about 1 kWh of electricity per day, you would need– on average, 30 solar panels in order to go 100 percent solar power.
Since each solar panels can produce 250 Watts on average, multiply that to 30 solar panels and you get 7500 W, but since you are you have to convert it into Kilowatts, then it comes down to 7.5 kWh. A 7.5 kWh solar system is quite robust and a lot of regular homes don’t have something this big– only if you really want 100 percent solar energy as your electricity. As such, a 7.5 kWh solar system could cost around $26,000.
However, most homes usually go for 20 solar panels, and that is what you call a 5 kWh solar system which is the most common for homes. These can cost you on average, $17,000. However, keep in mind that most people actually pay for a lot less, perhaps around $13,000 depending on the deal or other factors like rebates and incentives.
Now, you don’t exactly have to go full 100 percent solar power, 80 percent is enough to get some big savings, perhaps even less depending on how much you are willing to save and how much space you have for the panels, along with your actual electricity consumption.
Then there are the other costs, such as the amount of space needed for the panels themselves. This is also one of the reasons why people usually just go for 20 panels instead of 30 because the roof of a house can only support so much. There are some houses with excess horizontal spaces like front yards and backyards, that ultimately depends on your house.
One thing to note is that while solar panels cost both money and space, they also increase the value of your house and lot. A property with solar systems actually gets their value increase by a bit more than the cost you spent on the solar system. That means around $18,000 to $20,000 for a 5kWh system, the bigger the system, the bigger the value increase of course. Quite important if you are planning to sell the house later.
Now, remember when we stated that the $3.50/W cost for the panels is average for the U.S.? The thing is, SunPower is not your average solar panel dealer and manufacturer, in fact, our panels are considered as worthy premiums for the community and the industry. As such, when dealing with SunPower, you might experience increased costs for each wattage ranging from $3.65 – $4.55.
Still, our panels actually have 25 years of warranty, meaning 25 years of guaranteed efficiency and reliability. Then there is also the fact that SunPower’s panels and technology are ahead of most brands, meaning we have the most efficient panels ranging from 19.1 – 22.2 percent efficient panels. Meanwhile, 75 percent of all the other panels which cost around $3.75/W only offer efficiencies of up to 16.8 percent.
So in reality, our most affordable panels costing $3.65/W with 19.1 percent efficiency are much better than a $3.75/W panel with only 16.8 percent efficiency from other brands. In the solar industry, efficiency is everything because it means more electricity for fewer panels, meaning you can actually manage to save on at least one panel, that is a lot of money and space saved.
The choice is still up to you and just remember that SunPower is here to help you no matter which solar panel brand you choose. We do hope you consider our calculations above and our deals, for more information, you can check our solar plans or if you ever need a free quote on the price of solar panels in Orange County area, we also offer that service.