Many homeowners wonder how much solar panels cost. But as the experts in this industry will tell you, there is so much more to the cost of solar panels than simply the price tag on the product. Other factors include installation, maintenance and once you move past the breakeven point, any savings you will reap from the energy generated. When you look at it that way, there is two different ways that you can save money when installing solar panels.
Cutting back on the price of either the materials or the labor will cut down on the overall cost. And alternatively, increasing the savings garnered through efficiencies will also save you money, albeit over the long term.
Materials Costs for Solar Panels
All products are not created equally. With solar panels you will need to invest in a quality product if you expect a quality return on your investment. That being said, they are ways to save money on the materials involved in a solar panel project.
You may have heard of DIY solar panels. These products claim they cost much less than prefabricated products. The problem is that this method is very complicated and can be highly labor intensive. If you have the time and the technical ability to do so, building your own DIY solar panels may save you money. But the truth is that many homeowners will wind up frustrated and give up, possibly buying a set of factory-made panels in the end.
Choose a good quality brand that comes with a decent warranty. Solar panels can take a beating when exposed to the elements and you need to have your investment protected with quality manufacturing and a solid warranty.
Installation Costs for Solar Panels
There are also a variety of products on the market that can be installed by the homeowner. The trick is making sure that all of the system is properly wired in and running effectively and dependably. Those with technical and possibly electrical experience may not have a problem, but many others will.
If the system is on the smaller side and easily set up from the box it may be possible for a homeowner to handle the installation. However, more elaborate models that need hard wiring are best taken care of by a trained professional. Be sure to get a few quotations and compare price and services offered before choosing the best solar panel installer.
Maintenance Costs for Solar Panels
When you buy a top quality brand of solar panels, the maintenance costs should be minimal. Storms and snow build up may cause damage to the panels and require a service call from the technician, but that will be a rare instance. Choosing a cheaply made product is a different story and may push the out-of-pocket cost of solar panels much higher.
Savings After Installation
To truly factor the overall cost of solar panels you need to take the after installation savings into account. The energy that your system creates will save you money on monthly utility bills and in the case of high production you may even make a small profit from selling the electricity back to the grid.
Another way to save money on solar energy systems is to source out and apply for government rebates. Many provincial governments are offering rebates that will cover a portion of the cost for a system and installation. Your contractor or manufacturer should be able to direct you to the information about these programs, which can reduce the cost of your solar energy system considerably.
As technologies improve and solar panels become more mainstream the costs will inevitably go down. There are ways to save money on solar panels today by choosing the best product for your application, installing it yourself or comparing and sourcing out the best contractor for the job. You can also consider that the energy savings after installation will offset the upfront cost and any government rebates help out. Good for the environment and great for your home, solar panels are well worth looking into.Posted by: diana