Solar is getting cheaper
Solar is getting cheaper. Every year panels are becoming more and more efficient, decreasing the average system size, and driving the total cost down. They are also becoming cheaper to mass produce and readily available at a consumer level.
Some hard numbers
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in 2014 alone, system installation costs dropped between 9-12%. The average install cost in 2014 was $3.48/watt. Prices continue to drop in 2015 but let's use that concrete number to take a look at some potential system sizes and their costs.
5Kw system = $17,400
6Kw system = $20,880
7Kw system = $24,360
8Kw system = $27,840
9Kw system = $31,320
A system between 5 and 9 Kw will generate enough power for most households to cover their energy costs, depending on your location. That puts us at at average install cost of $17,000-$30,000. Costs may vary depending on your location and individual energy needs but that is a pretty good benchmark.
Don’t forget the federal tax credits
After the deduction of the 30% federal ITC (If you haven’t read about the state and federal rebates available, you can read more here) for new home solar systems the cost to the homeowner looks more like this:
5Kw system = $12,180
6Kw system = $14,616
7Kw system = $17,052
8Kw system = $19,488
9Kw system = $21,924
Or your state and local incentives
Then deduct your state’s solar incentive package and that cost drops even lower. The ITC was just renewed till 2020 so we are about to see a solar boom. The cost of solar is at an all-time low so keep an eye out for rising prices as demand skyrockets in 2016.
Now that have a better idea of the cost of solar, let's take a look at how to pay for it.