The majority of Texas homeowners who are considering solar power systems or residential wind turbine systems will feel sticker shock. Wind turbine systems can go up to $65,000 when installed. The cost of a professionally-installed solar panel system is $8-$9 per watt. This means that the 2 kilowatt (kW) grid-tied system could cost up to $16,000. A five-kW system.
The estimates don’t take into account the batteries. Batteries that have a deep cycle to backup solar and wind can provide the amount of 20-30 percent. It is possible to save about $2 per watt if you do the job yourself. In addition, energy efficiency programs might require certification.
Solar Is Booming
It’s been a great decade for solar power, and many are thinking of installing systems at their homes. Incentive programs like that of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that was approved in 2006, are attractive by providing a discounted rate for business and homeowners who decide to install solar panels.
Since the introduction of the Solar Investment Tax Credit, the solar industry has seen an average annual growth of 50% and resulted in the creation of tens of thousands jobs. In 2018 nearly $17 billion worth of money was devoted to renewable technologies.
The number of solar panels installed has increased significantly in the last few years and has set record levels in solar energy production. In Q2 of 2019, over 2.1 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar (P.V.) capacity was added and set a new record of 37.9 GW being added to the existing utility-scale solar pipelines within the U.S. For the sake for comparison, an average house within the United States uses 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power each year. That’s one G.W. could power up to 90 average homes per year.
Green Energy Costs Are Going Down
Not only is the overall solar power expected to increase in 2024, but the costs for solar panels to be installed on homes are dropping across the nation. In addition, as costs drop for customers the durability, quality and effectiveness of P.V. technology improve. It’s the ideal win-win situation that is worth a thorough examination to ensure homeowners understand what they can gain by installing solar panels at their residences.
Since commercial and residential demand for solar and wind energy is growing and the technology is growing. There are more producers and prices are falling. The price of an average solar panel in the year 1980 was just $21 per unit (for instance 15-watt panels be $315.00). The current cost is $2.50 for each Watt (low =$1.42/watt, high=$3.75). In the last 25 years, this is an improvement of 90 percent.
Green Energy Output Is Improving
The power output capabilities have been increasing as well. In 1980 the average solar panel would produce 22 watts. Today 100-watt panels are the norm. This is an increase of 450. Panels can also “follow” to the sun having a motorized mounting system that follows the sun throughout the day, thereby increasing the efficiency. They focus sunlight to capture more sunlight and improve efficiency by 1000 times over standard flat panels.
Going Green Is an Investment
Although market trends indicate that costs continue to decrease however, the idea of investing in residential renewable energy remains an expensive option for the majority of people. In the end, you’re buying the power plant. Even with the upfront cost, think of this as being a longer-term purchase that will last for the next 15-25 years. As with every other long-term investment take a look at how it is aligned with your goals and needs.
How much electricity do consume each day?
In a rural area is it more expensive to connect wires and poles to your house?
Are you aiming to reach self-sufficiency and remain in the grid?
Is your goal a zero-energy home?
Determine Your Energy Usage
Calculating your electricity usage is not easy. It can be difficult to calculate the watts and hours of every item in your home that is powered by electricity is more complicated than useful. The most effective and quickest method of determining your usage is to examine all your bills for utility. Let’s say, for instance, you consume approximately 1,000 kWh per year. That’s 33.33 hours of electricity per day. It is crucial to know this information when looking at solar or wind.
Is Solar Right for You?
The second aspect to be determined can be how much direct sunlight the area you live in is exposed to. Also called “insolation,” it is dependent on the angle of the sun and the weather, atmospheric elevation, as well as the location in the world. The further south or north from the equator the less time you will have for insolation. In Texas the insolation ranges between 4.5 and 5 hours.
Then, figure out the number of panels you’ll require using this Solar Panel Estimator. Assume your insolation hours equal 4.5. The system’s efficiency is the result of its efficiency rating of components that handle current: Inverter (to change 12 VDC into 120 Volts A.C. and smooth it to a 60-hertz circuit) as well as the battery charge controller and deep cycle battery. Inverters generally run around 95 percent, charge controllers around 98 percent, and batteries around 80percent.
Thus, if we multiplied .95 multiplied by .98 x.80 We achieve an effectiveness that is .74 or 74 percent. So, the 100-watt solar panels generate an average of 74 watts. If we examine the output of solar panel Estimator to the output from our system, if it were 99% efficient we’d only require just 74 panels. Because our system is just 74% efficient, we require 99 panels to produce 33 kWh/day.
It’s many panels and lots of money too.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
In 2008, an typical homeowner spent approximately $50,000 (or less than $8.00 for a watt) for a complete set of solar panels to be installed on their property. Ten years later and the price to install solar panels dropped to less than $20,000 (or about $3.00 per watt)1 which is 62% decrease in cost.
The process of breaking down math is easy. Simply multiply the cost per watt by the size the system you want to install for the home you want: $3.00 per watt times 6 Kilowatts (kW) (the average of a system for a home that is residential) equals $18,000 and voila. You have the typical cost for installing solar panels at your residence. Where do these figures come from? And are there ways to reduce that price even more? We’re here to assist you in understanding.
The Basics of Solar Panel Costs
In 2019, the median national cost for solar panels within the U.S. was $2.99 per watt, and the median ranging from $2.58 between $2.58 and $3.38 for each watt. This figure can be calculated using two methods — the price of solar panels based on the amount of watts it produces and the labor cost for installation in addition to the cost per amount of watts the panel generates.
As you can imagine, the former figure will be less than the other however, it’s more stable in a year-round basis. The latter number may be more pronounced because businesses charge different prices for installation due to various factors, such as season, place of installation, and the cost of transportation for their storage facilities to their homes.
The most important thing to note is that these prices have decreased by nearly 99% since the year the year 1980, and are projected to continue to fall — until the home ITC runs out in 2022.
Assessing Your Solar Panel Potential
Even for the greenest people, completely switching to renewable energy is extremely expensive. This is particularly true when the installation of solar panels in your business or home. We congratulate anyone who would like to install solar panels for rooftops. However, we recognize that it is important to look into the costs as well as all the details that drive these expenses.
4 Factors That Influence Solar Panel Installation Costs
Even even if each solar panel were the same, we’ve identified four other costs that can impact the cost of installation. Therefore, even as the production costs drop it is important to be aware of fluctuations in these costs to determine your total cost.
- Location of Your Home
Let’s be honest An apartment located in Phoenix produces more solar power than a home in Portland or Maine, Oregon or Maine even if both homes are completely devoid of trees. Geography is crucial for the effective generation of solar energy. You are able to put solar panels onto your roofing no matter where you reside, but where the panels are placed is also important.
- Roof Shade and Overall Access to Consistent Sunlight
This is more subtle than you imagine. The fact that it’s daylight doesn’t mean that your solar panels get the same amount of sunshine as yesterday or on the day before. Also, just because you’re in the Southwest does not mean your house is automatically an ideal location to install solar panels. You should consider what amount of roof coverage it receives, whether through nearby structures, trees, or any other blockages.
- Size and Shape of Your Roof
This is an double whammy. The roof’s contours affect both the amount of solar panels you’ll require to produce the energy needed for your home as well as the effort required to install them to get the most efficiency. For instance gabled roofs that have high peaks can create a lot of crevices and nooks to create shadows. These can create a challenge for the installer to find.
- Average Monthly Energy Usage
This is the biggest one. The way that people utilize energy in the home determines the amount of solar panel you require. The average U.S. residential solar system is within the 5 kilowatt spectrum, the family you live with may be extremely thrifty, which means you may only require 4 kW to supply the energy needed to power your 2,000 square foot home. However If you’re an extensive family who entertains frequently and has installed a lot of amenities within that 22,000 square feet home then you may require an 8 kW systemwhich is more expensive.
Get in touch with trustworthy solar panel firms near you to get quotes. We’ve discussed this before the specifics of your home can affect the costs for labor to install that is the reason of any variation you could observe in the estimates you get.
If you are interested in the benefits of green solar energy, then you must know the costs associated with that value. It is essential to get all the details you can from these firms to determine the expenses accurately. The solar panel installer you choose should provide the price in detail and include the payback time that will eventually be able to pay for itself.
If you think you’re not able to afford the installation of solar panels at this moment, you can put your money into the growth of solar energy by signing up for a fixed rate electricity plan with Chariot Energy. Our plans are powered with 100% solar energy that is generated by solar farms that we own which means you can be a part of the renewable energy without having to purchase solar panels for yourself. Explore our plans in your area now!
Understanding the Solar Investment Tax Credit
The ITC has aided in the growth and sustainability of solar energy. It lowers the price for installing solar panels to 30 percent and has led to the solar industry growing by 50% annually in the last decade.
Through reducing the initial cost of solar installations more people are investing in installing solar panels on rooftops for their properties and homes. The continuous increase in solar panel production is the basis of the growth in solar energy that has enhanced the long-term viability and effectiveness from solar power.
Unfortunately the residential ITC expires in 2022. The slowing down starting in 2020. The good news is that solar panel installation costs in general have decreased throughout the duration of the ITC. However this industry anticipating a slowdown in installations in the near-term.
What About Wind Energy?
Wind energy for homes has come far from when the fan-like windmill with steel blades was first introduced into American farm in 1870. Small wind turbines that produce electricity can be found in a range size (“nameplate capacities”) from one chimney or roof mounted 1 Kilowatt (up to $7,000 in installed) all the way to 100-kilowatt machines that are mounted on towers (about $80,000 for the installation). Many of those below 1.2 kilowatts are available in kits for the do-it-yourself-homeowner.
Although the power output of wind turbines may look attractive however, getting the highest power for your money is far more complex that solar energy. While the sun shines throughout the throughout the day (even even when the weather is cloudy) but the wind is a bit more volatile. Certain regions of the country are more windy than others. Therefore, consumers need to know the amount of wind that can be harnessed in their region.
The speed of the wind can vary locally at various levels. While it could appear as an uninvolved breeze on the street however, it may be still breeze at 30 feet, or windy up to 100ft. Hills, valleys of rivers and trees can also influence the speed of wind, particularly in urban areas. Make sure to keep local building codes and other regulations in your
Costs Associated With Wind Systems
Let’s suppose you’d like to install a pole-mounted residential wind generator to the home. The turbine is priced at $1,800 and comes with free delivery. The 30-foot pole, bought online, with wires and bags of cement, is priced at $500. The total cost is $2,300. Add in tax credits such as the Federal Energy Tax credit and the cost is reduced to $1,610.
Also, let’s say you’ve done the research regarding average local annual winds. Your wind turbine is expected to produce, on average, 3.4 hours of electricity per day in a 12-mph breeze zone (Class 4,). However, the average local wind speed is just ten percent (Class 2.). This calculation shows that there is a possibility to generate an average 2.8 Kilowatts per day (about the same as 8 solar panels).
In combining solar and wind and solar, you can create a renewable energy system that can become an efficient source of electricity for your home throughout the day and generates the equivalent of 5 kWh per day. In certain parts of Texas such as Austin in which net metering is in place homeowners are able to sell their surplus power at a lower cost to the company that provides electricity.
Wind System Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is low for both wind turbines and solar panels. Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy. To ensure they are getting the maximum energy, they may require cleaning leaves and dust off using an water hose.
Solar panels wear down as time passes, losing approximately a watt of power over the course of 20 years. Wind turbines generally contain two moving components that are exposed to elements. Blades are usually bolted to the hub, and are protected by the nose cone. Additionally, there is a pivot that permits for the turbine’s wind to pivot towards the wind. Both can be repaired with parts supplied by the manufacturer.
Something Smaller: The Grid-Tied System
A grid-tied wind or solar system has an affiliation with the utility grid. It means you’ll be a utility user however, you can reduce the amount of energy you use from the utility company by creating your own. A Texas homeowner can visit their preferred home-based store and purchase solar power equipment that can generate around 1230 watts of power for home use for about $700 (10 panels including power cleaner, power generator, and inverter). Deep-cycle storage batteries may also be purchased, and usually cost around $250 each and last for 10 years.
In the average the panels would provide about 4kWh per day of use , and remove 120 kWh of the monthly bill to provide savings of as much as 12 percent for an average 1000 kWh bill of $119 (11.9 cents per kWh) which translates to an annual savings of $14.24 which is $171.36/year.
If usage and prices remained unaffected, the system could be paid for within 17 years, using credit from the Federal Tax Credit or 24 years without. The assumption, however is a sham. The price of energy is rising and the cost for every kWh of energy will fluctuate throughout the year, and will eventually go upwards over time. In this regard, the ROI of an investment in solar energy could be as little as 15 years or less. Consider that savings in energy of 12% is three times the amount you’d earn when you put that first $7000 in the bank.
Another way in which a solar power investment can pay for itself is to increase the value of your home. The majority of mortgages for homes are for 30 years but only a few homeowners reside in their homes this long. Based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development it is estimated that a home’s value increases by $20k for every $1000 of decreased electricity costs per year. If you don’t stay in your house in the last 30 years you’ll get back a large portion of the investment when you sell the property.
Before You Do Anything, Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
The most straightforward option is to discover ways to reduce your electricity usage by removing inefficient gadgets. In Texas the most significant consumer of energy at home is the air conditioning. A 30ton central air conditioning unit with an SEER of 13 could be using 2.3 million kWh. In ten hours, that’s the power to up 23 kWabout two-thirds of the electrical consumption. There are many other efficient ways to cool your home.
Swamp coolers, for instance use evaporation to cool the water. Absorption chillers are popular alternatives. They heat refrigerant at a low tension until the liquid evaporates. and then loses heat by condensing back to a liquid at high pressure. The source of heat could be propane, natural gas or kerosene, as well as solar heat. Since there isn’t a compressor to provide an air pressure to the heater, it consumes very little energy.
The second largest energy user comes from the water heater that is electricheating water inside your home is responsible 17 percent of your annual energy bills. A 40-gallon water heater consumes approximately 8 kWh per day. Consider upgrading and switching to an on-demand heating system utilize propane or natural gas to heat your water or think about an electric water heating system as an addition to those solar panels.
You should consider switching to energy-efficient alternatives and appliances with Energy Star ratings. How many light bulbs are in your room, and do they use CFL bulbs? You can switch from a desktop PC to tablets or laptops? Do you honestly assess your own behavior, and take steps to correct any energy-consuming habits, such as turning off the lights throughout the day, or using the air conditioner when you’re not at home.
Consider the level of insulation and weatherproofing your home is , and whether it is in need of improvement. The elimination of garbage will decrease the energy consumption immediately this means that you’ll have to use less electricity and set up less panels.
The Best Scenario? Green Energy Combined With Smart Usage
If you decide to invest in the green energy of your personal set-up or just purchase an green electricity plan with your preferred provider making the switch to green energy usage is bothenvironmentally and financially. When you take the steps to cut back on waste and improve your energy usage it’s not just about being a smart consumer however, you’re also reducing your energy consumption.