Installing Solar Power For Homes
Solar power arrays are popping up on rooftops, becoming less of a novelty and a more common-place element of the city landscape. The cost of installing a system is at an all-time low, and the efficiency of solar power for homes continues to increase rapidly with the technological advances. Major home improvement companies such as Home Depot have been carrying solar equipment for over a decade and the options continue to expand. Also, with increasing awareness of the environmental impact of fossil fuels the reasons for using alternative energy sources are becoming more apparent and more urgent.
If you’re looking to join the growing ranks of those using solar power for homes then you’ll want to consider a few things before moving forward in purchasing a system.
Things to Consider when Installing Solar Power for Homes
- Installation and Maintenance
- The Future
Obviously, you’re going to want to know how much the system will cost you to install, but another attractive feature of solar power for homes is the possibility of saving significant money in the long run on energy bills. Incentives from local or federal government such as solar power rebates may lower the cost to you, so take advantage of as many of those as possible.
The average solar power systems cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 and the up-front costs of a system break down like this:
- Equipment Costs
- Installation and Permits
The solar equipment constitutes about 45% of the over-all cost and includes the Solar panels, power inverter, mounting hardware and all the wiring. The variation within all of those pieces of equipment will affect the cost somewhat, but for a $28,000 system the equipment will cost very near to $12,600.
Installation and Permits
Once you have acquired all the equipment you’ll doubtless want it installed, and this will figure about 25% of the total cost. Something as complex as installing solar power for homes is best left to a professional contractor. Hiring a pro will ensure the job is done right the first time and that you won’t have to shell out further money to fix a poorly executed installation. A second cost of installation you may not have considered is Permits and Fees. The local city very likely has permit requirements, as well as inspection fees which may add as much as $3,000 to the overall cost. Be sure to double-check on these, as the permits and fees are certainly more pleasant than paying fines.
If you’ve been keeping track of the math you’re probably wondering where the last 30% of the cost of your system has gone. Solar power for homes requires maintenance to keep it running efficiently, and this is where the last estimated 30% of the money will end up. Besides any potential breakages or damage to the system, the power inverter will usually need to be replaced every 6-12 years, depending on use and other variables. Figuring maintenance into the cost of your system will prevent unexpected charges from sneaking up on you.
Ultimately solar power for homes should pay for itself as it saves you money on your monthly energy needs. The sun is a completely free source of energy and will continue to exist as such for the foreseeable future, which will also insulate you from any spikes in energy costs as you rely on you system.
Solar power for homes is growing in popularity and affordability and as such there has never been a better time to invest in this form of alternative energy.