If you’re a homeowner who is considering a solar power system, you probably have a few questions to get out of the way before reaching a final decision. Getting familiarized with the technical features of solar panels is a good start, since you will know what they can do and what they cannot.
You should also consider the decision from a financial standpoint: having an idea of typical costs and savings is helpful.
There are many solar panel brands in the market, and their products look similar. High-quality solar brands are more expensive, but their benefits outweigh their higher price:
- A typical service life of 25 years or more, covered by a warranty.
- You get solar panels that meet international standards, which have been tested for electrical safety and fire safety.
- There are many qualified vendors and installers, approved by the top solar brands.
Unlike many other home improvements, solar panels are characterized by their predictable costs. The exact price will depend on the brand and installer, but many home solar systems fall in the range of $2.5 to $3.5 per watt of installed capacity. This means that prices between $15,000 and $21,000 are typical for a 6-kilowatt installation.
In the US, you get a percentage of this investment back as a federal tax credit, depending on the installation date: 26% for 2022, and 22% for 2023.
The savings achieved by solar panels are much more variable since they depend on external factors. Solar savings are determined in great part by local sunshine and electricity prices. Each PV module generates more kilowatt-hours if the local weather is sunny, and each kWh is worth more when electricity is expensive.
Here we will discuss solar panels from an investment standpoint, comparing their typical costs and savings. We will also discuss their pros and cons, providing useful facts for homeowners who are considering solar energy.