While there can be no doubt that solar panels are a significant, but worthwhile investment, there are a number of factors that can determine exactly how much they will cost; let’s look at the 5 most important:
The type of roof you have and its angle
The optimal angle for solar panels is between 30 and 45 degrees, which allows them to capture and convert the most solar energy. If your home has a flat roof, or you’ve chosen to have ground-mounted solar panels, your contractor may need to build a structure to gain a better performance from your panels.
The materials your roof is constructed from may also impact the method used by your contractor to secure the panels to the roof; some roofs require more labor and materials, which will increase the cost of installation.
A roof with structural issues
In some instances, homeowners may need to have their roof repaired or even replaced before solar panels can be installed. Anything that compromises the roof’s structure will inevitably impact the installation of solar panels, and if they are secured on a faulty roof, they may have to be removed and reinstalled at a later date – an extra expense most homeowners can do without.
Add-ons to a solar installation
If you’re planning to add solar battery backup to your system, then this will bump up the overall cost beyond that of basic panel installation and interconnection. Should you choose to install a monitoring system to assess the performance of your solar panels and home’s energy consumption, then this will cost you more, too. However, both add-ons are incredibly worthwhile, so if you can afford it, do consider investing in them both.
Local costs, such as interconnection, licensing and tax incentives
There are some local factors which may have an additional impact on the total cost of your solar panel installation, and these can include:
Interconnection costs: this is the cost of connecting your system to the local power grid (unless you plan to go off-grid)
Licensing costs: these depend on your local regulations, and a local solar panel installation company can guide you better on this
Local tax incentives: some may offset solar system costs for those homeowners who qualify
Who you choose to install your solar panels
There are many solar companies all offering similar services, but you might be surprised at the difference in prices they quote you for installing solar panels. That’s why it always pays to get quotes from several different companies, and to not be tempted to go with the lowest one you are given. Pay attention to what is included in the quote and the warranty length offered by the contractor. Don’t forget to ask if the work is going to be outsourced or carried out by employees of the company you’re buying your panels from.
Having solar panels installed is a fantastic way for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their utilities, but it’s important to carefully consider the cost before committing to anything, and to always use an experienced company that are based in your locality.