Home Solar Power System Cost
A lot of people are considering investing in a Home Solar Power System. In the subsequent paragraphs I’ll provide data on solar cost, available tax credits, expected savings and revenues and the expected time to have the project up and running.
The Expected Home Solar Power System Cost
I take as a baseline a 2.5kW (2,500 Watts) system capable of producing around 350kWh every month. The present market price is $8-9 per watt for the basic solar kit (solar panels and inverter) plus installation cost. This system can supply 40-80% of the electricity of a typical US connected to the grid home
Now that you have the big picture, click on the banner bellow for a good technical background on residential solar systems
Preliminary Saving Steps
View my energy saving tips that are easy to implement without sacrificing your standard of living. Install a solar water heater, solar heating water systems are by far less expensive than solar photovoltaic electricity generation systems. Solar water heater will save you 10-25% of your energy bills
Tax Credits and Solar Energy Loans
As of 2009, the IRS grant a tax credit of 30% with no upper limit on the cost of installing a solar system. State level incentives and/or tax credits are available in many of the states. Most states oblige the utilities to buy back the surplus electricity from residential and small commercial solar power plants (feed in tariff). Subsidized long term loans are available in some of the states
Your home value with the Home Solar Power System installed will be higher. As a rule of thumb, multiply the annual saving on electricity by a factor of 15 (or up to 20 in certain regions). For our baseline 2.5kW system, it produces 4,200 kWh annually. At $0.2 per kWh, the annual saving on bills is $840. The home value will increase by $12,600 or more.
Time from Decision to a Working System
The time is heavily dependent on solar panels availability and on getting the local permits. A minimum of 3 months that can go as high as 5 months is a good estimate. Get a technical proposal and a price quotation from a certified local solar contractor. Even if eventually you want to install the system yourself, have a baseline price from the contractor.
Off Grid Homes
Connecting a offgrid home to the grid might cost between $15,000 to $50,000 per mile. It is very wise to invest the money in solar power generation and in a wind turbine rather than paying the upfront connection fee and paying the utility the monthly bills hereafter. There are two differences between grid connected homes and offgrid homes.
- A off grid solar system must have enough production capacity to provide the electricity the off grid home consumes; Grid connected homes can install less than the 100% needs, 40-70% is very common. (the utility will supply the balance)
- A off grid system must have electricity storage batteries and a charge controller
It is recommended to combine a small wind turbine for off grid homes or ranches with land size of 1 acre or more
Types of Home Power Generators
Traditionally, diesel generators were the "natural" homeowners' choice if they looked for backup home power generator. With the advent of the solar power generators, the better choice is the solar system that includes batteries.
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