The United States alone is now home to solar panel systems with 89 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity. To put that in perspective, 89 GW is enough to support the energy needs of 16 million homes.
A chief reason for this surge in solar installations is the steep decrease in hardware costs. Experts say that photovoltaic module prices have dropped by 99% over the last 40 years.
All that should be a good enough reason to invest in a solar panel installation project for your home.
To that end, we came up with this guide on four of the top factors to consider as you plan your solar PV installation. Read on to discover what these are so that you can better prepare your home (and budget) for this big project.
- The Condition of Your Roof
Solar panels, as innovative as they’ve become, won’t generate power at night. However, they can still harness the sun’s power even during cloudy days. After all, high-quality solar panels can collect direct, indirect, or reflected light.
For this reason, the roof is always the best place to have a solar PV installation. However, keep in mind the weight of solar panels; on average, each 60-cell module can weigh 40 pounds. So, if you need 20 panels, your roof should be sturdy enough to bear the extra weight of 800 pounds.
- Federal Tax Credit Qualifications
The 22% federal solar tax credit for US homes is set to expire after December 31, 2021. Home solar panel installations after this date will no longer receive any credit. This should be reason enough to consider investing in solar panels as soon as possible.
Just like any incentive, though, the solar FTC has a lot of requirements, one of which is that you’re the system owner. This means you should buy or finance rather than lease them. In a lease agreement, the lessor (the party who leases the panels) maintains ownership.
- Average Solar Panel Installation Cost in the US
In the US, the average residential solar panel installation cost is between $11,000 and $15,000. That’s inclusive of the estimated federal tax incentive breaks you can get. For that kind of money, though, you can already get a full-size system enough to power your entire home.
Still, $11,000 to $15,000 is a lot of money to shell out for an average household. After all, that’s about 16% to 21% of the real annual median household income in the US, which, in 2019, amounted to $68,703.
- Financing Offers of Solar Panel Installation Companies
Fortunately, you don’t have to shell all $11k to $15k in one go, provided you qualify for a financing program. Some of the best solar companies offer such deals to make ownership easier for consumers. The keyword here is “some,” though, so be sure to factor this in as you do your online search for a “solar company near me.”
You should also look for solar companies that offer zero-down financing programs. This way, you don’t have to pay anything right away for your system’s design and installation. Some reputable installers won’t even charge you upfront for permitting fees.
Put a Stop to Your Rising Electricity Bills by Going Solar Today
As you can see, solar panel installation projects now cost far less than they did 40 years or even a decade ago. However, your costs still depend on whether you need roof repairs and how big you need your system needs to be. As such, it’s best to have your system installed soon so that you can lower your costs with the tax incentive.
Besides, the sooner you switch to solar, the sooner you can make your electricity bills dip.
Interested in more savvy home ideas like this? Then feel free to check out our other home project guides!