How Much Are Solar Panels In 2020 | DroneQuote
By DroneQuote | Posted February 09, 2020
How Much Are Solar Panels?
As you might imagine a common question about this topic is “what is the cost of solar panels?”. I will say that it is one of my least favorite questions because it’s just such an open-ended question. To put it in perspective, this question is like asking “how much is a car?” and expecting to get an accurate answer. The good news is that the cost of solar only continues to decrease.
The cost to install solar panels is so unique to each person and home. It would almost be a disservice to throw a number out for the sake of just answering the question because we’d be setting some incorrect expectations.
Sometimes people are a little bit more specific with the question and they’ll ask something like “how much are 15 solar panels?”. If I go back to the car example that’s like asking how much is a four-door sedan, again it’s an open-ended question and the price for that four-door sedan can vary dramatically as you would imagine.
What Goes Into The Cost Of Solar Panels?
There are a lot of variables that go into the cost of solar panels and a lot of those variables have to do with things that may be out of your control. Some of those things that go into a solar panel cost are things like:
- The age of your roof: if you have a brand new roof you’re good to go but if your roof is nearing end-of-life you’ll need to replace that roof in order to install solar panels, which of course would drive up the cost.
- The amperage of your main service electrical panel: if you have a main service panel that doesn’t have enough amperage, you’ll more than likely need to upgrade the service panel which has its own costs associated with it.
- Shading issues: say your neighbor has tall trees near your roofline if that’s the case you’re more than likely need additional panels to make up for that shade. If that isn’t the case and the trees are on your property and you’re willing to trim or cut them down then there’s the cost of trimming those trees.
- The orientation of your roof: if your roof has excellent orientation facing due south, then you’re in luck and you may need fewer panels to produce X amount of electricity. However, if you have a roof with a poor orientation then you’ll need additional panels to produce the amount of electricity to fit your current use.
- The kind of roof you have: certain kinds of roofs are easier to install solar panels whereas other kinds of roofs require additional work. For example, a composition shingle roof will cost less to install solar panels where as a clay tile roof will cost more. The reason why a clay tile roof will increase the solar panel cost is due to the additional work required to install solar panels without causing damage to the delicate clay tiles.
- How much electricity your home uses: the more power you use, the more likely you are to pay more for the solar panel system.
- The kind of solar panels you choose: this specific detail is more in your control because you can choose different kinds of solar panels. For example, a new top-of-the-line high-efficiency and high wattage solar panel is going to cost a noticeable amount more than less efficient and lower wattage panels that are last year’s models. Also, premium panels like Panasonic, Sunpower, or the latest and greatest LG panels, are going to cost more than Canadian solar or Hanwha Q-Cell solar panels. If you have enough roof space to use lower wattage panels and want the lowest possible price then you’d be better off with the latter examples.
Ultimately the solar panel cost will vary by different factors, some of which you may control and others you may not be able to control.
How Much Are Solar Panels When Financed?
Besides the variables of site conditions and your selection of solar panels, another thing that may increase the solar panel cost is how you finance your solar, assuming you decide to finance with a solar loan. There are some solar loans with very attractive low-interest rates starting at 2.99%, however, these low-interest rate loans are what are known as “buy-down rate” loans. This literally means you’re buying down the interest-rate and rolling the cost of doing so into the principal.
What does this do to cost you might ask? Well, I hope you’re sitting down; buy-down solar loan options typically add anywhere from 12% to 20% to the total solar panel cost! This could take a cash price of $21,000 up to as high as $23,520. Buy-down rates add an eye-watering premium to the cost of solar panels but don’t worry there are other options that add zero fees to the cash price and still allow you to finance for up to 20 years. The drawback of these particular zero-fee solar loan options is that the interest rates are in the neighborhood of 6% to almost 8%, depending on your credit.
There is one particular way in which you can finance the solar system for up to 30 years with as low as a 4% interest rate which we refer to as “the secret way to buy solar panels” because most solar salespeople don’t bother sharing it with you.
Cost To Install Solar Panels Based On Where You Live.
Quick, how much is a gallon of gasoline where you live? If the cost of gas where you live is higher than the national average then you can anticipate paying more for solar panels. In places like Texas, Arizona, or Florida (places where the cost of living is lower), and other states where we help homeowners buy solar panels it is not uncommon to get homeowners pricing in the $2.25 per watt range. In places like California, where even breathing is more expensive, we’re seeing average prices of solar panels in the $2.90 to $3 per watt range for non-premium solar panels.
How To Get The Exact Solar Panel Cost?
There’s only one way to know the exact cost of solar panels for your home and that is with the process of getting solar quotes. The problem is that the process of getting solar quotes can be daunting for a lot of people because of how much hassle it involves, the inconvenient meetings, the pushy salespeople, and the inflated prices of in-home sales. It’s not uncommon for people to not want quotes
for solar panels even though they are interested in installing solar just because of this arduous process.
This is exactly what led us to start DroneQuote. We understand that you have better things to do than to sit through the song and dance of in-home sales presentations. It’s for this reason that we made our process completely online and without so much as a single salesperson visiting your house. Rather than inviting one salesperson per quote into your living room to talk your ear off for over an hour and a half and then ask you to sign a contract, we take a completely different approach.
Our process starts with a brief online request for information so that we can have a good idea of what kind of quotes to put together for you. From there we ask that you upload photographs of your home and a recent utility bill. With this information, we are able to put together accurate quotes and present them to you online, on your time, and on your terms. Furthermore, we offer you quotes from multiple installers in one fell swoop and because they all know they’re going up against other installers they offer razor-sharp pricing.
Due to the fact that our process is entirely online and we’re not sending salespeople to your home we save time and money that we could pass on to our customers. And if that wasn’t enough, since we offer you multiple quotes from different installers we can afford to come in even lower on price because we’re not hoping to make it big with only one opportunity to earn your business, which further drives down the price and moves our model revenue more dependent on volume then I’m selling fewer deals at the highest possible price.
Finally, DroneQuote is the only company in the United States that has implemented drones into a solar and roofing marketplace so that you could have high definition ultra before and after images of your roof for free with anyone of the installers you choose. This way you know that your roof integrity was respected without having to pull out a ladder and climb on the roof.
See why Drone is the smart way to get solar and roofing quotes and why people love our process. Get started with us for free and see how much we could save you not only on your monthly utility bill but also on the cost of solar panels.
Signup to receive emails with all of the latest DroneQuote articles