In the United States, one in 600 homes now install solar panels every quarter. One of the reasons behind that growth is that more folks are now aware of the solar energy savings they can get. Another is the increasing awareness that solar panels have a low carbon footprint. Moreover, solar doesn’t produce any emissions during the power generation process. The big question is, could you afford to switch to solar? How much is the average cost of solar panels, anyway?
We’ve broken down what you need to know about solar panel costs below, so read on.
- Average Cost of Solar Panels Decreased Significantly
The average price of solar energy systems for U.S. homes was about $40,000 in 2010. That has dropped since then to around $20,000, representing a decrease of about 50%.
However, the cost of solar panels and installation started increasing again in 2020. By the first quarter of 2022, it was 5.9% higher than in the same quarter of the previous year. Still, that jump was due to the shipping and supply constraints caused by the pandemic.
Besides, even with those increases, solar panels cost much less nowadays than a decade ago. Also, note that the estimates above are before incentives, such as tax credits and rebates. Those should be enough to consider installing a system in your home as soon as possible.
- Multiple Factors Influence Solar Panel Costs
Your final solar installation bill depends on the type and number of panels you get. There are three primary types: thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline.
You can expect lower costs if you get the thin-film type, as this is the least efficient. By contrast, polycrystalline costs more than the thin-film as it’s slightly more efficient. On the other hand, monocrystalline panels cost the most as they’re the most efficient of all three.
Where you live also has a bearing on your total solar installation costs. For instance, solar panels usually cost less in states with lots of sunshine. On the other hand, solar power costs more in regions like Alaska, as they’re farther from the equator.
- Incentives Can Further Lower Solar Costs
The best incentive you can get at the moment is the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). It’s a dollar-for-dollar credit you can deduct from your owed federal taxes. The rate is 26% throughout 2022 but drops to 22% in 2023 and ends by 2024 for residential projects.
Many states also run programs incentivizing homeowners to install solar energy systems.
For example, New York implements a program called Solar Energy System Equipment Credit. It’s a 25% tax credit (capped at $5,000) for state income taxes and works much like the federal ITC. However, a chief difference is that NY’s program doesn’t require complete ownership.
Many solar installation companies also offer incentives to attract customers. For example, according to https://blueravensolar.com, you can enjoy 18 months of free solar with 0% down.
Consider Going Solar ASAP
As you can see, the average cost of solar panels has decreased considerably over the years. For starters, their prices dropped by about half from a decade ago. Best of all, incentives, including tax credits and rebates, further reduce their cost.
So, why not consider speaking to a local solar installation company ASAP? The sooner you do, the sooner you can switch to green, money-saving energy.
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