Common Questions About Home Solar

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The past decade has sheen a massive increase in the use of solar power as the world shifts to grow away from the use of fossil fuels. Solar panels in particular have seen a boom.

Curious about solar panels or want to learn more about this form of renewable energy?

Here is what you need to know about home solar.

1. How much has the price of residential solar dropped in recent years?

U.S. solar installation cost has dropped by around 70 percent over the past 10 years.This is great news for homeowners and the climate! Since 2018, the residential solar market has seen a five percent cost decrease. Solar panels are a great investment for your home and wallet.

2. What is the difference between solar for residential use verses home use?

Commercial solar is likely to power a city’s operation which can vary in costs based on the size of the city. Residential solar power systems have an average of 6 kilowatts-a much smaller scale. The small scale of residential solar panels make them a cost effective and easy way to save money on home energy. Commercial solar projects are usually from a major investor or large group of investors.

3. What is the average cost of a residential solar panel system?

This varies based on the size of the home and location Currently, U.S. homeowners are paying an average of $2.99/W. In 2008 the average cost of solar was just over $8/W. For an average 6kW system, a price of $2.99/W means you’ll pay approximately $17,940 before tax credits and rebates in 2019.

4. Will my solar panels be connected to the grid? What is the net metering?

Most solar panels are connected to the grid. When solar is grid-connected, net-metering which is an incentive where you receive bill credits when your solar panel system makes too much electricity. When your panels aren’t producing enough energy, like during cloudy weather, those credits will cover the cost of your grid electricity use.

If you are off the grid, net-metering is not possible. To have a completely off of the grid solar panel system, you will need a backup energy source.

5. How long does it take to install a solar panel system?

After meeting with installers, it should only take a few days to fully install your solar panel system. Setting up net-metering takes more time than off the grid installation.

6. Can you get a solar panel system for your home if your roof doesn’t qualify?

The short answer is no. However, there are other ways to have solar power without roof panels. Ground mount solar installations and community solar gardens are two common ways to access power from the sun without actually installing anything on your rooftop. Community solar is a shared system and ground-mounted are in-ground panels that bypass roof installation.

7. What are the solar tax credits?

The solar tax credit or (ITC) gives a tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of your solar panel system as long as you purchased the system yourself. Some states also offer their own tax credit.

8. What happens if I move after having solar installed?

This is a major concern for homeowners looking to get solar installed. Having a solar panel increases the value of your home and is an attractive feature when selling a property. There are plenty of buyers on the market looking for properties with solar.

9. What percentage of my home can be powered with solar?

Most want to hear 100%, but that is not always the case every day of the week. The leading US solar manufacturer, SunPower suggests homeowners factor in a 25% cushion. Solar panels cannot operate 100% all the time, which is why net-metering is recommended.

10. When will I break-even on the cost of my solar panels?

While this can take some time, the average amount is 7.5 year

Source: EnergySage