So you’re like millions of home owners are wondering how much does solar cost for your home. And the question really depends on several factors which will be covered below.
What percentage of your power bill do you want to eliminate with solar?
This is the first and most important question. So many people were sold solar systems that got what seemed like great prices but ended up getting systems that did not produce much. With good southern exposure for instance each solar panel should eliminate about $6.00 dollars a month from your power bill.
So if you had a power bill of around $180.00 per month you would need 30 panels. This also based on using quality 340-watt panels which are what we use at West Bay Energy.
What kinds of equipment are you using?
As the solar space continues to grow so do the options available to install solar panels. When you pick your equipment the price will vary based on if you choose to use micro or string inverters.
A String inverter is just like the old school Christmas lights meaning if one panel has an issue the entire circuit goes out. A micro inverter is an individual inverter located on each panel so if one inverter has an issue it only effects that panel. Micro inverters also create more power production since the dc to ac conversion happens at the panel versus being run all the way to to garage or central spot that the string inverter is stored.
String inverters are much cheaper but they offer higher maintenance costs and lower production. At West Bay Energy we no longer install string inverters due to past issues with them.
What kinda of warranty does the system have?
Some panels offer different levels of warranty from 5 years all the way to 25 years. At West Bay Energy we focus on 25 year panel, inverter, and mount warranties. We feel that it is essential that the system has a warranty of at least 25 years.
Are you paying cash or financing the system?
99% of our sales are done with financing but paying cash could reduce your system costs.
Do you want to keep the government incentives or apply to the cost of system?
The government right now is offering a 22% rebate (for 2021) on systems. If you finance the system you can either elect to keep the rebate and use for a vacation or to pay down other higher interest debt or to apply back to the cost of the loan.
At West Bay Energy we install the best systems and do all installation ourselves. We also handle all warranty work ourselves. Some other companies will make you deal with sending inverters and panels back to manufacture and handle fixing issues. Because we handle the warranty work we also know how important it is to select quality equipment.
How much does solar cost?
To eliminate a 180.00 power bill for example we will often recommend a system with 30 to 36 panels. This system including the panels, roof mounts, micro inverters, installation, and remote app monitors normally costs around 24,153.60 after rebates and incentives.
This will normally equal a solar financing payment at $146 per month saving you around $34.00 per month. This payment will remain constant no matter what increases occur based on government usage taxes or increased fuel costs. It’s like buying your home vs renting. When you buy your home your payment is set for the length of the loan and once you own the home no more payments versus when you rent the landlord can raise the rent at will. 20 years ago mortgage payments were close to rent, but now its almost 3 times as much to rent a similar home.
We typically finance our systems for 20 years and the warranty lasts for 25 years. The first solar panels in the Mohave desert in 1977 are still working so it appears solar panels last a long time.
The best way to get an accurate price is to have one of our energy consultants come out and look at your home and design a system that maximizes your current sun exposure.