Investing in solar energy can be enormously expensive, but there are ways to do it affordably and ultimately, once the payback period is complete, you will begin to save significantly on electricity bills.
Part of making a smart financial choice when it comes to upgrading to solar panels is knowing what things are going to cost. This enables you to shop around and to budget for a longer period of time. In some cases, you won’t need to buy every single component needed for solar and if you stretch out the expense over time it can be more affordable.
If you’re thinking of investing in a 10kW solar system in the upcoming year, what should you know about the cost?
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to upgrading to solar energy and a 10kW solar system is one of the most popular, which will mean you won’t need to be so reliant on the grid.
These solar power systems offer enough electricity to keep an average size home powered by the sun, even if the people living in the home tend to use more energy than the average family. This allows the average family to upgrade to solar without having to worry about running out of energy or still relying on a third-party energy supplier from the grid to meet their needs.
What’s the Average Cost of a 10kW Solar System?
One of the first questions people ask about 10kW systems and solar energy upgrades, in general, is how much it’s going to cost.
When considering the cost of a solar upgrade there are two things you need to think about. The first is the initial cost of the system. The second is the cost of the solar energy. In nearly every case, you are going to save so much money by upgrading to solar that it will pay for your initial investment in no time at all.
At the beginning of 2018, the cost of solar energy in the United States was a little under $3.15 per watt, which equals just over $31,000 for a 10-kilowatt system.
Now, you also need to take into account the tax benefits associated with upgrading to solar. You’ll get at least a federal tax refund or tax credit—a significant one—by upgrading to a 10kW system. You might also be eligible for state or local incentives. It’s important to share your upgrade information with your tax professional to ensure you take advantage of all the benefits available.
For 2018, the federal discount for upgrading to solar panels is nearly 30 percent of the cost of the system. This means the end cost of investing in a 10kW solar system for this year, which should be comparable in 2019, is about $22,000.
Keep in mind, the cost associated with an upgrade varies from state to state. For instance, an upgrade in New York or New Jersey can run a much as $20,000 to $25,000 or more for off-grid solar as renewable energy, while an upgrade in Arizona will likely cost less than $20,000. Florida is also extremely affordable and most people can upgrade their homes to solar energy for about $15,000 to $19,000.
How Do You Know a Solar Upgrade Is a Smart Move?
There are a lot of reasons why people might consider a solar power upgrade. A 10kW solar system can be the smartest investment you ever make, but it’s not right for everyone. For example, you need to live in an area that gets enough sunlight to power your system. If you live in one of the so-called sunny states, you can rest assured you’re making a good investment, but there are also states that aren’t known for their sunshine.
The important thing is to do your research and learn what your area has to offer. Chances are, if there are a lot of people in your area upgrading to solar, it’s smart to look into what it has to offer for you.
Choosing a 10kW Solar System
How can you make a smart choice about a 10kW system, especially if this is your first time shopping for a solar energy source?
There are a few things you need to know:
First, shop around. Not only is it important to know what your options are regarding equipment quality, but you also need to do research based on price. People who shop around tend to get a better deal in the end.
Remember, investing in solar energy is a big-ticket investment. It’s worth it, but you still need to view it as a major home upgrade. You wouldn’t remodel your kitchen or get a new roof without getting at least a couple of quotes, right? You should view your solar upgrade exactly the same.
Some retailers are going to be willing to price match, so if you are comfortable with one company and another offers you a lower price, see if you’re preferred company is willing to match that price.
Know Your Local Installers
Shopping around for the best partial off-grid systems offers another benefit other than being able to ask for a price match:
It allows you to find the smaller installers in your area. Typically, the larger nation-wide solar energy companies aren’t going to offer the lowest price. They don’t need to because they know their reputation will encourage people to pay more.
But paying more doesn’t mean you are getting the best option. Smaller retailers can be thousands of dollars cheaper and actually offer you more than larger companies. Get to know your local options and you just might find the 10kW solar system right for you with a company based in your area.
Look at the Big Picture
A quote for a 10kW solar system might appear to be less than others on the surface, but actually end up being more if you don’t get everything you need. This consideration is extremely important for solar newbies. If you’re starting from scratch and you need everything to get up and running, it’s important to get a good deal on all of the equipment you need, not just the main system.
You also want to shop with a retailer that provides plenty of options, which surprisingly is sometimes the smaller local vendor. It is important to keep an eye on efficiency ratings and know that you’ll be saving money over the long haul; otherwise, the cheapest option upfront might not be your cheapest option in a year or five or ten.