There are several factors that are currently offsetting the total cost of solar panels for a home installation:

  1. 30% Federal Tax Credit
  2. State Tax Credit
  3. Utility Based Solar Incentives
  4. Net Metering Law

If you are currently living in a state that is better suited for solar panels, you can almost assure yourself of a 5-8 year payback period on your solar investment. On average, the life-span of a solar panel system is roughly 25 years which means that you can count on almost 20 years of not having an electric bill, how’s that for savings? As electricity rates continue to rise, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit which will expire at the end of 2019.

How Do Solar Panels Work At My Home

The most obvious difference between residential building installs and other solar powered systems is that typically they are connected to your local utility grid.

Having said that, when you connect a new solar panel system for your home, your local utility company usually has a huge say-so as to what equipment needs to be installed and how it can operate. The size of your solar panel system must be approved by your local utility, including the voltage, current, and the solar inverter that needs to be installed.

Will My Solar Panel System Continue To Work If There Is A Utility Grid Failure

The quick answer is that it doesn’t continue to work. Your system inverter needs to shut down your system so that a person working on the lines can work on the electrical problem and won’t be shocked or electrocuted by your solar panel system. Most residential owners don’t understand this process and thus get upset whenever they have a power failure and their solar panel system shuts down as well. However, remember that this is down primarily for the safety of any linesman that might be working on getting the power back up again.

Why Are Residential Solar Panels Tied To The Grid

The reason is due to the net metering laws that are applicable in more than 30 states. This law requires your local utility to give you a credit on your electricity bill for each kWh of solar power that your system produces that feeds back into the grid.

Most power is produced around the middle of the day because this is usually when most people are at work or school and they are using the least amount of solar power. This means that because it is not being used, approximately 40% of the solar powered produced from your home solar panels can then be fed back in to the local grid. The retail net metering give you back 1kWh for each 1kWh that you feed back in to the grid which then you can use during the evening and night when you’re at home.

Which Brands of Solar Panels Are The Best For My Home

There are many different manufacturers of solar panels to consider and that your local contractor utilizes. You can find reviews for many of the best solar panels for 2019 on this site.

How To Find The Best Local Solar Company

Like making any major purchase, you must do a bit of homework on your end by researching your local solar panel companies. One of the main factors to look for is years in business and reviews for any company you are considering.

Is 2019 the year you should consider purchasing solar panels for your home? Many Americans are asking themselves the same question considering that the 30% federal tax credit will almost be good as gone by the end of 2019. There are several factors you should consider, amongst them are where you currently reside, the amount of space your roof has, how much of your roof is shaded, how much power do you actually use and last, how much are you paying for your electricity.

When it comes to installing solar panels, there are 5 basic things you should be informed about in order to make the most logical decision:

  1. Do you have a roof that is suitable for solar panels to be installed?
  2. What is the cost of installing solar panels at your home?
  3. How much will you actually be saving by installing solar panels?
  4. What brand or type of solar panels will the contractor be installing?
  5. Have you researched the solar panel contractors around your area in order to get the best price and quality service?

How Much Space Do I Need On My Roof To Consider Installing Solar Panels

Net metering is your friend as it gives you credits in order for you to use during your night time electricity usage, meaning that solar power can literally power your entire home. Most homes need between 6-8kW of solar power to completely eliminate their electricity invoice. So you better have between 360 and 520 square feet of roof space if you’re going to consider solar panels at your residence. Most solar consumption happens between 10 am and 3 pm, so make sure you have plenty of sunshine during these hours. Here is a quick link to calculate your roof space.

Should My Roof Be Facing South

It is primarily most effective for solar panels to be facing south, however, if your solar panels face south east or south west, they can still produce plenty of electricity. Solar panels facing west produce roughly 15% less electricity than those facing south, however, with the price of solar panels decreasing, it is a viable option. This is a great way of taking advantage of peak rates in the afternoon, which is becoming more common than usual.

What Is The Cost Of Solar Panel Installation

The two main source for data on home solar panel installation costs in America come from SolarReviews partners. The Lawrence Berkeley institute published the cost of 90% of home solar systems that were installed in the USA. The information gathered showed that on average it costs $3.89 per watt for a solar powered system. You can find that information by clicking here.

The other source of solar data is from www.solar-estimate.org. The average cost from them was a bit lower than that of Lawrence Berkeley at $3.08 per watt. This however, was for solar systems that were cash purchased and before the 30% tax credit that was being offered. So if you consider a 6kW system, this comes out to $18,480 before the 30% tax credit and $12,936 after taking advantage of the tax credit.

Can I Find a Solar Cost Estimator To Calculate The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels At My Home

One of the most used calculators to estimate the cost of solar panel installation is found at Solar-Estimate. It gives you the rates that are currently being charged by multiple utility companies in its database and also very accurate solar panel production data for many locations around the USA. It will give you the amount of solar panels you will require and how much you’ll be saving before having to enter any personal information.

Do your due diligence and make sure you present the estimate given at this website in order to compare the information with the contractors estimate. As always, there are many different variables when it comes to installing a solar panel system, and coordinating with your contractor is always best for your location and home.