Why Are Solar Panels So Expensive?

When people first look into purchasing a solar system for their home or business, they may wonder about the cost of solar panels. They usually start out by searching the pros and cons of solar energy. One of the first things they probably consider (after monthly utility savings), are the federal tax credits for the year for the particular application (whether home, business, or recreational vehicle).

There is a very good reason solar panel systems can be expensive. There are some fairly expensive components that go into the creation, design and manufacturing of the panels. The most notable components are inverters, collectors, batteries, and panels that are designed with expensive semiconductor materials. Although, newer technology is lowering the prices of the material used in the semiconductors, solar panels can feel like a hefty investment. Take heart though, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the median installed price for solar energy systems fell 70% in the last ten or so years. 

why are solar panels so expensive
Solar panels can be expensive, but the cost savings and increased home value often pay off in the long run.

Solar Panel Design Expense

There is a lot that goes into the design of a solar panels along with the system, itself. In designing the system, it is important to note that in some States, utility companies do not let you keep or sell back extra electricity stored. The power companies often sell that energy elsewhere. So you don’t take on more panels than you need, consider asking Atlasta about net metering in your area when deciding on your design. Previous and current usage is important to know in choosing your system size.

In addition to number of panels determining your design, you need to know the pitch of your roof as well as the type of roof you have. As is the situation with most roof types, the solar panels can be incorporated and installed on top of the existing roofs. In other situations, the solar panels can even be installed as a new roof to replace your roof!

Soft Costs of Solar Installation

The soft costs of solar include installation and labor, as well as sales and marketing expenses.  There are always the local permitting and inspection fees and sales taxes that go into the final cost for both the consumer, and solar company, as well.

Solar Energy Technology

Today, solar energy technology is always improving and becoming more affordable for the general consumer. Think back to computers and how they were very intimidating and out of reach for the average consumer, but over time, more plants started producing pieces and parts drastically got cheaper. Not only that, but the energy outputs are consistently getting better. Their longevity is improving too. Most systems last at least twenty years or more with very little maintenance.

Improvements In Solar Power
Like other technologies, solar power is always improving.

Inverters

Inverters and batteries work hand in hand. One creates the energy so to speak while the other stores it. The function of an inverter for your solar panel system is to convert direct current panel to alternating current power, thereby making it usable for homes or businesses. The inverter can also feed the power directly into the grid. Inverters come in several different types: centralized, string inverters and power optimizers. The centralized inverter is connected to the entire system, while the others are attached to each individual panel in the system.

Micro-inverters work well in the long-run for not having the entire system go out at the same time. If it does go out, it’s a quick swap. Smart inverters interface with the grid, keeping track of the power output, and helping prevent outages. With proper install and maintenance, a homeowner should have very little to worry about. There are several interfaces that homeowners can use with the inverters to keep track of how efficiently their system is working.

Batteries

Batteries store energy when the sun isn’t shining. Basically, there are a few different types of solar batteries: lead acid, lithium ion, nickel cadmium, and flow batteries. Batteries can be expensive, so it’s good to consider the cost vs. benefit depending on where you live. In most cases, a lithium battery is the optimal choice, but your best bet is to have a consultant from your local solar company (like Atlasta Solar) answer all those questions, and help you determine the right fit for your home or property.

Mounting systems are also a necessary part of a solar system – the framework that can drive up cost depending on whether it has tracking systems or is a more complex system. Again, the benefit may outweigh the cost, so it’s good to have those questions ready for your Atlasta Representative.

Shipping costs can add up with some companies, but here at Atlasta Solar, we keep all of our Solar Panels systems in stock. Even with the current supply chain issues, you won’t experience the same wait as with some other companies.

Cost Offsets with Solar

Yes, long term, solar can start saving you money, but the initial investment without any subsidies can be daunting. This is why many states are beginning to offer tax credits to incentivize more solar use. Tax credits are something that your Atlasta Solar Representative can advise you about. There are even tax credits for recreational vehicle solar systems (if you’re interested in this sort of thing, check out our latest article: “How much solar power do I need for my RV?“).

Besides benefitting the environment with clean energy, there are other advantages to having a Solar System installed in your home or business.  Having Solar on your home is more affordable than ever. The most obvious benefit is saving on your electrical bills, which may be quite expensive in some States. Some places allow homeowners to profit on excess energy. Well-made quality panels can last over 40 years, so now there a much better return on investment. And if you end up selling your home, Solar Panels can increase the resale value.

Benefits of Solar

Everyone can benefit from a reduced electricity bill, lower carbon footprint and a cleaner environment. What most people don’t consider though is the fact that being energy independent adds an extra layer of peace in your life. Knowing what you’re going to pay for your utilities can have a similar effect, especially in times of increasing inflation. But there is an additional advantage with a lower carbon footprint, clean and efficient energy.

Atlasta Solar

Atlasta Solar is located in the Colorado Grand Valley with over 40 years of Solar experience in the Solar industry. Are you interested in Solar money-saving options as well as a more eco-friendly home? Your Atlasta Solar Consultant can answer all your questions as well as give you suggestions for optimal Solar savings for your home or business.

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