Solar panels are gaining more and more momentum. Not just in Australia, but across the world, solar is being touted as the solution to so many of our energy concerns. And it’s not hard to see why. Solar panels offer a way to convert the sun’s rays into useable and reliable electricity. Better still, solar panels are getting cheaper and cheaper. So just how much will it cost to power your home with solar?
Well, that can be a tricky question to answer. Solar panels are assessed on a house by house basis. In every case, solar is a tailored solution that needs to be perfectly suited to the house it’s powering. Nevertheless, we can take some of the baseline costs of solar, and try work out how much it’ll cost on average. So let’s take a look at the variables. Hopefully, with this information, you’ll be able to gain some idea of what solar is likely to cost you.
Solar panel cost calculator: some things to take into account
As much as we would love to, we can’t quite offer an accurate solar panel cost calculator. There a few reasons for that as well. Foremost, solar power solutions require different installation methods in different areas. The key reason behind that is the aspect of the sun. A lot of houses are actually constructed to minimise direct sunlight. That means they might require some additional solar panels to generate enough power. Then there’s your choice in supplier. Because solar power is gaining ground around the world, more and more suppliers are emerging. Some offer high quality, carefully manufactured solutions. Others offer much cheaper models, with a little less in the way of quality. For the most part, they all work pretty well. However, as with everything, the cost to quality ratio is something worth considering.
Looking at solar on a per panel basis: how much does it cost?
It’s hard to put a price on your solar solution specifically, without assessing your home. But we can do the next best thing: offer you a rough per panel estimate! Taking into account all the options, home solar panels cost about $5,000 to $8,000 each – that is, for a top of the line solution. At that price, you can get a reliable and high-quality 3kW system. There are much cheaper options, though, which come in at around $2,500 per panel. It might seem like a large initial outlay, but the savings delivered in the long term are undeniable. Then there’s the environmental aspect; solar panels place your home one step closer to sustainability, which is important.
Just how many solar panels does it take to power a whole house? Well, that depends on a few things
Now that you have a rough idea of how much solar panels cost, it might be worth thinking about how many it will take to power your home. Before you start, though, consider whether your home is a high energy home, or a low energy home. Working that out is relatively straightforward. Generally, smaller homes with few occupants and relatively few appliances will be low energy home. Such homes typically require fewer solar panels to deliver them adequate power. On the other hand, if your home is large and houses the whole family, you might have slightly higher energy needs.
With that in mind, let’s get into numbers. The average number of solar panels required to completely power a house is 12-18. That means low energy homes require around 12 panels, while high energy homes require closer to 18. And that seems like a lot. However, few houses opt for a complete solar conversion. Most houses currently fitted with solar remain attached to the power grid. That means only a few panels are necessary to take the bulk of power usage during the day, with night-time power requirement being met by the power grid. Coupled with government subsidies, solar is far more affordable than these numbers make it sound. And that’s without even considering the long term savings in power!
Installation is a big one – here’s how it can affect the cost of your solar panels
Of course, the cost of solar isn’t determined by panels alone. There’s a lot of other work that goes into the completion of a solar power system. Take mounts for example. To place your solar panels in full view of the sun, roof mounting is a requirement. There are several purpose-built mounts for attaching the panels to the roof. Those mounts are designed to last for the long haul. Whether they’re faced with rain, hail, or hopefully shine, those mounts are built to have a 25-year lifespan. And the quality of that level is something worth paying for! So when you’re chatting to a solar specialist, ask them to run you through your mounting options, and their associated costs.
Is it worth cutting corners in solar installation to save costs? Absolutely not – here’s why
We’ll be the first to admit that solar can cost a bit straight off the bat. But is it worth trying to cut corners to cut costs? In our view, it’s absolutely not. If your solar system is well installed, it’s lifetime will be very significant. And that’s exactly what you want out of your home’s long term power solution. Even more important, though, is electrical safety. Solar power, after all, is electricity, just like any other power. It can be hazardous if it’s not installed correctly.
So how can you ensure that your solar solution is installed to the highest possible standard? Start by finding a reputable, reliable electrician. Do some research to ensure that your electrician has all the licencing, training, and professional accreditation required to undertake the job safely, and legally. Remember, unlicensed electrical work is unsafe and unlawful. So avoid dodgy operators, and don’t try to cut costs on installations.
For more information on your solar power solutions, get in touch with the experts.