The Cost of Solar Power
There is no simple answer to what the cost of using solar power is. At least, there is not an accurate one. Many variables have to be taken into consideration in order to figure out just what you can expect to pay.
The main cost is the price of the initial purchase and installation of the solar power system. In order to know what kind of system you need, you have to know several things. These things will be different depending on whether it is a new or existing home.
If the home is already on the utility grid, some information can be gained from looking at utility bills from the past year. Check out how many kilowatt/hours you used during winter, spring, summer, and fall months. Multiply that by the price you pay per kW/hr, and you should come up with the amounts of those bills. This is just an exercise to show you where your money is going.
You can use an estimator program online to get a rough idea of what the price of the system you need will be. These programs may not be available for all states, but they can give you a general idea. In the end, though, it is best to contact a professional for an estimate before you actually make a purchase.
The estimator will ask for the state and county of your house. This will help to determine just how much sunlight the house is bound to get per day on average. It will also show the climate of the region so that power needs can be assessed.
Then, you will be asked all the questions about power usage in the past. This is when you definitely need a live professional estimator if you are building a new solar home. The program, or the expert, will determine from all the information how big a system you need.
Say you need a system that will cost $20,000 for your home. After tax incentives and rebates, you may be paying less than $15,000 for the system. To find out if the system will pay for itself, complex calculations are needed.
These involve such factors as net-metering and the use of batteries to store energy for nights and cloudy days. They also involve figuring how much you will be paying per kW/hr with your solar power system. At that point, you can compare the savings.
At first the savings may be small, as the unit pays for itself. When inflation begins to influence the price of the utility’s power, your solar system will be even cheaper by comparison. Finally, after the system has paid for itself you can reap the rewards. Usually a system pays for itself in about ten years and lasts for twenty-five.
As for a flat answer to what solar power costs, there is none readily available. To get that kind of information, you will have to seek help from experts to find out what pertains to your particular house. Chances are you will find that solar power pays for itself many times over the years.