Getting a quick estimate for a rooftop solar system can seem like a nearly impossible thing to do. Why is it so difficult to pinpoint an exact number for how much solar energy will cost you?
There’s a good reason for not wanting to give you an average cost without knowing more information about the home on which it will be installed. Every home is different for a number of reasons.
First, your cost is determined by the system size, and that size depends upon a number of factors that affect production… but the #1 factor in any design proposal is how much energy you consume.
Your energy usage
This is where your current utility bill comes in. A solar company giving you an estimate will have to know what your average power usage is over the last year, 6 months at least. More information about usage makes it easier for us to estimate your offset based on the system design.
Then, we look at a few other factors to determine panel placement and quantity.
FACTORS FOR OPTIMAL PRODUCTION
To save the most money, the panels need to be installed to provide optimal production. This is determined by several things.
Facing due south is optimal. Southern exposure gives the panels the most time in the sun. Eastern and western facing panels also receive good amounts on sun for producing solar energy.
No shade on the system will give you the best production. Having trees that shade your roof doesn’t disqualify you from getting solar, it is just important to know to determine the design of your system.
Pitch of the roof is another factor. The pitch of the roof is the pitch of the panels, which is the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 horizontal inches. Also, this angle in relation to your latitude (there are complex calculations for this and they vary greatly in the US, whether you are in Portland, Oregon or Raleigh, North Carolina) is important in determining production.
Weather patterns also make a difference, sunny and cool is ideal. We take the climate and weather patterns of your area into account when we design the proposal.
While we can’t control many of these things, we can account for them in a proposal. This is why when you ask someone for an average cost of solar, they look for more information instead of giving you a quick answer.
The average costs vary per state. On a national scale, the cost that the typical homeowner pays for one of these system averages around $27,000 for a 6kW system. 10 kW systems average around $45,000.
The costs that you pay may be entirely different than the average prices quoted in recent studies. Before you can appreciate the price that you might pay, you need to learn exactly what the costs will cover and what is included in your system.
SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU PAYING FOR WHEN YOU INVEST IN SOLAR?
When you invest in a solar power system from Blue Raven Solar, you have zero upfront costs. You pay nothing out of pocket and can get 12-18 months free upfront (depending on your location) for the system you choose for your home. These savings make the system affordable and easy to invest in right away.
YOUR PAYMENTS ARE THE COST OF HARDWARE THAT WILL BE INSTALLED ON YOUR HOME
You are not leasing the system and paying for the electricity the panels generate, you are actually paying to OWN your own system. The cost is the hardware, like the panels and inverter. It is yours, and it adds value to your home when you install it.
YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENT REPLACES MOST OF YOUR UTILITY BILL
For most people, it’s the monthly payment that they care about, not the overall cost. Your utility bill can be all over the map when it comes to monthly cost, but without solar it’s a monthly bill that will never go away. It’s a cost you know you will have every month as long as you live in a home. So, when you buy solar, you are replacing most of that utility bill with your fixed monthly cost of your solar purchase. Because of that, most people want the best monthly payment.
AS THE OWNER OF THE SYSTEM, YOU GET TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX INCENTIVES.
The federal government allows a 30% income tax credit when you file your taxes based off your system costs. If you pay income taxes these credits can offset the taxes you would have paid. In Blue Raven Solar’s markets, Utah, South Carolina, and Oregon also offer state income tax credits for people in these states that install solar power. Additional states and sometimes utility companies offer additional incentives, check your area for other incentives.
If you lease your system or get a PPA, the solar company that owns the system will take the tax credits.
Don’t settle for average cost, get a proposal
Although it’s really difficult to give an average cost, it’s really easy to come up with a proposal for a home. If you have an address and a power bill, that’s enough.
Submitting both to Blue Raven Solar, we can sit down and show you how much you can expect to pay each month for your own solar power system and what financing options are available to you to make it easy to go solar with no upfront costs.
It will give you an approximate number on how much power the system can generate and how much you might pay for a monthly utility bill once it is up and running in your house. Even more exciting, we can show you how much money you can save by owning your own power plant on your roof versus just renting power month to month from your current provider.
At Blue Raven Solar a custom proposal for your home is free.
You can come to us anytime you are ready to invest in solar power for your home. We will use the information you provide for us as well as determine what other factors may go into your pricing to create a tailored proposal just for you.
You are under no obligation but have total control over the solar power system that you choose for your house.