Solar panels on a budget may sound like a far-fetched idea, but with the advancements in solar technology in recent years solar energy is becoming more and more accessible to the average homeowner! There may even be programs in your area to make the upgrade to solar energy even more attainable. Whether you’re looking to save money on the electric bill or looking to do something kind for the planet, there’s a solar option that’s just right for your home. When the time comes to decide on which solar panels to purchase for your home, it’s important to keep in mind that the one with the cheapest upfront cost may not be saving you as much long-term.
The cost of solar panels can vary widely from home to home. Factors such as roof design and size as well as solar panel type and efficiency can be a big factor in determining the upfront cost of your solar investment. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically (by over half!) in the past 10 years. There are several panel options such as monocrystalline (single crystal), Polycrystalline Panels (multiple crystals), gallium arsenide, cadmium telluride, and amorphous silicon. Typically, monocrystalline panels generate the most watts per area, which means fewer panels can be used to produce the needed amount of electricity, and that takes up less space. This higher efficiency usually means that monocrystalline panels are a more expensive option; however, other factors come into play as well, such as warranties, durability and more.
Solar panels typically make up 25 to 30 percent of the total price of installing a solar system, but there are other things to consider when choosing the right panels to fit your home and budget. Other parts of your system include Inverters as well as mounting or “racking” and monitoring systems. These essential parts of your solar power system help make the power usable, connect your system to the roof and let you know how well your system is functioning. It is important to consider your entire systems long-term functionality when choosing these supporting systems to be sure any future needs or expansions can be handled by your unit. Luckily, innovations for these additional systems have helped make them more affordable and easier to install which helps with labor and installation costs.
Solar panel technology changes quickly and what is very affordable today might be replaced by something even more affordable tomorrow. With the ever-changing technology of solar, more varieties of solar panels units are likely to hit the market soon. To be certain of prices, we recommend checking with the manufacturer or contractor before ordering panels. There are many benefits to making the switch to renewable energy sources and with the nearly 200 sunny days that Hoosiers see a year, Indiana plans to see a rise in solar systems in the coming years!