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The Ugly:

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the cost of solar panels. On the internet, many lead-generation sites present themselves as being informational sites. In fact, they are trying to draw consumers in to capture their information and sell it to solar installers. One way they do this is by understating the true cost of solar, using statistics that may not be legitimate.The only true way to get the cost of a system is to talk to an installer in your area. Talk to one of our local Charlotte solar experts today.

The Bad:

After years of price declines, the cost of solar rose in 2021. This is no surprise with all of the supply issues that many industries have faced since 2020. In some portions of the solar industry, prices rose as much as 18% in 2021, according to a report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Still, the solar industry installed a record 23.6 gigawatts of new capacity in 2021, a 19% increase. This speaks to the momentum solar has gained as consumers start to see its many benefits, including protection from inflation and rising energy costs. There are signs that these price increases could be slowing or reversing. Not only have some commodity prices come down in mid-2022, but there has been action in Washington, D.C. to pause some solar tariffs that have increased the cost of Chinese made solar panels. It is difficult to know where prices will go, but it is safe to say that solar continues to be – and will continue to be – an excellent value and long-term investment for most Carolinians.

do solar panels work on cloudy days

The Good:

The good news is that you can get into solar for somewhere around $12,000, after the 26% federal tax credit. According to the Center for Sustainable Energy, the average cost for solar panels is currently around $3–$5 per watt, and an average 5-kW residential system costs $15,000–$25,000, before incentives and tax credits. In 2022, solar panels in the U.S. cost about $20,498 on average. What this means for a consumer in the Carolinas is that solar starts at about $15k, with federal tax credits taking off 26% more.

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How much energy would a system of this size produce? The specifics vary from house to house and location to location, but a system of this size could potentially cover about a third of the average household’s electricity needs. In 2020, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,715 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of about 893 kWh per month. Assuming a 4 kW system, the panels would produce around 850 kWh per kW, totaling 3400 kWh/year. That means for 12k, an average homeowner could cover around a third of their electricity needs for 25 years! Not a bad deal where you consider where electricity rates may be heading in the future.

In the end, your decision to go solar should be based on your specific needs and goals. A bigger system will cost more but will also may save you significantly more in the long run. And with financing, there are opportunities to start with solar for as little as ____ month. Once you have installed your system, the costs are minimal. In general, solar panels require little to no maintenance over their lifetime. Generally, the regular rain we get in the Carolinas does an adequate job of cleaning the panels off. This means that you can enjoy your system for years to come, all while saving money and protecting the environment.