Working Solar Home Improvements Into the Budget
If you’re thinking about going solar, it’s wise to do your homework before just diving in. Of course, the sun is a great source of clean, renewable energy, but you want to make sure that the investment you’re making will be adequate to meet your energy needs.
So, how much does a solar system cost? There’s no one correct answer, because there are many variables that you must account for when figuring it out.
Location of the Solar Power System
Of course, you know that some parts of the country get more sun than others. Solar radiance (or insolation) is the measure of how many kWh worth of electricity fall on a square meter of land per day, in a given location. The amount of solar radiance that your area receives is going to affect the necessary size, and therefore, cost of your solar system.
How Much Power Does Your Home Need?
You should take a look at your electric bills and figure out how much electricity you have the potential to use per month. If you want your solar system to supply all of your power needs, then it needs to be able to take everything you can throw at it. Of course, it’s not necessary to get all of your power from solar.
In fact, those with grid-tied solar systems are sometimes able to sell their excess power to the utility company and buy some back when they need extra. At any rate, figure out how much electricity you want to be able to produce.
Putting the Solar Cost Estimate Together
Once you’ve figured out how much electricity your solar system will need to generate, you can use a solar cost calculator, such as the one at SolarEstimate.org to figure out what it will cost to install a solar system in your home.
This website will also help you figure out how long it will take to break even and start saving money by installing a solar system, and it can tell you which incentives are available, based on your location.