Jason RothmanMay 7, 201831220
As solar power becomes more popular around the country, we are going to start a series of articles titled “How much does it cost to install a solar panel system in your area?” Because we are a Sacramento based company, we are going to start here. We are picking a four-bedroom two-story house in the Sacramento area where a family of four lives. Of course, real life scenarios vary all the time, so we will be picking hypothetical situations and using averages.
For that, we travel to the growing area of north Sacramento, CA. It is about seven miles from downtown Sacramento and many homes in the area have solar panels on their roofs. For this criteria, let’s say the average monthly electric bill for the year is about $200. It is more expensive in the summer and drops dramatically in the winter, thanks to Northern California’s mild winter weather. The family does not have a pool or a hot tub, but they do have air conditioning to handle the hot summer heat. If we use the HahaSmart Price Checker tool, we can enter the address and the average monthly bill. Once we enter the information, it returns some great useful data.
The site recommends a 7.2MW solar panel system and it gives a breakdown of the cost of the system and all the permits needed. First, you will need the approval of the design and a permit to build the solar system. That engineer and permitting process would cost $798. Then you need to buy all the equipment, the solar panels, the power inverters, the racking to mount the panels, and other miscellaneous items. This brings the total to about $7,981 with a sales tax of about $738 bringing the total to $9,517 in equipment and permitting.
Now installation costs can vary, but at HahaSmart, we compiled data from 2296 different installers and we can say the cost range is from $5,720 to $8,222 to install the solar panels. If we average the two numbers we get $6,971 as an average installation cost. It is important to shop around for the best installer for your needs. Some of the less expensive ones are not necessarily the best ones.
So if we add the grand total of $9,517 and $6,971 we get $16,488 before local, state, and federal tax incentive programs. Because programs differ in every state, we are only applying the 30 percent federal tax credit. After we factor in the tax credit, the net cost of buying and installing a residential solar panel system in the greater Sacramento area is about $11,542.
If you take into account in the old monthly bill average of $200, and at least a 20 year lifespan on those solar panels and the cost of the whole system, it is estimated that the homeowner would be able to pay off those solar panels in approximately 4.5 years, with a payback rate of about 22 percent each year. After that, the savings grow tremendously.
After 20 years, a person could save $64,343 in their total energy costs. That is without accounting for the increase in the home’s value when solar panels are installed.
Of course all these prices and savings amounts can change slightly when different brands of solar panels and inverters are used, but the general point is that installing solar panels on a home in the Sacramento area costs less than most new cars, they increase the value of the home, they pay for themselves in less than five years, and the whole solar panel system can save a homeowner more than $64,000 in power costs, and you can run the air conditioning endlessly in the summer months. Why wouldn’t someone want to go solar if they had the chance?
To learn more about how you can participate in the solar power revolution, you can visit HahaSmart, and try out our Price Checker Tool yourself. You can not only see how much a solar panel system would cost in your area, but you can see how much you would save in the next 20 years.
For information relating to going solar don’t forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.
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