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The 2019 Comprehensive Guide to Residential Solar Panel Installations

Jessica PirroDecember 5, 20194450

The past ten years have been key ones for residential solar panel installations. Homes and businesses across the country are making the transition away from fossil fuel electricity, to a clean energy economy, that is necessitated by emission reduction targets in a time of global climate change.

Everything You Need to Know About Residential Solar-Powered Systems in 2019

How Much The Cost of Solar Energy Has Fallen

There was a time when the cost of solar energy was considered too pricey for the average homeowner. But because of the rise in the popularity of solar panel installations in the United States, the cost of solar energy has fallen by 70 percent over the past decade. In the past year alone, the cost of solar has fallen by five percent. Solar power has evolved from a luxury to a reasonable upgrade for homeowners, which will also raise the value of one's home.

The Cost of Solar for Residential Solar Panel Installations

The cost of solar is going to depend on the state and size of your solar-powered system. The easiest way to calculate the cost of solar panels through the different sizes of solar-powered systems in a dollars per watt ($/W) basis. This will indicate how much the cost of solar per watt will be. To fully understand how much the cost of solar has decreased, in 2008 the average cost of solar was over $8/W. For an average 6kW solar-powered system, the price of $2.98/W means that you will pay approximately $17,880 before the tax credits and rebates in 2019. But if you don’t want to do the math,  there is data that can help you estimate the cost of solar. You can go to HaHaSmart and use the price checker tool to get an accurate quote on how much the cost of solar panels will cost you.

Solar Energy Tax Benefits

There are two simple ways to think about solar energy tax benefits when it comes to getting solar panels. The major of solar energy tax benefits associated with residential solar panel installations is the federal investment tax credit (ITC). The ITC gives you a solar energy tax credit, equal to 30 percent of the total cost of solar, as long as you are the one who is buying the solar-powered system. The next option you have will be the state's solar energy tax benefits, such as New York state’s tax credit that cuts and an additional 25 percent off the price if the residential solar-powered system. Depending on the state that you live in, the opportunity for beneficial tax breaks and solar power programs could be extremely significant. Some of the states and municipalities are also offering, other, more complex options that are case-specific. One thing you should research is SRECs and the other location-specific solar power rebate programs.

How Much of My Home Can I Power With Solar Electricity?

The answer to this question is going to be 100%. Though with a solar-powered system you can, in theory, offset all of your energy use. It isn’t realistic to expect that the level of the production of solar panels every day of the week. Leading the U.S. solar panel manufacturer SunPower recommends that homeowners factor in a 25 percent cushion when calculating their target for solar panel offset. The main reason for this: solar panels can operate at maximum efficiency all of the time. There will be certain days when a grid connection is necessary to fully cover your solar power usage. However, the beauty of net-metering is that you can benefit from surplus production days and never paying anything to your utility will still relying on the grid for backup storage.

How Does Home Solar Tie to the Grid?

Most home solar panel installations are going to be connected to the grid. By connecting your solar-powered system to the grid, net metering is going to serve as an efficient solution to the question “how will my solar-powered system provide solar power to my home at night?” Net metering is a solar incentive where you receive bill credits when your solar-powered system is under-producing, such as at night or in stormy weather, you can use those bill credits to cover the cost of your grids electricity.

If you are off the grid, you are not going to have access to electricity from your utility. Which will mean that if you want to go completely off the grid, you are going to need to get a large solar energy storage system, an extra-large solar-powered system and provisions for back up solar power to cover your solar energy needs when your solar panels aren’t getting enough sun.

Can You Still Get Solar Power if Your Roof Doesn’t Qualify?

One of the coolest aspects of the residential solar-powered system sector is the list of options for homeowners who want to get a solar panel installation but don’t have the right rooftop for it. The option of getting a ground mount solar panel installation but don’t have the right rooftop for it. The option of getting a ground mount solar panel installation and community solar power gardens are two common ways to get solar power without actually getting a solar panel installation on your rooftop. Community solar power involves connecting the members of a group or your neighborhood to share a solar-powered system, while ground mounts solar panel installations are a much easier way to own and install your solar-powered system while bypassing any roofing hurdles.

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