Solar Panels for Home

Getting solar panels for home is the first step to living a sustainable life while making a solid financial investment for your future which adds value to your home, results in large savings for many years and pays for itself many times over.

Choosing solar panels for your home can be a bit of tricky as there are so many options out there to choose from, so many prices and so much jargon so this page is here to try and clear things up a little and let you know exactly what you need,

But before we begin let's have a quick look at the advantages of home solar panels.

  • Reduce your power bills from between 60 - 100%
  • Get paid for the energy you create
  • Solar panels for home can add up to 5% to your homes value
  • Minimal maintainence
  • Home solar panels generally last well beyond their 30 year warranty
  • Cut your carbon footprint by up to 5 tonnes of CO2 per year
  • Wide range government incentives and tax credits
  • Make a profit: Sell energy you don't use back to the power companies.
  • Less dependancy on power companies/Government
  • Avoid endless fuel price hikes

Go to this page for complete information about the advantages of solar power.

As you can see there are massive advantages of adding solar panels to your home and with the recent boom in the solar industry prices have dropped and quality and efficiency have risen greatly.

Home Solar Panels Costs

The running costs of home solar panels are non existent but the initial costs can sometimes put people off investing in Solar power.

Set up Costs

Let's have a look at some of the initial costs of solar panels for home.

The average home solar power system is about 3kWp (Kilowatt peak - peak power generation in standard testing conditions). A system this size can provide about 90% of a standard homes power requirements so we'll assume that this is your requirement too.

So, to buy and install a 3kWp solar panel system for your home it would cost approximately $11000 or £7000 (see below for a cheaper option). In the USA you can get tax credits of 30% making it $7700. In the UK the government will pay you for the power you create even if yo use it yourself. Other countries have different financial incentives, enquire with your local council or online for more information.

As well as thes incentives you could save a lot off your power bills. A typical 3kWp solar system (without incentives) could pay for itself in about 10 years. Of course if you build the system yourself this period could be reduced to less than one year.

Maintainence

The only maintainence that solar panels for home require is the occasional cleaning (once a year) to remove any leaves and bird droppings to maintain maximum efficiency. Of course home in the Uk have the added advantage that regular rainfall can also clean the panels.

It is not really known how long solar panels last as some from 40 years ago are still running and producing power but most manufacturers provide a warranty for about 20 or 25 years. It is very unlikely that anything can go wrong in that time as thre are no moving parts in home solar panels.

The only thing that may need replacing is the inverter (the device which changes the power output of solar panels which is DC into power that can be used by your home which is AC). This may need replacing once in the lifetime of a solar panel. The cost of a solar inverter is below $400.

Choosing what direction to take

You have main three options when thinking about installing solar panels for your home:

Build it yourself

This is by far the cheapest way of adding solar power for homes. Some people claim they have built their entire home solar power system themselves for less than $200. I am sceptical about this but I do know for sure that people can achieve fantastic results by spending less than $400 on materials and about a weekend to achieve it.

Buying a solar power kit

The second option is much more expensive but is certainly the most cost effective method of going solar if you don't know what you are doing. Essentially you buy a solar power kit which has all of the components you need and you put it together yourself by following the manual.

Employ a solar installer

This method is the most expensive option for adding solar panels for home but it does come with certain advantages that the other two options don't. This method means that you get a expert doing it for you which can be priceless. It also means that you will have a system which is tailored for your needs, easy call out for any problems and a free face to face consultation.

What about selling back to the grid?

One key advantage of having solar panels for home is the ability to sell excess power back to the grid. This is known as the feed in tarriff and it offers an excellent way to sell for profit any power you don't use back to the grid.

Different countries have different rules for this but example in the UK you can make a triple saving.

  1. Power from your 3kWp solar panels generates 21p/kWh for every kWh produced resulting in about £640 a year.
  2. Power you don't use can be sold back to the grid for a profit as well (the rate is determined by the power company's rate).
  3. You save money off your power bills since you are using your own power.

In the USA the system for solar panels for home is different but they have a 30% subsidy on solar panels apart from saving on your bills you make money by selling power back to the grid which is additionally subsidized by the state.

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