Solar panels have proven to be a great way to use sunlight as an energy source to power homes. Not only do they reduce carbon emissions, but also help save on your utility bills in the long run. While the cost of solar panels has decreased significantly over the years, it can still be a large investment that requires planning. If you’re considering getting solar panels, here’s what you need to know.
Before going ahead and purchasing the panels, you’ll need to make sure that you have a good place to mount them. Typically, they are installed on rooftops where there is a steady source of sunlight throughout the day. If your roof is mostly covered in shade due to nearby trees or buildings, it may be difficult to justify the costs of panels.
Also, you’ll need to make sure that your roof angle is appropriate to maximize the amount of energy captured from the sun. Typically, an angle of 30 degrees is optimal, but this is also dependent on the latitude where the solar panels are being installed. For those living in the northern hemisphere, it is recommended to have your panels face south. This will help the panels receive the most amount of direct sunlight. The opposite is true for those living in the southern hemisphere.
Every city and state has its own set of rules when it comes to installing solar panels. So before you begin installing, you might need to contact your local authority to check if you will need a permit.
As for the cost of the panels, you can expect to pay somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 for a standard five-kilowatt system. While the upfront cost can be relatively high, you may be eligible to receive incentives for choosing renewable energy depending on where you live. This is done to encourage more people to go green by offering tax credits to homeowners who install solar panels. This, combined with the monthly savings on your utility bill, can help recoup the cost of the system over the years.
Another important consideration is which type of solar panel to get. The three main types of solar panels that are most commonly available are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline solar panels are by far the most popular option for residential homes, thanks to their higher efficiency and long lifespan. Yet, they are also the most expensive option due to higher production costs.