What’s the Average Cost to Install a Solar-Electric System to Power Your Home?

| 5/21/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: solar energy, renewable energy, electricity,

Solar home

What’s the average cost to install a solar-electric system to power your home?

This question is one of the most frequently asked in the industry, and also the question that makes most solar installers very uneasy — not because they don’t want to give you a forthright answer, but because the correct answer for any individual will depend on a number of variables that dramatically affect the price.

For example, is your home on-grid or off-grid? If it’s off grid, you will need additional equipment such as a charge controller, monitors and storage batteries. Next you will need to figure out how much energy your home will use and how much storage (number of batteries) you will need. The size of your system and battery bank will depend on how much sun your location receives (solar insolation) and how many consecutive days overcast conditions may keep your system from producing energy. More than likely, you will want to add a backup engine-generator to your system rather than having to size your battery bank to meet the worst-case scenario. A generator will also help you maintain the health of your battery bank, safeguarding a large part of your investment.

Most off-grid homes need to be very energy-wise to keep costs for a solar energy system within bounds. Although if the utility grid is located more than one-half mile away, even a fairly large solar-electric system will cost less than having the utility bring in power. To keep system costs down, the quick rule here is that every dollar spent on saving energy, such as using low wattage, compact fluorescent light bulbs and installing energy saving appliances, will save $5 or more on solar generating equipment. Some types of appliances, such as clothes dryers, electric ranges and most air conditioning units are simply altogether impractical.

For an on-grid system, the key factor to understand is what your goals are. Are you looking for self-reliance during grid outages? If yes, your system will cost a little more for batteries and a charging system, sized according to how many days of autonomy you might need before grid energy is available again.

5/28/2015 5:43:08 PM

Update 2015...SOLAR Costs DECLINED NOW so It is at or near "Grid Parity" in most States!! i.e. Will cost you more to stay on Grid!! http://blog.renewableenergyworld.com/ugc/blogs/2015/05/solar_parity_coming.html#_gus&_gucid=/content/rew/en/ugc/blogs/2015/05/solar_parity_coming&_gup=twitter&_gsc=2r6gl6D

6/27/2013 12:41:42 AM

My Name Is MASOOD SHAH i am from pakistan.

can any one donate me the solar system beacuse i can,t appord it and there is a big problem of electricity . . .. i will be thankfull to you .

help ?


Best Regards



Mobile N0    +923339192862

6/27/2013 12:40:58 AM

My Name Is MASOOD SHAH i am from pakistan.

can any one donate me the solar syatem beacuse i can,t appord it and there is a big problem of electricity . . .. i will be thankfull to you .

help ?


Best Regards



Mobile N0    +923339192862

william davis
10/5/2012 6:58:56 PM

Technology is advancing. This info is 3 years old. Update, please!

9/2/2010 3:07:37 PM

Well here in Arkansas we have no incentives for any alternative power sources. In addition our net mettering issuch that you will only see an offset, but produce a surplus and the local power company gets that for free from you to sell to someone else.

linda pinkham
8/17/2010 10:39:19 AM

Those are fantastic incentives where you live! They certainly offset the higher installation costs in your area (where the cost of living is also higher) than perhaps the rest of the country. I hope your experience inspires others in New York to take advantage of the incentives available.

heath israel
8/16/2010 7:53:05 AM

I live in Queens, NY. We were quoted about $60k for a 5kW system (grid-intertied). After city, state, and federal rebates, it was about $20k.

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