Person sitting at computer comparing quotes online

How to effectively compare solar prices on solar power systems for your home?

Homeowners around the country are discovering the cost-effective, environmentally-friendly benefits of solar power for homes. Between 2006 and 2016, residential solar power installations in the United States increased by an average rate of 59% each year.

One of the largest costs associated with new residential installations is the cost of the solar panels themselves. Quality, geographical location, and the brand of the panels all affect the bottom line.

With a little research, consumers can find affordable, high-quality panels for their home power systems and here is how to go about it.

Where can I compare solar panel prices online?

The internet makes shopping for solar panels simple. Consumers can find prices and compare technical specifications with these easy-to-use online tools.

  • Find the average costs of solar panels in your state on either SolarReviews or Solar-Estimate.org. Click on your state’s name to see a breakdown of average solar panel costs by county and city. Another way to see the solar cost is to use the solar cost calculator. The advantage of doing this is that it tells you what size system you need and then just shows local prices from solar providers near you on the right sized system.

  • This collection of solar panel calculators will help you calculate the number of panels you need, how much power your property can produce, how much roof space you need, your likely monthly solar payment and other information to help you make your decision.

  • Want to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best possible deal? Complete your personal information at the end of the solar cost calculator to Get solar quotes from an installation company in your area.

Why is Solar-Estimate the best choice of Solar Cost Calculator for those seeking to compare solar prices?

All online solar panel calculators are limited in accuracy by the amount of information you enter into them. Most solar panel calculators only require you to enter a single monthly power spend, and from this, it creates an estimate of your usage. However, such estimates are not that accurate.

To get accuracy, you need to speak to a solar company and to give them detailed copies of your bills. From there a solar representative will give you an accurate and customized solar estimate that you can rely on. The beauty of solar-estimate is that you can start with this simple estimate and then flow through if you wish (by completing your personal profile and requesting solar quotes) to receiving accurate solar quotes from the pre-screened solar companies in the solar-estimate marketplace without you needing to re-enter information.

Reduce your research time and find the best deals with online tools.

How do Solar Estimators work?

Solar power calculators use statistics and pricing information from local sources to give seekers the most accurate idea of their final costs. Each type of calculator uses a different data set to give you a definitive answer.

  • The solar system size calculator uses your utility providers information and your monthly average power usage to determine how many panels you will need to collect enough energy for your household needs.

  • The solar panel production calculator combines specialized mapping technology and your average monthly power usage to estimate how much solar power you could collect from your property.

  • For the solar incentives calculator, plug in your address, average monthly utility bill, and answer a few questions about your property to find all the federal, state, and local incentives you can use to lower your overall investment.

Each calculator walks you through the needed information. You won’t need to spend hours looking up dimensions and other obscure bits of data. All the details you need to use these calculators are already in your head. As I have said above this is both their strength (ease of getting an 80% accurate estimate) but also their weakness (possibly inaccurate by 20%).

Where can I find general information about solar power?

Solar power is a relatively new option for American homeowners. This fact makes it tough to find reliable sources of information on current technology, statistics, and legal issues surrounding solar installations. These websites offer trustworthy data for your solar power research.

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a division of the United States Department of Energy. Their website features resources for educators, businesses, community groups, and individuals. They also publish research related to the science and use of energy from renewable sources.

  • The Solar Energy Industries Association is a national trade association representing businesses in the United States that contribute to the solar industry. Their mission is to actively advocate for the spread of solar energy as a viable alternative solution to our country’s power grid issues.

  • Energy.Gov is the Department of Energy’s official storehouse of energy technology information. Its solar power page contains links to the Solar Energy Technologies Office, Solar Projects Map, and a guide to help homeowners get started on their own installations.

Use these sources for general information, helpful guides, and links to local resources that can help you decide what equipment and services work best for your installation project.

What are the best states for solar energy?

Geography plays a large role in successful residential solar power installations. Each state’s topography, laws, and incentive programs affect your potential costs and power production. Here are the five best states for residential solar power.

  • With generous incentives, supportive politics, and lots of sunny days, California is the best place for residents to install solar power systems in their homes.

  • North Carolina is second on the list of solar states. Residents here produce 297 watts of solar power per person each year.

  • Through 2016, Arizona produced 2,982 MW of cumulative solar capacity. This small southwestern state also created over 7000 solar industry jobs and powered over 446,000 homes.

  • Nevada enjoys more sunny days than any other state in the union. This fact allowed solar users to power over 362,000 homes through 2016.

  • Despite the damp weather, New Jersey is 5th on the list of solar power producing states. Government and community efforts have allowed residents to produce 1,991 MW of cumulative capacity.

You don’t have to live in one of these states to enjoy the benefits of residential solar power. Find a company in your area and ask how solar power can fit into your lifestyle.

How can I get the best deal on my residential solar installation?

Use these tips to make your solar energy shopping easier and more beneficial.

  • Know your needs before you shop. You can save a lot of money if you don’t need the latest technology. Understand what kinds of equipment you need to get the results you want before contacting potential installation companies.

  • Get multiple quotes before committing to an installation company. Ask for the quotes in writing for easier comparison.

  • Compare services and equipment quality. The cheapest price may not be the best deal.

Take your time choosing an installation company. It's a big decision that can have a lasting impact on your daily life. Ask questions and do your own research to find the best solutions for you.

Is going solar worth it?

Solar is a clean, safe, and cost-effective power source. Government tax rebates, manufacturer incentives, and deals on installation services can significantly lower your out-of-pocket responsibility and make it a more reasonable investment.

Not sure if you're ready for residential solar power? Contact a local installation company for a more personalized assessment of your power options.

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