Homeowners around the country are discovering the cost-effective, environmentally-friendly benefits of solar power for homes.
For many, the only obstacle is the substantial upfront cost of solar panels, which is typically between $15,000 and $25,000.
One of the largest costs associated with new residential installations is the equipment cost of the solar panels themselves. The cost of the solar panels is determined by their quality, the brand of the panels, and the location from which you are buying the panels.
With a little research, consumers can find affordable, high-quality panels for their home power systems. Here is how to go about doing that.
- There are easy-to-use online tools that show you everything you need to know about going solar.
- Solar calculators can assess your roof, recommend a system size, and show you all available incentives & rebates in your area.
- The SolarReviews calculator can provide a quick solar estimate for your home; you can then choose to add quotes and pricing from professional solar installers.
- Make sure to do your research before making a purchase. The cheapest price may not be the best deal.
Where can I compare solar panel prices online?
The internet makes shopping for solar panels simple. You can find prices, and compare technical specifications, with these easy-to-use online tools:
- See average costs: Check the average cost of solar panels both nationally and in your state on the SolarReviews cost page. By clicking on your state, you can even see a breakdown of costs by county and city.
- Estimate costs for your home: 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 shows you prices for such a system provided by solar providers near you.
- Solar panel calculators: This collection of solar panel calculators will help you calculate everything you need to know about going solar. It will tell you how much solar power your property can produce, the number of panels you need, the roof space required, your likely monthly solar payments, and other information to help you make your decision.
- Compare prices and quotes: Want to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deal possible? Complete your personal information at the end of the solar cost calculator to get solar quotes from the best installation companies in your area.
Why SolarReviews is the best solar cost calculator for price comparison
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, they create an estimate of your usage. However, such estimates are not always highly accurate.
To get the highest level of accuracy, you need to speak to a solar company and 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.
Enter SolarReviews. The beauty of SolarReviews is that it enables you to see both cost types through a single platform.
- You can start with a simple online estimate
- If you wish to continue, create a quick personal profile to receive accurate solar quotes from the pre-screened solar companies in the SolarReviews marketplace - without needing to re-enter information.
Using these online tools, you can reduce your research time and find the best solar deals.
Access the SolarReviews calculator here.
How do solar estimators work?
Solar power calculators use statistics and pricing information from local sources to give consumers the most accurate idea possible of their final costs.
Each type of calculator uses a different dataset to give you a definitive answer.
- The solar system size calculator uses your utility provider’s information, plus your monthly average power usage, to determine how many panels you will need to cover your household’s energy 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.
- The solar incentives calculator draws on a regularly-updated database to tell you which federal, state, and local incentives you can use to lower your solar purchase costs. Plug in your address, average monthly utility bill, and answer a few questions about your property.
All of these solar calculators can be found here.
They are very easy to use. They will walk through the basic information you will need to provide. 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.
The calculators’ ease of use is both their strength (you quickly get an 80% accurate estimate) but also their weakness (the estimate could be 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.
- NREL: 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.
- SEIA: 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: This 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. They can help you decide what equipment and services will work best for your installation project.
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 will suffice to get you 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 costs and make it a more reasonable investment.