There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most popular choice for residential installations because they have the highest efficiencies, ranging from 17 to 22 percent. The average cost of these panels ranges from $1 to $1.50 per watt, but prices can vary by location.
Polycrystalline panels are popular among homeowners on a budget. They are moderately efficient, ranging from 15 to 17 percent. They cost between 90 cents and $1 per watt.
Thin-film solar panels, with efficiencies between 10 and 13 percent, are the least efficient solar panels on the market. They have a short lifespan and are rarely used for residential purposes.
Factors Affecting the solar panels prices
Trying to get a solar energy estimate without a site inspection of your home can be tricky business. The price of solar energy varies from home to home due to each home's location, layout, and energy needs. Your home may only need a small 5 kW solar array. But your neighbor may need a larger 8 kW array. They may choose to install solar cells, which will cost them more.
Here are some of the biggest factors that affect the cost of solar energy.
The size of your solar panel system can quickly drive up your solar costs. The more panels you install, the more you pay. Much depends on your home's energy needs.
Tax Credits and Incentives
Some states offer incentives to help residents pay for the cost of installing solar energy. These incentives usually come in the form of tax credits and rebates through the state and utility companies.
If your roof is damaged or quite old, it may need to be repaired or even replaced before installing solar. Obviously, this will cost you more money.
Brand and type of panels installed
Certain brands and types of solar panels cost more than others. This may affect the amount you pay.
You will be paying for more than just solar panels for your entire system. Certain brands and types of inverters cost more than other models. Installing solar cells can also cost around $10,000 or more.
What is the extra cost of installing solar panels?
You've probably realized by now that solar energy isn't cheap. But did you know that the price of the solar panels themselves is actually one of the cheapest things you can buy on your solar journey? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, only 35% of the total cost of installing solar goes toward the actual purchase of solar equipment.
Where does the rest of your money go? Soft costs, also known as the hidden costs of installing solar. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, soft costs are non-hardware costs, and they make up 65 percent of the total cost of solar. Most of your soft cost expenses are spent on sales and marketing, labor, paperwork, and overhead profits.