Should you decide to plunge into using solar power alternative for your household energy needs, it is best to consider its many related crucial factors. These include the costs of materials, installation, and maintenance framed against the projected energy savings at a future time. Solar panels cost is simply one aspect of the whole alternative power business.
The first consideration is the plain fact that, at present, solar panels (also called PV or photo-voltaic panels) are relatively costly. To date, the raw materials used to manufacture them are expensive themselves. This is expected to go down as sales demands would increase production output or more cost-efficient manufacturing processes are developed.
Simplified into equivalents, solar panels cost around $6 to $8 worth per electrical wattage. Aside from the material expense, solar power systems have the added burden of initial installation costs, costs of power storage batteries, and overall system maintenance. (The life span of materials – panels, batteries, tubes, wirings – is also factored in.) An average solar-powered system that produces, say 75 watts of power, may run up around $900 installation costs ($12/watt). A home that uses 2 kilowatts of efficient energy needs around $16,000 to $20,000 installation expenses. Owners of regular homes that consume 5 kilowatts of energy may need to fork out some $30,000 to $40,000 to install the system.
The good news, of course, is that these expenses will be recouped with the substantial reduction of energy costs later on. There are calculations that show savings in energy costs in 10 years can offset the initial investment in installation and systems maintenance. The figures are well within the projected life span of 20-plus years of working solar panels. Solar panels cost, bundled in the initial installation expense, can also be easily recovered within the projected time frame. Additionally, one can have government support in the form of tax rebates and others. Another added benefit is that home values (particularly in the U.S.) increase for every proportional decrease of energy costs. Figures from Appraisal Journal show that home values rise by $10,000 for every $500 yearly energy savings.