After 10 years of working in the solar industry, the question that we hear most often is, “What is the cost of solar?” To answer this, we must first consider a few factors. We look to see if solar is a viable option for your property. Aspects of your property that increase the efficiency of a solar system include a south/southeast facing roof with little to no shade. If you believe that your roof may not be available option or are simply opposed to having panels on your roof, you can explore other options. Ground or pole mounted systems (providing that you have the available space) are viable options and in some cases, we can build a unique structure just for solar. After determining viability for solar on their property, we will then determine what that individual’s goals and expectations are for their solar project.
If a person is seeking to reduce the cost of their electricity bill or potentially make a profit on their solar installation, we would recommend a grid-tie system. A grid-tied system involves having a solar system installed that feeds back into the power grid. All of the energy produced by this system is sold back to your local power company. In most cases, the power company will credit your bill for the kilowatt energy produced, so depending on the size of your system, you can reduce or, completely cancel out your bill. Added value occurs when you produce more energy than you consume and receive a check in the mail in place of your power bill. If a person mentions to us that they are interested in generating and storing their own energy, we would recommend an off-grid installation. With off-grid installations, you become independent of the power company, choosing instead to go with a reliable combination of solar and a battery backup system.
After determining which project style fits your energy needs, we can start to get a better idea of cost. Factors to consider include; your energy usage, material cost, city permit fees, local power company fees, labor fees, and travel cost. A rough estimate for a solar installation can be determined through the regions avg. price per watt cost towards a new system. The avg. price per watt found in our area is generally between $3.00-$4.00 per watt. For example, a 10kw (or 10,000w) grid-tie system, which could off-set a large portion of the average utility bill, would run between $30,000-$40,000 (with a buffer zone on each end of $5,000). The life expectancy of that system is between 20-40 years, paying itself off around the first 8-12 years. This means that you have the potential to see up to 20 years of profit from your system. Combining this with the current 30% federal tax credit on solar installations, you can see why it is a sound investment. Depending on certain factors, many additional incentives may be available to use with that federal credit. Additional benefits include an increase in property value and of course reduced overall environmental impact. To quote a local realtor, “If there are four equal valued homes for sale on the same street, the one with solar panels will always sell first.”
If after reading this you would like to know more about solar and see what options you may have with solar energy, please give us a call at 423-535-9350 or write in through our website at https://tennesseesolarsolutions.com/!