Looking for the Cheapest Place To Buy Solar Panels? When homeowners decide to go solar, they are usually surprised at the costs of purchasing and installing solar panels.Going solar will undoubtedly cut a significant expenditure on your energy bills. However, solar cells price can be an impediment. It can cost you thousands to buy solar cells. This is why you need to do your homework well before you choose one.This article is a guide to cheap efficient solar panels to help you get the best deal for your needs and wallet.
What Affects Solar Cells Price?
The rooftop solar panel cost is usually determined and set by solar paneling companies based on factors such as efficiency and the expected lifetime of the panel. Thus, you can already deduce that panels that are able to be efficient over a long period are going to be more expensive.
Another thing that affects rooftop solar panel cost is how the panel is made. There are various types of solar cells. These include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride (thin cell solar panels), and gallium arsenide. Nevertheless, with solar panel technology continually evolving, it is likely that we are going to witness other technologies penetrate the market soon.
Out of the available units, however, monocrystalline panels are the ones that generate the most watts per area. This means that you only need a few of these panels in order to get the desired electricity. This saves you on a lot of roof space. This enhanced efficiency is what makes monocrystalline solar panels to be the most ideal solar panel for residential needs. Consequently, monocrystalline solar panels price is usually higher than other types of solar cells.
Cheapest Place To Buy Solar Panels
When looking for cheap efficient solar panels, there are various ways you can use to evaluate the expense based on location. Chinese panels, however, are known for being the least expensive solar markets in the world.
The United States and German solar markets are not far behind either. On the same note, certain markets in the American space are more favorable than others. For example, consumers in Texas and California are more likely to get better deals. Nonetheless, regardless of your location, if you do your research, you should be able to get a good solar cells price.
At the moment, the average solar energy price is at around $3.05 per watt. That is approximately 3% lower than it was a year ago, and these prices are being projected to fall even further.
To help you get the cheapest rates, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace is a compilation of various solar quotes from different solar paneling companies offering the cheapest solar power systems. Therefore, ensure that you visit the EnergySage Solar Marketplace so you can have a feel of what you can expect to pay.
Where to Start When Comparing Panels
The most critical factors to consider when comparing panels, apart from price, include performance, quality, durability, and warranty. Aesthetics also play a role in influencing the consumer’s decision.
Why are Some Panels Cheaper?
Solar panels are a long-term investment. As such, you want to be absolutely sure that you are making the correct decision when you choose a certain panel. Therefore, one would only assume that cheaper panels are of lower quality. While that is a valid concern, it is not always the case.
At times, panels made by the largest manufacturers can be cheaper due to economies of scale.
Can You Tell Whether a Panel is Cheaply Made by Looking at It?
Unlike most other mechanical products, there are no moving parts in solar panel. This means you cannot rely on appearances to determine whether it has been cheaply made. Nonetheless, with the solar power market expanding at an extremely fast rate, it is likely that there will be manufacturers willing to cut corners so that they can sell their panels more cheaply in a bid to gain market share.
Thus, the average customer is going to have a very difficult time spotting any potential defects. Nonetheless, those defects are going to impede the panel’s performance and durability. Moreover, there is a likelihood of safety issues.
Should You Consider Used Solar Panels?
When it comes to solar panels, it is wise to steer clear of used panels. This is because, as mentioned earlier, panel technology is evolving at a very fast rate. This means that panels are regularly getting updated. For instance, a panel that was designed five years ago cannot perform at the same rate as a similar-sized panel that is being designed this year.
Moreover, purchasing used solar panels means that you will likely have no warranty coverage, meaning you will be unsecured in case of anything. Also, it will be difficult finding an installer willing to work with a used panel since any issues that might pop up will have to be handled by their company. It goes without saying that used panels are more likely to have underlying issues.
Tips for People Shopping for Solar
1. Obtaining Multiple Quotes Can Save You as Much as 10 Percent or More
Just like you would approach any other significant investment, shopping for solar needs to be done with a lot of research and consideration. This means thoroughly reviewing the local solar companies. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a report which recommends that consumers need to compare as many solar options as possible in order to avoid paying inflated prices.
Thus, if you are looking to buy solar cells at an affordable rate, you will need to utilize resources such as EnergySage. This resource is incredibly beneficial for solar shoppers since it will give you free quotes from vetted installers. In fact, consumers who get as many quotes as possible are likely to make thousands of dollars’ worth of savings.
2. The Largest Installers Do Not Always Have the Best Rates
Even though we earlier mentioned that a large installer is likely to give you better rates due to economies of scale, it does not mean that that is set in stone. Big companies can afford to spend on advertising, and a consumer is more likely to buy from a brand they are familiar with.
In fact, recent research by the government discovered that large companies can be $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small installers. The point, therefore, is that you shouldn’t just purchase from a brand because you are familiar with it. Ensure that you also obtain quotes from smaller local installers to avoid overpaying.
Renewable roofing allows us to cut on our energy costs while allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint. However, becoming solar-powered is not as easy as walking into a store and asking for a solar panel. There are a lot of factors to be considered when choosing a solar panel for residential needs.
Thus, do not let price to be your primary reason to why you purchase a particular type of panel. Your needs should be met first. Thus, if you are only looking for solar charger power for your devices, then you can go for a smaller and inexpensive type of panel. But if your needs are more than basic solar charger power, going for the most robust panel is going to be worth the initial high investment in the long term.
Ensure that you utilize the above tips when looking for a panel. Nonetheless, thin cell solar panels tend to be cheaper while monocrystalline solar panels price tends to be higher.
What is solar power and why should you consider it?
Solar power systems are also called solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. They work by collecting solar energy in solar panels which are normally roof-mounted, but can be mounted on the ground. The solar energy collected is converted into alternate current (AC) with an inverter. While solar panels will only work during the daytime, battery storage units are available that allow the excess power to be used at night.
Solar power has been through three stages. Until about 2011, solar panels were expensive and the payback period was longer. After 2011, they started coming down in price and today, the price of solar panels has stabilised and is far more affordable than in the past.
Solar panels have also improved in efficiency and reliability. In the past, solar panels were expensive and most homeowners bought smaller systems up to 2kW. Today, a 5kW system is about the same price as a 2kW system was before 2011 and is a better system to have because it can account for most if not all of your energy requirements. To know more about what is solar energy read this.
How much does solar power cost?*
Today, the average cost of a 5kW system is around $6500, but it can be more expensive in some areas. For example, in Darwin, a 5kW system costs around $11,000 while in Adelaide, it costs under $6000. In Sydney and Perth, solar power costs just over $5000 and in other states, it costs around $6000.
When you consider buying a 5kW solar system, you also need to think about the payback period. Average payback periods in different cities are around:
- 4.2 years in Adelaide
- 4.7 years in Darwin
- 4.8 years in Sydney and Perth
- 5.4 years in Brisbane
- 6.4 years in Canberra
- 7.4 years in Melbourne
- 8.2 years in Hobart
These figures take into account the cost of electricity in different areas and that is why Darwin, which has the highest costs has a low payback period. The average payback period in Australia is 5.8 years, but even at the highest payback period of 8.2 years in Hobart, solar panels are well worth investing in. It’s also worth noting that electricity prices rise steadily, so the payback period could even be shorter.
Estimates of households in Australia that already have solar power range from 1.5 million to 2.0 million. This number will probably increase in the future as the cost of electricity rises.
Many solar panels have warranty periods of up to 25 years, making them a wise investment considering their payback period of just 5.8 years on average.
How to get the right sized solar system
Solar panel systems are made up of several panels and the size of the system is based on the number of panels and the efficiency of the panels. Estimates vary because solar panels can be installed in areas where the sun rarely shines or in sunny areas. Solar panels can also be installed on roofs that have partial shade during the day, which decreases their efficiency. These are averages and your solar power installer can tell you how efficient your solar power will be in your area.
Solar power is measured in “self-consumption” which is an indication of how much energy you use during the day. These are some estimates of how much energy you will save for different energy consumption levels with a 5kW to 10kW system measured in kilowatt hours (KWh):
- 5-10KWh will save 30 percent
- 11-15KWh will save 48 percent
- 21-25KWh will save 66 oercent
- 31-40KWh will save up to 82 percent
It is possible to get a solar system that is too large for your household, but you don’t want to get a system that is too small for your household. Solar power retailers and installers can help you find the perfect system for your needs and a smaller system for a smaller household will cost less than a larger system.
Find a local Solar Power Installers now
Why investing in a solar system battery is a good idea
The prices above are for solar panels only and a battery will cost more. A battery is a good investment because you are likely to be able to store energy in the battery during the day and have it to use at night. This will decrease your use of electricity from the grid and lower your electricity bills.
Solar batteries are a good choice, but you don’t want to buy a solar battery that is too small or too large for your solar panels. Sizing of batteries is based on average electricity usage and the size of the solar system you have. Batteries don’t just store enough energy to keep your house powered overnight. If you get the right sized battery it can give you “energy autonomy” for three to five days.
image copyright Nationwide Solar Solutions
Solar batteries cost between $2000 and $12,000, with the higher cost being batteries for large systems and a large battery can weigh up to 290kg while a smaller battery may weigh only 25 to 45kg. Even at the higher end of the scale, batteries have a payback period of three to five years and their warranties are far longer than their payback periods. Better batteries have a 10 year warranty and others may have a seven year warranty. Even at seven years, you still save money since the payback period is five years maximum.
It’s probably a good idea to buy lithium batteries because lithium batteries generally have 10 year warranties and are highly effective. They aren’t hard to find because about 80 percent of solar batteries on the market are lithium batteries.
Batteries with inverters and chargers can be more expensive than batteries only. A battery for an 8kW system may cost around $7700 while the same sized battery with an inverter/charger may cost around $11,800. These prices include the battery and installation costs. Most households don’t require an 8kW system, but this is an indication of the price differences. The key thing also to remember is to know how to keep solar panels clean to make them last.
Choosing a solar panel supplier and installer
While state rebates have been phased out, government rebates are still available. “Rebates” take the form of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) which vary in price depending on market conditions and other factors. In order to qualify for STCs, you must buy solar panels and batteries from a certified retailer who will offer a discount for the price of the STCs. This discount can be from $500 to $1000 depending on the system you buy and can represent a substantial savings.
Finding a certified solar panel supplier is fairly easy because most solar panel suppliers are certified. However, they also sell different products and you want to find good solar panels and batteries with long warranty periods.
It’s always best to get quotes from three solar panel suppliers and compare their services and products. They will give you supply and installation costs as well as the discount for STCs. Compare the prices carefully and choose a high quality system at the right price. Some other things to look for are:
- Solar installers must be licensed
- They should be fully insured
- They should give you itemised quotes
- Their warranty periods should be stated
- Their products must meet Australian Standards