Determining the Cost of Solar for your home project can be confusing. There are many factors that affect the cost and it’s important to understand each factor when comparing solar bids from different installers.
When shopping around, be sure to ask your installer these 3 basic questions to better understand the cost of solar:
- How much energy will my panels produce?
- How long will my system last?
- Who makes my Solar Panels?
Know your panels
To compare the cost of solar panels based on $/watt is simplistic, yet it is not necessarily accurate. You may find a conventional solar panel with a low $/watt – but does that include the other equipment like inverters, optimizers and monitoring? The $/watt cost of a panel may be accurate for commercial or industrial sized projects that purchase panels in bulk, which is not the same price for the home owner who needs to only purchase a few.
Not all panels are created equal. Low $/watt panels may be cheaper up front, but actually end of costing more per watt down the road. Higher quality monocrystalline silicon panels by SunPower for example, actually produce more energy in the beginning and hold their efficiency for a longer period of time. In year ten or even year 25 in the life of a SunPower system, panels continue to generate more energy than conventional Solar panels. SunPower panels are so efficient that you don’t need to purchase as many panels (25 conventional panels compared to 18 SunPower.) Plus, the system is expandable, so if you were to add an electrical vehicle it is easy to add more SunPower panels to the system later. And with SunPower, each panel is independent, so the systems efficiency is not compromised by partial shade on one panel.
Know Your Warranties
Typically, a solar energy system can consist of 3-4 different warranties from 3-4 different manufacturers. The warranty times differ and you are betting that the companies will all be in business to honor their warranties. Make sure you understand the difference of product warranty, performance warranty, manufacturers warranty, and installers warranty. Make sure you understand if your installer will honor that warranty and help with the process or if you are responsible for taking down the solar panel and shipping it back to the manufacturer yourself. SunPower’s warranty of 25 years ensures that their customers investment is covered.
Know Your Manufacturers
When choosing the companies that create the solar panels you want to consider, how long has the manufacturer been in business and how long will they be in business to honor their warranties? What are the common practices of the company, do they practice sustainability, recycling, and consider their own energy and water consumption during manufacturing? Does the company reinvest for technology development and warranties?
Watch this video by SunPower Solar to understand more about comparing the cost of solar.
SunPower chose Good Energy Solutions to be an Authorized Dealer for SunPower in Kansas and Missouri based on our quality installations and Integrity. If you would like to learn more about owning a solar energy system on your home, please contact Good Energy Solutions.