solar installation

We may collect a share of sales from items linked to on this page. Learn more.

Solar panels are an energy saving home power solution that can help dramatically reduce both your power bill and your carbon footprint.

Installing them is relatively simple and although their one-time installation cost may be high, long term prices for these panels are remarkably reasonable.

Many commercial and residential dwellings use solar panels as part of their energy plan and use is only growing in popularity. This applies particularly to areas of the world where at least 6 hours of peak sunshine are available on a daily basis for large parts of the year.

However, even in less sun soaked places, panels can be installed and will still help reduce your power bill to some extent.

That said; let’s look over some important factors that you need to consider before installing a solar panel system in your own home or business. This is a fairly big decision and you need to have at least your basic facts straight if you want to go ahead with it.


Basic Considerations

solar technician

As a first step towards setting up your own solar power system, you will need to calculate your approximate energy requirements and how much of that you can expect to cover with a solar array of whatever size you can afford.

There are online solar calculators that can help with this.

Your monthly and annual energy consumption can be easily found just by looking at your monthly electrical bills over a range of several months and calculating an average annual consumption.

If your energy bills are particularly high, then you might also consider ways in which you can lower them to some extent by cutting back on using electrical lighting unnecessarily, shutting off certain appliances and maybe buying less energy intensive home appliances.

You may also consult a professional electrician on how you can optimise your electrical wiring and lighting locations at home to reduce your overall electricity consumption.

Related:   Home Power-Generation Dream Suffers a Blow

With your energy consumption calculated, you need to know how much peak sunlight you can expect for your particular region. This is going to vary greatly depending on where you live but generally speaking you should be able to count on at least a few hours of peak sunlight per day for half the year.

Furthermore, to improve this, your panels should be installed on a southward facing surface for maximal sun exposure.

The average American home uses about 14,000 watt hours per day of electricity. You’ll want to cover as much of this as possible with your panel array.


How Much for How Much Energy?

home energy consumption

So, given that the average home uses about 14,000 watt hours per 24 hour day in powering its main electrical and electronic devices (except the heating and cooking appliances), how much solar panel coverage will you need to almost completely meet the needs of your power consumption?

Well, modern PV (photo voltaic) cells generate about 70 miliwatts per square inch; this means that if you can get 4 hours of usable sunlight per day, you’d be receiving about 280 miliwatt hours per inch per day.

With these quantities, you’d need to install at least 51,000 square inches of solar paneling; this amounts to 354 square feet of panels. These will provide you with an estimated 14,000 watt hours during their peak operating times under perfect conditions.

However, since you won’t normally get perfect conditions and because the sun only shines for a fraction of each day, actual energy savings from such an array may be somewhat less than complete.

Nonetheless, these 354 square feet (assuming you live in a typical middle class home) will still drastically reduce your annual power bill by as much as 90%.


Equipment Requirements

what you need to know before installing solar panels

Solar energy systems for homes don’t just consist of a series of glass panels. These are the most visible part of the whole arrangement, but hardly the only one.

In addition to the numerous photo voltaic cells or modules, you will also have to install two other principal components. These are the electricity inverter unit, which turns the solar arrays DC current into the AC current that powers your home, and a battery cell unit, which can store extra energy for when there is no solar power coming to the PV cells in your yard or on your roof.

Related:   A New Way To Study In The Sun

Certain modern PV solar panels actually have their own built-in micro inverters attached to each one of the individual cells.

These are beneficial because they allow you to grow your solar array however you please without having to replace inverters to fit expanding or shrinking size requirements.

They also allow for easier installation and lose less energy absorption ability under conditions of partial shade.



cost of installing solar

The most important question of all to the budget conscious green thinking homeowner; cost is a big reason why solar power isn’t more common in places where it’s not actually necessary.

Even though prices have steadily been dropping as the home-based solar energy market expands, PV arrays are still a significant investment.

An array such as our example above will probably cost you a minimum of $16,000 for the panels alone and another twice that for the inverter and battery storage system.

For an accurate estimate of solar pricing for your specific property or home, consider using an online solar calculator.

Furthermore, the battery may have to be replaced every few years, adding to your costs. Micro-inverter based PV cells are going to save you some expense by removing the cost of a single inverter, but the individual cells are more expensive than normal PV modules.

A key cost reduction factor will be in the energy reduction measures you take. This means that before you even install your system, you should have switched to energy-saving appliances, reduced the use of unnecessary lighting and decreased the number of unneeded electronics in your home.

These cutbacks will allow you to reduce the size of your power bill before you even start with solar panel installation.

Related:   FOX Goes Green for American Idol Finale


Return on Investment

The look you make looking at your slashed power bill coz of solar

So, assuming you decide to set up a solar array of at least 354 square feet and manage to reduce your annual grid based power consumption by at least 90%, how long will it take you to earn back the investment?

Well, let’s assume your overall installation costs amount to a total of $33,000 to $40,000 dollars for an array of 354 square feet or more. With such an installation you reduce an average annual power bill of $1500 by 90% and are left with an annual savings of $1350.

You might even manage to attain complete electrical self-sufficiency, but given the realities of weather, electrical inefficiency and other factors, this is unlikely.

With $1350 saved each year, your $33,000 investment (at the lower end of the cost scale) will be able to completely pay for itself within a little over 20 years.

However, there are a few other factors that can shorten your ROI time rapidly.

First of all, there is a federal tax credit available to homeowners that cover 30% of your solar array installation costs. In addition to this, there may be a number of annual or one time state tax and utility credits that you can take advantage of in your particular state.

If you live in another country, similar programs may apply for your local jurisdiction and any of them will help shorten your ROI.

Finally, you should also bear in mind the inflating cost of grid-based electricity, and this is rising at an annual rate of 5% in many places.

What this means is that the amount you don’t pay to the utility company each year will more than likely grow, shortening the amount of time it takes you to pay for your initial solar array installation.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.

Save money by converting your home to solar power. Calculate your savings.


  1. I have two neighbours who are on solar power and have been for twenty years.
    My grid power costs are rather small primarily because I cook on a slow combustion wood burning cooker that has a water jacket supplying all the hot water I ever need. O K so I do have to buy some firewood that offsets the power costs. BUT the average home would reduce drastically its power costs by simply installing a solar heated water system that cost a small fraction of solar electrical energy, even if it only supplements the regular electrical hot water system.

    A simple and effective hot water assist can be made by any person handy with tools. Run a copper pipe between the supply and storage tank through a glass covered black interior painted flat box , and the water will be raised in temperature lowering the electricity costs. From there a complete system can be made that will store hot water at temperatures often hotter than the electric or gas powered. Not as hot as mine though which often is boiling.

  2. dearsir, i need details about the solar lighting what are the thing necessary for lighting for an house 4 tubelights , 4 fans, refrigirator how much it cost for the panel boards etc.

  3. […] However, although the technology has a great potential – since it can help local households become independent from the grid, and it addresses the range anxiety issue, which is a major obstacle for more widespread adoption of electric vehicles – it does have one big downside. Given that the solar panels embedded in the road can not be angled toward the sun, they can’t get as much sunlight and generate as much electricity as standard rooftop solar panels. […]

  4. Thank you for listing all the reasons that solar energy can help pay itself off in the future. I was considering upgrading my house to be able to sustain itself a lot better since I won’t be moving locations anytime soon, and solar energy was always on my mind as an option. Reading your article helped boost my confidence in getting this set up since it won’t take very long to pay for itself, so I’ll start looking for places that can help me install some panels and get started.

  5. Wow, it’s amazing that in the best case scenario, a 90% reduction on power bills can be attained through a solar panel installation service. I’ve been thinking about trying to be more eco-friendly with my lifestyle little by little in the past two years. Maybe switching to solar power would be my most impactful decision to date when it comes to this.

  6. It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that
    you just shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I found this in my hunt for something relating
    to this.

  8. Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are so many options out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any ideas? Thanks!

  9. Hello! Wow, thanks for such a clear and interesting article. Very necessary information. Recently I began to think often about solar energy and decided to install myself a solar panel. I think this will help me save money on utility bills for electricity. Now I am planning to select the equipment and install it correctly. It’s cool that you can save money and resources after installation.

  10. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest
    authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same ideas
    you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  11. Hi, cool post thanks! It is very important information for me because I have remove work and spent a lot of electricity every day. I thing a solar power is the most perspective investments for me and other people who have the same problem.

  12. Thanks very nice!Do you like vape? Do you have interting in it?vape batteries come in two flavours, which are the VOOPO Tenergy and the VOOPO Turbo Battery Charger.You are welcome!

  13. It cost high or very expensive to others, and yeah honestly it’s cost high to buy and the installation of solar panel. But it’s very worth it to save money and invest to have or go switching to solar energy. It can reduce your electric bill and also it helps and save our environment for good. Go GREEN as always! Thank you for this informative blog. Great topic!

  14. Why do not you persuade him Wang Xingye stared at Li Tian sarcastically, his gaze was like a knife, which made the injuries he suffered from Li Tian is body even more painful.When the people watching the best supplement for stamina in bed excitement around heard it, their eyes changed. where to buy the pink pill

  15. Lu Xuecheng stepped forward and said in a deep voice, That is all about women.If you mix Lin Tian, let is practice.Lu Xuecheng is simple and honest, but this body is much stronger than ordinary men.Not to mention anything else, at least Lin Tian could not beat Lu Xuecheng.ingredients synonym


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here