One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, "How much does solar cost?". Generally, this isn't easy to answer on the fly since there are so many personal variables to go into sizing the perfect solar energy system for you and your goals. To help shed a little light on this process, we wanted to explain the top three factors that we weigh when sizing a solar energy system for almost every Arizona home.
When arriving at a price tag for adding solar to your home, there are numerous factors to consider that are largely unique to each household. No two families are the same, and neither are their houses, energy usage habits, offset goals, or preferred financing methods. Below we dive into the three most important and influential factors that contribute to the cost of going solar.
Personal Energy Usage
Imagine two exact houses built next to each other. The first house has a young married couple living in it, and the second one has a married couple, two kids, and a grandparent at home. The second house will have a drastically different—and most likely, more expensive—energy profile than the first one. This is a large contributor to the size and cost of the perfect solar array. Your personal energy profile is different if you prefer cooler temperatures, drive an electric car, or have more family members at home during higher cost on-peak hours. All of these things inform how many solar panels you buy, and the total price tag as a result. But whatever your unique situation, going solar ensures that you will buy less power from the utility, regardless of your situation.
Electricity Offset and Financial Goals
Just as no two homes will have the same energy usage, people also vary greatly in their offset and financial goals. If someone wants 100% electricity offset and they use a lot of energy throughout the day, they'll have a significantly larger system than someone who conserves energy and is looking for a modest 60% offset. Maybe you also want to add a battery to power critical loads when the grid is down. Whatever your offset or financial goals are, it will affect how many panels you'll need to achieve it, thus increasing or decreasing the overall price of going solar. A reputable solar company will work one-on-one with you to design a customized system to meet your unique offset or financial goals.
There are flexible solar financing options available, but depending on which one you choose, it could affect the overall price tag of your system. There are three main ways to pay for a solar energy system: cash, loan, or lease. A cash purchase, or financing only the necessary portion of the net cost after incentives, is advised whenever possible as it offers a greater payback on your investment.
The biggest reason why the financing option you choose can affect your overall price of solar lies mainly in the federal and state incentives that come with solar. For example, if you decide to lease your system, the 26% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) and $1,000 state of Arizona tax credit will go to the leaseholder rather than you, the homeowner. There are many other benefits to leasing, but not being able to retain the lucrative incentives is one of the drawbacks.
When looking to go solar, be sure to ask what financing options your prospective installer has available. Sun Valley Solar Solutions offers multiple ways to pay for your solar energy system, including a $0-down low monthly lease payments, or numerous solar financing programs with extended terms.
If you're interested in how much a solar energy system will cost for your home and your unique energy goals, we invite you to request a free, no-obligation solar quote.