Professional solar installers have valid licenses and warranties. But the most distinguishing factor is skill and expertise. Shopping for an installer certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners helps you avoid issues. A reputable company will also give you your estimated solar panel installation cost.
Now that you bought into the idea of renewable energy, you may think about installing solar panels in your home. After reviewing all the information about solar energy and how it works, you may need to get acquitted with some factors that can affect the solar panel installation cost. We will look at some of these factors in detail to get you prepared in advance. Let’s dive in.
10 Factors affecting solar power installation
1. Type of the Roof & its Angle
Many factors can make a roof suitable or unsuitable for solar panel installation. The material, shade, location, or dimensions are factors that an installer will consider. They also have a direct effect on the total cost you will incur to install the PV modules.
One such factor is the roof’s orientation, which is also referred to as the azimuth angle. It determines the amount of solar panel sunlight exposure throughout the day. To get an accurate angle, you can hire a local installer. In cases where you have a flat roof, the installer should build scaffolding that aids in tilting the panels correctly. Such extra work and material lead to an increase in the solar panel installation cost.
The type of roof can lead to an increase in the cost of installation. Various roof types such as composite, tile, tar and gravel, metal standing, and wood may require a different approach when installing the panels. For some, the installer will add material or need additional work to install panels that work efficiently.
2. How Old is the Roof?
It may make sense to have your roof replaced if it is older than 12 years. Though the solar panels are not heavy, they can affect a damaged or weak roof as time goes by. Also, the solar panel lifespan is between 25 years and above, and the roof may fail to outlive this period. A failure to change the roof will mean the installer should take down the PVs to install a new roof, which is an added cost for you.
If a roof replacement is required, you will need to pay a contractor, which increases the total cost of installation.
3. Condition of the Roof
The condition of the roof is related to its age. However, even new roofs can be in bad shape. Stains on the ceiling, the attic, or walls indicate your roof is not in a good state. A damp floor or dark spots can also mean the same.
In these cases, such a roof is not ideal for installing solar panels. It will need fixing before the installation of the PV modules. A roofing expert can assess issues such as cracks, missing, or curled shingles. Such is an extra cost that will lead to an increase in the overall installation cost.
4. Structural Issues
The structure of the house can also directly affect the cost of installing the panels. An old home may need structural adjustment, which makes it the first thing you may need to deal with. Such an issue can affect installing a new roof, which can also affect the installation of the panels. Any neglect to fix such a problem can damage the panels or wiring. It can also mean the panels will have to be taken down to resolve the issue, which means extra costs.
5. Installing a Tracking System
An installer can install the system to track how the system is working. Trackers usually direct the PVs to the sun. Throughout the day, such devices change their orientation towards the sun’s path, maximizing the energy captured. You can pair the trackers with roof-top mounted or ground-mount tracker systems. They come in three types of systems, which are manual, passive, or active solar trackers.
When such trackers are installed into the system, it can cost a lot more to install it. The trackers increase the output of the solar panels. You should assess the cost and benefits of the devices before opting for them.
6. Licensing Cost
Regulation affecting solar panel installations differ in various locations. There is a requirement for the installer to pay a higher amount than the average cost in some areas. They can also be mandated to spend more time getting the necessary licensing and certification. In most cases, the contractors end up passing the cost on to the consumer. Such as an added cost leads to a higher cost of the service.
You need to know that the types of solar equipment and inverters usually contribute directly to the amount you will pay for installation. The more efficient a solar power system is, the higher the price to install it. One reason for the increase in the prices for high-quality equipment installation is the added benefits. Such as the better hardware, which can give out more electricity for the same light compared to others. Also, premium hardware has a very comprehensive warranty.
There are three different types of solar panels, and each affects the installation price differently. These are the ones made with polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film solar. The most popular home systems use monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells to make the panels.
The most efficient of the three is the mono-type. However, its price is higher, meaning its installation cost will also increase. As much as you may want to save on money, bargain-priced solar panels can be a costly adventure. Low-quality panels have a significantly lower efficiency, which means the electricity generated over time will dramatically reduce.
Another equipment factor that can affect the cost is the number of panels you want to install. If you are installing several PV modules, the installer will charge a higher amount. So, as you dig deeper into your pocket to purchase premium hardware, you might want to get a quote from an installer so that you can factor in that cost too.
One other thing the installer can charge you is the hardware to mount the panels. If the racking amount required increases, the cost would also go up. An installer uses racking to fasten the solar panels firmly to the roof. They are also useful in connecting the panels next to each other.
For this, the installer has a preferred mounting system. However, it depends on the situation. Factors that can affect mounting hardware include the area’s weather condition, how the roof is pitched, the solar array size, panel material, and shading.
8. Labor & Permits
Suppose you want to connect your solar energy system to the grid; you may need to pay a little more for the labor and permit. Typically, there is a fee that you need to pay when connecting your system to the power grid. Labor costs also increase significantly. For this to happen, a system needs to be designed, a site visit coordination, and installing the solar panels will take time. Additionally, you will spend more money on all those tasks for them to be completed.
10. Tax Benefits
As you are aware, the solar installation comes with a tax benefit. It can be in the form of a cut or a rebate. The federal tax cut is at about 26% cut. In many cases, these incentives directly reduce the cost of installation.
10. Other Add-on Options
Owning a solar panel system gives you access to an endless source of energy. As a result, you can install power storage methods to allow you full utilization of this potential. Connecting a battery system will give you a chance to store excess energy, which you can use to power your home during a power outage or a cloudy day. Another popular option you can consider is an investment in an electric vehicle for storage.
Factors such as the panels’ cost, its materials, the roof’s condition, and the house’s structural integrity can contribute to a high bill. Any add-on such as batteries, tracking systems, and others may also increase the cost. However, it is essential to know that even if the cost of solar panel installation exceeds your projected budget, you will save on bills in the long run. Saving on such energy bills over time has a way of canceling out this cost.
Get in touch with Dynamic SLR today if you want an affordable solar panel system. We source our solar products from reputable manufacturers. Apart from that, our long term warranties give you peace of mind because you are assured of energy supply for years.