You may be wondering how much a solar panel costs. The answer to that question depends on the wattage of the panel. In this blog post, we’ll break down the cost per watt for solar panels to help you better understand what you’re investing in. Keep reading to learn more!
Let’s start by looking at the average cost of solar panels in the United States. According to SolarReviews, the average cost per watt is $3.72 for residential solar panel installations and $2.16 for commercial solar panel installations. This data is based on statistics from 2013, so it could be different now given how much technology has changed in the last few years.
Now that you know how much a solar panel costs, it’s important to understand another crucial fact: How much power does each watt provide? According to Geophysical Research Letters, “The electrical power produced depends on the available irradiance and the efficiency of the solar panels.”
What is a watt?
The term ‘watt’ refers to the power used by an electrical device such as a light bulb.” Since each solar panel is capable of producing a certain amount of energy per day, we can calculate how many watts the solar panels produce over time and determine exactly how much they cost.
You can get a solar panel that produces 1 watt of power for $3.72 or 3 watts for $11.44. If you get a 3-watt solar panel, your daily production will be 3 watts x 8 hours = 24 watt-hours (Wh) per day. This means you would get 1,728 Wh per day from your 1-watt solar panel and 8,640 Wh per day from the 3-watt solar panel.
To use a car analogy: Say you buy a gas guzzler for $10,000 and it gets 10 miles to the gallon. At $2.50 per gallon, you would have to fill up the tank 28 times a year. This is equivalent to each gallon costing $70 ($2.50 x 28).
If you were to buy a more efficient car for $30,000 and it got 30 miles per gallon, then it would only need seven gallons at $2.50 per gallon, or $18.
This means that the more efficient car saves you $52.50 per fill up (28 tanks x $18) when compared with the gas guzzler’s price of $70 per fill up (28 tanks x $2.50).
Let’s look at a solar panel example: If you get a 3-watt solar panel, it will provide you with 8,640 Wh per day. Over the course of a year, that’s 2,376,000 Wh. According to our calculations from earlier this equals $565.62 (2,376,000 Wh x $0.14126). This means that each watt saves you about $264 ($565.62 / 3).
So the next time you wonder how much does a solar panel cost, just remember that it’s $3.72 for each watt of power it produces. The more efficient your solar panel is, the more money you will save on your energy bills! Now all you have to do is sit back and relax while powering your house for free.
Does Cost per watt vary from one state to another?
Yes, the cost of solar panels will vary depending on your state. Here are some other factors that can affect how much you pay for your solar panel installation:
“How big is the system you want to install?”
The size of the system plays a major factor in determining how much it costs. Some states give more incentives to people with larger systems, so this could affect the price.
“Are there any tax credits or rebates available in your area?”
If you are getting a solar panel installation done at your home, there may be local and state-level tax credits or rebates that can help reduce the cost of the system. Your contractor will know more about this.
“Is there an installation charge?”
Typically, the installer will not be able to estimate your total cost until they come out to your house and see where you want the solar panel system installed. They may have a flat fee that covers everything though!
What is the cost of solar Panel for home use?
The cost of a solar panel for home use is $3.72 per watt of production.
My name is Alex Landry and I am an experienced solar PV engineer and an editor here at Tru Solar Score. I am an accomplished solar PV expert with over 12 years of installing off-grid solar systems in various states in the US. Between 2015 and 2019, I led a small team of energy audit analysts for a company based out of Oregon. I currently run this site full-time and when I am not testing a new solar PV product in the market, I am offering customized consulting on solar systems installations. You can reach me directly using firstname.lastname@example.org