Did You Know That There Are No Upfront Costs with Solar?
It’s true! Many homeowners will want to seek financing for their rooftop solar systems, but there are no upfront solar costs! Numerous factors play into the cost of going solar in Colorado, so it’s hard to say exactly how much a solar installation on your property will cost.
Things like the size of your home, how much electricity your family uses, and how much usable roof space your home has will determine the costs of this home improvement project.
How Much Does a Solar Panel System Cost?
Five main factors are used to calculate solar panel costs:
- Equipment and labor
- The amount of power you need
- Design and installation
- Permits and inspections
- Incentives and tax credits
Let’s break down each of these variables further and how they impact the cost of a solar power system.
1. Equipment and Labor
An average solar system will require materials including solar panels, mounting racks for the panels, an inverter, a monitoring system, and a meter. Each mechanical component affects the overall cost of your installation, but they also affect the system’s performance, efficiency, and overall quality.
In addition, you also need to keep in mind the labor costs of installing solar panels. Solar companies tend to charge their labor at an hourly rate and those installation rates may vary from one company to the next.
At EcoMark Solar, our solar specialists have worked on over 4,000 solar installations throughout Colorado. We’ll use this experience to assess your energy needs, location factors (including whether you’re in an urban or rural area), shade cover, hours of sunlight, and more to make the right equipment recommendations for your budget.
2. How Much Solar Power Do You Need?
If you know your existing energy usage, you can estimate how much you’d need to spend on solar panels. Take a look at your utility bills to find out how much electricity you currently use each month. The size of your solar system will be determined by your home’s electrical consumption, and the size of the installation affects your total costs.
The Center for Sustainable Energy has developed an example that shows how the cost of solar power is calculated. With installation and maintenance, an average residential 5 kW system costs between $3 to $5 per watt, resulting in a $15,000 to $25,000 price range.
For many, solar can produce all the electricity needed in the house for the year. Other households can only achieve a partial offset, in which solar power only produces enough energy to cover 50% of the home’s energy usage. Those individuals can still save money on this investment.
3. Design and Installation
The design of your solar panel installation will play a key role in the final costs. Each rooftop solar installation project is different due to the size and slope of the roof, so your installation will need to be custom designed by a solar company. We can help with that at EcoMark.
Our certified, licensed, and insured solar installation team will design a highly efficient, durable, safe, and long-lasting solar panel system for your home. We use satellite data, state-of-the-art CAD software, and the experience and knowledge of our engineers to design the perfect system for you.
EcoMark has completed over 4,000 solar installations in Colorado, and we understand what products are best suited for a high-altitude climate. In addition, EcoMark has worked with all 17 Colorado utility providers, and we understand the different installation specifications for different municipalities in Colorado.
4. Permits and Inspections
With the passage of HB21-1284 in June 2021, businesses and homeowners across Colorado will receive transparent, fair, and consistent solar installation permitting costs. The law sets a limit on the aggregate of all charges or other associated fees any governmental body may impose or assess to install an active solar energy system of $500 for a residential permit under 10kW and $1,000 for a commercial permit and residential systems over 10kW.
You’ll need to cover these solar costs for your installation. Fortunately, these are 1-time expenses that won’t leave a big hole in your pocket and are rolled into the cost of your system.
5. Tax Incentives and Credits
Many tax incentives and credits can help you reduce the costs of your solar installation! The Solar Investment Tax Credit provides a tax rebate of up to 26% of your solar installation project in 2022. This can greatly help you recover your solar panel installation costs when Tax Day rolls around.
Your solar installation is also eligible for local and state tax incentives and rebates. For instance, homeowners in Colorado Springs who install solar panels on their property may be eligible for a $0.20 per watt rebate. Similar rebates and offers are available throughout Colorado.
Utility companies additionally offer incentives for customers to invest in solar too. Xcel Energy allows customers to participate in its Solar Rewards program, where customers can receive monthly payments in exchange for renewable energy credits.
Leveraging national incentives, regional/municipal incentives, and the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) can help offset the cost of solar power. They may also help mitigate the costs of upkeep over time too.
Offset Costs with an Increased Home Value
At $4,020 per kilowatt, a 5-kilowatt solar panel installation would add an average of $20,100 to the market value of a mid-sized U.S. home. That’s an appreciable amount that many homebuyers are willing to pay!
A solar home’s selling price is typically 4.1% higher than comparable properties without solar. It is also important to note that solar loans are transferable to new homeowners should the property be sold.
How You Can Use Your Utility Bill to Pay for Your Solar Panels
With a solar panel system, you will immediately begin using the energy you are generating from the sun. This will greatly reduce your utility bill, which will include your monthly connection fee and any charges for additional energy you may use. If, for instance, your utility bill has been $199 per month, your solar installation will likely drop this utility bill to $19 per month.
Learn More About the Costs of Solar with EcoMark
In 2010, EcoMark Solar began designing and installing solar panel systems to bring solar energy to homeowners all across Colorado. We understand all the complex ins-and-outs of the industry and we understand how to best design custom and efficient systems for homes of all shapes and sizes.
Our tested systems work together to give Colorado’s best efficiency, reliability, durability, and price. And because we sell so much solar, EcoMark Solar is significantly lower in price compared to the NREL average.
Schedule a call to learn more about the costs of solar power and how we can support your home improvement project.