When homeowners decide to go solar, they are usually surprised at the costs of purchasing and installing solar panels.
Going solar will undoubtedly cut a significant expenditure on your energy bills. However, solar cells price can be an impediment. It can cost you thousands to buy solar cells. This is why you need to do your homework well before you choose one.
This article is a guide to cheap efficient solar panels to help you get the best deal for your needs and wallet.
What Affects Solar Cells Price?
The rooftop solar panel cost is usually determined and set by solar paneling companies based on factors such as efficiency and the expected lifetime of the panel. Thus, you can already deduce that panels that are able to be efficient over a long period are going to be more expensive.
Another thing that affects rooftop solar panel cost is how the panel is made. There are various types of solar cells. These include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride (thin cell solar panels), and gallium arsenide. Nevertheless, with solar panel technology continually evolving, it is likely that we are going to witness other technologies penetrate the market soon.
Out of the available units, however, monocrystalline panels are the ones that generate the most watts per area. This means that you only need a few of these panels in order to get the desired electricity. This saves you on a lot of roof space. This enhanced efficiency is what makes monocrystalline solar panels to be the most ideal solar panel for residential needs. Consequently, monocrystalline solar panels price is usually higher than other types of solar cells.
Where to Get Cheap Solar Panels
When looking for cheap efficient solar panels, there are various ways you can use to evaluate the expense based on location. Chinese panels, however, are known for being the least expensive solar markets in the world.
The United States and German solar markets are not far behind either. On the same note, certain markets in the American space are more favorable than others. For example, consumers in Texas and California are more likely to get better deals. Nonetheless, regardless of your location, if you do your research, you should be able to get a good solar cells price.
At the moment, the average solar energy price is at around $3.05 per watt. That is approximately 3% lower than it was a year ago, and these prices are being projected to fall even further.
To help you get the cheapest rates, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace is a compilation of various solar quotes from different solar paneling companies offering the cheapest solar power systems. Therefore, ensure that you visit the EnergySage Solar Marketplace so you can have a feel of what you can expect to pay.
Where to Start When Comparing Panels
The most critical factors to consider when comparing panels, apart from price, include performance, quality, durability, and warranty. Aesthetics also play a role in influencing the consumer’s decision.
Why are Some Panels Cheaper?
Solar panels are a long-term investment. As such, you want to be absolutely sure that you are making the correct decision when you choose a certain panel. Therefore, one would only assume that cheaper panels are of lower quality. While that is a valid concern, it is not always the case.
At times, panels made by the largest manufacturers can be cheaper due to economies of scale.
Can You Tell Whether a Panel is Cheaply Made by Looking at It?
Unlike most other mechanical products, there are no moving parts in solar panel. This means you cannot rely on appearances to determine whether it has been cheaply made. Nonetheless, with the solar power market expanding at an extremely fast rate, it is likely that there will be manufacturers willing to cut corners so that they can sell their panels more cheaply in a bid to gain market share.
Thus, the average customer is going to have a very difficult time spotting any potential defects. Nonetheless, those defects are going to impede the panel’s performance and durability. Moreover, there is a likelihood of safety issues.
Should You Consider Used Solar Panels?
When it comes to solar panels, it is wise to steer clear of used panels. This is because, as mentioned earlier, panel technology is evolving at a very fast rate. This means that panels are regularly getting updated. For instance, a panel that was designed five years ago cannot perform at the same rate as a similar-sized panel that is being designed this year.
Moreover, purchasing used solar panels means that you will likely have no warranty coverage, meaning you will be unsecured in case of anything. Also, it will be difficult finding an installer willing to work with a used panel since any issues that might pop up will have to be handled by their company. It goes without saying that used panels are more likely to have underlying issues.
Tips for People Shopping for Solar
1. Obtaining Multiple Quotes Can Save You as Much as 10 Percent or More
Just like you would approach any other significant investment, shopping for solar needs to be done with a lot of research and consideration. This means thoroughly reviewing the local solar companies. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a report which recommends that consumers need to compare as many solar options as possible in order to avoid paying inflated prices.
Thus, if you are looking to buy solar cells at an affordable rate, you will need to utilize resources such as EnergySage. This resource is incredibly beneficial for solar shoppers since it will give you free quotes from vetted installers. In fact, consumers who get as many quotes as possible are likely to make thousands of dollars’ worth of savings.
2. The Largest Installers Do Not Always Have the Best Rates
Even though we earlier mentioned that a large installer is likely to give you better rates due to economies of scale, it does not mean that that is set in stone. Big companies can afford to spend on advertising, and a consumer is more likely to buy from a brand they are familiar with.
In fact, recent research by the government discovered that large companies can be $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small installers. The point, therefore, is that you shouldn’t just purchase from a brand because you are familiar with it. Ensure that you also obtain quotes from smaller local installers to avoid overpaying.
Renewable roofing allows us to cut on our energy costs while allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint. However, becoming solar-powered is not as easy as walking into a store and asking for a solar panel. There are a lot of factors to be considered when choosing a solar panel for residential needs.
Thus, do not let price to be your primary reason to why you purchase a particular type of panel. Your needs should be met first. Thus, if you are only looking for solar charger power for your devices, then you can go for a smaller and inexpensive type of panel. But if your needs are more than basic solar charger power, going for the most robust panel is going to be worth the initial high investment in the long term.
Ensure that you utilize the above tips when looking for a panel. Nonetheless, thin cell solar panels tend to be cheaper while monocrystalline solar panels price tends to be higher. If you want to know more about getting the best renewable roofing for you, talk to us today and we will be glad to help.