The 6 Best Cheap Solar Panels of 2024 – MarketWatch

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Factors like where you live and how much energy you use will influence the overall cost of your solar panel installation. According to our survey of 1,500 homeowners with solar, it typically costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to install a 10 kW solar power system. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that solar panels can cost around $25,000. Keep in mind that these figures do not include any solar incentives, like the 30% federal solar tax credit.

System Panels and Equipment

The type of solar panels you select and how many you need will significantly affect your system price. A smaller home that consumes less energy may only need a 5 kW system, while larger homes with higher energy needs may require closer to a 10 kW system. Solar installations are typically priced by capacity, so the more energy you need your panels to generate, the more you’ll pay for your system.

Home solar systems also require an inverter to convert solar energy into usable power. You can also add a solar battery to store energy outside sunlight hours. Most solar companies will design your solar system with these components included, but selecting specific inverters or batteries, such as a Tesla Powerwall, may increase your overall cost.

Tier 1 vs. Tier 2 Panels

Solar panel tiers are criteria set by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report. To be considered Tier 1, a manufacturer must have provided solar products to six different projects under specific financing guidelines within the last two years. Any manufacturer that does not meet this criteria is considered Tier 2.

These guidelines do not consider or measure a panel’s efficiency rate or durability. Instead, these labels refer to a solar manufacturer’s bankability and standing in the industry.

Premium vs. Value Panels

A value solar panel refers to a solar panel designed to last around 20 to 25 years. Value panels are typically backed by a 10- to 12-year warranty and feature high-quality, reliable materials. In short, these panels are great value for your money. You may find that most thin-film and polycrystalline solar panels are value panels.

On the other hand, premium panels feature higher-quality materials and have a lifespan of 25 to 40 years. These panels usually feature higher efficiency rates and lower temperature coefficients, with 25-year performance warranties. Premium panels tend to be manufactured by big-name companies confident in their quality, performance and durability. Most often, premium panels are monocrystalline solar panels.

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