How much do solar panels cost?
Tony Sampson, Naked MD, sheds a bit of light on the sometimes hidden costs and considerations when choosing solar panels for your home or business. Cliff note: in the long run, the ‘cheapest’ usually isn’t.
There are three main factors that will influence your choice of system and consequently the amount you invest on Solar PV.
- Your electrical consumption. How much are you using? When are you using it?
- Your property. Which way does your roof face? (Not as critical as most people assume.) And is part of it in shade? Where in the country do you live?
- What are you hoping to get from a Solar PV system?
The last point is too often overlooked, yet requires the most consideration. Otherwise, you could install a system you’ll regret.
There are five main scenarios that drive people to choose solar PV. Each one leads to a different choice of system. Though there are many benefits and considerations for each, we’ve given a quick pro and con to give you an overview.
- Some people simply want to get the cheapest system going, which would obviously lead to a budget system.
Pro – low price, achievable for many people
Con – will cost you more in the long run through lower performance and durability
- Some people aim for the shortest payback period. This usually leads to a mid-range system that is slightly better performing and demands a lowish initial investment.
Pro – You get your money back quickly. After that it’s all profit.
Con – You’re still compromising on performance and maximum payback.
- Some people are looking for peace of mind, so they tend to choose more durable panels with better and longer warranties which they feel is worth the extra investment.
Pro – Security. You can plan for the long term knowing performance and reliability will be high and if something goes wrong, you’re covered.
Con – Bigger investment
- Some people want to maximise the potential of their property to reduce their bills as much as possible. They will choose the highest kWp they can get using the very best performing panels and inverter available.
Pro – Maximum returns & warranty for the longest time. The environment will love you.
Con – You’ll need to stump up more to start off with.
- Some people are concerned about the effect of solar panels on the look of their property. (Particularly important if you’re in a conservation area.)
Pro – With the latest products, solar panel tiles are your roof. You won’t know they’re there. If you’re reroofing anyway, you could even save money.
Con – Aesthetics usually come at a price. Performance, though rapidly improving, is
If you’re reading this and thinking ‘Well, I’m bit of all of them’, you aren’t alone. Most people can’t be pigeon-holed into one scenario – they’re somewhere on the scale in all of them. So how do you make a decision?
Our nifty bit of software helps you make the right decision
Because there so many variables to consider across your property, your lifestyle and your aims, we use a powerful bit of professional design software called PV Sol. This gathers all the data and finds a solar PV solution that clarifies the benefits and drawbacks of any choice you make. You can quickly compare how multiple systems would perform on your property, with your consumption, in your location. The reports produced are extremely accurate, often surprising, and always enlightening.
The good news is that throughout the process, we’ll be straight with you about advantages and disadvantages, we won’t bamboozle you with technobabble and we won’t be pushing a particular product on you – because we have no ties to any manufacturer.
From beginning to end, it’s all about choices. We’re just here to help you make good ones.
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