The characteristics of your home and roof also play a part in your total solar costs. If you have a south-facing roof that slopes at a 30-degree angle, installing solar on your home will be relatively easier for your installer, as they can probably install all of your panels on a single roof plane that has optimal sun exposure (better, more direct sun exposure = fewer panels needed, which will lower your costs). Conversely, if your roof has multiple levels, dormers, or skylights, the additional effort to finish the installation may include additional equipment and installation costs.
Another piece of the solar installation puzzle is the company actually performing the job. Solar installers charge varying amounts for their services, and the final price they offer for an installation depends on measures like your installer’s track record, warranty offerings, and internal operations. You can imagine how a well-regarded solar installer with premium warranty offerings can charge more for an installation job, and it will be worth your money.
EnergySage brings the best solar installers right to you on our Marketplace – check out our article on choosing an installer to learn how we vet installers, and how you can and should compare them against one another.
Permitting and interconnection
While equipment and labor costs make up a significant portion of your solar energy system quote, the cost of solar permits and your interconnection fees can also be a factor. Typically, you will have to obtain a few solar permit documents and pay a fee to get your solar energy system connected to the grid (known as “interconnection”). There is some exciting work happening in this area to keep the costs and time lag to getting an approved interconnection – the Department of Energy’s SolarApp+ is trying to make the interconnection process cheaper and quicker for everyone.
Solar costs over time continue to fall
A solar panel system hasn’t always been $2.77/W. As recently as five years ago, the cost of solar panels was almost 13 percent higher than it is now:
While prices are currently flat due to supply chain constraints, prices will likely continue to fall even more in the future. The solar industry is still young, and there’s plenty of innovation (and policy changes) still to come. As manufacturing and installation processes mature and become even more efficient, solar shoppers will hopefully start to see some of those cost savings impacting their sticker price for solar.