Finding ‘Cheap’ Solar Panels
4 - Minute Read
Jun 24, 2022
Homeowners in many places are beginning to see the value of adding solar panels to their homes. This investment into creating more sustainable energy not only lowers your environmental impact, but it could also increase your property’s value and lower your monthly electric bill.
The obstacle for some homeowners, however, are the high costs associated with a solar panel system installation. That said, a 2021 initiative from the U.S. Department of Energy offers hope that solar panels will get cheaper in the coming years.
But, in the meantime, you can always seek out relatively “cheap” solar panels to better fit your budget. If you’re thinking about going this less expensive route, let’s explore what may be out there along with some of the pros and cons of “cheap” solar panels.
Price Range For Affordable Solar Panels
What is considered affordable for solar panels? We reviewed several different brands and prices across the market. Today, you can find “cheap” solar panels anywhere from $13,920 – $22,440 per 6 kilowatts (kW). Prices will always vary depending on market conditions and industry demand, but that is what you will likely find on the more affordable end of the spectrum. If you are hoping to look for panels in that price range, it’s important to consider the pros and cons that we will cover in the next sections.
‘Cheap’ vs. Less Affordable Solar Panels
When considering “cheap” versus less affordable solar panels, you’ll need to look beyond just the price tag. Let’s explore a few major differences between “cheap” and more expensive solar panels.
Less expensive solar panels run the risk of being made with lower quality materials, which could cause more frequent issues such as breakage, mechanical problems or faster aging. Buying lower quality solar panels now could cause you to spend more on repairs in the long run.
While many “cheap” photovoltaic solar panels are available in the market today, you’ll want to consider the watts of the solar panel you’re looking at and how that relates to the number of panels you’ll need for a home the size of yours. It’s best to purchase fewer panels when choosing ones with more power output.
The industry standard is typically around 300 watts per panel to properly power your home. Lower-wattage panels (around 100 watts) may be less expensive but only be suitable for powering small appliances or charging generators.
Because cheaper panels may be more prone to issues, it’s unlikely that repairs will be covered under warranty or that the product will even come with a warranty. Warranties can help ensure that your product has a longer lifespan while saving you money on costly repairs.
Another consideration pertains to the ethical production of solar panels when comparing “cheap” and less affordable panels. Look for products that are sustainably made and produced in the U.S. With U.S.-made products, carbon emissions are being reduced by eliminating the need to transport the product overseas.
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Alternative Ways To Cut Solar Panel Costs
Beyond the price of the solar panels themselves, there are a few other ways to reduce the costs involved with your solar installation. Learn about two of them below.
Choose A DIY Installation
Choosing the right kit for DIY solar installation could help save you thousands of dollars that you would have spent hiring a professional. However, it’s important to consider whether you have the experience necessary for this project.
Between the work you’ll need to do on the structure of your home’s roof and dealing with live wiring, it can be dangerous if you aren’t properly equipped with the skills and safety techniques required for the job. You may also miss out on certain rebates if the project isn’t professionally installed.
Take Advantage Of Tax Incentives And Rebates
It’s worth researching any local and state tax incentives or rebates that might be available for homeowners who use solar energy in their home. These incentives could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year if you qualify and are even more beneficial when you consider the financial and environmental impact of renewable energy.
FAQs About ‘Cheap’ Solar Panels
Below are a few questions that homeowners frequently ask when considering “cheap” solar panels.
Are solar panels becoming cheaper?
In 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its newest solar initiative aimed to drastically reduce the cost of solar energy by 60% over the next 10 years. With an investment of $128 million in funding, the government believes this technology will become more affordable and accessible for homeowners.
What are the cheapest solar panels?
When considering a “cheap” solar panel option, you’ll likely find that polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline panels. However, monocrystalline products tend to be higher quality.
Should I buy ‘cheap’ solar panels?
Depending on the quality of the product you’re purchasing, “cheap” solar panels may not always be your best choice. If they aren’t able to last as long as higher-quality solar panels, you could end up spending more in the long run. Always research and read reviews, and seek out expert advice before opting for value solar panel options.
The Bottom Line
If you’re thinking about investing in solar panels but want to reduce your costs by choosing a more affordable option, be sure to review your options carefully. While “cheap” solar panels may seem attractive at first glance, closer examination of the product and its reviews could reveal hidden costs.
If you’re considering solar panels for your home, learn how much solar panels can save you in the long run.
Rocket Solar does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.