Are you looking for ways to reduce your energy bills? Are you concerned about the environment here in Rockland County and the global effects of climate change? Solar is a great alternative energy source that can fulfill all your needs. But how much do solar panels in New York cost?
To answer this question, you need to consider several factors.
Brand and Number of Solar Panels
Before you think about the number of solar panels you need, consider the brand. Not all manufacturers use the best technology, and likewise not all solar panels are created equal. Seek the best solar panels in New York to deliver high efficiency, long life and a great return on investment.
One of the best brands worth considering is called SunPower. This manufacturer holds the world record for the most efficient solar panels ever created. Ordinary solar panels are 15% efficient, but SunPower boasts 21% efficiency. This means you can buy fewer panels to power your home, which maximizes space so you can fit a higher kilowatt system in your roof. Higher quality, better materials and proven performance from SunPower solar panels make it clear that opting for the cheapest brand isn’t the way to go.
Brand and Number of Power Inverters
Every solar array needs at least one power inverter to convert the direct current (DC) electricity your solar panels produce into alternative current (AC) electricity for your home. The power inverter also links your array to the utility grid.
The brand and model you choose affects how much your solar array costs. Needing multiple inverters also increases the cost. However, because it’s important to select the appropriate model for the application, the installer is usually the one who makes the final decision.
Amount of Labor Needed
With all this talk of hardware, it’s easy to forget a “soft” cost like labor. However, it’s one factor that certainly impacts the price of solar panels in New York. Because installing solar panels is such a delicate process involving electric wires, high heights and expensive equipment, it’s important to rely on a professional to install your solar panels.
Primary labor costs are associated with installing the array itself. However, more labor may be required if you need to perform preliminary tasks prior to installing the solar panels, such as:
- Roof repair: If your roof is old or has been damaged by hail or high wind, it’s definitely in your best interest to have it repaired or replaced before installing solar panels. The installer will perform an evaluation to assess the condition of the roof and give their recommendation to repair it or not. If you end up needing a repair, take this into account when figuring out the cost of switching to solar.
- Tree trimming: An efficient solar array depends on optimal sun exposure. If your roof is currently shaded by nearby trees, the installer may recommend trimming the branches back. This task adds to the project’s labor costs, but since it decreases shading on your solar panels, the cost can pay for itself in improved system efficiency.
Tax Incentives and Rebates
Each of the above factors increases the cost of solar panels in New York. Now here’s a consideration that brings the cost down. During the preliminary phase, ask your solar installer about applying for the following tax incentives:
- Federal tax credits cover 30% of the cost, including installation, with no upper limit.
- New York State offers a 25% income tax credit up to $5,000.
- New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers cash incentives for qualifying residential and commercial installations.
Financing Your Solar Panels in New York
Now that you know what factors influence the cost of residential solar, you need to decide how to finance your switch to solar. You have multiple options:
- Purchase solar panels: Paying for your solar panels upfront provides the greatest lifetime savings. The initial investment involves paying the total cost for parts and labor minus tax incentives and rebates.
- Take out a solar loan: Not everyone has the savings in place to purchase solar panels outright. As with buying a car, you can choose to finance your solar purchase with a loan. You pay $0 down and make monthly payments, just like a car loan. At the same time, your electric bills plummet, leaving you with a total payment lower than your previous energy bills.
- Lease solar panels: Also seen with getting a new car, you can lease your solar purchase. This $0 down option typically involves a set lease period with a fixed monthly rate. You have no ownership responsibilities and can count on free maintenance and repairs if something goes wrong.
Are you excited about everything solar panels in New York have to offer? Contact a solar company near you to get started!