What Are Solar Panel Prices in Rockland County, NY?

As a Rockland County resident, you may be eager to take advantage of an unlimited solar resource. Solar panels give you the chance to offset a significant portion of your energy bills.

Of course, you may be wondering about solar panel prices in Rockland County, NY. If you want to know how much it will cost to make the switch to solar, consider all the different components that affect the cost of solar panels.

Brand

Before doing a lot of research into solar technology, you may assume all solar panels are alike. However, unique characteristics set different brands apart.

Take SunPower solar panels, for example. Features such as a solid copper backing, no grid lines on the front of the cell and thick connectors make SunPower one of the most durable, long-lasting solar panel brands out there. An industry best 25-year warranty gives you peace of mind when you choose this brand.

Plus, the solar cell used in SunPower panels delivers the highest efficiency rating of all other solar panels on the market. This means you can purchase fewer panels yet generate the same amount of electricity for your home.

Number of Panels Needed

The size of your solar panel array depends on two factors: how much electricity your home consumes each month and what percentage of that you want to offset with solar power.

When deciding the number of panels you need, you should first take steps to reduce your home’s energy consumption. That way, a smaller solar array will cover more of your electricity needs simply because demand is lower. Energy-saving measures include:

  • Swap out old appliances for Energy Star-rated ones.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not being used.
  • Install more home insulation.
  • Upgrade windows and doors to more energy efficient versions.

Once you make a few changes, you can calculate your home’s energy consumption by checking the kilowatt-hours (kWh) on your electric bills. With your monthly kWh usage in mind, now you must decide how much of that you want your solar array to cover. Assuming you’re planning to install a grid-tied system, you can start with a smaller array and work your way up to a system that covers 100% of your electricity use in a few years.

Keep in mind that a typical residential system is a 5 kWh array, which consists of about 25 panels. Based on the solar exposure in Rockland County, you can expect to offset your energy bill by about $120 with this many panels. Depending on your specific electrical consumption, you may choose to install a smaller or larger system than this.

Mounting Hardware

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels are not mounted directly to the roof. Instead, they fasten to mounting hardware installed on the roof. This hardware is another component you must consider when determining solar panel prices in Rockland County, NY.

Each installer tends to have a preferred mounting system. The precise selection depends on local weather conditions, roof pitch and size of the solar array. The hardware choice is up to the installer and is factored into the overall cost of the project.

Amount of Labor Required

Solar panel prices in Rockland County, NY aren’t just about the products themselves. They also include the labor costs associated with installing them. The amount you can expect to pay for labor in Rockland County varies widely based on these factors:

  • The individual installer you choose.
  • The size and complexity of the solar array.
  • The time it takes to complete the installation.
  • The specific combination of electrician installation and non-electrician installation components.
  • Whether any repairs must be done to the roof before the solar panels can be installed.

In all, labor costs typically comprise about 10% of the system’s total cost.

Solar Incentives

So far, every factor that goes into the price of solar panels has made the cost go up. Solar incentives provide a chance to bring the cost back down. As a New York resident, you can take advantage of the following incentives:

  • Federal tax credits: The federal government encourages residents to invest in solar by offering a 30% tax credit with no upper limit. The incentive is available through December 31, 2016.
  • New York State tax incentives: New York residents have access to great incentives from the state, including a 25% income tax credit (up to $5,000), exemption from state sales tax on the solar panel purchase, and a 15-year exemption that keeps your property taxes from going up despite the value new solar panels add to your home.
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA): Residential installations of 5 kWh or less qualify for incentives on a first come, first served basis.

Work closely with your installer to keep solar panel prices in Rockland County, NY as low as possible.