Frequently Asked Solar Questions

If you have questions about solar energy, here’s a quick resource to get you started

Got Questions? We Have Answers

What are the benefits of solar energy?

There are several benefits to using solar energy rather than non-renewable energy sources. First, you save money because solar systems eventually pay for themselves — often within five years. Solar power offers you independence from local energy providers, and producing your own electricity can protect you from any future energy cost increases or power outages. Plus, you will be helping the environment, which is desperately needed.

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What do residential solar panels cost?

According to Solar-Estimate, residential panels cost $3.18 per watt on average. However, the cost of residential solar panels depends on many factors like the panel type, the number of panels needed, the amount of roof space you have, which panel company you choose, any federal or state rebates or tax incentives you’re eligible for, and what kind of climate you live in.

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How much does it cost to install solar panels?

Residential solar panel systems are sized from 4 - 20kW, with an average cost range of $12,000 - $46,000 after tax credits, according to Solar Reviews. Additionally, the cost to install solar panels depends on many factors like which installation company you choose, any federal or state rebates or tax incentives you’re eligible for, your home’s orientation, and the distance from your home to the nearest electricity grid connection.

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Do solar panels save money?

Yes, solar panels can save you money because your solar system will eventually pay for itself, and any solar energy produced afterward is free. The speed of your payback period depends on the cost of your system, how much energy you produce, and if your state allows net metering. Learn more about How Much Solar Power Costs.

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Are solar panels worth the investment?

Many homeowners consider solar panels worth the investment because of the energy cost savings and the potential to increase the home’s resale value. How quickly you will see a return on your solar investment will depend on the length of your payback period.

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What are my solar panel financing options?

There are four main financing options: loans, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and purchasing outright. Each has its own set of pros and cons depending on what you can pay upfront, if you want to be eligible for tax credits, and if you value ownership of the solar system.

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How does the federal solar tax credit work?

The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available to those who purchase solar systems through 2019 and includes the cost of the entire system. You would use IRS form 5695 to determine your credit, which then offsets the amount owed on your taxes for the current and following tax years.

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What are the best solar panels?

There are three categories of solar panels:

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline
  • hin-film
Each solar panel category offers different levels of efficiency and cost. The best panels for you depends on your available roof space, budget, climate, and whether you value long-term savings or lower costs upfront

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What are the top solar power installation companies?

We recommend the following top solar companies based on our extensive research:

  • Sunpower
  • Sungevity
  • BlueRaven Solar
  • Green Solar Technologies
  • RGS Energy
There are many factors to consider when choosing a solar installation company such as coverage area, finance options, customer reviews, installation process, and warranty details. The best company for you may also depend on your location, budget, and what you value in a solar system.

Read our review of The Best Solar Panel Companies