Home Solar Systems And What Do They Cost?

Solar electric systems for the home are not cheap. Each year, they are getting more affordable than they used to be, but they are still out of reach for many Americans. Here is a break down of what solar systems that you can buy for your home, and what they each cost on average.

What Solar Systems Can I Buy For My Home?

There are three general types of solar products available for purchase and use in and around your home. These include: solar electric, solar hot water, and solar appliances.

Solar electric systems are the systems that are used to develop and deliver electricity to your home. This electricity can also be sold to your local power company. Also, known as net metering, 36 states in the U.S. allow for customers who own solar electric systems to sell their power back to their local utility.

Solar hot water systems replace the conventional electric or gas hot water heater that most people have in their homes today.

Solar home appliances like solar powered sidewalk lights, solar powered motion detector lights (operate with a solar powered battery), solar powered fans, solar garden fountains are all designed to run and operate without being plugged in to a wall socket.

How Much Do These Systems Cost?
We will look at these items in the order of most expensive to least expensive.

The most expensive, as you may already know is the solar electric system. The average system installed in the U.S. is a 3 kW (kilowatt) system. These in general cost on average around $15,000 after federal, state, local government and utility company incentives.

The next most expensive is the solar hot water heating system. These systems typically run in the neighborhood of $4,000 to $5,000. When you include the rebates and incentives depending on where you live, these systems generally run under $1,000. For most people these systems are still a little more expensive than a regular hot water system. But, these systems can pay for themselves generally within 4-5 years. After that, they will save you money year after year. Many systems are rated to last 10-20 years.

Last but not least are appliances and gadgets around the home. These items are relatively low cost and pretty affordable for most people. They are a little harder to determine their cost savings, but they do make some difference and are worth the effort to purchase and install.