When you choose to build a brand-new house, you don’t do it on a whim. You can see the big costs looming on the horizon.
But of course, you move forward because of the value it holds for your future. And having solar energy installed, one of the wisest choices you can make for a new home, can be a big part of the financial picture.
Your power system should be as budget-friendly as possible. While solar can add substantial capital value to a new home, you should certainly know every financial detail going in. That way, you can plan for solar with complete confidence.
Here are 4 essential questions to ask about the cost of solar for new builds.
1. What is the base cost of a solar panel system installation?
Costs for solar energy systems have come down substantially over the past decade. A fully-installed system in 2008 could run you about $40,000 — now, prices are only a fraction of that amount. The cost for a solar system starts around $5,990.
While that’s a rough idea of what a homeowner could pay, costs vary. It’s important to talk to solar consultants to learn exactly how big a system you will need. Solar experts can design a system that’s unique to your home’s wiring and other features, and that will yield the best utility savings and ROI possible.
2. Are there extra fees for design plans or add-on components of any sort?
It all depends on how your home is being designed and built.
In particular, the direction your house is facing (northward is best for new-build homes in New Zealand) and the angle of your roof can affect pricing, as you may need tilt frames for the solar panel array to take full advantage of the sunlight.
Also, if unavoidable shade from trees or buildings will partly block sunshine from hitting your panels, you may need a special inverter, which will factor into your system’s base price.
Finally, you may look into purchasing a solar battery, which can help you save even more money with solar... more on this shortly.
3. Are any hidden costs involved?
No. At least, there shouldn’t be.
Depending on the solar installer you choose, some of the always-required steps — such as installing a solar meter, filing paperwork for local network approvals, and conducting an inspection — show up as ‘surprise’ costs to homeowners.
For the best experience, go with a solar energy service that includes these fees in the base price, and that provides a full appraisal and explanations of every part of the plan. This way, you can rest assured that all proper groundwork is laid, and you won’t be caught off-guard by sudden expenses.
4. How soon can the upfront costs be recovered?
A solar system that’s properly sized to a home, and used along with ‘solar smart’ energy-saving practices, can completely pay for itself in a fairly short amount of time.
Typically, for new-build homes, you can look forward to a payback period of 5-8 years, after which you’ll have fully recovered initial costs and your power savings amount to extra money in the bank. Keep in mind, however, that the payback period is affected by how you use energy at home.
If you use most of your solar energy during the brightest part of the day, and store what’s left over in the utility grid (which can be resold to your local utility) or in a solar battery, you can make your payback period shorter.
All said, knowing the costs, the savings, and what payback period to expect makes you an informed solar consumer.
To fully understand the costs of solar for your new home, we invite you to talk to us at World Solar.
Our experts can be by your side as you design your home. We can show you the exact cost of a system for your unique house, what your monthly savings will be, and when you can look forward to breaking even and fully enjoying the returns on your solar investment.