The information on this page is designed to help you determine the cost and payback period of using solar power for your home or small business. The map just below shows quotes from the past hour and includes details to help you get started. Give it a try and read on for more information on choosing and installing solar panels.
Solar Power Authority has partnered with Cooler Planet, a leading provider of residential and commercial solar panel installation quotes, to help you estimate the total costs, benefits and payback period for a solar installation on your property.
Here you can find local solar installers and get free installation quotes. Just enter your zip code, project type (residential or commercial), how much electricity you want to offset, your current monthly electricity bill, and the name of your local utility provider:
- Input your zip code to get a free solar quote
- Choose how much of your electricity bill you would like to offset with solar energy
- Identify your utility company and determine net metering options you may have
This tool also provides valuable solar panel installation information for free, including what you need to know about the following topics:
- Solar radiance: Solar radiance (insulation) is the amount of solar energy received by a given surface area in a given time period, commonly expressed in kilowatt-hours per square meter per day (kWh/sqm/day). This measurement varies according to the weather and latitude of a given location.
- Average monthly usage: This is the amount of electricity you consume in an average month. It is determined by the solar calculator either by the amount you put in, or approximated by dividing the amount of your electricity bill by the cost-per-kilowatt-hour for your area.
- System size: This approximation tells you what you need for a solar power system to produce enough electricity to offset your annual electricity use. It is determined by taking your average daily electrical use and dividing it by your solar radiance, multiplied by 71%. The 71% factor is necessary to approximate the inherit inefficiencies in solar power systems.
- Roof size: This is the approximate roof size needed with exposure to the sun, in order to accommodate your solar power system. It can be determined by taking the size of the system and dividing that by 10 to get square footage (based on 10 Watts per square foot).
- Estimated solar installation costs: The approximate costs are based on $9 per Watt. This is an average rate, including parts and installation, for systems above 2kW.
- Cost of installing solar panels after rebates and incentives: This is an estimate of costs based on the available solar credits and solar rebates for your geographical area. This includes kWh production incentives for up to 25 years, if available in your region. It also provides an approximation of your local and state incentives.
- Average monthly savings: Calculated for post-installation of solar panels on your house or commercial property.
- 25-year savings: Based on what you save over a 25-year period, assuming a yearly 4% increase in utility rates. You can also calculate a 25-year return on investment (ROI) for installing solar panels, and your break-even point in number of years.
Finally, this free solar panel cost calculator will tell you how many pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) you are responsible for with your yearly electricity use. The production and release of CO2 from burning coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming, as you probably know. It will also tell you how many trees you would need to plant to offset your current carbon emissions.
For more information on the cost of installing solar panels: