How much will solar panels cost?

After reading articles, hearing news stories and listening to your friends, your interest in having solar panels installed one your home is piqued. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, solar power can dramatically cut your energy costs while taking advantage of one of the planet’s greatest natural resources — the sun. However, as you pursue this path, more than likely, you have one main question on your mind — and it’s the question Legend Solar employees hear all the time when they’re out in the community.


How much will my panels cost? 

Often preceded with something specific about the size of your house, the question generally goes something like this: “I have a 3,000 square foot house. How many panels do I need?” Or, “I have a 6,000 square foot house, how much is solar going to cost?”

The problem is, solar power is not measured in square feet. It’s not determined based on a single factor alone. And it takes a little longer to answer than a simple sentence in a passing conversation.

“There’s just not a cookie cutter setup for a home, and we wouldn’t want that for the customer either,” says Shane Perkins, co-owner of Legend Solar.

Rather than offering customers a one-size-fits-all solar plan, Legend Solar bases each solar system on a combination of a numerous variables, including the amount of energy used in the home, how many people live in the home, the angle of the roof, the municipality in which your home is located, and more.

“It really depends,” says Jud Burkett, director of corporate communication for Legend Solar.

Even those customers who live in St. George, Utah, for example, may have completely different scenarios depending on whether they live north or south of the Virgin River and therefore receive power from St. George City or Dixie Power.

“It’s not like a car where everyone buys the same car and gets the same options,” Burkett says. “We’re providing you with a car that does exactly what you need it to do and that takes some knowledge of what you need your car to do.”

Continuing with the car analogy Burkett adds, “We don’t want to sell you a dump truck if you only need a Tacoma.”

The process behind the pitch

There are likely more than a handful of people out there who are a bit skeptical of Legend Solar employees’ inability to pull a project bid off the top of their heads, seeing this as a sales tactic to schedule a more involved conversation with them. However, if you consider the innumerable potential scenarios in a given household, it makes more sense as to why the Legend Solar team needs to spend a little more time.

A retired couple and a family of five may each live in a 3,000 square foot home, but if the retired couple only lives in their home part of the year and the family of five has teenagers who are firing up blow dryers and video game systems for hours each day, their usage will be dramatically different.

The key to determining how much your solar system will cost is for you to provide Legend Solar with your power bills for the last 12 months so they can determine your kilowatt usage. They will also need your physical address to get a vision for how a solar system would work on your property. Are there trees surrounding the home? What direction does the roof face and what is the tilt of the roof? Do you live in an area with restrictions on net metering? All these factors will be taken into account.

Complex process — but not for you

While the process to determine the solar system that is right for your home is complex and personalized, you don’t have to worry about any of it. Once you provide the 12 months of power bills and physical address, the Legend Solar team will handle everything from there. So even though the answer to your initial question: “How much will it cost to put solar on my house?” may take a little longer than simply spouting off a figure at a vendor booth at the latest home and garden show, in the end you will have a complete picture of what you can expect to pay — and a completely personalized solar system that is right for you.

Lisa Larson is a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics. Read more of her content at www.lisaglarson.com or follow her on Twitter @LisaGLarson and www.facebook.com/larsonlisa

Category: How does solar power work?, Residential Projects

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