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Are Solar Panels Expensive For Off-Grid Living 2024

One of the questions that pop up when we talk about alternative energy sources for tiny homes like solar is whether they are expensive or not.

In today’s guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about solar panels and other related costs.

But before we get into all that, you must know that solar panels come with numerous benefits, including lower carbon footprints, lower electricity bills and more.

Unfortunately, despite the many benefits of having a solar power system in your tiny homes, you’ll constantly have to pay for maintenance and other things.

Plus, the initial cost of putting the entire system together can be overwhelming.

The cost of solar panels for tiny homes

The cost of solar panels varies sharply depending on the type and model you’d like to install in your tiny house.

On average, you could spend between $3,000, $16,000 or $35,000, depending on your preferences and budget.

Sure, having a working solar power system in your home will save you a lot of money on energy costs.

That said, it’s crucial you have an idea of the overall startup solar panel costs.

This way, you’re able to plan your budget accordingly.

shed storage

Exploring the cost of solar panels by type

While we mentioned that solar panels’ cost varies according to types and models, we would like to use this opportunity to look at the cost of solar panels according to the varieties available.

So let’s jump right in, shall we?

Monocrystalline solar panels

While monocrystalline panels are the most energy-efficient panels on the market, keep in mind that they are pretty expensive.

On average, monocrystalline solar panels cost between $1 to $1.50 per watt.

What this simply means is that installing a 6kW solar panel in your home will cost you anywhere from $6,000 to $9,000.

Polycrystalline solar panels

Though polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable than monocrystalline solar panels, they are less energy efficient.

In terms of cost, polycrystalline solar panels cost between $0.90 to $1 per watt.

So if you decide to install a 6kW solar panel system in your tiny home, you’ll spend between $5,400 to $6,000 for a working solar system.

This makes it a more affordable option compared to monocrystalline solar panels.

Thin-film solar panels

Like monocrystalline solar panels, you’ll spend between $1 to $1.50 per watt when you opt for thin-film solar panels.

With these numbers, you’ll pay between $6,000 to $9,000 for a fully working solar system.

Even though thin-film solar panels are more affordable compared to other options on the market, the drawback with this type of solar panel is that it requires a lot of space.

This explains why they are primarily used in industrial settings.

types of solar for tiny house

Solar panel installation cost

Now that you know the cost of solar panels according to their types and models, it’s time we bring you up to speed on other related expenses like the cost of installations.

To start with, installing solar panels can vary anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000.

And yes, this price will depend on location too.

Just so you know, it will cost more to install solar power in areas farther from the equator.

So if you live in places like Alaska, you’ll spend more on installation.

On the flip side, installing solar power systems in sun-drenched regions will cost less.

Frequently asked questions

When should you install solar panels?

While there are a lot of arguments against installing solar panels during winter, many experts like to think otherwise.

According to professionals, it’s best to install solar panels during winter and here is why.

First, the demand for solar panel installation during this period is low.

So if you’re looking to cut down installation costs, winter is the best time to do that.

Even if you live in areas that tend to be chilly or cloudy, a good solar panel should work just fine and should generate the energy your system needs to function optimally.

Some of the best solar panels are designed to work even better in warmer months.

Though installing solar panels during winter has proven to be cost-effective, another cool thing we have come to realize is that they deliver better efficiency during warmer months.

With some of the leading installation companies having few jobs during winter, you’ll enjoy faster installation, and your system should be up and running within a short time.

How much can you save on solar panels?

It’s true that solar panels cost a lot upfront, but guess what?

Having a solar system will save you a lot in the long run.

But to answer your question on how much you’ll be able to save from installing a solar system in your home, there is a need to look closely at a number of factors, including the angle of your tiny house roof, the hours of direct sunlight your solar panels get daily, and of course, the size of your solar panels.

That said, the best way to understand the cost you save from having a solar-powered system in your home is to compare it to local electricity rates.

To get an idea of how much you’ll save from installing solar panels in your home, you must calculate how much you spend on electricity yearly.

For instance, the typical American family spends an average of $1,450 on electricity yearly.

To get an idea of your current utility rate, consider that rates tend to rise by 2.2% every year.

This is another reason many tiny house owners are looking for alternative power options like solar panels.

To make your job easy, you can use online calculators to get an idea of your annual savings by providing details like energy usage, location and the current average price of solar panel installations in your area.

The most common misconception people have about solar panels is that it will completely eradicate your bills altogether.

Though this may sometimes be the case, keep in mind that having a working solar system in your home will significantly reduce your electricity bill every month.

What do I gain from installing solar panels?

As we mentioned right from the get-go, having a solar system in your home comes with many benefits, including reducing your carbon footprint, overall electricity cost, and carbon emissions.