How Much Does It Cost to Go Off Grid With Solar Power?
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How Much Does It Cost to Go Off Grid With Solar Power?

How Much Does It Cost to Go Off Grid With Solar Power?

 

Are you intrigued by the thought of going off grid but the cost has you hesitating? It’s not as expensive as you might think. Yes, there is an initial up-front investment, but your cost savings from fluctuating energy bills can actually save you money over time. 

Like you, many of our customers had concerns about the start-up costs of solar power.  Here, we outline these costs and address common concerns among people wanting to go off grid for the first time.

What Expenses Are Involved in Going Off Grid?

beige two-story house with solar panels covering the roof

The biggest expenses associated with going off grid are the equipment and installation costs. The Center for Sustainable Energy estimates that these costs can amount to $15,000 to $25,000 for a residential system. The variation depends on several factors, including the costs of permitting, labor, and the system you choose. 

These estimates assume that you’ll be working with a solar company and don’t consider a much less expensive way — using a solar kit

Solar Company vs. Solar Kit

If you want to set up an off grid solar power system in your home, you could hire a company to install your system. Alternatively, you can buy a solar kit and tackle the installation yourself. We recommend using a kit because you can save up to 50% by eliminating installation costs and reducing equipment and soft costs, such as permitting and financing.

Our most popular kits come with everything you need to install your system. Installation is a large off grid solar cost, so you may want to DIY. 

How Do You Calculate the Cost of an Off Grid Solar System?

Not all off grid solar systems are the same, and some are more expensive than others. How much you pay for off grid solar depends on your energy needs, the size of your home, how much sun you get, and how much storage you desire. 

How Much Solar Power Do You Need to Generate? 

First, calculate your energy needs. Make a list of everything in your home that uses power — from the lights to your television and appliances. Calculate how many hours per day you use each of these items, and consult our chart to find the average running wattage of your home. 

For example, the average refrigerator has a running wattage of 150 watts (W) and runs for 24 hours a day, meaning you need 3,600 watt hours (Wh) per day to run it. The average television has a running wattage of 500 W. If you watch TV for three hours a day, you need 1,500 Wh per day to run it. A heating unit with a running wattage of 800 W would require 16,000 Wh to run for 20 hours a day.

If these were all of your appliances, your total daily energy use would be 21,100 Wh, or 21.1 kilowatt hours (kWh). 

How Much Sun Do You Get? 

Some places get more peak sun than others. Off grid solar users in southern California have better weather conditions for their system than solar users in the northeastern US. Most areas average 3–5 peak sun hours per day. Knowing this number will help you determine how many solar panels you’ll need and how to install them.

What Size Does Your Solar System Need to Be? 

Different solar systems offer different kW outputs. To calculate your needs, divide your daily kWh requirement by the number of peak sun hours in your location. For example, if you use 24 kWh of energy per day and you live in an area that gets 4 peak sun hours per day, you'll need a 6-kW system.

We've got an article that covers figuring out the size of your off grid solar power system in more detail.

Installation Cost

In general, we see an average cost of $100 per panel for roof racks and between $50 and $300 per panel on the ground. Installation costs an average of $20 an hour but fluctuates based on your location. If you’re hiring an installer, expect to pay $3,000 more for labor costs. 

The average homeowner has the DIY chops to install the panels themselves and save money on labor. 

Save 30% With a Federal Tax Credit

In 2022, the government raised its solar tax credit from 26% to 30%. You can use this credit to deduct the cost of your solar installation from your income taxes. The amount comes directly off your taxes for 1:1 savings. 

 

which solar kit is right for you?

 

How Much Does an Off Grid Solar System Cost? 

The total cost of your solar system will depend on the size of the system and its energy output. Here are the most popular off grid solar kits. 

6 kW

off grid solar kit ogk plus

Off Grid Solar Kit OGK-PLUS | Only at ShopSolarKits.com

If you live in an area with decent sun, a 6-kW system should be enough to power an average-sized house. 

This complete off grid solar kit comes with 12 solar panels and costs $10,900 on our site. You can opt for a 9.6- or 12-kWh battery. It includes everything you need to install the system and connect your appliances to the power supply.

13 kW

off grid solar kit ogk max

Off Grid Solar Kit OGK-MAX | Only at ShopSolarKits.com

To power a larger home, you might choose a 13-kW system. This kit starts at about $17,000 and comes with eighteen 390-W solar panels and everything you need to install and connect the system.

Depending on your power and storage needs, you can choose either a 19- or 23.5-kWh battery with this kit. If you want extra backup energy to prepare for extended periods of low light and less-than-optimal energy output, go for the larger battery. The system is expandable, so if you find yourself wanting more panels or battery storage space in the future, you can easily add more.

The kit includes detailed instructions to make setup easy. We also offer a warranty to give you peace of mind about your investment. 

What If I Need More? 

You can add more panels to generate more power and more batteries for additional storage. Solar kits can be easily expanded now or in the future, so you’re not stuck with a system that can’t meet your power needs as they grow. Look at your system requirements and shop for compatible panels. 

How Long Will It Take to Pay Off the Cost With Utility Savings? 

Although buying and installing an off grid solar system can be costly, you will save on utilities in the long run. The average home uses 30 kWh per day, which amounts to 930 kWh per month or 11,160 kWh per year. With solar, our customers save around $0.16 per kWh, which is $1,728 per year. You could expect to pay off a smaller system in 5–10 years. 

How Long Will My Solar System Last? 

Solar systems are durable. Panels are designed to last 25–30 years and come with a 25-year warranty. Batteries are designed to last 10–20 years or more with a 10-year warranty, and the rest of the system may last indefinitely. 

Conclusion

An off grid solar power system is more economical than traditional energy sources. Being off grid also protects you from power grid failures. 

Going with a solar kit offers significant cost savings over hiring a solar company, but it helps to have a professional on your team. Find the right kit for you by visiting our site to take a quiz, or contact us and request a quote.

Learn more with our off grid solar power guide.

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