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How To Save 50% On a Solar Power System

how to save 50% on a solar power system

A lot of solar companies have very slick advertising teams behind them, saying, "Go solar and never pay for electricity again!"

Solar power is technically free, but your solar installation isn't. Equipment and installation fees can cost thousands. Here's some good news, though. The money you save on electricity costs by using solar, in the long run, will more than pay off your initial investment. Government solar tax incentives rewarding homeowners for lowering their carbon footprint can save money right up front. And here's an insider secret that solar installation companies don't want you to know. You can shave up to $22,500 off your bill by buying a solar kit online and doing the installation yourself.

Installation costs can run much higher than the price of the actual cost of solar panels and batteries even though solar panel system isn't that hard to set up, especially when you use a kit that contains everything you need.

New to the world of solar energy? Complete our solar energy mini-course to find out more, including how much energy you need to keep your home powered, how solar systems work, and how you can save 50% with solar.

So How Do I Save 50% on the Cost of My Solar Power System?

Use a solar kit.

What Is a Solar Kit?

A solar kit contains everything you need to switch to a solar energy system, including solar panels, solar power batteries or generators, adapters, connectors, and cables. Installing solar panels and connecting the various components you need may seem complicated, but it's actually easy. If you've ever assembled a piece of IKEA furniture or managed to figure out how to put a car seat system together, you can probably install solar panels. It's a lot more fun, too!

Your kit is a complete plug-and-play system, so you don't need to buy any extras unless you want to. The components inside the kit are going to vary, depending on the type of setup you're looking at. Most kits will have the following:

  • Solar Panels: Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, are made up of multiple solar cells that convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. You can mount these panels to your roof or a ground-based rack to expose them to the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar panels save an estimated $30,000 in utility bills over their lifetime or more.
  • Batteries: Batteries store excess solar energy generated by solar panels during the day. You can use the excess energy when sunlight isn't available, e.g., on cloudy days or at night.
  • Inverters: Solar panels generate DC electricity, which is why you need an inverter to convert the electricity they generate into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the standard form of electricity used in homes and most electrical appliances.
  • Mounting hardware, wiring, and connectors: Most kits contain everything you need to mount your solar panels to the roof or ground, like brackets, rails, and screws, as well as the wires and cables you need to connect your batteries, inverter, and solar panels.

Why Will I Save So Much Using a Solar Kit?

The cost of going solar can be a big deterrent for most homeowners when they start getting quotes from solar companies. The truth is that the biggest portion of the quote is made up of soft costs that have nothing to do with the cost of the actual hardware you will need. Take a look at this breakdown by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

soft costs of buying a solar system

As you can see, 65% of the actual quote you'll receive from a solar company is made up of non-hardware costs, including:

  • Sales tax (2%)
  • Installation costs (7%)
  • Permitting, inspection, and interconnecting components (8%)
  • Supply chain costs (9%)
  • Sales and marketing costs (18%)
  • General overheads, admin, and profits (21%)

You can easily cut at least 50% of your cost (or more) by buying a solar kit and completing the installation yourself.

Why Do Solar Kits Cost So Much Less?

You're probably wondering how solar kit suppliers get away with charging so much less than other suppliers in the solar industry. Don't worry; there's no catch. Here's why solar kits cost less than a solar installation through one of the big companies:

  • Solar kits cut out the middle man: Solar kit companies ship the components you order directly from the manufacturer to your house, which means they don't have warehousing or major shipping costs.
  • Solar kit companies order in bulk: Solar kit companies sell thousands of kits online, compared to a local solar company that only sells a handful each month. That means solar kits benefit from bulk buying discounts.
  • Solar kit companies have more negotiating power: Most local solar companies only work with a handful of brands and can't scale up enough to offer lower prices. Solar kits can pick from the best of all of the brands and get better wholesale deals as a result.
  • Economy of scale: Solar companies have to generate profit from just a few sales; solar kits sell way more equipment and can lower the margin on each sale, passing the discount to you.
  • Installation isn't included: Solar kits don't include installation. This might put you off, but it really shouldn't! A lot of systems are easy for DIYers to install, especially with the detailed installation instructions and wiring diagrams that come with them. Even if you do hire someone to just do the installation, it's still waaaay cheaper than what a solar company would charge you.

Watch Out For Zero Down Scams

The conclusion? Yes, you can save money on a solar power system. But you have to be careful. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. One of the areas where you have to tread carefully is with zero down payment plans.

These plans promote all of the benefits of solar power, including lowering your electric bill and your carbon footprint, with no upfront costs. Read the fine print, and the picture gets less rosy. With these deals, the company selling the system chooses the equipment, installs it, and owns it too. Before you know it, you're locked into a fixed contract with hidden fees, high interest, and unexpected costs that are going to go up and up over time. And here's the kicker: you'll still have a monthly power bill to deal with!

If you can't pay for solar in cash, choose a financing plan that's actually fair and leaves the power in your hands. If you are going to go solar, choose the system yourself, make sure it's installed properly, and that the electricity you generate actually belongs to you.

If you have a hybrid system, you can actually get a rebate for any excess electricity you send back to the grid. You'll also get a 30% federal solar tax credit from the government, which is a pretty sweet deal! Do a little research before you commit to any contract. If you choose wisely, solar can pretty much pay for itself.

Conclusion: How to Save 50% On a Solar Power System

Going solar isn't cheap, and there are a lot of sharks out there that overcharge or overpromise and underdeliver for components you can install and manage yourself. Solar kits prove the point, which is why so many homeowners prefer to go the DIY solar kit route.

Solar kits not only take the guesswork out of switching to solar power, but you'll get better customer service from an online solar kit seller than you would from any local solar supplier. There are dedicated customer service reps whose only job is to get you up and running and offer support when you need it for free!

If you are interested in making a switch, saving money, and avoiding scammers, it's time to get in touch with ShopSolar.com. We’ve sold over 40,000 solar kits so far, and have garnered thousands of 5-star reviews for our quality kits and legendary lifetime customer service. Every person answering the phone has years of experience in DIY solar installations and knows the ins and outs of every solar brand and component inside and out. Advice and quotes are free of charge with no strings attached!

Get a Free Custom Quote!

If you've journeyed with us this far on our solar blog, you've undoubtedly come to appreciate the benefits of solar power, but have you considered how solar energy could benefit you in your own home or business?

Get a FREE, personalized solar system quote specifically designed for you!

Discover the substantial savings on your energy bills and increase in your property's value. It's more than just solar power, it's a smarter, more sustainable way of living.

Click below to illuminate your path to solar energy!

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Article by

Cody Oehm

Cody is the Head of Marketing at Shop Solar, and joined the company in spring of 2022. 

He has an entrepreneurial background and has been in the ecommerce industry since 2015. With 4 businesses under his belt and a drive to make a bigger impact, he decided to team up with Shop Solar on their mission to make solar simple and affordable. You can browse best seller's here.

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