There is an increasing number of Americans who choose to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy. It is a worthy goal worth emulating. Hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country. Thanks to the yearly decreasing cost of residential solar panel installation in New Orleans, you may also consider the option of adding a solar panel system to your home’s roof. But before you go solar, consider the facts in this ultimate guide.
Planning to Power Your Home With Solar Energy
Consider the following steps after you have chosen the best technology that can harness the sun’s power and turn it into electricity for your home:
- Investigate your energy use and your home’s energy efficiency. You should know your total electricity usage and consider what steps to make to improve energy efficiency in your home.
- Assess the potential solar energy that can be produced in your address because there are different variables to be considered in residential solar panel installation in New Orleans like system size, potential costs and savings, and how much of the sun’s energy reaches the solar panels.
- Assess the options available for you for using solar energy at home:
- Purchasing and installing a solar energy system
- Community or shared solar
- Solar leases
- Power Purchase Agreements
- Solarize programs
- Estimate your solar electricity needs to help your contractor provide recommendations for the type and size of your residential solar panel installation in New Orleans.
- Obtain bids and site assessments from solar installers in New Orleans. Be sure to find qualified and insured professionals with proper certification from the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Ask for proof of licensure before working with any installer.
Obtain at least three bids for the PV system installation and make sure the bids are based on the same characteristics and metrics so you can compare more efficiently.
- Explore all the available solar financing options because what is best for your property depends on a wide range of factors. You can search for additional state, local, or utility incentives on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
- You can also visit the Clean Energy States Alliance guide and the Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar for financial options that you can avail of for your residential solar panel installation in New Orleans.
- Work with your installer and utility to help you complete the necessary permitting and in determining the appropriate size for your system. The size will usually be based on the following:
- Your electricity needs
- The site’s solar resource or available sunlight
- The system’s orientation and tilt
- The system’s efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity
- Other electricity sources, like a utility, a wind turbine, or a fossil fuel generator.
Your installer should ensure that your system is installed correctly and oriented and tilted in such a way to maximize the daily and seasonal solar energy received and produced by your solar panels.
- Fully understand how billing and net metering will work, as well as any additional utility fees you will need to pay.
Solar Panel Cost in 2020
The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panel installation is to look at the price of solar panels in dollars per watt ($/W), which is relatively consistent across the United States, including New Orleans.
Average-sized residential solar panel installations in the U.S. usually range from $11,144 to $14, 696, after solar tax credits, and the average price per watt for solar panels ranges from $2.51 to $3.31.
You will notice that there are pricing variations between installers, but a home solar quote will contain the all-in price that you will be expected to pay when a solar energy system is installed on your roof. The factors that impact the cost of a residential solar panel installation in New Orleans include:
- Equipment used for the solar panels
- Cost of permits
- Labor costs
- Characteristics of your home
- Marketing and sales spending of the solar company
Going Solar in New Orleans
With the diverse and sustained growth of solar energy since 2000, you can start the process of going solar in New Orleans to reap the benefits of having a solar energy system installed on your roof. You can also get the same benefits from a single, shared solar array that is installed on- or off-site.