10kW Solar System: How to Make Sure its a Good Fit For Your Home
Updated: Mar 9, 2019
If you are considering alternatives to traditional energy sources for your home or business, solar systems should be at the top of your list to investigate. For large residential and smaller commercial properties, a 10,000 watt, or 10 kW solar system may be a great fit for your energy needs.
This article will explore answers to your top questions around cost, installation and benefits of installing a 10 kW solar system.
What is the cost of a 10 kW solar system?
As the demand for non-traditional energy sources increases, the cost of solar is dropping. AS of January 2018, average solar cost was reported at approximately $3 per watt. Before federal and state rebates, this brings the average cost of a 10 kW system to around $30,000. The federal tax credit is a 30% deduction, which means before your state specific discounts, you can expect an average spend of around $21,000 for this system.
When exploring cost and payment options, it is important to note that financing offers can have associated fees of 10 – 12%. If possible, this is a purchase that would be best made without relying on loan options.
In some areas, solar systems are available through a lease option. This is a beneficial alternative to purchase of the solar system. If you use us for solar, we offer $0 down leases which means you can get fully installed solar panels for no money out of pocket.
When considering your budget, remember that a high-quality system is likely to be at the higher end of the price spectrum. If you receive quotes significantly lower than everyone else, take time to do your due diligence to find out exactly what is being offered and why it’s being presented at a lesser cost. Compare the benefits of long-term savings to the potential up-front savings being presented.
How much roof space do you need for a 10 kW solar system?
In general, 1 kW of solar energy can be generated from 66 square feet. This means that to install the panels for this system, you will need about of 660 square feet of roof space. A 10 kW system is comprised of 30 to 40 panels total depending on the efficiency of the panels you choose. Since SunPower panels are the highest efficiency, you would only need 30 panels. The size makes this solar system a great option for larger homes and smaller business properties.
How much electricity does a 10kW solar system generate?
In total, this system generates about 10,000 watts of electricity per hour as defined by laboratory Standard Test Condition (STC) results. This breaks down to an average of between 29 and 46 kWh per day.
It is recommended that your current energy usage be at least 20 kW per day and that your current bill be at least $800 per billing cycle if you plan on using a 10 kW solar system. If you’re using less electricity, a smaller solar panel installation may be more appropriate.
How to get the most from your 10 kW solar system
To maximize your return on investment, you should try to increase energy requiring activities during peak daylight hours. This may require some creativity on rearranging your daily habits and schedule. Remember that the items in your house that pull the most energy will be given first priority to this sun-fuel source.
Is your roof a good fit for solar panels?
You want to consider the sun exposure your roof receives and style of your roof to ensure this is a good investment for your property. This is not only a geographical consideration, with Arizona receiving the most sunlight, but also think of your specific environmental factors. Trees are a most common sun blocking culprit, however, roof dormers and neighboring buildings may also create barriers to your new energy source.
The direction of your roof will also impact the amount of sunlight on your panels. A solar system will best thrive on roofs with a southern orientation. This is a result of the sun’s east to west travel pattern across the southern part of the sky. Keep this in mind when reviewing installation plans as well. You want to capture the most direct rays possible, which will be best accomplished by properly tilted panels.
How much maintenance does a 10 kW system require?
While not a huge requirement, solar panels do require some routine maintenance. A few times throughout the year you will want to take care to remove any accumulated debris and dirt.
This can be done quickly and easily with a garden hose to gently spray the panels. Do this in the early morning late evening and avoid using very cold water to minimize risk of cracking your panels. There are a few automated cleaners available if you prefer a simpler cleaning method.
Such systems work in a similar manner to in-ground sprinkler systems used for yard watering. If interested, talk with your supplier and contractor about options they are familiar with.
How to choose an installation company for a 10 kW solar system
Among the most important requirements is a qualified installer. It is recommended to a find a certified local installer, as opposed to a national company. The benefit of a local team is found not only in a generally smaller price tag, but in concentrated regional understanding of weather and sun exposure factors for your area. It is also most common that local contractors will use higher quality products with more focused craftsmanship than their national competitors.
At SunPower by The Solar Quote, we use our own local and highly trained team. If you’re not in Stockton or surrounding areas of San Joaquin County, you’ll want to look for teams that are highly rated.
How will I benefit from a 10 kW solar system?
Once installed, you can expect many benefits from your new system. While the average payback period is technically 5-6 years (which is a relatively quick turnaround), you actually start seeing a savings on your electrical bill immediately. In fact, you can expect to save up to $300 a month from month one. This amount will vary based on usage and sun exposure, however, the average savings is around $400 a year per kW.
How does a 10 kW solar system impact my homes value?
Your home value will go up once you install your new solar system. Property values increased with solar energy systems averaging $15,000-$20,000 more than their traditionally powered counterparts. So, if you spend $20,000 on the system and sell the property after a year, you can expect to almost break even when you combine this $15,000 with the expected yearly savings.
Tax breaks for 10 kW solar systems
You can qualify for rebates and tax credits at a federal, state and possibly even local level. Before committing to a purchase, research what incentives are available for your area. Read the fine print and be sure you are buying a product that meets the requirement. Be diligent in getting product and labor installation receipts for everything. Keep the documentation even after you have applied for credits. End of year tax season may provide more opportunities. Do not wait too long to reap this benefit though. The credit percentage is decreasing year over year and will no longer be available after 2021.
Regardless of your savings, you can feel good about making the switch to a new solar system. Traditional energy sources are leading causes of water and air pollution, as well as being a contributing factor to global warming. As a renewable energy source, the largest contribution your new system provides is in giving back to the environment. This investment allows you to reduce your carbon footprint while ensuring it won’t run out of its power source.