Category Archives: BIPV Solar Tiles

Solar Power Cost 2018: PV Panels, Solar Tiles, Thin-Film Laminates

This is a good time to install solar power! The cost is dropping and technology is enabling greater efficiency – that’s more energy for less money. Plus, your options for buying, leasing, PPA (see below) are expanding, and many homeowners are getting solar installed for zero down.

Based on recent data from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the average installed solar power system costs $19,600 to $27,370.

Small Home Average Home Large Home
Home Size 1-2 bedrooms 3-4 bedrooms 5+ bedrooms
System Size 5-7kW 7-8.5kW 9-12kW
System Cost $14,000 to $22,540 $19,600 to $27,370 $25,200 to $38,640
After Tax Credit $9,800 to $15,778 $13,720 to $19,159 $17,640 to $27,048

Tax Credit: The federal tax credit is 30% through 2019, 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021.
The program ends December 31, 2021

These figures are based on the NREL’s finding that the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems is $2.80 to $3.22 per watt (or $2,800 to $3,220 per kW). Most homes with 3 or 4 bedrooms require a 7kW to 8.5kW system to meet their demand for electricity.

PV solar panels power system: typical cost breakdown based on home size using national average figures.

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3 IN 1 ROOF Cost vs. Tesla Solar Roof

If you’re a solar power enthusiast, perhaps you’ve read about the solar roof system developed by a company called 3 IN 1 ROOF. It is expected to challenge the Tesla solar roof in the quest to become the market leader in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIVP) roof tiles for homes.

3 IN 1 ROOF – classic solar tile roof

via 3 IN 1 ROOF

Insulation + Hurricane Protection + Solar = 3 IN 1 ROOF

More on the head-to-head with Tesla later. First, we explore 3 IN 1 ROOF cost and what exactly this innovative roofing system is all about.

Cost

Right off the bat: A typical 3,000 sq. ft. BiPV solar roof system from 3 IN 1 ROOF is estimated to cost $71,120 installed, before tax credits and energy savings are taken into account. This translates to roughly $24 per sq. ft. installed.

Once solar tax credits and energy savings are taken into account, you get the following financial breakdown:

3,000 s.f. roof: $71,120 before solar tax credit. First year cash flow: $18,142 with about $2,600 of that being from energy savings. That leaves a tax credit of about $16,540 on the solar part.

For smaller-sized roofs, 3 IN 1 ROOF supplied us with the current cost projections taking solar tax credits into account:

Installed Cost Avg. Cost Installed Total Cost 2,000 Sq.Ft. Home
$18-$24 sq.ft. $21 sq.ft. $42,850 to $68,650

The above costs are based on the current 30% federal tax credit. In this table, costs will go up by 4% in 2020.

Solar Tax Credit Schedule

The cost factors below the table will help you gauge where on the spectrum your costs will fall.

Note: This page from the US Department of Energy (US DOE) has complete information on the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit for 2018 through 2021.

Our best guess is that the tax credit will likely be extended due to the importance of promoting energy-efficient homes and buildings.

However, with the credits currently set to end in a few years, having a solar roof installed in the next couple of years rather than later could be a decision that saves you $20,000 or more.

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