The Most Efficient Solar Panels on the Market Today and Why You Shouldn’t Wait
When it comes to making the switch to solar solutions, it can be a bit daunting. We’re here to help make it less confusing and scary. Learn more about the most efficient solar panels on the market today below.
Why Efficiency Matters
Efficiency, often expressed as a percentage, is a measure of how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into electricity. If two panels placed side-by-side are rated at 10% and 20% efficiency, for instance, the 20% efficiency rating solar panel is going to produce twice as much electricity if exposed to the same sunlight as the 10% efficiency rating panel. As a result, you can both produce far more power and require far less panels when you use the most efficient solar panels, making higher efficiency panels a key part of solar solutions.
Most solar panels on the market today range between 15-17% efficiency rating, though some, such as SunPower’s new 370-watt panel, may have an efficiency rating as high as 22.7%. For comparison sake, that means for every three panels at a more traditional 14.5% efficiency rating, you would only need two of the new SunPower panels to produce the same amount of power.
As a result, efficiency ratings are a key consideration when you consider cost. While more efficient panels are generally more expensive, they also produce far more electricity over their lifetime, meaning in the long-term they often represent far better value.
Here are a few key points to consider:
Is your aim production or offset? If your goal is to limit how much electricity (if any) you need from outside utilities, then the best way to manage your roof space is with the most efficient solar panels.
Cost or value? Solar solutions that are more efficient cost more, but may represent better value over the life of the panel, especially as they represent less electricity you will have to buy from local utilities, or may even represent extra income for you if you are able to sell extra power to the local utilities via SRECs.
Look at the data. LG and SunPower, for instance, are widely considered the top panel brands, as they’ve taken turns in recent years holding the efficiency record. The data, however, can help you see the difference between a maximum efficiency rating panel and a panel that may do a better job at holding a consistent solar energy efficiency rating. So consider not just the maximum efficiency of a solar panel, but also the average and minimum.
Diversify in your research. Getting multiple quotes can save you money, and help give you access to a wider range of solar panel options, helping ensure you find the solar solutions that are right for you. Using networks and solar marketplaces can be a great way to ensure you get the best possible price for what you need. That means looking at solar calculators and getting a quote from us, too.
It can be easy to think that as prices have consistently come down as technology advances, you can save money by waiting. There are two main points to consider here, both of which are good arguments for making the switch to solar sooner rather than later.
1. Tax credits and other savings don’t last forever. For instance, though the FTC tax incentive has been extended, it is reduced beginning in 2020. Similarly, many loan programs are no longer as enticing as they once were (such as for example, the Mass Solar loan where the solar loan interest rates have increased), and as more people get into solar, it’s quite likely that these incentives will continue to diminish. As a result, there is a very real opportunity cost in waiting, as you may not be eligible for as many loan programs, reduced interest rates incentives, or tax savings. 2. The sooner you switch, the sooner you can start seeing savings in your electric bill; you can in turn use those savings to pay off your solar panels sooner! The longer you wait, though, the longer you’ll continue paying more for your electricity, not to mention an increased reliance on whatever energy forms currently supply the bulk of your electricity use, which are likely not as clean or sustainable as solar.
Best of all, you don’t have to just take our word for it when it comes to seeing just how easy it can be to switch to solar. We can get you a quote with some of the best panels, and you may be surprised at just how painless a process it can be!