It’s not exactly news that solar panel prices have dropped dramatically in the last decade. Because of this trend, the “soft costs” of solar power – aspects such as labor, installation, permitting and taxes – now make up a larger percentage of the total cost of going solar, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Two new NREL reports state that 64 percent of the total price of a residential solar energy system is made up of these costs, which was determined by research interviews conducted with 55 solar installers. That number tended to be within the 55-65 percent range across all installation sizes as well, meaning that soft costs now make up a majority of the price of commercial and utility-scale projects as well.

These findings highlight one of the issues that the solar industry will have to deal with going forward as photovoltaic panel prices hit bottom. Despite those decreases, soft costs have not fallen much at all, so any further reductions in installation prices would need to come from other parts of the process, such as supply chain costs, accounting and overhead.

For homeowners who would like to go solar but are concerned about the expense of doing so, you may want to consider a solar panel leasing agreement with West Coast Solar. Right now you can lease residential solar energy solutions with no down payment and only a small monthly charge, which will be more than offset by the money you save on your electricity bills. For more information on how a solar lease can dramatically reduce your utility expenses, contact West Coast Solar today!