Did you know that the cost of solar panel installation in Singapore is actually really reasonable? Yes, you heard that right! Solar panel installation costs have fallen by a whopping 89% in the past 10 years. That said, some solar panel installations can still have higher initial installation costs. Upfront costs and the type of solar panel used can vary from roof to roof. Solar installers also have different prices and packages for a full system installation.
To start off, let’s first talk about the common factors that can affect your installation cost.
Factors that affect Solar Panel Installation Cost
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Size of the System
The size of your solar panel system will be limited by the available installation area on your roof. It’s also dependent on the amount of solar electricity you want to generate. To maximise the cost savings from your solar panel system, we recommend getting an estimate of your average electricity consumption based on your electricity bills from at least the past 3 months. Since solar panels generate electricity during the day, another way to maximise your solar cost savings would also be to optimise your solar system size to meet your daytime energy needs.
Note: Many households are now consuming more electricity as many more people are working from home during the pandemic. Because of this, it might also be worthwhile to take a look at your electricity bills from before COVID-19.
Bonus Tip: Did you know that you can also sell excess electricity generated back into the grid in Singapore? With this in mind, you can also choose to maximise your roof space by installing more solar panels — even if you won’t consume all the solar electricity generated during the day. Selling any excess clean energy back to the electricity grid can help you make a profit from your solar panel system and reduce your payback period!
Roof Pitch, Type and Material
Solar panels can be installed on almost all roofs. That said, there are certain roof types that require additional materials for installation — such as racking and mounting systems. Meanwhile, your roof’s material will determine the mounting mechanisms needed for your installation. In Singapore, roofs are usually tiled or made of metal.
Tiled roofing: Tiles are usually first removed for the installation of a mounting frame before they are returned to their original spots. Your solar panels are then fixed onto the mounting frame. Drilling is usually necessary to ensure that the mounting frame is properly secured. More work is required in a solar panel installation on a tiled roof and this can add to costs.
Metal roofing: Standing seam metal roofs are the best roofs for solar. No drilling is required and mounting clips can easily be fastened to the seams of your roof. This simple installation process also helps ensure prices lower. It also means that your solar panels can be easily removed from your roof should you need to do so.
Note: For steep roofs, a longer installation process is often to be expected. This is because installers have to be extra meticulous to ensure that your solar panels are safely and securely attached to your roof. Steep pitches will also often require extra manpower, resulting in additional labour costs and an increased solar panel installation price.
Type of Solar Panel
Two main factors determine the price of solar panels — their technology and the brand. There are 3 main solar panel technologies: Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Thin Film. While each has its pros and cons, monocrystalline solar panels are now the most frequently used for residential rooftop solar installations because they are the most space-efficient and have the highest efficiency.
Most solar installers in Singapore usually recommend panels made by “Tier 1” solar panel manufacturers. This tiering system was highlighted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance as a measure of a manufacturer’s reliability and consistency. Among “Tier 1” solar panels, their prices vary based on where they are manufactured, their efficiency and warranty durations. The most popular solar panel brands in Singapore are Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells, JA Solar, Jinko and GCL.
Overall Solar Panel Cost Estimates
Here’s a rough estimate of the standard system cost for landed homes in Singapore. Remember that installation costs also vary dependent on your roof type.
So, how much does it cost to install solar panels in Singapore? The cost depends on your house type, roof size and size of your solar system. This can range from S$18,000 to S$36,000 or more.
Terrace Houses: The usual system size would be around 20 solar panels with an 8 kWp system. The installation area would be approximately 45m2. The cost of your solar panel system would be S$18,000 and is sufficient for average energy consumption of 890 kWh per month.
Semi-detached Houses: You may be able to install around 30 solar panels or a 12 kWp system which will be able to cover an average monthly energy consumption of 1,182 kWh. This will cost around S$24,000 for the entire system.
Bungalows: Rooftop solar systems for bungalows would usually be around 50 solar panels, equating to a 20 kWp system with an installation area of 110m2. The average cost to install solar panels for bungalows would be around S$36,000 due to the high number of panels and large installation area.
|House Type||Average Number of Solar Panels||Solar Panel System Size||Average Cost|
|Terrace Houses||20||8 kWp||S$18,000|
|Semi-detached Houses||30||12 kWp||S$24,000|
Other Solar Panel Cost in Singapore
Most solar panels come with a 12-year product warranty and 25-year power output warranty. Meanwhile, solar inverters usually have a 5-year product warranty. These warranties generally cover 1-for-1 replacements of any physically defective equipment.
Although solar installers will often provide a contract or package with maintenance fees covered for the first 1-2 years (often referred to as a Defects Liability Period or DLP), installers do not provide free lifetime solar maintenance since most solar PV systems last for 25 to 30 years.
This means that if your solar panels require replacement within the warranty period, while the replacement panels will be provided for free, you may still have to pay your installer for the labour costs associated with the replacement work. Similar to air-conditioners, we also encourage solar homeowners to schedule an annual maintenance visit for your solar system. Maintenance and cleaning costs for your solar panel system usually range from $300 to $500 per visit in Singapore. Your installers can both clean your solar panels and conduct tests on your inverters and breakers.
Bonus Tip: Almost all solar panel systems these days also come with a free online monitoring platform or mobile app that you and your installer can use to track the performance and efficiency of your solar PV system. Monitoring your system regularly and solving issues promptly when they come up will reduce the chances of long-term damage to your solar panels. This can cut down unnecessary large expenditures in the future.
Waterproofing or Reroofing
Water intrusion is a risk that may occur after installing your solar PV system. The installation process for tiled roofs may require drilling to set up rails that hold your solar panels. These drilled holes may result in rainwater accumulation that can cause leakages.
If your roof is relatively old or poorly maintained, we advise waterproofing your roof before you begin installing solar panels. After all, your solar panels are likely to sit on your roof for the next 25 to 30 years. Waterproofing procedures will add to your budget. However, they are a worthy investment to prevent any possible leakages after installation.
This article was first published on 9 October 2020 and last updated on 11 July 2021 to include additional details.
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