How much does solar REALLY cost? Does it have to be expensive in the real world?

Forget the salesman or the confusing websites, this video will show you what a solar panel system REALLY costs.

From the most basic starter kit to a whole home solution, this video goes over the real world costs in 2016 for solar panel systems. This video only covers off grid systems so if you are considering a grid tied system you will need to consider other costs such as professional installation, grid tie inverter(s), and inspections/fees to your utility company.

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In this video we meet Casey & Natasha, a conscious couple who built a passive solar home near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In addition to orienting their house to face south, they installed overhangs that block the sun to keep it cool during summer months and allow the sun to enter and heat the house during winter months. They also installed a 10 kW solar system that sells clean electricity back to the grid through Ontario’s MicroFIT Program and the revenue helps cover their own utility bills.

The house was built to Passive House standards and is currently pending certification. You can learn more about Passive House here:

The exterior walls of this house are 20″ thick and are insulated using Roxul insulation which is made locally, better for the environment, can get wet, and has less flame retardants than traditional fiberglass insulation, which means cleaner air quality in the home.

To maximize the energy efficiency of their home, they installed triple glazed windows, a drain water heat recovery system, an air source heat pump water heater, and a bioethanol fireplace. They also chose sustainable alternatives like concrete countertops instead of granite, and reclaimed pine flooring instead of using new wood. Last but not least, they designed their house to be completely fossil fuel-free which means that they don’t use any fossil fuels to power or heat their home.

Casey & Natasha are building a conscious group of companies to align their work life with their personal values. Their companies include The Conscious Builder, the Conscious Living podcast and the Conscious Store (coming soon!).

Natasha Grey – Conscious Living

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle

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Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.
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40 Responses to How much does solar REALLY cost? Does it have to be expensive in the real world?

  1. James Baxter says:

    You can get Americian made EQ solars EQ made in the USA, So why go to China.

  2. Shadapz says:

    Thank you for the information. Great video..
    I just want to share some of the websites that made solar panel and solar energy production at our home possible..

    Thank you!!

  3. Sudhirchandra Khuntia says:

    This is best

  4. bob bobman says:

    What about cost of maintenance and estimated replacements over x amount of years?

  5. JoeAceJR says:

    The kind of inverters you find at gas stations

    Iv been to gas stations tons of times, never found 1 inverter there in my life.

  6. Mr• Uso says:

    I wanna build a treehouse that’s powered by renewable, clean energy 🙂

  7. spideychick99 says:

    Can you make a large system kit on your kit page?

  8. apeksha KARKI says:


  9. apeksha KARKI says:


  10. The Hollanesian says:

    Damn so for an average 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house, I would have to spend close to $10k …..and that's not counting having it professionally installed. -_-'

  11. Joel Tavarez says:

    Just wait for Trump's tariff decision. Then, you'll really know the cost of going solar lol. Learn about looming tariffs and its adverse effects on the solar energy industry via these articles

  12. Peter Abdul Sani says:

    How do I get it? I am a Nigerian, I live in sabo WUSE in Tafa LGA of Niger state, I will want to start with the first one and see before going for the medium!

  13. Peter Abdul Sani says:

    I live in Tafa LGA of Niger state, sabo WUSE, I want to fix it in my house and clinic. If is not too expensive.

  14. Peter Abdul Sani says:

    I need the second time, The middle one, and how do I get it?

  15. Peter Abdul Sani says:

    how do I buy my?

  16. JL HERNANDEZ says:

    What can you power with the medium set up?

  17. rob ot says:

    It depends really on the system itself! Different solar systems have different specifications. Some are for example made specifically for outodors acitivities and because they are designed to be light and easy to carry, they are not as efficient per dollar as heavier solar systems which are designed to stand in one place year after year. It all depends actually! There are even solar windows, which allows some sunlight to pass through! Ofcourse they are not as efficient as a compact panel that takes all the sun.
    And solar power does not have to cost anything. You can even earn money on it! The swedish company Trine for example allows you to invest in solar power in africa, and you can at the same time earn some money and make a very good impact on peoples lives by giving them access to clean and cheap energy.
    Also, by using that link you get a 10 euro bonus to your first investment! That is typically enough to give solar power to 1 person!

  18. Lenz Walters says:

    Hey very informative video. I do those Videos as well Subscribe to my channel and I will sub you back. comment below when finished.

  19. Chris Klugh says:

    Great video! But something that seems far from the minds of early-adopors-eco-friendly-save-the-earth-solar-panel-investors mindset is the carbon footprint making and shipping this technology has. Ironically enough, at this point in time, grid energy is actually greener. Now, not saying we should not invest into green tech, just know it could be another decade away before it truly is green.

    Did you know that gas guzzling 1960's mussel cars are greener then today's hybrid electric cars?

    Point that I'm making, consuming less will have a greater effect on our environments, and wallets, then chasing trendy new shiny 'eco' tech. And whatever we justify getting, take care of it and get the absolute most use out of it before trashing it and replacing it. HInt: Don't get that shiny new phone just because its shiny and new. If you can keep your cellphone, and other things like it too, for a few years, that discipline will go a longer way to preserving the plant then solar installation.

  20. Harsh Parsiya says:

    Doea LARGE PTODUCTION SYSTEM can run tv 2 laptops and 3 fans nd 5 lights?

  21. C Vinay Kumar Reddy says:

    Why she's staring at her husband

  22. Water Bug says:

    When I buy reclaimed materials I'm almost always having to compete with other buyers. I'm not saving the material from a landfill. The nicer the material the more competition. Most reclaimed wood like the flooring in this house is in higher demand than new. The idea that many people can build using these materials is as silly as people running their cars on "waste" frier grease. Much less sustainable than newly manufacturer material.

    Hearts being is the right place isn't as helpful as brains being in the right place. This video uses many cool sounding terms but thinking is needed too.

  23. Steven The Great says:

    That's good that people who can afford these new technologies take advantage of them so it can become mainstream for every household one day.

  24. Jim Panze says:

    as a german i somehow get nervous seing all the wood. is this really solid and holds up as long as massive houses?

  25. 11219tt says:

    Jesus…must be nice…back to my cup of noodles

  26. ptitcka says:

    These guys are ballin'

  27. Jordan Jones says:

    we do not like to poison our bodies with food from the supermarket so we try to eat locally and organically stfu boring video

  28. Cody Baker says:

    So, I’m not an eco guy. I was just interested in the technology because I like building the best way I can, and building a house that leaks air seems contrary to that ideal. That’s how I came upon this video. Here is a wealthy couple who are obviously prepared to put a whole lot of money where their eco-friendly mouths are. But, instead of praise and encouragement, the top comments are all snippy little shrews whining about how they haven’t done enough. This strikes me as totally typical of the green movement, who regularly demonstrate all the tactic and diplomacy of the Spanish Inquisition or the Islamic State. In case anyone is self aware enough to care, this is exactly why you guys are dismissed as tiresome lunatics. Because you make it too easy.

  29. DIY Solar and Wind says:

    Thats quite a beautiful idea.

  30. G says:

    Awsome I love this couple she looks at her husband like he's the only man on earth its pretty awsome dream is to live this life style I prey I accomplish my dream.loved the vid thank u so much for sharing this beautiful couples journey

  31. Beber 718 says:

    et le zinc tu aurai pu faire l'exterieur psartek la baise la famille

  32. Todd Abbott says:

    And where were those 10kw of solar panels made? Likely in China. Was all the horrible caustic chemicals recycled? I doubt it because it takes a lot of energy and costs a lot of money. You do also know that producing the pure silicon does require a huge amount of energy. Most of China's power is produced by rather dirty coal power plants. If you were so worried about the planet you would not have a 4000 square foot home for a family with one child. You probably live in a big house and drive a lot. I have a fraction of your "environmental footprint" and that is because I am poor. I have 4 kids and live in a 1500 square foot house, work at home, rarely drive, keep the thermostat low in the winter, and do not use AC in my house or car… EVER. Heck just the pollution from all the construction equipment likely caused more carbon pollution than all the utilities in my house in the last 25 years. But if this home makes you feel better than go for it.

  33. A Designer At Home -Corinna says:

    Claims stone countertops are a bad choice… has a stone faced fireplace 2 stories high.

  34. dada fan says:

    No fossil fuel? Where do you think all that electricity comes from? Unless you are completely off the grid with solar panels you made yourself from recycled tin cans and toothpaste, it is a farce.

  35. Mido Gang says:


  36. Rick Brannigan says:

    Good on them for trying to be sustainable. They're getting a lot of negative comments but at least they're doing their bit. I'm guessing everyone being negative towards them live in off grid houses made from locally sourced materials and they pray to heat their houses lol.

  37. Blake O'Quinn says:

    of their many choices, the windows are the best. without thermal mass like concrete walls and floors to catch the solar heat, this idea goes unsung for its fullest potential. the ethanol fireplace is debatable. the wood floors and concrete counter tops are a usual choice for years but they didn't work the problem of excellent utilization of materials for a passive solar home. the heat serving water heater and recapture system for brown water is even less a better choice unless the entire system is based upon a build using mass materials for best solar capture. now that Elon Musk can service the world with solar storage batteries, his system cut another corner to defeat fears concerning loss of power by connecting to the grid. and this is because the material choice and building design were to blend into the cookie-cutter suburban home with wood framed walls and ceiling. the best ideas are the water heater and recapture system and the windows.

  38. Clifford Vargas says:

    if anyone is looking for some alternative energy sources then I recommend guide from this website since it's very well explained and also if you have any question they're supports is great [Awesome Plan Here >>> ]. These days electricity cost a lot so why not save your money

  39. Harry Patterson says:

    We are finally building our home overlooking a small vineyard we've designed and now are bound to it. Full of clear understanding and guidance *[Awesome Plan Here >>> ]

  40. onecomputerkid says:

    I wonder if they have a podcast?

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