People across the U.S. are shedding excess burdens and moving into tiny homes in droves.
It’s a movement grounded in a desire to:
- Free up time for more pleasurable things
- Lower the costs of owning a home
- Reduce environmental impacts
Can solar panels power a tiny house to make it even more cost-efficient and eco-friendly?
A solar-powered tiny house checks all the boxes, reducing or eliminating those power bills and lowering your carbon footprint.
What Are the Benefits of a Solar Powered Tiny House?
When you shrink your living area down to the size of some people’s living rooms, you have no choice but to zero in on what you really need to live comfortably.
In doing so, you also save on the power you consume.
According to iPropertyManagement, living in a tiny house allows you to:
- Use only about 7% of the energy consumed in the average traditional home
- Consume, on average, 914 kilowatt-hours of electricity versus 12,773 kilowatt-hours in an average traditional house
- Reduce your ecological footprint by approximately 45%
- Emit only 2,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year on average, instead of the average 28,000 pounds of traditional homes
- Minimize your energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional homes
As a bonus, should you ever decide to sell your home, having solar panels will increase its value by a minimum 4%.
Can Solar Panels Power a Tiny House?
You have several options for tiny home solar panels.
But your choices will be driven in part by what your energy needs are, where you plan to put your panels, and what your energy goals are.
You can opt for roof-mounted, but most solar-powered tiny houses require ground-mounted systems.
Knowing why you are going solar helps you narrow down your options.
Is it to lower the cost of your power bill?
Or are you looking for complete energy independence?
Your response will determine whether an off-grid system or a grid-tied system is right for you.
Off-Grid Solar for Tiny Homes
For solar-powered tiny houses, tiny home off-grid solar systems usually make the most sense.
An off-grid system is completely self-sufficient since you are not connected to the power grid.
If you plan to be mobile or place your solar panels on the ground, off-grid is your only option.
With an off-grid system, solar panels capture the sun’s energy and convert it to usable electricity for your home.
Since the sun isn’t always shining, off-grid systems use battery banks to store excess energy for use in the overnight hours or when there is cloud cover.
Grid-Tied Solar for Tiny Homes
Grid-tied solar systems are connected to the power grid.
You don’t have batteries to store excess energy in a solar-powered tiny house that uses a grid-tied system.
Instead, any energy the panels capture above what you use is sent to the grid.
The power company gives you credit for that excess energy, and then, when the sun isn’t shining, the grid supplies your power.
You aren’t charged for any energy you use until you surpass your credits.
However, you should note that if your goal is to be mobile, a grid-tied system won’t allow you that freedom of movement.
How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Power a Tiny House?
The number of panels needed for a solar-powered tiny house depends on how much power you need.
If it’s just you, and you don’t use much electricity, you may be good with five panels.
The more people occupying the tiny space and the more power you use, the more panels you need to add.
Likewise, when you install an off-grid system, these same factors determine how much battery storage you need.
How Much Does It Cost To Put Solar Panels on a Tiny House?
There is an initial investment to get your solar system up and running.
But the costs depend on what type of system you’re going with (off-grid or grid-tied) and how large it is.
The good news is that the investment eventually pays for itself in money saved on your power bills.
Moreover, keep money in your pocket by claiming a 26% federal tax credit on total project costs, including equipment, permits, and installation.
You can also check out several state incentives that give a boost to solar-powered tiny house owners.
Where Can You Get What You Need for a Solar Powered Tiny House?
At Unbound Solar®, we love tiny homes, and we make sure you get the system you need to power your dream.
We’ll work with you to figure out how to get your solar-powered tiny house up and running, so you can enjoy energy independence, a reduced environmental footprint, and lower energy costs.
Contact us today to find out more about our products and how we can help you with your solar panel system!