How Solar Pergolas Can Level Up Your Sustainable Home & Garden
Solar pergolas: the outdoor design feature offering the ideal mix of energy savings and beautiful design. Not only are they a gorgeous design element, as they become increasingly popular for homeowners looking for solar options, they’re also becoming more affordable.
Whether you hire out for a solar pergola or decide to DIY, you’ll be on your way to creating a perfect solarpunk oasis in your yard!
What are solar pergolas?
A solar pergola is exactly what it sounds like: a gorgeous outdoor structure — traditionally with an open, slatted roof — that’s been covered in solar. They use solar panels to generate electricity while also providing shade and a place to chill.
They’re the perfect mix of sustainable form and function that we here at Wildgrid love!
Are solar pergolas and solar patios worth it?
Solar pergolas can be a good investment, for a number of reasons.
You can’t get full rooftop solar
Often, solar pergolas are chosen as an option for a homeowner whose house just isn’t right for full solar. Why wouldn’t rooftop solar be right? If…
🌳 You went full cottagecore during the pandemic and live in the woods. Some houses surrounded by trees just don’t get enough light to make solar workable.
💰 A full solar array isn’t in your budget. While solar pergolas aren’t incredibly cheap, they are a smaller investment than rooftop solar. It might be a nice stepping stone toward energy independence.
🏠 You have an old roof you’re not ready to replace. Solar panels need a good strong foundation to go on — if you’re not ready to replace your roof but know it needs to happen soon, it’s probably not a great time to choose rooftop.
You want a solar-powered garden
Whether you want or can afford full solar in your house aside, solar pergolas are a pretty incredible option for solarizing your garden.
Think solar water fountains, high-quality outdoor lights, and even outdoor charging stations for a perfect WFH setup.
How much do solar pergolas cost?
Solar pergolas have a price range depending on the size, materials you use, and whether you hire out labor or not.
DIY solar pergola
For the intrepid DIYer, a solar pergola is theoretically possible!
The pergola itself will cost, on average, $1,500 to $2,000 for a 10x10 version, but that doesn’t include the solar panels. Obviously you’ll want to tend toward a sturdier, higher-end option to ensure they can support your solar panels. It’s worth reaching out to a contractor to get a second opinion.
A typical solar pergola will require anywhere from 6 to 20 panels — the cost depends on location and how much power you want your pergola to generate. On a DIY budget, it might be worth looking into panels designed for RVs. Buying those would price you under $3,000 — nowhere close to the cost of a professional installation.
See a modest solar pergola build that cost just $4,200 after tax credits!
A DIY solar pergola could be a fun adventure for the technically-minded among us!
Hire out solar pergola
From surveying contractor offering a solar pergola service, it seems the cost for a fully-installed solar pergola with no work on your end could cost between $5,000 and $30,000.
This huge range stems from the size of the pergola itself and the amount of solar power provided. Something that will power a few outdoor appliances will obviously cost far less than a solar pergola meant to power your whole house.
Whichever option you choose, a solar pergola is sure to be a counterpoint of your outdoor living space, both aesthetically and functionally.
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