The husband is pretty good at calculating energy costs and will be the first to tell you that installing solar panels is not cost effective. However, because the solar industry is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers, it’s worth it. In addition, since we are taxpayers, we’re actually getting some of our money back!
We chose a package with 14 panels (235 watt modules, microinverters). The contractor received a rebate which reduced the cost of the overall project. Over the next four years we will receive tax credits on our income tax return, which will cover all the cost except about $2000. With the tax credits and energy savings, the husband figures we will recoup our investment in less than three years. After that, any power the system generates reduces our monthly energy bill and increases our savings.
In just one week we’ve produced 116 kWh! However, now that the clouds and rain have settled in for the fall and winter, we probably won’t do as well. You may wonder why we didn’t install the system earlier in the year to take advantage of the summer sunshine, and that may have made sense in terms of “banking” the energy. However, we wanted to wait as close to the end of the year as possible so that we wouldn’t have to wait as long to see our tax credit. We have a good incentive to file our income taxes as soon as possible!
It is a fairly large investment up front, but with all the rebates and tax credits over the next few years, it is worth it in our opinion. I’ll update you on our energy generating progress in a few months.