In February of 2017, we decided to get solar panels. Our city was running a program to give low interest rate loans to get solar. For us, we figured it would be both a good environmental choice, but also a good economic choice.
With the heat wave we’re experiencing, felt like a good time to see how the panels have paid off.
For our home, the install covered about half our roof (a tree covers the other half). The quoted price was roughly $22k for the parts and install. The installer laid out some assumptions and made the case for a 5 year payback.
Well, here we are in year 4:
- Over the first 4 years, we’ve gotten
$4373.29in SREC credits
- Rough justice, after looking at historic electric bills, I think we’ve saved
$1000per year. This is probably conservative, as it doesn’t account for reduced usage in the colder months. But, it makes the math easy. So,
$4000in savings over the first 4 years of our panels.
- We got a
$2500rebate for the purchase.
- And a
$6225Federal Tax credit1
That puts us at
$17098.29, so roughly ~
$4900 left to cover.
Over the rest of 2021 through February 2022 (which will bring us to 5 years), we’ll likely pick up:
$700in SREC credits2
$1000in electricity savings
This is all without accounting for potential increase in home value.
If my conservative electricity savings is off by, say
$250/year, you more or less close the gap on a 5 year payout.
That’s promising for solar, in general. A 5-7 year payback makes an investment far more economical for most people3 and if you assume that there’s some moderate increase in home value, this makes a lot of sense for almost any home owner.
This is going to vary year over year, administration by administration, but also might be augmented by a state credit. ↩
The SREC market fluctuates, but this is likely to shrink in many geographies, as more alternative energy sources come online. ↩
This assumes the privilege of having the means to own a home. Obviously, not everyone has that opportunity. ↩