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May/29/2008 1:31AM
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I have a house in Arizona. I would like to add solar to meet my electrical requirements. My demand is 36,000 kilowatt hours per year. If I were to put in a system that produces 18,000 kilowatt hours, half of my demand, it would cost $68,196. But, I would get a $30,000 up front rebate from the power company. Plus, a $2,000 federal income tax credit. My installed price, after incentives would be $36,196. This would take 1,070 square feet on my flat roof.

My power bill this year will be $3,600 this year on that 36,000 kilowatts including the environmental benefits surcharge, the Federal environmental improvement surcharge, and taxes. This is a twenty year pay back. So, to do my part for global warming with my house in Arizona, I have to allocate half of my roof to solar panels, panels that will need to be removed if I have any roof repair issues. I pay $36,196 plus taxes and some permit and other charges, and for that I cut my electric utility bill from $3,600 a year to $1,800 a year, an annual savings of $1,800. This is 5% on my investment.

However, if the rates double as I suspect they will, it’s 10% on the investment. But, everyone says solar costs will drop significantly in the near future. Plus, many expect the Federal tax incentives will increase. So, I will wait. But, not too long. I think this is a good investment in Arizona.  

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