Cost & Payback

Money Made By Going Solar

Solar Power Pays You Back

If you lease, you choose how much or how little money you put down, sometimes as low as $0. Since you start saving with your first electric bill, many solar leases are cash flow positive in the first year. If you own, you effectively pay for your next 20+ years of electric bills in one lump payment.  The upfront payment usually yields a double digit return on investment, far better than most other investment opportunities.

Solar Panels are a Low Risk, Very Secure Investment

An average-size (5 kW) system can generate over $40,000 in energy savings over the course of 20 years. Solar panels reduce your electric bills and lock in your electricity rates for the life of the panels so your energy bills become low and predictable for decades. And unlike most home improvements, which depreciate in value with age, solar panels will increase in value over time as electricity prices increase. What will electricity prices be in the future when you sell your home? The higher they are the more people are willing to pay for an efficient home, so solar panels are like a hedge against increasing electricity rates. So even if you don’t plan to stay in your home for a long period of time, your solar panels are still a good investment.

What Does It Mean to Have a 5 kW System?

A typical installation is 5 kW (5,000 watts). When the sun shines on those solar panels for one hour (in non-cloudy conditions), they produce 5,000 watt-hours, or 5 kWh of electricity. On a cloudy or short winter day, the panels might produce 15-17 kWh during the day. On a perfect, clear sunny day, they might produce 30kWh of electricity during the day.

A regular light bulb uses 60 watt-hours of electricity in one hour. A fluorescent light bulb uses 15 watt-hours in one hour. A large plasma screen TV uses about 150 watt-hours in one hour.

So on a great sunny day, your panels would produce enough electricity to power your large plasma TV for 200 hours or one regular light bulb for 500 hours or a fluorescent bulb for 2,000 hours.