Solar Payback

Energy Savings

Save with Your Very First Electric Bill

Having solar panels can reduce your electric bills by a significant amount. Every watt-hour of electricity your panels produce is one less watt-hour you have to buy from your utility company. If 60% of your power is produced by your solar panels, your electric bill will be 60% lower because only 40% of your electricity has to come from the utility company.

Lock in Your Own Electricity Rates for the Future

And with rising electricity prices, the value of your savings increases over time. A home with an average-size solar installation (5 kW) can generate over $40,000 in energy savings over the course of 20 years (not even the full lifetime of the panels!).  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.


U.S. Electricity Prices

U.S. electricity rates have historically increased 9% a year over the last decade, and are forecast to continue rising for the foreseeable future. We factor this into the payback calculations in our Solar Calculator and show you how much you can save with solar panels, by freeing yourself from rising electricity prices and effectively locking in your own electricity rates for 25 years!

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.