It's been 1 year since I installed Solar Panels (July 7th, 2017), the numbers are in:
My 15 panel 4.2 kW Solar Array has saved me $ 1,435 this 1st Year.
This is 400 sqft (20' X 20') of roof with a Google Sunroof rating of 1,450 Sun Hours/Year.
You can check your roof's available solar energy at https://www.google.com/get/sunroof
With any size solar panel installation the current Payback Period is 4 to 5 years.
Currently available Incentives mean you only have to pay 36% of the total cost.
You have a 1 to 2 year window to install panels at this 64% discount so start getting yourself up to speed.
TIMING THE SREC CREDITS IS THE KEY.
The value of the electricity your panels will produce is easy to calculate.
And the 30% Federal Tax Credit is available through 2019.
The only challenge is working with your installer to lock in a good price for your Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).
To do this you need to have everything else in place. Use this site to educate yourself on how solar works, get at least three solar panel quotes from different local installers, then select an installer and be prepared to move forward.
SRECs are the most complicated part of panel financing but well worth it since they cover about 40% of your installation cost.
Having the solar panel installer setup your SREC contract greatly simplifies the effort.
Every square meter receives 1,500 kWh of solar energy per year.
With this roof being visible from the street, all black panels/frames, racking and flashing were selected. All black panels are 20% less efficient than regular panels but it was decided the added curb appeal made this trade-off worthwhile.
BILL OF MATERIALS
15 Solar Panels ( 280Watt - All Black )
- Canadian Solar (Model: CS6K-280M)
15 Power Optimizers (Frame Mounted)
- SolarEdge (Power Optimizer)
Inverter (Converts DC to AC)
- SolarEdge (Model: SE3800A-US)
Roof Connection (Black Flashing/Post)
- IronRidge (Model: FM-FF2-001-B)
Racking (Black Rails and Skirt)
- IronRidge (Model: XR Rail)
Knoch Knolls Nature Center, Naperville, Illinois
72 Panels @ 260W/Panel = 18.7kW System)
Supplies 13% of the power needed for the building
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
$ 13,000 = The total initial cost before incentives.
$ 9,100 = Cost after this years 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit ( Saves me $3,900).
$ 4,700 = Cost after my 1st 5 year SREC contact that pays me $220/quarter. ( Saves me $4,400).
$ 0 = Cost after 7 years and a few months I will have generated $4,700 worth of electricity.
$ 600->900 = Then every year the panels will continue to generate at least $600 worth of electricity.
Here is a graphic representation of cash flow from installation through the 25 year life expectancy of the panels.
You'll notice that in addition to generating your own electricity there are two critical sources of income.
You will deduct 30% of the Solar System cost from your federal taxes. (2017/2018)
Ensure your solar installer sets up your initial SREC contract as part of your installation contract.
Learn more about SRECs here.
The combination of Federal Tax Credit and SRECs gets your payback period between 4 to 5 years. If these two credits were not available it would take around 22 years of generating your own electricity to pay off your panels.