Good Day Sunshine: Solar Can Work for You

Photo of our rooftop solar system
Our solar system at work!

The Rebate Checks Add Up!

I was thrilled to get our first annual solar rebate check in the mail this week.  And I was even more excited to realize that the $820 covered only a part of our system’s year-round production!  In the future, our checks should be over $1,700.

After seeing our check, my husband Mark asked, “Is that what we expected?”  His question led me back to the decision we made to install solar, to consider whether the purchase was a sound decision – and whether solar can work for you.

Calculating Your Payback Time

Here are the basic numbers behind our calculation:

  • Our system is a 240-module array, estimated to produce 8,100 kWh per year
  • (Actual 2018 production:  8,303 kWh!)
  • We paid about $26,000 to purchase and install the system
  • We got a federal tax credit of about $7,900
  • Our bi-monthly electric bills have decreased from about $100 to about $10, saving us about $540 per year
  • Over the 8-year life of our State rebates, we should receive about $13,000 total

Totals start to get a bit wonky, but it’s fair to say that our system should pay off in about eight years.  In Seattle!

Should You Get Solar?

Solar is not for everyone.  To figure out whether it is for you, start with these questions:

  1. What direction does your roof face?  Depending on how your incentives are structured, south-, southwest-, or west-facing roofs are best.
  2. Is your roof shaded during all or part of the year?  Shading can really affect solar production.
  3. How much electricity do you use?  You might need a lot of solar to offset your use.
  4. Do you have access to any local or state solar tax incentives or rebates?  The situation is changing.

A solar provider can help you and will calculate an estimated payback.

At this point, I think we have made the right decision, and I think our example shows that solar can work in places you might not expect.  Here’s an article with links on incentives.

This Post Has 2 Comments

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