Solar Gaden

The deluge of data and the pressure to install solar panels can be debilitating. We shine some light on the murk.

You’ve seen them on your neighbors’ roofs. Solar panels are popping up everywhere now, and so are the ads for them. It’s no wonder — harnessing energy from the sun appeals to everyone from carbon-cutting environmentalists to grid-wary doomsday preppers. But the real growth has been driven by average homeowners with a much simpler motive: saving money.

In fact, a recent study by North Carolina State University ranked Boston second among the nation’s largest 50 cities in terms of the potential savings available to residents who install solar. (No. 1? New York City.)

Just how much money? The average Massachusetts household paying $100 a month for electricity can save an estimated $35,900 over the next 20 years — almost $1,800 a year — by purchasing and installing a rooftop solar system, according to data from EnergySage , an online marketplace for solar-energy consumers.

What’s more, consumers are willing to pay about $15,000 more for a home with rooftop solar panels, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that covered eight states, including Massachusetts. And unlike other home improvements, a solar installation eventually can pay for itself — after just four or five years in most cases in Massachusetts, said Vikram Aggarwal, EnergySage founder and chief executive. And that’s even before factoring in any bump in resale value. (Imagine spending $15,000 to remodel your bathroom and getting a fancy new ecofriendly faucet that spits out money for the next 20 years.)

Read the rest of the story at Boston

About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.