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My Uncle went solar, and is already seeing the results!

In residential solar-related news, last month my uncle made a triumphant post to Facebook, showing off his home, newly adorned with a PV array.

A Massachusetts home with roof mounted solar panels.

A Massachusetts home with roof mounted solar panels.

The details are as follows:

  • 10.8 kW installed and active as of September 10, 2015
  • Total cost of $44,900
  • Federal and State tax credits of approx. $14,500
  • Total cost down: $30,400

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The installer, All Energy Solar of Amherst, MA, estimated that the system will generate 10 SRECs per year, and provided a guesstimated value of $325 per SREC, or $3,250/year. That might be a too rosy assumption, at least for the long-term, but he’s looking at the long-term (life of system) benefits and not for the short-term.

Anyways – his first electricity bill arrived recently and he just shared it with me:

Energy bill post-solar panels

Energy bill post-solar panels

That’s right his bill went from $286 dollars to minus $14, or a $300 dollar swing. That’s $3,600 in savings annually, providing an 8.3 year payback period without accounting for the value of the SRECs that will be generated by the system. Once those are added in, the payback period will shorten dramatically.

Solars a unique proposition. No other investment that I can think of can pay for itself in such a rapid period, and then provide ongoing benefits for decades into the future. If you’re not investigation it, you really should. One of the windows that provides for such a great return, the Federal Government’s 30% Investment Tax Credit, is scheduled to close at the end of next year.

Projects like this need planning, panels and manpower – next fall is not going to be the time to start thinking about going solar, at least not if you want to qualify for the best incentives that you can.