“We are star stuff harvesting sunlight.” ~ Carl Sagan
After charting solar panel savings for 20 years, we finally decided to bite the bullet with our house. We spent the summer reviewing contracts, starting the build, and finally in November turning on the system. We didn’t want the hassle of batteries (cost, maintenance, and eventual replacement) so we opted for the sell back to the grid model. That was a big savings on the installation cost. We also paid the cost up front rather than expensing it through the years on our electric bill. So, there is no interest costs.
Well now it is a year later and how did we do?
This chart shows power expenditure from Nov 2019 to Nov 2021. The first year is without solar. So we paid $640 less dollars this year over last. Note we got a slow start on the benefits but at that rate of savings it would take us 45 years to pay off the cost of solar panel installation. It is a much lower pay off rate than I had anticipated. But as the cost of electricity goes up, we might hope to break even much sooner. And you can cut that in half once we get the tax credit for the installation that I and my tax professional forgot to apply for last year!
You know I’ve heard of a tax for being progressive (aka liberal) like paying extra for a Prius for the good of planet Earth and our children. Let’s hope that I can get a more favorable break on this project in the coming years.
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