So this morning I was talking to a colleague who is interested in solar, and I reran my numbers on the cost/benefit of solar.
Cost of the system $19993.08 (Let’s round to $20k for the sake of simplicity.)
30% federal tax credit shaves that to $14k.
10 year loan on 14k at 2.99% interest is about $135.
We average about $90ish electric monthly. Assuming electric rates rise at around 5% a year, we’ll be paying around $154 for the same electric usage in 10 years.
In short, it means that the cost of the system pays for itself in about 8 years. This doesn’t account for one other factor, Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC). There is a program where you get one credit per year for every 1000kW you generate. My system should generate 7 SRECs per year. utilities buy SRECs to meet renewable energy minumums, and there is a commodity trading market for SRECs. Unfortunately here in Ohio, we can only sell our SRECs on the Ohio or Pennsylvania markets, where prices for SRECs are very low. ($6 and $10, respectively.) By contrast, Massachusetts and New Jersey SRECs sell for $200 or more. If we sell in the PA market, that’s $70 a year, so over 10 years $700, or 5% of the cost of the system.