"Can I afford Solar power?" - "I've heard it is really
This might have
been true years ago, but not today. Consider this:
If you pay $150 a
month for electricity now (typical 2200 sq ft. home)
and the prevailing energy inflation rate of 7% (last 30 years)
(and does not rise), you'll pay over $80,000 for electricity
over the course of a 30 year mortgage. It's that compounding
effect. I know my electric bill was about $25 in 1980. Your current 1000 Kilo-watt-hours / month
usage would require a 6000 watt
solar system to completely generate it all. Currently 6000 watt
grid-tie package systems (all parts required) are running about
$14,000. With a 30% federal tax rebate, you are under $10,000
net outlay. Off-grid systems require batteries. They require
changing about every 10 years. With off-grid systems, you'll
never be without power. Grid-Tie systems have to be
automatically turned off by law during a general power outage -
so you don't send power into the lines while they are working on
them. You cannot install a grid-tie system yourself - and you'll
still need a generator for back-up power.
It's very likely you also have state or local solar cash
incentives. In some states, the rebates are huge. You could land
up paying only 10% of the total system costs. Check
A $10,000 Bank CD currently pays about $30 a year interest -
minus taxes! A solar system would generate $1800 a year in
The golden lining is that solar is a capital
improvement to your home. Whenever you sell your home, you will
get ALL of your initial investment back - plus inflation.
(systems last 40+ years) The
power you generated- and all the money you saved- will have been
cost-free. If you had been lucky enough to invest that money in
a stock or bond that actually performed, you would have still paid
taxes on it. This rock-solid solar "income" is tax-free. If
the sun comes up, you're making money.
If commercial power goes
up faster than the general inflation rate, you save more
money each year because your price is locked-in. Our electricity
is mostly fossil-fuel
based and it's kept out of the fed's inflation index because
it's going up so quickly every year.
Once the big energy companies are in the solar business, their
scientists will announce that Global Warming is true and they
are "now offering a solar system lease program". They
will install your solar system and you'll pay them forever.
Right now, they'd rather you thought solar was a fringe
technology- because It kills your monthly bill... their
Lastly, the worse the energy crunch gets, the more your solar home
be worth and the happier you will be - to have made that smart
decision many years ago. When you sell, your house has a huge
advantage against comps in your area. I literally sold my solar
home in 90 minutes without a realtor- for above asking (and
retired in my 40's). Any size system gives you similar benefits.
The satisfaction it gives you - is beyond value.