There’s a common misconception that solar electric is unaffordable and expensive compared to traditional, fossil-fuel based electricity. That’s not true!

To fully appreciate the real affordability of grid-tied solar, we need to throw out the notion that solar should be evaluated like other household appliances, and not for the worry-free 40 year investments that they are.

PV prices have dropped by 40% or more in the last few years and are warranteed for 25 years (there is ample evidence that they perform for 40+ years). So as a reasonable comparison, the cost of a PV installation should be compared to the cost of pre-buying electricity over a minimum 25 year period.

Let’s look at an example of 5kw array for a homeowner:

Costs: Maine New Hampshire
System size, in Kilowatts 5 5
Cost per installed W of Panels $5.50 $5.50
Gross capital cost $27,500.00 $27,500.00
Less: Maine New Hampshire
Federal Tax Credit Amount (26% of system cost) $8,250 $8,250
State Rebate Amount $2,000 $6,000
Net Capital cost $17,250.00 $13,250.00
Effective Cost of Electricity Maine New Hampshire
Kw/hr produced Each Year 6,750 6,750
Cost of Electricity, Locked in for 25 Years $0.102 kw/hr $0.079 kw/hr
Savings, if Electricity is $0.16 kw/hr and stays that way for 25 years $9,750 $13,750
Savings, if Electricity is $0.16 kw/hr today and increases by 2.5% every year for the next 25 years $20,952 $25,112

Even taking the conservative estimate of 25 years of system performance, for someone who can take advantage of the existing incentives, the average price per delivered kw/hr from a solar system is roughly half of what a kw/hr costs from the grid today!

In an uncertain economy, clean energy may just be the most reliable investment available – contact us to learn how you can lock in your energy rate for decades and reduce your carbon footprint in the process.


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