Just few quick points I haven’t seen mentioned here in any great detail:
1). If your residence is geographically close to the equator (FL, TX, etc.) , you’ll usually benefit substantially better with solar all year compared to northern states (where you’ll crank in the summer, but lose out in the winter with shorter lengths of daytime. (Solar panels are best situated to point south—-towards the equator if you live in the Northern Hemisphere).
2). Co-ops are out there and worth joining. A co-op is a collection of homeowners that come together and get solar installers bidding for your business. It’s “buying power” that lets potential installers know that this group is serious about solar. The installers then bid for your business. In Florida, there are various figures floating around for “cost of solar” depending on the size of system you install. I’ve seen figures saying cost of solar in FL is anywhere between $2.63/watt to $5.99/watt. More recent figures as of July 2019 put the number around $2.63/watt to $3.02/watt. Using the $3.02/watt figure, a 6 kW system would cost $18,116 to install BEFORE the 30% federal tax credit, and $12,681 after that tax credit.
The reason why I mention going with a co-op is you’ll get a significant savings because the chosen installer will get ALL the business of those interested (and those that actually move forward) to install solar. In Florida, my co-op price was $1.98/watt. So, for a 10kW system, $1.98 x 10,000= $19,800. 30% federal tax credit = $5,940. Total cost of system= $13,860. With a $200/month electric bill (used as an example, mine was higher due to AC in Florida, pool pump, heat/light/pump & filtration systems for “several” reptiles, etc.). $13,860 / $200 month bill = 69.3 months /12 months = 5.77 years (5 years and 9 months to “break even”). Assuming the panels produce for 30 years, that’s 24 years and 3 months that I’m golden (I’m 52 years old, so I should be good until I’m 76
and maybe even have more reptiles
But, the cost savings of the co-op using $3.02/watt - $1.98/watt = $1.04/watt is a 34.4% savings off retail just for joining a co-op! If you want to use the lower figure of $2.63/watt (FL solar) - $1.98/watt = 0.65 difference = 24.7% savings!! Whether it’s 34.4% or 24.7% savings (depending on which figure you use), 1) this is SWEET; and 2) this is just the START!
Factor in the FEDERAL TAX CREDIT (not mentioned much here on this thread) of 30%, and add that 30% savings to the 34.4% or 24.7% from joining a co-op, and you’ll be saving 64.4% or 54.7% on adding an investment to your house, as well as joining the ranks of those interested in environmental stewardship. You’ll be smiling like a butcher’s dog with these kinds of savings!
Now, keep in mind the federal tax credit is 30% for 2019, 26% for 2020, and 22% in 2021. In 2022, the federal tax credit expires for residential homeowners, so, if you’re thinking of going solar, you may want to move a little faster vs. a little slower.
In my geographical area (FL), our electric provider is FPL (parent company NEE), and their rates are some of the lowest in the nation! However, FPL has an aggressive program to install 30 million solar panels by 2030 — “30 by ‘30 “ as they call it. 30 million solar panels to help generate electricity to the 3rd most populous state in the nation.... in a hurricane-prone area... think about that, folks. If FPL is cranking on this, what do they know that the rest of us don’t? FPL has a “net metering” program in place, and a few years ago, the utilities spent millions of dollars to come up with a campaign to confuse voters with ambiguous wording (Amendment 1 in our state as it was called at the polls), to trick the voters into voting AGAINST solar power in the Sunshine State!!! (Now why do you suppose these multi-million dollar companies, Fortune 500 companies, would spend millions of $$$$ to confuse people to NOT INSTALL SOLAR ?? Hmmmmmm.....)
Now, being realistic, I’m sure solar isn’t for everyone. But, if you think it’s for you, 1) remember the federal tax rebate of 30% ends this year; 2) check into joining a co-op for bargaining power with other homeowners to get better/lower prices; 3) check into your vicinity’s special situations— utility credits for YOUR state or town, tax initiatives/breaks, money back, etc.
I liked my rooftop solar (installed July 2018 -9.4kWp), so much, that I had a ground solar array installed in January 2019– 7.2kWp. 16.6 kWp potential power plant at my house! Why, you may ask? 1) scored with the co-op pricing discount that saved 25%-35% off the retail price; 2) 30% federal tax rebate; 3) environmentally friendly/green energy/planet Earth stewardship; 4) I’m looking into buying an EV vehicle which would literally be “powered by the sun”, so you have to have the apparatus to do so...so why not do it which the price breaks of co-op competitive pricing, and a federal tax rebate. (55%-65% off regular price).
And, the additional money that came back on this year’s tax refund because of the solar project and solar incentive? Invested it by paying down the mortgage. Win-win-win.... invest in solar, invest in the house (pre-pay mortgage), & invest in the planet.
Wishing you all the best! For those of you that are thinking of going solar, may your days be a little brighter and all good things come your way!