In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed considering what you want to spend when deciding whether or not a solar installation is right for you. Today, let’s look at how energy prices compare, which will show you what you’ll be paying with a solar installation versus continuing to buy all your power from your electric utility provider.
2. How do energy prices compare?
To determine your savings when going solar, think in terms of kilowatt hours (kWh). On your electric bill, your usage will be stated by kWh, and you’ll also see how much you are being charged per kWh of electricity use. If you’re interested in a solar lease or power purchase agreement, the provider can tell you how much you’ll be charged for each kWh produced, and you can determine your annual savings when going solar.
If you’re looking to own your solar energy system, you’ll need to determine how much electricity the system will produce and see how it compares to your annual kWh usage. If you require additional kWhs, you’ll pay your utility company for the energy- with a grid-tied system, you may receive a lower rate per your interconnection agreement.
Another factor to consider is your payback period. Once you determine your annual energy usage and savings through your solar energy system, you can figure how long it will take the solar installation to pay for itself through your savings. In New Jersey, the average payback period for solar installation is only 5 years! And in Pennsylvania, the average payback period for solar installation is only 6.5 years! Once the payback period is met, it’s as if you’re using the electricity you generate completely free- you’ll only pay for energy used from your utility company, if it’s even needed.
When deciding if a solar installation is right for you, look beyond upfront costs and see how much you’ll save annually. You’ll find the savings will be a huge benefit no matter which route you go; owning outright or choosing a solar lease or power purchase agreement. For answers to all your solar installation questions, contact Smith Sustainable Design.