Determine Whether Solar Energy Makes Financial Sense for You


Home Energy Solar Savings

Solar energy is growing in popularity as more and more homeowners decide to do away with high utility bills and help the environment at the same time by producing their own clean energy. Perhaps you have also been considering solar panels for your roof and are wondering if they make financial sense for you?

Ultimately, to answer that question you need to know if the cost of solar electricity is the same or cheaper than electricity from the utility. If the answer is yes, then solar energy makes financial sense. Finding the cost of electricity from your utility is not too difficult – you can check your most recent bill or you can use the state average in a savings calculator. But how do you determine the cost of solar electricity?

To do that, we calculate the levelized cost of solar energy (LCOE), which is essentially the cost of electricity at the point of connection to the grid, including both the initial installation costs, as well as the ongoing expenses such as fuel and maintenance over the expected lifetime of the investment.

Location, Location, Location

Where you are located greatly impacts the cost of solar electricity, or LCOE. Not only is the amount of sunlight that falls on your panels’ location dependent, but so are the available financial incentives, such as rebates and tax credits.

Because there are so many different incentive programs at the municipal and state level, for simplicity, we will only consider the federal investment tax credit (ITC) of 30%, because that is available nationwide. Sunmetrix Discover takes these factors into account and calculates the levelized cost of solar energy for you.

11/6/2015 5:09:31 PM

Great overall summation of the current cost landscape of residential solar power, Simone. I also proudly help homeowners find even more affordable solar power contractors so that they can start saving money right away. Nick Tedesco

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