We've been thinking about adding a PV system to our sticks 'n bricks for a while, and with incentives and rebates stepping down in the coming months, we decided to have AstrumSolar come out and do a site survey.
When the house was built in 1989, it was sited to take advantage of the sun and the survey agrees, with a site quality of 89% (however they calculate that). Our survey shows:
- 36 Hanwha 245 watt panels
- 36 Enphase M215 microinverters
- 8.82 kW total system size
- 11,510 kWh estimated annual production
- 95% production guarantee w/ .05% degradation rate for 10 year
- 10 year warranty on installation with owned system
- Maintenance coverge included with leased systems
- 74% of electricity estimated coming from the solar panels
In looking at our electric bills over the past 5 1/2 years, we've paid an average of $327.00 per month ... at the estimated 26% rate, that would drop our average bill to $85/month. Not too shabby.
As we understand, there are some rebates that are winding down that can help to subsidize the system.
System Cost: $ 37,000
Rebates/Credits: $ 19,200
Net Cost Installed: $ 17,800
We have an option to purchase outright at $17,800 or a low upfront lease that starts at $82/mo for the first year with a 1.9% increase each year - an average cost over 20 years of $95/mo. -- that equates to about a $20 finance charge per month versus an outright purchase. Again, not a huge cost over the 20 years, given that the lease price includes maintenance for the lease term. The downside to the lease, there's no end-of-lease purchase option *but* 20 years into the future, it will likely be time for newer, more efficient panels and who knows if we'll even be in the home 20 years from now?
Looks like it's going to be a weekend of pro's and con's - hashing out if it's time for us to just pull the trigger.
I did just do some quick research on buying the panels and inverters myself, and the lowest price I've found so far is about $16,000 - that's without installation hardware, grid tie in hardware, permits, installation labor or rebates/credits.
Here's what our system would look like:
Anyone else out there have solar on their home that can offer some comments or advice?