Friday, April 1, 2011:  Updated 1/31/2016

You Can't Afford to NOT Have Solar Panels

Our 6.2kW (950 kWh/month average) grid-tie solar system cost me $13,200 after government rebates. You say, "But I can't afford solar panels! That's too much money". What if that cost was rolled into your home loan? A 30 year 5% interest mortgage with $13,200 rolled into it will go up $70.86/month. That's $24/month less than paying for the same amount of electricity at 10 cents per kWh, and you are reducing pollution in the process. 

Congratulations! Not only can YOU afford solar panels, but in the process, your electricity bill can now be tax deductible, and keep the price of your electricity fixed for the next 30 years. How's that for saving money?  

Update 1/2/2014:  

In less than 3 years, the cost of solar panels have fallen by more than 250%. A 5kW PV solar system will cost you $3600 after government tax credits. Even in the state of Utah, land of cheap electricity, the ROI is under 4 years. If you are eligible for the Rocky-mountain rebate, ROI drops to under 18 months.

Installation costs are now the high tent pole in the equation. If you are handy enough to re-shingle a roof and install your own circuit breaker, then get a building permit and do it yourself.  

Other Thoughts 1/31/2016: 

If you are building a house from scratch, keep in mind that every angle change, (where the foundation deviates from a rectangular shape), will increase the cost of your home buy $10,000. If you can't afford solar panels but have a foundation bump-out (two angle changes) in the house design, consider skipping it. That will reduce the total cost of that home by $20,000, sufficient to cover the cost of a large solar array on your home.