Are solar panels worth the investment?

-Pjackso

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Trees, shade, weather-factor (clouds), effective day-light hours - all effect PV output and change depending on time of year.
(Best case: 8.0 effective day-light hours in December, and 11.0 effective day-light hours in June)

Without being a math wizard and doing calculations - you need real outputs based on other local installed systems.
Ask your contractor for similar sized systems and the real KWh monthly outputs. Ask for 2-3 years of outputs, as KWh output changes considerably over the months/seasons. Calculate the annual average KWh/month and multiply by your electric rate. That'll be your average PV savings per month, then compare to the total costs and ROI.
If the 'other' system is a difference PV size - be sure to adjust the numbers accordingly.
...or reference the SunnyPortal for real-outputs (previously linked).


Other considerations:
The future costs? Consider that the cost of electricity will only go up in the future.
So a simple-ROI isn't the best approach. The real saving may be in 10 years when the KWh price is ...double?


How's your roof?
There's no point installing a PV system over a roof that's 3 years from being replaced.
It'll have to be completely removed for roof replacement, then re-installed. (insert: damaged?)
A standing-seam metal roof would be ideal, as standing seam don't have exposed fasteners and will last 50+ years.
Metal roofs with exposed fasteners are only good for 15-20 years, as the screws start getting loose and start slowly leaking.


Can you DIY?
If you can get the racking/panels and install yourself (no labor or bank loan) - then the ROI is about 5-6 years.
If you can DIY - then it's a crazy good deal.


For further reading:


 

-Pjackso

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This was my solar system in rural SE OK. 12kwh with a 10kwh converter. No batteries so if power went out I was without power. Got 30% back on my tax return. Whole house was electric. No electric bill after install. I’d say it was worth it, the price you currently pay per kWh is a key factor.
Very nice setup. Congrats.
 

Buddhaman

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I’ll try to answer all the questions:

1. 24 panels that produce 350 watts is $42k

2. He said it’a not worth putting extra panels on the roof to produce more than I need as the electric company only pays wholesale

3. 20 year loan at 1.99% interest which is where the payment comes in

4. Panels are hail resistant. Even with the large hail in Norman, they didn’t loose any panels.
I hope they didn’t install the panels that were on my neighbors house then. They lost 8 of their 22 panels. Now they have more panels that are smaller. Haven’t heard if they’re saving any money though. They do have a lot of sunlight due to being a two story house near the main road with no trees.
 

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