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How Your Usage Impacts Solar Payback

Author: Active Energies Solar, LLC | | Categories: Energy Efficiency , Renewable Energy , Solar Design , Solar Financing , Solar Installation , Solar Panel , Solar Payback

Colorado Solar Design

What to look at when calculating solar payback

People commonly remark that they either use too little or too much electricity to have a reasonable payback on photovoltaics, but this comes from a misunderstanding of how the savings from solar work.

While it is true that there are economies of scale of in installing a larger system rather than a smaller, those savings are relatively subtle compared to the cost of the equipment itself. The payback actually stays surprisingly linear whether a home uses a large or small amount of energy and whether a homeowner chooses to offset all or part of their electric bill. Here’s how it works:

Once a solar array is installed on a home, the homeowner realizes their savings based on each kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced by the system. Whether these kWh savings just shave some usage off of the bill they would have otherwise received or allow them to run a credit all through the summer months, each kWh is worth the same amount. Read more about how net metering works.

Homeowners with high usage wishing to offset a large portion of it would generally need a larger system for this offset. This larger system comes with a larger upfront cost, comparatively, but rewards homeowners with larger monthly savings. Homeowners with higher usage also stand to benefit from even more savings from a free on-site energy audit provided for any Active Energies Solar customers. The energy audit from our experts is a perfect complement to a solar installation, allowing for enhanced savings often with low- or no-cost improvements.

Homeowners using a smaller amount of energy or who opt to install a smaller system due to budgetary or space constraints will see a fairly similar payback to their higher use counterparts. A smaller system comes at a lower upfront cost, but provides lower savings each month.

This same situation holds true for part-time or second homeowners – your solar is worth the same whether you’re home or not.

The most important thing to realize is that there is no reason to guess – just give us a call to find out how cost effective solar could be for you. We provide FREE solar site visits so you can understand the cost, savings and payback of solar for your own home. Call us today!