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Solar power system will take 18 years to pay for itself?

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Posted by mikehoyt@gmail.com on March 4, 2006, 5:44 am


I am in the midst of serious consideration of installing a grid tied
solar panel system on my home in San Diego.  I had an appointment with
a sales guy today from a local company.  My family's electric
consumption averaged 1300kWh/month last year.  A system large enough to
cover this usage for the year looks like it'll cost me between $2000
and $6000 after the CEC rebates.

This was a lot higher than I thought but I was still seriously
considering it.  What I think may be shutting the door on this for me
is that my average monthly electric bill is about $50.  That means I
am looking at about 18 years before this thing pays for itself.  This
is quite a bit longer than the current marketing blurbs on solar power
would lead you to believe.

Is this typical?



Posted by Vaughn Simon on March 4, 2006, 12:23 pm

     You need to study up a bit more on how to make an economic decision before
making this one.  First of all, Is the system likely (on average) to meet all of
your home's electrical needs?  It is possible that you will have some small
electrical bill or some small net income from the system to consider.

     Next, you need to consider maintenance costs for the system, with some
reserve for unanticipated failures after the warranty period.  What is the
chance of storm damage?  How long will your roof last? (You will have to
re-install after a roof job)

   Having done that, there is the big one to consider: the cost of capital.
Money is expensive! and it will get more so over the next few years.

     I hope that you and a few million others see your way clear to proceed.


Posted by meow2222 on March 4, 2006, 12:40 pm

mikehoyt@gmail.com wrote:

you forgot about interest, which will ensure it never pays. And
maintenance, battery renewal, etc. Yes its typical of this overhyped

I would suggest doing a proper financial analysis but it clearly isnt
worth it.


Posted by Derek Broughton on March 4, 2006, 5:24 pm

meow2222@care2.com wrote:

Wrong...  It's a grid-tie system, which eliminates all those batteries.

Why bother doing a proper financial analysis when your mind's already made

Posted by meow2222 on March 5, 2006, 4:17 am

Derek Broughton wrote:

 > mikehoyt@gmail.com wrote:

interest and maintenance will still kill it as said

its made up as a result of the preliminary data you posted, which
indicates it hasnt a chance in hell of paying its way. But go ahead and
assume everyone else is as far behind as you are.


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