Monday, May 8, 2017

5 Years On: Did the (Solar) Panels live up to its Expectations?

In the Spring of 2012, we went SOLAR. A few of my friends even questioned my judgement at that time; having a big bulky system  solar system over our roof and spending over $6000, when our bill was too small to start with; only about $68/month.

But being a big fan of clean renewable energy, I couldn't resist the temptation when SolarCity gave me deal (I paid $6321 for a 5.59 kw DC system  with no payment for next 20 years), a deal  which till date, I haven't found anyone getting better or even closer .

On completing a one year mark I shared my experience with a detailed blog here, if you want to get into the numbers and maths.

So, on this 5 year mark, last month, I wanted to provide to provide few more update, on top of my earlier one.

  • First, the production. Below is our solar generation graph: 
  • That is, we are producing about 7000 KWH, annually. This is better than expected.

  • Our net effective energy rate from Pepco is 14 cents/KWH (detailed in my earlier blog). Meaning, in last 5 years, We have recouped about $4900 (or 78%) of my investment already.

  • As the rate of electricity generation hasn't' deteriorated a bit over years, I should recoup my full investment, at current rate in in next year and half, ie in 6.5 years.  Since we signed a 20 year prepaid lease with solar city, that would mean, for the next 13.5 years, the panel and its energy would be FREE for me.

  • Our Electricity bill hasn't' vanished, as written in my previous blog, since we designed the system for 600 KWH/month  but do consume almost double of that energy (I started driving an electric car, after my solar panels). The extra energy has to come from somewhere.

Would I do it again: of course YES. Rather next time, I would buy a much bigger system, keeping my future need in mind , not just thinking of my past need, as I did last time around.