Proving the Worth of Green – Solar Panels?

Solar PanelsOur electric bills over the past couple of months (see this post) have validated our economic decision to not immediately install solar panels.  If we assume that our usage this past month is probably peak in Dallas (month of Aug/Sept), and even if we assume that we can eliminate this bill completely by installing solar panels, that gives us a best-case return of $3,480 per year.  That would allow us to get a 9 year payback on the $30,000 it would take to install the solar panels.  So…realistically if we assume that our electricity will actually cost us somewhere around $2,000 per year, and that we’ll only be able to eliminate 1/2 to 3/4 of that cost, the payback becomes something more like 20-25 years. 

Admittedly, I don’t know the ins and outs of the new federal tax implications of installing solar panels, but even if I get a break of 50% of the cost of the panels, a 10-12 year payback still seems a little long for us.

BUT!  We did have all of the conduit installed in the guts of the house to accommodate solar panels if/when we do decide to install them.

PS:  We use Green Mountain Electric, so even without solar panels we’re contributing to the promotion of green energy.