How do you know when you get a payback on installing a solar system? What ROI have you received from installing solar?

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Over the past decade, solar panels have risen in popularity at an increasing rate. Odds are, if you drive through any suburban town, you’d see at least a few houses with solar panels on their roof.

Aside from the environmental benefits solar roof owners benefit from, there is a potentially high financial benefit by going solar as well. In the past, solar panels were considered cost inefficient and were not as beneficial to install they are today. Due to technological advancements in solar cells and economic efficiency, plenty has changed since then.

Today, some homeowners even argue that installing solar panels on their roof is a long-term investment with strong rates of return. There are two main reasons why:

Luckily, the initial cost of installing a solar roof is dropping continuously. Find out how much is the solar installation cost for your home
By using solar roofs, homeowners can avoid having to pay for utilities, which is especially beneficial for growing electricity bills.
Depending on the location of the home, homeowners can save high sums of money in the long term.

For people deciding whether or not it’s worth installing solar panels on their home, it’s important to weigh out the total ROI (return on investment). This might seem obvious, but calculating the ROI of solar panels isn’t always as simple as it seems. Every person’s situation is slightly different, and predicting the 10-year benefit of your roof’s solar panels can be quite difficult without any guidance. Here, we’ll explain what things you should consider and how you can best quantify the costs, benefits, and overall ROI of installing solar panels on your home.

How to Weigh Costs
Just as with any investment, it’s important to calculate the initial costs associated with that investment. In this case, that would include the installation costs of the solar panels on your home. However, that’s not the only thing to keep in mind. It’s important to realize that the actual process of installing solar panels on your roof could include a series of costs in addition to installation. Some of these (depending on your provider) could include soft costs like sales tax and permitting fees.

The next step would be to determine exactly what kind of solar system you want to purchase. These solar systems range anywhere from 5KW (average) to 15 KW and above. A 15 KW system would cost much more than a 5 KW to install and that would change energy calculations as well. Again, these costs depend on which provider you choose and how much energy your house uses.

Or just use the PVWATTS calculator on the NREL website.

It doesn't send information outside to third parties that might then send junk mail and call you at home.

Thank you. Very useful calculator. I have a - 25 kw solar system - electricity usage went up The first thing I noticed about the system is the Xantrex hybrid inverters. These are meant to be grid-tie; back-feeding the grid any surplus power from the panels and providing battery-based power if the grid goes down. In that respect, it's quite a good idea, but there wouldn't be any "A-B-C" switch, as the inverters would handle that automatically. But I happy with my solar power installation. I found more information about solar pv

Are you sure it is a "25kW" system and not a "2.5kW" system.  25kW would be about 80 PV modules on the roof top (roughly),  and perhaps five or six Xantrex inverters (5kW each).  The majority of homes are 5kW or less.

When you size a system for a residential building,  the goal is to design for somewhere 80% and 90% of the electrical load... then use net-metering or on site battery storage to shift the excess from high production to the low production times.   Net-metering has never been guaranteed to exist forever.  It could be possible that if net-metering goes away - you are never paid for energy you export onto the grid. 

A 200A electric service  (if operating near its safe limit) is perhaps 35kW,  more 200A services have typical loads under 10kW on them throughout the day.   If you have TWO 200A meters or a single 400A service... that is an unusual house.


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