Crazy for Solar Panels -

posted Jan 11, 2015, 7:14 AM by Keith Groninger   [ updated Feb 2, 2015, 12:41 PM ]
The pictured solar array was installed on a current project we have underway in Winter Park, Florida. The ten photovoltaic panels were installed at a total cost of $9,775. Our customer will receive a 30% tax credit bringing their net investment to $6,843. If you have an adequate south-facing portion of roof, we think it would be crazy if you don’t install PV solar on your home.
Keep in mind that this is a new home under construction, so the access and ability to install the panels and run the wiring was pretty easy. 

Don’t tell my wife how I took this photo...

When the sun is bright, the 10-panel PV array will generate 2650 watts of electricity. A rule of thumb for the industry suggests using eight hours per day that the panels will generate power. We purchase electricity from the utility company based on kilowatt hours and here in Winter Park pay about $0.13 (13 cents) per kilowatt hour.

Put your thinking cap on:

2650 watts

x 8 hours per day

x 30 days per month

/ 1000 (divide by 1000 to convert to kilowatts)

x $0.13 (cost of electricity from the utility company)

= $82.68 savings per month

x 12 months

= $992.16 savings per year

Let’s look at the numbers two different ways:

1.  Our customer is going to save $992 per year from their net cash investment of $6,843. 
992 / 6843 = .145 (14.5% ROI) 
A 14.5% return on investment is a pretty good return and will likely only get better as the cost of electricity from the grid goes up over time.

2.  If the cost of the panels were included in the mortgage of the new home, they would increase the monthly payment $34.62 (4.5% interest rate for 30 years). The panels would save $48.06 every month.
Design and Construction Ideas and Information about Homes in the South. Florida and the Gulf Coast have unique climate and environmental conditions that have influenced the design of homes since long before air-conditioning was available. Lessons from “Olde Florida” vernacular design still apply today. With energy efficiency and a new green awareness on the minds of many in the industry, building systems and construction techniques are evolving forward with an eye on the past.