Is Solar Affordable?
YES – with favorable solar loans of 3.99%, you can go solar for no upfront investment, if you choose, and only about $30 a month thereafter. In other words, you can take out a solar loan for the full amount, and replace your electric bill with a monthly loan payment of about $30 more than what your electric bill was. Or, if you put about 20% of the cost of a solar Tracker installation down upfront, you can trade out your electric bill for an equivalent monthly loan payment and be “cash flow neutral” (pay about the same amount monthly) through the life of your solar loan, after which your electricity is essentially free for the remainder of the 25 year expected life of your Tracker.
With Solaflect’s leading technology, you can get an “after-tax” rate of return exceeding 8% per year on your investment in a Tracker. This compares really favorably to the low single digit % returns of other investments with similar long-term, low risk profiles — the kind of investments often found in a retirement account, for example. An investment in solar often provides over twice the rate of return as long term retirement-type investments.
Another way to think about a solar investment is as a 25 year “pre-buy” of electricity, and the electricity rates that were available about 20 years ago. Huh? Well, thanks to the 26% federal tax credit for solar, plus some incentive provided at the state level, you’re buying electricity at a significant discount. Sure, you have to make the investment up front, but over your solar Tracker’s lifespan, you’ll likely end up paying over 20% less for electricity than what you would have paid your utility. And because going solar means locking in a discounted price for electricity for 25 years, you’ve protected yourself from the average annual 3% or so price increases that utilities have imposed for the last 25 years — an added benefit if you’ll be on fixed income at some point in the future and want to protect against ever-increasing expenses.
How does Solaflect make Solar Energy affordable?
By following the sun throughout the day, a Solaflect Solar Tracker provides over 40% more electricity than the same number of PV modules mounted on the perfect south facing roof. Put differently, the 16 solar panels mounted on a solar Tracker provide the same solar energy production as about 23 panels mounted on a south-facing roof (40% more production per panel)… or up to 30 panels mounted on a less optimal-facing roof.
Will Solar Energy be cheaper next year, and if so, should I wait?
The efficiency of solar panels continues to improve and the price of solar energy continues to drop, but the financial incentives to go solar — both at the federal and state levels — are decreasing faster than the cost savings, so the effective price of solar will (unfortunately) be steadily increasing. This is a great time to invest in solar energy.
How does solar energy impact the annual increase in the price of electricity?
Investing in solar energy protects you from the 2.5% to 3% annual increase in the price of electricity for about 25 years (which is the solar panel manufacturer’s warranty on solar panels). Much as you may have entered into a short term contract to ‘forward buy’ propane or heating oil to protect yourself from potential winter price increases, an investment in solar energy is doing the same thing, but for 25 years! And once your investment in solar is paid off (in 5 to 15 years depending on your location, solar exposure, utility, etc.), the remaining years are free electricity.
Will the technology become obsolete?
Only if the sun stops shining and electricity becomes obsolete.
We love talking about all things related to solar, so please reach out to us or call us at (802) 649-3700 if we can answer questions and help you think about how solar can cover an ever-increasing share of your family’s power usage!