Our system is located in Minnesota, and while we can generate large amounts of energy all year long, the decreased hours of sunlight and snow cover impacts our production in winter months. On the flip side, the summer months are our super star performers. Our 7kW system generates well over 100% of our usage in the May-November months. The utility company “buys back” the excess resulting in a profit of $20-$60/month. Seriously, not only do we not pay for electricity during these months, but the utility company sends us a check each month!
Note that the $20-$60 is in excess of the savings that we are NOT paying utility fees for the month. We averaged $700/year or $60/month in electricity costs before the Continue reading →
As discussed in previous posts here and here, the cost of installing solar panels can be greatly reduced by utility company rebates. But, what if your utility company doesn’t have an incentive program? Or your roof doesn’t qualify due to the direction your roof faces? Fortunately, without the utility’s involvement you retain ownership of the SRECs and can sell them on the Continue reading →
The amount homeowners are eligible to receive from our utility company is based on the size of their PV system. For example, as mentioned previously, our home’s PV system has a total of 7 kW. At the time of installation, the utility rebate was $2.25/watt*. This resulted in a $15,750 rebate (2.25 x 7000).
Solar panel prices have dropped dramatically since we purchased ours in 2010. While we paid $2.28/watt for our panels, they are now available for as little as $0.78/watt!* What this means, is that you could purchase an entire solar panel installation kit** for about $6000 BEFORE any power company incentives and tax rebates! That’s about what we paid out of pocket AFTER our power company incentives and tax rebates. Crazy. I love technology, it gets cheaper and better so quickly, it just amazes me.
The DIY Rooftop Solar family has had our own little 7kW power plant chugging along on the roof for almost three years. We are not only a NET-ZERO electricity home but we are also making money on our solar panels each year. How that works is that the utility company (Xcel Energy) pays us for the power that our solar Continue reading →