Going Green

Last week we converted our house to solar electricity.

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We had 28 solar panels installed on the south-facing roof, which will generate enough electricity to power our house.

It is VERY expensive to convert to solar electricity. The total cost of our system was around $33,000. However, we will get a $10,000 tax credit next year, which will reduce the cost to $23,000. That $23,000 will be financed at a very low-interest rate over 12 years at payments of around $200 per month, which is what we are paying JEA right now for our electric bill each month. So yes, that means if we make minimum payments, it will be 12 years before we see any benefit to converting to solar. However, here are some reasons that we still did it:

  • Our rate of $200 per month is guaranteed for 12 years and then will be nothing. JEA rates will continue to rise each year which would have increased our electricity costs each year.
  • As of right now, JEA will buy back the excess energy we produce. That rule may be changing soon so by committing now, we are grandfathering ourselves in to that deal with JEA.
  • Solar Electricity increases the value of your house since buyers would not have any electricity costs (if we were to sell before the system was paid off, any balance on the loan would be paid in full from proceeds of sale).

The exact numbers vary from property to property and installation to installation, but recent research shows an average increase in resale value being $5,911 for each 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar installed.

  • Since our system is almost 8 kw, we can expect to get up to $50,000 more for our house according to these estimations. Heck, even if we only got half of that, an increase of $25,000 would cover the costs to convert.
  • It’s environmentally friendly. Since we live in the Sunshine State, why not take advantage of the sun!

This is a view of the front of our house this week. You can see that you don’t even see the solar panels from the front of the house.

I shall keep you posted when we get our first bill with total solar energy…I’m hoping to see a negative number for amount of money owed!

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4 thoughts on “Going Green

  1. You only pay the financing for solar correct? There will be no “electric” bill. I see they didn’t remove your dish as you asked them.

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    • Correct, we’ll only make payments to solar company and NOT to the electric company. In fact, we hope they pay US for excess energy.
      No, they didn’t remove the dish but I think it’s because they would have to patch the roof and did not want to be responsible for any leaks where it was removed.

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  2. Great idea, I looked into it in 2007 and chose to wait and lost the money in the 2008 crash! Our electric utility is now trying to monopolize the cellular business in AZ. We are fighting it, but all and all I really missed out by not doing it. I have neighbors that get paid by the utility for the overage they produce monthly.

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