I’ve been thinking a lot about the economics of rooftop solar. Our family has invested in rooftop solar over the last five years in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our electric bills. When you do that in combination with electrification of your heating and cooling (using electric heat pumps vs gas or oil), you can save money and live a more sustainable life.
We have used SunPower solar panels and inverters and they come with a nice analytics service that shows how much of your electric consumption is being generated with solar power.
Here is a chart from our SunPower dashboard that I looked at this morning:
You can see that we generate about 2/3 of our energy consumption with solar. I believe that with some additional conservation efforts, we can get to 75%+ solar.
The installation cost of the rooftop solar was about $24,000 after the federal solar tax credit.
Had we taken a 30 year self amortizing home equity loan to finance the solar installation, we would be paying $1900 a year in principal and interest payments at current home equity rates.
As you can see, Sunpower estimates that we are saving $2854 a year with our rooftop solar, so there is quite a nice profit in rooftop solar at current interest rates if you live in medium to high energy cost locations in the US.
I think there are a number of good business opportunities in and around rooftop solar. For one, making it drop dead simple for a homeowner to finance, order, and install rooftop solar and start getting paid for doing so feels like a winner to me.