by Sean Johnson, Energy Consultant, Advanced Energy Systems

Photovoltaic technology has continued to evolve, and has peaked with the recent advancements in thin film technology, or solar panels.

Of course, innovation and engineering will continue to make them more efficient and less expensive to manufacture, but we have come very long way. Batteries have finally hit the market. The federal tax credit has survived a round of tax reform, and in general, things are looking up for the U.S. economy. Because of the loss of revenue and failure to re-invest in the electrical infrastructure that we all so desperately depend on, and for other reasons, there have been surcharges, demand charges, limits and ongoing rate case appeals. The bottom line is the utilities need your continued monthly revenue to maintain their bottom line. What about your bottom line? Let’s talk about your bottom line. Better yet, let’s look at the bottom line of an actual customer we have living in the Golden Corridor.

Dan lives in Casa Grande. He has a 3,000-square foot home with a family. Dan’s electric bills were running $325-$350 a month in the summer, and $150-$175 in winter months. This resulted in an average bill of $241 or $2,886 a year paid to the utility. Dan purchased a 12.06-kilowatt system to be roof-mounted on his home. Dan’s monthly bill is now $30-$35 a month depending on what connection fees and taxes the utility can assess.

How do you pay for it? All of our financing offers a zero down payment. Typically, the monthly payment is less than what you are currently paying your utility. Ask yourself these two questions.

  1. How long have you been paying for electricity?
  2. What do you have to show for that investment?
  • A 12 kW system is $31,800
  • 30 percent federal tax credit of $10,540
  • 10 percent state tax credit ($1,000 max) $1,000
  • Apply tax credits to principle new balance $21,260
  • Estimated monthly payment for 12 years $190
  • Net monthly/ annual savings $50/ $600

Now ask yourself these questions:

How long will you pay for solar? 12 years

What do you have to show for that investment? A system that creates electricity, adds equity to my home and protects me from future utility rate increases.

This is one example of a financing option, but we have several available. What would you do with an extra $3,000 a year.

Note: Numbers are based on current utility and material rates. Loan payment information may change depending on plan and interest rate. Future savings is based on historical utility increases of 3 percent per year.