Residential Solar Probably Won’t Save You Money

Buying a system outright

Financing a system

Leasing a system or a PPA

Opportunity Costs

More Hidden Costs

  • Panels degrade over time. You lose about 2% the first year and between 0.5% and 1% efficiency every following year.
  • The typical homeowner is in a house for about 13 years. Even our best-case scenario had a break-even time of 15 years.
  • 20+ year warranties from companies that have only been around for a few years should not be counted on. You may very well end up paying for repairs outright in 12 years.
  • Solar panels add significant costs to any roofing project.
  • Solar panel technology will only get better over time. Your 2020 system may depreciate faster than you think.
  • Peak sunlight hours imply a south facing roof line with no obstructions. If your house is not arranged in this way, your system will be even less efficient.
  • They are kind of ugly. Sure, that’s subjective, but it may steer away some potential buyers when it comes time to sell. This may be compounded by solar systems in a few years looking more like traditional roofs.

When Solar Still Might Makes Sense

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Matt Kubilus

Matt Kubilus

Doer of different things, problem solver