Are Solar Panels Cost Efficient?

by Lora
(Pa., USA)

When we bought our house (about 3 years ago) it was prepared to be fairly self sufficient.


The previous owners had anticipated doom with the coming of Y2K, so they sort of went ballistic.

They had three wood/coal stoves installed, stocked the pond, had at least thirty years of walnuts packed away (yeah, from the walnut trees) and a good sized solar panel installed on the back porch.

Unfortunately for us, the panel was not in operation. It was in need of several new batteries, and come to find out, these batteries are expensive!

We have yet to replace the dead batteries mostly because of our lack of understanding.

Would the solar panel replace our current electricity source, or would it only supplement it, say, as in the summer time when the sun is strong - or just in case of a power outage?

I like the idea of a power source in case of emergencies, but it sure would be best if it could also save us money as an energy replacement.

Just wondering about the ROI when it comes to the cost of those batteries!

Thanks,

Lora

Comments for Are Solar Panels Cost Efficient?

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Oct 05, 2010
Solar Panels Cost Efficient
by: Anonymous

That would depend. Since yours are at least several years old and the batteries are no longer good you will most likely do best just replacing everything. However, that's just off the cuff.

Depending where you are located, why don't you contact a solar installation service and ask them:

Find Solar Contractors

Do they give free estimates?
Does that include estimate cost/savings over time?
Is there a lease company in your area?

The lease is a very good option if you don't want to take the monetary plunge. The company installs a system based on your needs. The installed solar system does not belong to you so you don't pay up front. You lease that system from the company.

Usually, you will start saving money on your energy bills right away.

One benefit is you are not "taking a chance" or having to come up with a hunk of money down.

Another is that the company takes care of the maintenance.

The disadvantage is that you won't be saving as much as if you owned the system yourself.

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