Most people have no idea what a solar electric system costs or how big a system they need. Here are some guidelines to give you an idea of what to expect.
To offset your bill you need 1kW of solar for roughly every 125-150kWh (kilowatt hour) of electricity you use a month. Changing utility rates can help offset your bill. You can find you usage by looking at your electric bill. You need about 100 square feet of sunny area for every kW of solar. The area must be shade free from 10AM to 3PM all year.
Cost is a large consideration for most people. The bigger the system the less the cost per watt. The higher the output per square foot the more expensive the system. Prices range from as low as $4,000 per kW for large simple systems to as much as $7,000 per kW for small high efficiency systems. Systems are typically mounted on the roof or a rack on the ground.
A typical home might have a 5kW system, the cash outlay would be around $25,000 and it would take up about 500 square feet. The rebate at this time (August 2012) would be around $1,750, the tax credit about $6,750 for an out of pocket cost of $15,750. Commercial systems have much better incentives and can pay off in as little as 4 years giving free electricity after that.
There is financing available for solar electric systems at competitive rates.
If this sounds good to you please give us a call.