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Solar Power Rocks

Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

A Solar Installation Quote I made Today in San Francisco

Solar Money

So what’s this stuff gonna cost me?

I’ve been getting more people asking for a brass tacks breakdown of what a residential solar power installation costs… so here you go.

I made this solar quote for a fellow in San Francisco today. He had an optimally tilted (21 degrees) and optimally faced (true south) composition roof with no shading… so his situation was pretty much perfect (for this particular location…. optimal tilt and azimuth maybe slightly different on the east coast). Here are the numbers:

Note: pricing is pretty linear, so if your power bill is bigger than his, scale the numbers up accordingly, smaller, scale down.

Gross Cost of the Turnkey System $35,00.00
- California Solar Initiative Rebate - $7,750.00
- San Francisco Local Installer Credit - $2,000.00
- Federal Tax Credit (30% of cost after all Rebates) - $7,575.00

NET SYSTEM COST $17,325.00
MORE INFO:
His Pre-Solar Yearly Power Costs $2,663.00
Post Solar Yearly Power Costs after moving to a Time of Use (TOU) rate schedule $313.00
Yearly Power Cost Savings $2,327.00
Payback time (assuming 1.5% yearly PG&E rate increase) 7.9 years
Property Value Increase (according to this source) $35,175.00
note the property value number increases as power rates rise

I used this site to calculate his California Solar Initiative Credit and all other incentives by putting in the average installed price these days in the area, around $7000/kwh. If you were to repeat this, DON’T USE THE DEFAULT cost, but input “7000/kW.” Also input 5000 kW system.  This will take care of 78% of this customer’s electric costs.

Also: According to the CSI calculator, you could owe an additional $1,388 Federal taxes because the rebates are considered income. We’re not tax attorney’s, so check with yours to be sure how this will effect you. If that’s the case, then your net system cost goes up to $18,369. All the other numbers are basically the same, however.

If you are interested in getting a home in San Francisco evaluated for Solar Power (yes, it’s free), please check out my new company One Block Off the Grid, which lowers the price of going solar on your home by using collective bargaining.

Note: This post was updated on 8/15/09, so prices may be lower when you’re reading this…or not.  To find out for your house in your area, just fill our our handy-dandy form, and we’ll get someone over to you to give you a free quote.

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