400

Solar Panels: Reality vs Expectation

Last month a Fortune writer published a piece that outline his first-hand experiences purchasing, installing and maintaining a 15-panel, 3.75 kilowatt solar system on the roof of his suburban Boston home. David Whitford invested almost $13,000 in a system that promises to payback in less than five years.

Whitford crunched a few more numbers and posited that 25 years of solid production out of his system would cut his home’s carbon footprint by 62 tons and save $25,000, or $1,000 per year. Not bad.

That upside comes at some cost, however, and more than monetary. As Whitford explains, achieving payback requires attention to detail, multiple steps and an understanding of tax credits, SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) and the resignation that weather is unpredictable. Which means that solar power generation is unpredictable. And also, snow on the roof becomes a big deal when your roof is home to a solar panel system.

Does the article ultimately dissuade homeowners from making the green investment? Read it and determine that for yourself.

Credit: Fortune