Last year I made some major changes on my home and had a saltwater swimming pool installed. One of the drawbacks was that my electric bill shot up, due to the cost of running the pumps. At the peak, my bill was running nearly $600 per month; a result of higher rates per kilowatt as you move into higher tiers of usage.
To help offset those costs, I changed our hot water heater from electric to propane and installed an electric generating solar system (not to be confused with the solar heating system I installed with the pool – which keeps the pools at a pleasant 82 degrees).
Solar voltaic panel systems are not for everyone, but if you have a high electric bill, the payoff is quite good. The overall finances for my system are that the gross cost for the 7 kilowatt system was just over $50,000, but with rebates and tax credits the cost was brought down to just under $30,000. The detailed analysis of my current electric bills, increasing cost per kilowatt from SDG&E, and the net cost of installing the system shows a breakeven will happen in about 7.5 years.
My last two SDG&E bills of $55 and $33 show that the projections are correct.
I bought my system from REC Solar through Costco – and felt they did a great job of explaining the cost, planning the construction, and the actual installation. Check it out – you can get a free estimate and analysis.