As Savannah, GA residents continue dealing with the rising cost of electricity, solar energy is becoming an attractive alternative. The big question for homeowners is whether solar installation really saves them money. The answer is yes. Here’s how.
Georgia residents use an average of 13,176 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year of electricity at a rate of 11.17 cents per kWh. That’s around $1,472 a year. Research shows that with a 6 kW system, our Atlanta neighbors saved $77.70 a month on electric bills for an annual savings of $932 (63%).
Federal government incentives offer additional savings. For solar energy panels installed this year, you’ll receive a 30% tax credit. The credit drops to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. Georgia also has several incentive programs that might provide further savings.
The upfront cost of solar installation is a bit scary, but since 2009, the price of solar has fallen by more than 60%. In 2019, Georgia’s average installation cost for a 6kW solar system is around $16,680. What do all of these numbers mean to you? They mean that if you install a solar system this year, you’ll pay for it in eight years.
Here’s the formula:
(Cost of system – 30% incentive) ÷ value of electricity generated ÷ annual electricity usage = payback time
Here’s the math:
($16,680 – $5,004 =$11,676) ÷11.17 cents ÷ 13,176 = 7.93
Considering that national electric rates increase 2.2% a year, your payback time could be even shorter.
With a life expectancy of 25 years, a solar installation can return a lifetime savings of about $55,000, but your actual savings depend on a variety of factors. To learn more about using solar to reduce utility costs in your home, check out the solar services we offer at Old Coast Heating & Air Conditioning or call (912) 250-5771. Hilton Head, SC residents can call (843) 352-4745.