As if we didn’t have enough on our plate this year with the planned kitchen renovation, we had to go and add another complication. And one that is going to cause our 2015 spending to be significantly higher* and we couldn’t be more excited!
No, I’m not pregnant, silly. Jeez!
We’re getting solar panels!! We just got word that we’re approved for funds through our utility company, FPL, to use for an install of a photo-voltaic system that will cover the electricity needs for our little house.
Getting these funds was like playing the lottery (something we never do), but since it involved just a $0 upfront cost and some time and research, we went for it. And boy did we get lucky since not only might 2015 be the last year for FPL solar funds, but all the solar funds were awarded in record time this year.
We’ll write more about it later, but here’s approximately how the numbers are going to shake out for us.
Over the past couple of years we’ve used ~13,000 kWh/year, which costs us about $100/month ($1,200/year) (a little less after we signed up for FPL On-Call).
A solar system that generates that much energy in our area (we can’t profit off of net metering in our area, so it doesn’t make any financial sense to over-size the system) isn’t cheap. It’s actually pretty darned expensive. But the rebates that we were just approved for make it a much more compelling investment. Here’s approximately how the numbers will shake out:
- Total cost of system: $30,000
- FPL Rebate: $15,000
- Federal Energy Rebate: $9,000
- Net cost to us: $6,000
- Number of Years to Payback: 5
So basically we’ll pay for ~5 years worth of electricity upfront after the rebates** and we’ll get a system with an expected lifespan of 25-30 years that should provide for all of our electricity needs over that time period.
It’ll be like the ultimate in maximizing a pre-payment discount!
This does mean that we’ll have some fancy financial footwork in the short term figuring out what the best way to pay upfront (we will need to shell out the full $30K in short order), but it should be one of our best investments over the long term.
You have no idea how happy this makes me. It’s like my inner tree-hugger is getting to sit around the fire and sing Kumbaya with the financial optimizer in me.
So Happy Friday, everyone!
Have you ever looked into a solar system for your house? What are you happy about this Friday? Want to step outside and hug a tree with me?
* Counting the $6,000 in net costs, our 2015 spending goal will be back around the $50K mark. So much for the audacious $45K goal! =)
** Since we’ll need to wait more than a year for the Federal rebate we’re technically out more than $6,000 for about a year, but the opportunity cost on that money isn’t huge.