Residential Solar Power: How Does Solar Energy Work?Is Solar Right For Me? > How Much Does Solar Cost? > Our Process > Warranties > Solar Financing Options


Solar Energy Saves Thousands

The Solar Energy Investment Decision

A solar energy system is a unique home improvement investment. Unlike most other repairs and upgrades, rooftop solar gives the buyer a desirable balance of costs and savings, as well as earnings thanks to incentives. That is why many people correctly say, “Solar power pays for itself and then some.”

Solar energy system design is the key to making sure this balance is optimum. After all, not every house is exactly the same. Some need much more power each month, and some rooftop designs and home locations require more engineering in order to maximize solar energy output year round. Look around any neighborhood, and the difference in free roof space, interference like chimneys and gables, roof pitch angles, etc., are clear.

The good news is that preliminary cost estimates are relatively simple and accurate. That makes calculating potential savings easy, too.

Two Measures: Solar Cost & Solar Savings

A solar energy system is a unique investment for your home. Unlike many home improvements, your purchase provides you more energy autonomy but also assures you will pay less each month. Besides energy efficiency upgrades, few improvements deliver such savings.

There are two important values to compare when deciding if solar is right for you. The original purchase amount and the predicted savings, each month and most importantly in total across the decades. For Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the solar costs and solar savings are mostly similar.

Calculating Solar Costs and Solar Savings

SOLAR COSTS

The conventional way to evaluate costs is to calculate the dollars per watt ($/W) and the total expense after all incentives are deducted.

Massachusetts

The full range of costs for the widest range of needs
$3.10 / W to as high as $4.00 / W
Typical price range after incentives for smallest to largest systems
$10,000 to $15,000

Rhode Island

The full range of costs for the widest range of needs
$3.10 / W to as high as $4.00 / W
Typical price range after incentives for smallest to largest systems
$10,000 to $15,000

SOLAR SAVINGS

The homeowner’s savings are based on final costs after incentives, the value of recurring credits and payments, and the utility power not purchased.

Massachusetts

Typical monthly savings are based on your electricity demand
$100 and up
MA lifetime savings after state credits applied (SMART)
$25,000 and up

Rhode Island

Typical monthly savings are based on your electricity demand
$100 and up
RI lifetime savings after state credits applied
$20,000 and up

Financing a Solar Energy System

The steady drop in the cost of solar makes it possible for more homeowners and business to budget and invest. Still, the average final price of $10,000 to $15,000 may be challenging for some families saving for the future.

Solar financing options have expanded to offer affordable choices that fall into two categories: Buy to own; and lease to save.

Buy to Own

With a full cash purchase, you get the maximum money savings each month for the life of the system, generally 30 years.

Return on your original investment:
MA Typically 4 to 6 years
RI Typically 5 to 8 years

Modern financing options include a monthly payment, but continue to give the buyer significant savings each month for the term.

Lease to Save

With leasing and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), the homeowner gets predictable monthly savings for the life of the system. These are affordable options that help some families afford solar energy while still reducing their total energy related costs.

There are payment options that can be fixed over the lifetime or include escalators, both spelled out exactly in contracts. Each month the the lessor knows what the payment will be. Programs are available to suit many needs, allowing for choices over monthly costs and 10, 15, or more years for leasing.

To understand more about financing in greater detail, we recommend you visit our More About Solar Financing page.


Residential Solar Power: How Does Solar Energy Work?Is Solar Right For Me? > How Much Does Solar Cost? > Our Process > Warranties > Solar Financing Options