Solar Panels Update

Last May I chronicled the advantages of installing solar panels in New York to help offset our ever increasing cost of utilities. Now that we have weathered three of our four seasons, I can confidently report our purchase of solar panels for our partly shaded hillside property was one of the best investments we could have made.

The tedious process of obtaining the permits and going through the installation was well worth it. Our panels performed as expected, producing as much, and often more electricity than we use. And despite the summer’s hot, humid days, adding hours of use to both our air conditioning and dehumidifiers, only once did our electric bill go over $40.There is a monthly mandatory cost of $20 to O&R to maintain the electric lines to the house which provide the “pathway” for electricity going both to and from our panels. In all, with all fees and panel financing, our monthly payments still remain less than before we purchased our system.

The solar panel Federal tax rebate is still 30% until 2020 when it will drop to 26% and continue dropping yearly from there on. The NYS rebate is 25% (or $5000 max). With the uncertainty of which direction utility costs and solar panel prices might go in this economy, I’m glad we took advantage when we did.