Let’s explore the need for solar panels. Heat in Texas summers is always brutal, but this summer has been a killer. So is the frigid winter we experienced. Electric cars are becoming more prevalent. More people are moving to Texas. Weather, electric vehicles, and more users will continue to strain the Texas power grid.
The United States has three power grids: the east, the west, and Texas. Electricity demand will continue to climb throughout the United States. Preparing for the future was my reason for exploring solar panels. After contacting three companies, the requirements were twenty-six to twenty-nine solar panels with no backup power supply. If you want a backup power supply, you may want to consider a natural gas generator.
Solar panels on a home put electricity into the power grid when the sun is out. At night and on cloudy days, your home draws electricity. There are over three hundred homes in the subdivision I live in. That’s a lot of potential electricity for the power grid. It creates the problem of storage to supply the nighttime demand. Electric companies are meeting the storage issue by purchasing used electric car batteries, among other storage methods.
Solar panels are remarkably reliable. Panels installed in 1980 are still working today. Since 2000 the quality of solar panels has continued to improve. With the current level of solar technology, the panels can last thirty-plus years. So, why don’t more homes have solar panels?
Before speaking with representatives from each company, I did my own homework. Home Depot was selling thirty panels for $9,285, including tax. That will produce enough energy to exceed my home’s average monthly power consumption. Additional costs are installation, equipment, and connecting the system to the power grid. I estimated that cost at $8,000. In total, seventeen thousand sounds reasonable.
I was so wrong. When I contacted three separate companies, their first question was, what are you currently paying for electricity? Odd, I thought. Why would it matter? What matters most is my electrical consumption.
All three companies wanted a twenty-year contract or more where I would pay them $100 to $110 a month. They would provide everything plus monitoring. If you have looked into solar panels, you know there isn’t much to monitor. If a panel goes bad, your power output drops, which you can monitor. Maybe clean them once a year, if that.
Let’s do the math. $100 times twelve months in a year is $1,200. Over twenty years, that is $36,000 for a $17,285 system. And that was the lowest offer. The highest was $44,000. The companies stated they would get any government rebates, not me. Those offers I gladly refuse.
A system is justifiable for $17,285. To break even at $100 per month. Estimating my electric bill with no increase in electrical cost would take thirteen years and one month to break even. If you sell a home with solar panels, the current market will return more money. A nice incentive to get solar panels if you don’t plan to keep your home for thirteen years or more. Keeping it for thirty years or more saves you over $22,000 at current electrical prices.
Shouldn’t every home have solar panels? Wouldn’t that be an excellent opportunity for the Texas power grid to meet rising demand?
So, why are solar companies charging so much for so little, if any, return to the homeowner? That is an excellent question. Maybe new legislation is needed to require solar panels on new homes without an unrealistic contract attached?
Thank you for reading my blog. Please take a minute to check out my songs and books. My new song “Little Texas Town” is now available music is streamed or downloaded. Type Jerry W Martin in any search window to come back or save www.authorjwmartin.com to your favorites. You can also stream my music on all major streaming services. My books are available on Amazon.