Friday, July 9, 2010

Is investing in residential solar power worth it?

Presently we have a gas hot water system and because this isn't an electricity consuming appliance I haven't really entered into the whole debate as to whether it would be better (both financially and/or environmentally) to invest in solar power/hot water. However, today a plumber informed me that my gas hot water system is soon to crumble and die, so I thought now is the time to start to think about it.

My primary concern is that if I invest what to me is a significant amount of money into this residential solar technology, will I still have to 'pay' for electricity. I understand that I would still get an electricity bill because my solar panels will just in effect be feeding into the grid and not actually providing me the electricity directly. However will the amount of energy I pump into the grid offset the amount that I take from the grid, given the loading times and different tariffs for those times. That is, I will be generating most power during the day and taking most power during the mornings and evenings, so my generated solar power would in effect have to be greater than the amount I take from the grid to negate the difference in tariff rate.

Anyone, know whether it is financially appropriate to think solar for the investment you have to make or am I better off investing in a new on-demand gas hot water system?

I guess my thoughts are I have happy to some degree to make a significant outlay to purchase a solar electricity system but don't also want to still be slugged with a significant electricity bill each quarter. Pin It

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