What Does it Cost?
Renewable Energy Projects can take many forms and are motivated by many factors. For some, the ultimate goal is to install a system that will produce all of the electricity that their home or business uses, and thereby reduce their household or business Carbon Footprint. For others, it is to offset some portion of their electric bill while protecting themselves from future electric rate increases that may alter their retirement plans. For businesses, this usually requires the company to switch energy providers once every two years to keep their rates down. Renewable Energy Projects represent a significant initial investment. Understanding what has motivated you to investigate Renewable Energy will make a difference when you decide if the investment is “worth it” for your household or business.
Asking what your renewable energy system will cost is like asking “what does a car cost”. First you need to determine your requirements. How big, how fancy, what kind of options, how powerful, how long do you want it to last. You can buy a sub-compact KIA for under $9000, or you can buy a Bentley for $200,000.
System Costs Examples
All Solar PV systems are made up of two basic components: the panel and the inverter. There are many choices for both of these, and here at West Seattle Natural Energy we only use the highest quality products with the best warranties and customer service.
In plain terms, the panel collects the energy and the inverter turns it into useable power for your home. Our main panel offering is Solar World out of Oregon, though we have other panel options available to us depending on your specific circumstances and site needs.
Solar World panels are 17% efficient and are backed by a 25-year linear performance guarantee and a 10-year product workmanship warranty. The panels are factory-tested to meet or exceed their name plate power rating. Solar World is one of the most respected solar panel manufacturers in the world and WSNE is proud to be their only Platinum Installer in the state and the only installer with the new 300 watt panels available to them! The frame is also available in black on certain models.
We’re the only solar installer to exclusively use Micro-Inverters with our systems. What that means is that instead of one big inverter for the whole system, you have one small inverter for each panel. There are many reasons for this choice; they are more efficient, they allow for expandability, they work better in cloudy and/or shaded situations and they come with real-time monitoring. That way you always know what your system is doing and if anything goes wrong, it can be addressed right away so you lose as little production time as possible.
Our system cost examples are based on an average electric bill of $100 a month with Seattle City Light, and a production credit of .11/KWh. If your electricity provider is someone else, or if you use a prepaid energy provider, your Production Credit and Energy Savings may be different.
Oregon Made Solar World 285 Watt Panels with US Made Enphase Micro-Inverters
- 5.7 KW system using 285 watt panels Estimated annual production = 6800 KWh
- System Cost (20 Panels) $19,900
- Federal Tax Credit (30%) ($5,960)
- Production Credit ($.11 x 6800) ($750)
- Energy Savings ($.124 x 6800 KWh) ($840)
- System Cost after Rebates $12,350
- Yearly Savings Until 2020: $1,590
Oregon Made Solar World 300 Watt Panels with US Made Enphase Micro-Inverters
- 6 KW system using 300 watt panels Estimated annual production = 7,200 KWh
- System Cost (20 Panels) $21,095
- Federal Tax Credit (30%) ($6,328)
- Production Credit ($.11 x 7200) ($791)
- Energy Savings ($.124 x 7200 KWh) ($890)
- System Cost after Rebates $13,085
- Yearly Savings Until 2020: $1,681
Oregon Made Solar World 250 Watt Poly Panels with US Made Enphase Micro-Inverters
- 5 KW system using 250 watt poly panels Estimated annual production = 6500 KWh
- System Cost (20 Panels) $19,400
- Federal Tax Credit (30%) ($5,820)
- Production Credit ($.11 x 6500) ($715)
- Energy Savings ($.124 x 6500 KWh) ($800)
- System Cost after Rebates $12,065
- Yearly Savings Until 2020: $1,515