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Invest in reducing your energy bill if you haven't done so yet. solar plus storage plus house isolation. Should also raise the value of the house. In theory.



Can you or anyone recommend a unbiased solar ROI calculator? I have been looking for something, bu every site that I find is trying to sell me solar, so it's not too unbiased. I already have a couple quotes, and I know roughly what my rates will be, so I should be able to plug all the numbers into something to find out what % ROI I will get.


Make a spreadsheet with one row per year. You can assume your system will last 25 years, depending on the panels and type of inverters you get.

Put your upfront costs at the first year's row (you're buying the system).

Calculate how much the system will save you in the current year (365 days), and put that in another column ("energy income") on the first row.

Each future energy income row gets discounted by ~7% multiplicatively: (1/1.07) * prev_row. This is to account for your ability to earn money from other investments, and to discount the future energy flows because of uncertainty. You can tweak this number up or down if you think the regulatory or technical value of solar energy is riskier than I do, or have different opinions about the stock market.

If the sum of the energy income column is bigger than the sum of the expense column, it's a good idea to buy solar. Shop around for the best deal you can get.


Rough numbers: https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/s...

Google Sunroof: https://www.google.com/get/sunroof

Always buy the panels (no PPA), don't buy storage unless your net metering agreement with the utility is terrible (likely kills the ROI, storage isn't cheap enough yet). Ensure your tax liability is enough to capture the full 30% federal tax credit. Check for state, utility, and SREC benefits in your area. Panels are 25 year warranty, stay away from SolarEdge inverters; their mortality rate has skyrocketed over the last 12-18 months. Paying cash is best, otherwise find the cheapest debt you can find to finance whatever remains after incentives.


I don't have a good calculator, but step 1 is to make sure you BUY the panels, and not rent them or fall into any kind of weird plans where you resell some energy for free panels or whatever.

So your ROI is pretty much calculated with: How much do the panels cost (installed) How long do they last, whats expected maintenance, etc How much energy are they expected to produce Whats your electricity bill.

From there its pretty simple math. The hardest part is how much energy they are expected to produce, and no online calculator will help figuring out how much sun hits your roof.


For the production side of the calculation, take a look at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PVWatts tool. Most of the installers build their ROI tools on top of this. https://pvwatts.nrel.gov


Just make one? Calculate how much the install costs per kw, and how much your electric costs...




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