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Run Down of the Costs and Earnings of Solar Electricity (Photovoltaic Panels)

The two tables below come from Energy Trust of Oregon. They outline what the costs and earnings would be for a typical solar electricity system (photovoltaic system) in Lake County, Oregon for Pacific Power customers. As Pacific Power is a public utility it is mandated to provide financial assistance for the renewable energy purchases of its customers.

The assumptions used to form the tables below are: the household is a Pacific Power customer, the home is located in Lakeview, Oregon, the solar system size is 3,000 Watt-dc, and the costs per Watt is $4.50.

As the tables show, the total costs of a photovoltaic system could be as low as $1,875 and it could earn $410 a year, that’s a 21% annual return on investment. Considering, the stock market rarely achieves a 10% annual return on investment, photovoltaic panels could make a lot of sense for both your home and your bank account.

Costs and Earnings of a Typical Solar Electric System in Lake County, Oregon
System Size 3,000 Watt-dc
Percentage of total power use provided by solar system: 37%
Price Tag @ $4.50 per Watt $13,500
Energy Trust of Oregon $2,250
OR Tax Credit (take over 4 years, up to $1,500 per year) $6,000
Federal Tax Credit $5,175
Year 1 Net Cost (including only first year of OR Tax Credit) $6,375
Total Net Cost
System Cost after Incentives (using remaining 3 years of the OR Tax Credit) $1,875
Monthly & Annual Earnings: Solar Electric Panels; Lake County, Oregon
Without Solar With Solar Solar Earnings
January $108 $88 $20
February $91 $65 $26
March $93 $60 $32
April $89 $49 $39
May $88 $45 $43
June $100 $55 $45
July $119 $70 $49
August $111 $65 $47
September $101 $60 $41
October $94 $62 $32
November $97 $79 $19
December $110 $93 $17
TOTAL $1,200 $790 $410

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