The installation of solar photovoltaic panels is appealing, but how does the return on the major investment play out? Home Innovation Research Labs’ new study looks at the cost effectiveness of solar panels across five markets across the country: Phoenix, Tampa, Boston, Kansas City, and Seattle. Home Innovation completed the report by using software from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, says the National Association of Home Builders. This software models the energy performance of solar panels at a specific location for a specific home configuration to calculate expected electricity production and more.
The model evaluated a new house construction scenario, which assumed that the solar PV system was installed prior to the house sale as part of the overall equipment package. The analysis did not incorporate any financial incentives because such measures are temporary and vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction.
The analysis indicates that the following factors are the primary drivers in determining how cost effective a rooftop solar PV system is:
- Local electricity price
- Utility tariff for purchasing excess electricity generated at the house
- Solar resource at the site and panel orientation
- Installed cost of the PV panels