In this post, I’ll cover how electricity from a new Texas residential solar system is already cheaper than grid electricity costs. I previously wrote an article about which solar system to use, where I compared Tesla versus SunPower for the better system, and I’ll also follow that up with the decision I made and why I made it.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, our residential solar system from SunPower was installed. Following that, on March 29, our bi-directional meter was installed by our utility, allowing us to track electricity consumed from the grid, track electricity generation from our new solar system, and track how much we sent back to the grid. I’ll have more to say on our SunPower panels in a subsequent post.
Texas rooftop solar is cheaper than grid electricity today
Here’s my estimate of the solar panel costs if we had them together since last March. I have capped the production from the panels at 50 kWh per day, since that’s the max I have seen them produce over the last month. The red bars represent the total electric cost divided by total consumption. You’ll note there has been a rising trend in grid electricity costs since November. The cost in March 2022 was 15 cents per kWh, a rise of 22.81% year over year. For the solar panels, our cost is fixed at $108.63 per month, which is the financing cost of the panels. The solar panel blue line cost curve is inverted, leading to higher costs in winter and lower costs in summer. This is because natural gas is our big cost for heating, less sun is available in the winter for the solar panels, and more electricity is used in summer for cooling. During the summer, our solar cost drops to 7 to 8 cents a kWh, a big savings.
For the last year, our overall average grid electricity cost was 13 cents a kWh. 15,359 kWh were consumed for a cost of $1,936.17. I estimate our panels can produce 13,260 kWh over the coming year, with a total fixed cost of $1,303.56. This gives us an estimated average cost of 10 cents a kWh. Yes, we’ll have to cover the excess electricity in the summer time, and I estimate that will cost us $264.60. Already, in our first month of owning solar panels, you can see we will be below the grid electricity cost. That’s a big deal!
I estimate we’ll save $368.01 over our first year by using solar panels, for an estimated first year return of 28.23% on investment. That’s terrific. I will be posting followup articles on how much was produced by our panels, how much our consumption went down, and how much we saved. We …….