Go Solar in Montebello

Your Meter Going Backwards

Meter Going Backward

Return On Investment

How long does it take to recover my investment, or my Return On Investment (ROI) in my solar panels?  A lot less than you may think, and it depends mostly on the size of your current electric power bill.  The larger you power bill, the more your power costs per Kilo-Watt Hour (KWH) of power that you use and pay for.  Southern California Edison has 5 cost Tiers and power in the 5th Tier costs almost 3 times more than if you stay in the first “Baseline” Tier of services.

Incentives currently available for California residents are a California Solar Initiative Rebate of $0.35 per “effective watt” of solar panels installed. This is generally paid to the customer, or installing contractor, by the electric power utility that serves the customer.  The Effective Watt is calculated by the direction and elevation that you solar panels point toward the sun, and whether there is any shade from trees, other buildings, etc. that may impact them. If you solar panels face south and there is little to no shade impacting your panels they are generally 90% effective, or better.  If you panels face East / West, then the efficiency can be 70% or less.   The chart below assumes an Efficiency of 85%.  After that there is a 30% Federal Tax Credit on the balance of the cost of the system after the Rebate has been deducted.

Your home equity will also go up significantly more than what you pay for your system.  That is because most installers charge much more to install the same size system, typically with an inferior mounting system.  Follow the Link at the top of the right Side Bar to the California Go Solar!, California Solar Initiative web site to see the current average installation cost.


12 Month Average Monthly Bill$100$150$250$350$450
Avg. KWH per Month Used615813117114941818
Solar Panel System Size in Watts375050007000900010000
Installed Cost at $4.2 per Watt$15,750$21,000$29,400$37,800$42,000
Months for ROI , No Incentives15814011810893
Years for ROI, No Incentives13.
System Cost After All Incentives$10,244$13,659$19,122$24,586$27,318
Months for ROI With Incentives10291767061
Years for ROI With Incentives8.
Net Savings after 25 Years$19,756$31,341$55,878$80,414$107.683
Increased Home Equity at $6.9 per Watt$25,875$34,500$48,300$62,100$69,000

Please note that some variation from this chart is likely as every customers’ roof pitch and direction towards the sun will vary, as well as monthly and annual weather changes.