It’s been five years since we turned on our solar panels. Each spring, I look at our numbers to compare how we’ve done each year and see how much money we’ve made overall.
Here are previous year’s updates:
If you want to get caught up on how this all started, my Going Solar series covered all of the details of our install and our array:
- The Ontario microFIT solar program and our application process
- Installing the solar panels and connecting to the grid
- Our solar panels by the numbers
And now to the latest update.
If you’ve been following along, you know that the power we generate goes back to the provincial grid, rather than to our own use. We paid to install the panels, but the province pays us for the power they produce.
Last year we made $4,595.18, bringing our total income over the past 5 years to $22,777.75.
As of this year we’ve made 56% of what we invested in installing the panels ($40,727.46). Solar panels are obviously a long term investment for us (our contract with the provincial government pays us $0.396 per kWh and runs for 20 years).
This year’s profit was the third highest since we powered up the solar panels. As always, the weather determines how much power we generate, and it varies every month and every year.
But like always, what we made far exceeded what we spent on power.
We paid $2,595.02 for electricity last year, meaning we came out $2,000.16 ahead.
Solar programs vary a lot depending on where you live and what your goals are. As well, solar technology has come a long way since we installed our panels 5 years ago. For us, our system has been working really well for us–both environmentally and financially–and we’re really happy we made this decision.
I am still intrigued by your solar panels! What is the expected life span of your panels? Is there any maintenance on them?
I love that it is working so well for you.
Our contractor said that our panels will likely outlive our contract with the government. So greater than 20 years. Their production will drop slightly as they age, but not too significantly, hopefully.
They have been completely maintenance free… although Matt tends to want to remove the snow from them after a storm. But winter is such a low production time that snow coverage for a few days really doesn’t matter.
What an excellent investment. Just think, when they’re paid off, YOU will be making all that money! Plus it’s great for the planet. Win-win!
I know. The income is already so helpful, but it will be extra nice when we’re even.