How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves or, in other words, what is the payback period? There is a bit of leg work to do when it comes to finding out. Why? Because every system is different. Why? Because every home is different. Why? Because what people need in terms of energy is very, very different. Here’s the ‘how to’ guide when it comes to figuring out how long it might take YOUR system to pay for itself.
HOW DO WE DEFINE THE PAYBACK PERIOD FOR SOLAR PANELS?
Before we look at how long it will take for your solar panels to pay for themselves we need to set the parameters for what that actually means. The solar panel payback period is the amount of time it will take you to pay off your system through savings on your electric bills.
WHAT FACTORS DO YOU NEED CONSIDER WHEN CALCULATING A SOLAR PAYBACK PERIOD?
To work out the length of your payback period we take the total amount your system cost to install minus the grants and rebates, we then subtract the monthly bill savings until we arrive at zero.
Here are the five primary factors to keep in mind.
- What is your average electricity usage? (This information is also useful for your PV solar panel provider so they can determine how many solar panels you might need.)
- How much is your system going to cost you?
- What grants or other types of relief are available to you?
- How much energy can you expect to produce?
- The current cost of electricity (as well as expected increase in that cost)
A little additional note here – don’t forget that soon you should be in a position to sell any excess electricity you produce back to the grid. It might make the payback period question a little more difficult to answer (as we don’t have the ins and outs of this on paper just yet) but keep in mind that your current results will be on the conservative side.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SOLAR PAYBACK PERIOD FOR HOMES IN IRELAND?
This swings a lot due to the variety in systems and requirements but it can take anywhere from 5-15 years. It’s likely to lean increasingly towards the lower end of the scale with a carefully considered design and carbon taxes looking to continue to grow. That said, with PV solar panel systems lasting between 25-35 years, even at the higher end of the scale you’re looking at 10 years of savings at a minimum.
Get in touch if you have any questions and/or would like to request a quote. That’s what we’re here for.