According to the Arizona Republic, First Solar Inc., a Tempe based company has just signed a deal with SolarCity to enough panels to install them on 25,000 homes in the next year. Solar panels for energy is not a new concept, but one that will hopefully be more utilized with the increasing energy issues in the country.
I for one have always wondered why I don’t see many energy panels on homes (including my own) in the Valley of the SUN. This would seem to be a no brainer…except for the fact that the panels are generally large and unsightly and quite costly to install. I know there are roof tiles available with itty bitty solar panels built into the tile, but these are even more expensive and most homeowners feel they would have to live in the home for years before realizing a savings after the investment. Probably true.
First Solar, however, is now going to offer a lease program on the panels (the big panels, not the itty bitty ones) with, according to their website, an initial deposit of $1000. The company says with the initial deposit, monthly lease and lower energy bills, most customers would realize an energy savings.
I’m all for “going green” and think anything we can do to stop polluting good ole mother is is a good thing. So, I threw my figures into SolarCity’s energy calculator to see what my savings would be with the current electric company costs. According to their calculator, it would actually cost me $3 a month more than I’m paying for electricity now. I don’t think that’s going to sell me on the panels right now. Maybe I’m not as “green” as I would like to be.