Saturday, July 12, 2014

Solar Power

I see that our power rates have increased recently.  The non-summer rate is now 7.23 cents/kWh; the summer rate is now 8.5 cents/kWh.  (You Californians have no one to blame but your state legislature.)  This means that the 100 watt panels that Amazon has for $150 each would pay for themselves (even ignoring tax incentives) in about 60 months or so. 


  1. According to this :

    Idaho Power is one of the few investor-owned electric utilities with a predominantly hydroelectric generating base, which helps to keep your rates low. ...

    No doubt the Idaho legislature is more sensible than California's but this is not the sole explanation for the difference in electric rates.

  2. That is certainly a big part of it, but some of California's rates involve a lot of subsidy of the poor by ordinary rate-payers.

  3. Power rates would have to be extremely high to make any Alternate Energy scheme pay off. I used to frequent a forum where a common lament was "my electricity is so expensive, especially when the A/C is running, how many solar panels do I need to cut the cost?" They have NO idea of the numbers.

    FWIW: I have 2, 75 watt panels on our travel trailer that will JUST provide the power we need, as long as we're very frugal and don't use the computer. They will make about 3 Kwhr/month, about $.40 worth where we live. Total cost of the system would approach $1000.00 at retail.

  4. I think more like 10 years assuming summer hours and rates all year long. Otherwise maybe 12 or more.