Going solar now or later – which will save more?

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Going solar now or later – which will save more?

Posted on June 9, 2014

Last Friday, I was driving in a new neighborhood and noticed a few houses with solar panels on the roofs. Yesterday, I watched the episode of The TV show “Cosmos: Spacetime Odyssey – The World Set Free” in which the anchor of the show, Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson showed the history of solar energy. I also stumbled upon Elon Musk’s biography on Netflix yesterday where he talked about sustainable energy and funding Solar City. Three signs in two days! So, I decided to check out Solar City.

Before that here is the youtube video of Elon Musk’s biography.

Here is what I liked when I checked out Solar City.

  1. Solar City is in my neighborhood.
  2. No upfront cost.
  3. Lower monthly rates which are locked-in.
  4. No worries regarding repairs and damage.
  5. My monthly electricity expenses made me a good candidate for solar energy.

So, I submitted my info to request a quote on a Sunday afternoon and in less than a minute received a call from Solar City. I found out from the sales rep that the company that I get my electricity from, does not work with Solar City. Tough luck. Looks like there are other local companies that work with my utility company. I will check these soon.

Having said all that, I am a little bit concerned about getting stuck with a technology that can change so quickly. For example, the battery technology is poised to cause a revolution where you may be able to get off the electric grid. It may happen in 5 years or less and so getting stuck with a technology for 20 years is what I am concerned about.

Definitely looking for a solution that is cost-effective and sustainable in the long run. With technological improvement there is no reason to save money as well as to help the environment.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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  • Reply Nayeem June 24, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Energy has been a big issue with us here, and I was thinking from quite sometime why can’t we use solar energy which is abundant for 12hrs a day 365 day a year. But again all the calculation gets bogged down to ROI. With recent developments seems have given possibilities of common man preferring to invest in Solar panels installed on their roof tops than to go the power supplied by the state, which has become more dearer now. All day usage of solar energy would bring down the electricity bill significantly, and switch to the state supplied electricity in the nights. So that one could avoid the use of Batteries and its maintenance. The challenge in these panels is to generate enough power run the refrigerators and Air conditioners. I hope there might have been some solutions already for this. Solar city seem to have a good financial model being offered to its customers. It would reduce the burden of initial investment and could be retrieved on per unit usage basis making it more affordable.

    • Reply Shakeel Akhtar June 24, 2014 at 5:55 am

      There are multiple solutions that are being worked on in this area. It will get very interesting in the next few years. Someday, the electric grid may not be necessary, who knows?

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