Delaware's electricity prices average $0.13/kWh, just below the national average of $0.14/kWh.
The average cost of a 10kW (equivalent to saving almost 200 trees a year) solar power system starts around $27,000 in Delaware. Before any incentives, in the first year you’d save about $1,500, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.
This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:
From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 10kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $27,000, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, then paying itself in full over 11 years.
Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years. In that time, between incentives and paying lower rates you could make a profit of around $34,000 - 25% more than the up-front cost of the system.
Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely.
Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.
Starting with that same 10kW system costing $27,000 but with zero up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings starting around $1,500, you could see a revenue surplus of about $7,000 at the end of the first year.
Save that money though. Your loan payments will likely exceed your power savings by about $80/month for the 15-year term. Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $2,400 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $24,000.
With a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) the homeowner leases their roof to an outside party, usually a power company. Generally PPAs feature a fixed price per kWh, with either a fixed term or an annual escalator.
With a PPA, the cost of installation, repair, and maintenance to the homeowner is usually $0.00. For that 10kW system, with a PPA you could expect to save about $20/month on energy. Over 25 years, you could see over $9,000 in revenue - without accounting for inflation. That’s technically an infinite return!
PPA’s can be complicated, as you are effectively ceding at least some control of your home to the third party, but they are an excellent way to get into solar because they have no overhead.
Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/
|Name||Implementing Sector||Program Type||Administrator||DSIRE ID|
|Technology and Demonstration Grants||State||Grant Program||Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control||100|
|Research and Development Grants||State||Grant Program||Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control||101|
|Fuel Mix Disclosure||State||Generation Disclosure||652|
|Energy Conservation Standards for State Facilities||State||Energy Standards for Public Buildings||1704|
|Solar Rights Law||State||Solar/Wind Access Policy||3502|
|Wind Access and Permitting Law||State||Solar/Wind Permitting Standards||3503|
|Mandatory Utility Green Power Options||State||Mandatory Utility Green Power Option||3751|
|Delaware - Green Power Requirement For State Facilities||State||Green Power Purchasing||4112|
|Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) - Home Performance with ENERGY STAR||State||Rebate Program||Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)||5449|
|Green Grant- Solar Hot Water and Geothermal program||State||Rebate Program||Joint Grant Program of Delaware Sustainable Utility (DESEU) and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)||5576|
|Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) Spot Market Program||State||Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program||5690|
|SREC Procurement Program||State||Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program||5691|
|Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) - Energize Delaware Farm Loan Program||State||Loan Program||5724|
|U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): University of Delaware||Federal||Energy Analysis||U.S. Department of Energy||17602|
|Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) – Energize Delaware Farm Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU)||21860|
|Delaware State Government - Energy Tips and Assistance||State||Training and Information||Delaware State Government||21995|
|Delaware Electric Cooperative - Energy Saving Programs||Other||Training and Information||Delaware Electric Cooperative||21997|
|Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships - EM&V Forum||Non-Profit||Training and Information||Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships||22028|