Here are the things you need to know when you participate in Solar Barn Raising:
- Learning Curve — Through working with us, we want you to gain a basic knowledge of how a solar power system is designed and constructed.
- Process — There are multiple steps in the process of installing your own solar power system (see “Steps in the Process”), so it takes some time and effort on your part.
- Involvement — We require you to be an active participant in all stages of the project; we do not install a solar power system for you.
- Upfront Cost — Your upfront cost is the wholesale cost of the solar panels, mounting hardware, shipping costs, and a SBR operating costs surcharge of $0.40 per watt (such as paid employees, engineering, insurance, travel, and tools). For example, for a 5KW system, your upfront cost would be approximately $7250 to $9000.
- Rebates — After the project is completed you can claim a 30% federal renewable energy tax credit and any available rebates from your utility.
- Final Cost — With SBR your final cost, after rebates, is approximately $1.10 to $1.25/watt, depending on whether you install the roof rails and do the electrical hookup yourself, or contract it out. For example, if you install a 5KW system, your final cost would be approximately $5,500 and $6,250.
- Payback Time — Approximately 5 -7 years.
- Learn — You expand your knowledge of renewable energy systems, specifically how a solar photovoltaic system is designed, constructed, and performs.
- Camaraderie — You meet new friends who share your enthusiasm for generating your own electricity.
- Decarbonization — Your solar power installation contributes, at the local level, to decarbonizing our energy generation system. And there’s more that you can do, like adding insulation, purchasing Energy Star appliances, and using LED lighting.
- Money Savings — You realize substantial savings on the installation of your solar power system (you earned it!). After about 5 years, your electricity is almost free (you still pay the base rate).