I have bought several solar panels, and 3 solar generators. Lots of adapters, and associated things like paracord. I estimate I have spent about $2000 so far. When does this pay off?
Looking at my old monthly bill I was paying about $100 a month in electricity. More in the summer by about $500 for the summer due to the AC. I have two AC unit because one of them isn’t enough to keep it cool when it gets hotter than 100 outside. Now with the solar power I have used, the monthly bills are about down to $50 roughly. I stopped using one of the AC units because its getting cooler and I can use a fan to save energy/money.
This means that I am saving roughly $50 on lighting, charging my devices and AC. Dividing the total amount of $2000/$50 it comes down to roughly 3.3 years to payback. I will keep this equipment longer than that period, so after that period of time I will start saving money.
The main reason I bought it is because there were power outages in the past in my apartment and working in IT this is problematic. I wanted to be able to be available as I can working from home. I also like being prepared, so it is really nice to know that you have power just in case the power goes out and your iphone battery is low. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I could disconnect from the grid and get by on what I have. It wouldn’t be always comfortable since I wouldn’t have power for the fan as much as I’d like, but I’d be able to manage the most important devices.
Now of course I am leaving out the possible future rise of electrical costs, and the cost of things like what I might have gained in interest by investing that money or some such. Those kinds of things are hard to calculate.
If you are going to buy panels and solar generators you can learn from my experience and buy the best. To me, right now the best is a Lifepo4 based solar generator with the Merlin company solar panels. Just add up the watts of the devices you want, and decide how much power you want. You can spend as little as $135 like I did with my Beudens, up to the sky is the limit. In that entire range are fantastic options that have some great qualities. Of course the more you invest the longer it will take to recoup that investment as a general rule. Still at some point, and normally it is less than halfway through the life of the unit, it will break even and then everything after that is savings.
I don’t regret what I have invested to learn solar power. I have wasted money on more foolish things that didn’t even have a benefit. I bet you will love the sense of independence and thrift you will get from investing with solar.