Buying a Plug-In Car Cut His Solar Payback in Half

An article in GigaOM shows how one person cut his payback period from installing solar in half by buying a plug-in car, in this case a Chevy Volt.  

After rebates, the 9.4 kilowatt solar system cost $29,000, which based on the homeowner’s electric bill, would take almost 12 years to break-even.

Since switching to a Volt, 75% of the family’s driving is powered by electricity, which comes from the solar panels. Add the savings in electric bills ($2500 a year) to the savings in gas bills no longer needed to fill up the car ($2400 a year) and the solar system takes just six years to pay back.

Also, when they refinanced their house, the appraiser added $30,000 to its value because it has a solar array. "That gave us the best possible rate because of our loan to value, ratio," Kevin Tofel says.

"Without that extra boost in the appraisal, we would have had to pay more in fees to get our low rate or simply have a marginally higher rate. I don’t consider this part of the payback either, but it sure helped!"

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