I planned on adding solar to my home as part of my retirement strategy. In 2010 New Jersey was offering significant rebates for residential solar installations. In anticipation of my 2016 retirement I added a 10K Sunpower system in June 2010. Adding it all up: Between the state and Federal grant money, and the money I have saved by not paying for electricity and the SREC money, by the time I retired my system had totally paid for itself.
I had limited space so I wanted the highest quality, and highest yielding panels. After much research I determined the best panel in 2010 was the 230 watt Sunpower Panel with an 18% efficiency. So I had a system designed and installed using (43) 230watt panels. I'm now retired and haven't had an electric bill to speak of in years. I do continue to collect monthly SREC checks, thank you New Jersey.
I recently decided to add a large addition to our home. As part of the addition we are adding an additional (18) 327watt panels to our system. We selected the 327s as they have a 21.4% efficiency rating, which is fantastic.
Its been five and a half years and we haven't had a single problem with any part of our system. Through rain and ice and Hail they just sit on the roof silently generating all the electricity we need. We have not seen any drop in solar production either. I believe with the latest addition, our 61 solar panel, 16K system will greatly increase the value of our home.
Many people contemplate retirement, but how many look past adding a solar installation to their home as an investment in their future retirement. Considering the Federal Government is still allowing a 30% tax credit for the total cost of the system, it's still a great investment. I will never pay for electricity in my life-time, and should I decide at some point to sell my home, I can expect a higher sale price.
There are few investments I have made that have paid off so well as going solar.