How much does a solar electric system cost?
System prices vary widely depending on module (solar panel) selection, type of system (grid-tied or battery back-up), and mounting method (roof, ground, or pole mount). For example, while Panasonic or Solaria modules are the more efficient, they are also the more expensive. Silfab and Mission Solar modules are less efficient, and also cost less. If you have a large area to install the system, you can use less efficient modules. However, if your optimum solar roof space is limited, you may need higher efficiency Panasonic or Solaria modules which allow you to fit more watts of solar into a smaller space.
Net Metered System
Net metering simply means that the utility pays the customer the same rate as the customer pays the utility for exported solar generation on either a monthly or annual basis. For Pacific Power and Consumers Power customers, the utilities will allow customers to bank excess energy until the March billing cycle of the following year. As long as you size the system to your annual needs or a little bit smaller, you will receive full retail value for all of the power you produce until the utility year-end date.
For both utilities, the bill will have two meter readings: 1) Imported Energy 2) Exported Energy. The customer pays the net difference between the two readings unless there is excess in which case a credit is listed for use on future bills up to the utility year-end date. The solar generated by the system goes first to the building loads and then to the utility if there is excess, saving energy and money by avoiding bought energy and selling excess.