- Published on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 04:14
- Written by Pam Walatka - Special to the Town Crier
For homeowners considering installing solar panels but wary of the expense, Jose Radzinsky, president and CEO of Renewable Power Solutions Inc., suggests starting with a baby step: install just a few panels, enough to power one or two appliances, to determine whether solar power is the best choice.
Renewable Power Solutions offers an affordable introduction to solar power. As an alternative to its full-scale installations, the company installs three to six solar panels, enough to generate approximately 1.2 kilowatts of electricity. Later, if the homeowner is satisfied with the results from the first installation, Solutions can continue to expand the system in small steps.
According to Radzinsky, the cost depends somewhat on the roof type. Composition or wood shingles are easy to work with, he said, but tile roofs are more complicated. Before rebates, the cost varies from approximately $7,200 to $7,500, with the after-rebate price approximately $5,000. The only factor likely to prevent a rebate would be a tax lien on the property. Renewable Power Solutions charges the customer the after-rebate price, then the company prepares the rebate paperwork and keeps the rebate check when it comes.
Tax incentives and energy-bill savings would eventually offset the $5,000 cost of the installation, Radzinsky said, with expected electricity-bill savings totaling $35-$40 per month. The 1.2-kilowatt system would power one or two appliances, depending on the amount of power the homeowner draws.
Homeowners would still pay PG&E for electricity, but a lower amount. These are “grid-tie” systems – electricity generated from the solar panels would be delivered to the PG&E power grid via a meter and make the meter spin backward, or at least go forward more slowly. That is, the homeowner would receive financial credit for making power and would reduce his or her carbon footprint.
The power the solar panels generate would not be stored, and the homeowner would remain dependent on PG&E’s power grid. If PG&E power goes down, National Electric Code safety restrictions would prevent the solar panels’ inverters from delivering power, even to the owners of solar-powered setups. The grid-tie system is the most common installation type. The more expensive alternative, the backup power system, stores electricity in batteries for emergencies.
“We are trying very hard to make solar and being green affordable,” Radzinsky said.
For more information, call (408) 998-7400 or visit www.RPS-Solar.com.