Crowds Overwhelm GoSolarSF Fair, Everyone Wants Solar

by Thomas Beutel

I spent some time this afternoon speaking with various solar installers at the GoSolarSF fair at the Eureka Valley rec center. To say the fair was crowded would be an understatement. I wasn’t able to speak to most of the installers–the crowds were too deep. It’s fantastic to see this amount of interest in solar.

Of course, San Francisco is doing its part by providing incentives, which along with state and soon to expire federal incentives makes it a no brainer. A typical $25,000 system will cost about half that after incentives, and with ever increasing electricity prices the typical return-on-investment is 5 to 7 years.

According to one of the companies I spoke with, the ROI is even better if you are using solar to power a plugin hybrid electric car. At current gas prices, a 1.5KW solar array along with a PHEV like the Chevy Volt would pay for itself in 2 years. 

The only question in my mind is whether to buy a larger array now, or wait until PHEVs are actually available.