Investing in a Solar Electric (PV) System


  • Is PV a good investment?

  • Installing a solar system on your home increases your property value, and there is a New York State law that states that your property taxes can not be raised due to the increase in the property value based on the PV system.  A PV system is a capital improvement to your business, and is exempt from New York State sales tax for homes and businesses.  PV systems also increase the resale value of your residential and commercial property.  Your electric bill will be substantially reduced for the life of the PV system, which could be 50 years, or more.  Many residents and businesses also qualify for attractive tax benefits.

  • How is investing in PV different?

  • In addition to being a good financial investment now by reducing your utility bills immediately, PV is an investment in your financial future, and in the future of the environment.  Given the volatility of the prices of fossil fuels used to produce the energy we use today, we have no idea what those costs will be in the future.  The cost of your PV system is fixed, and this investment will be insulated from interest rate and stock market fluctuations.  The rate of return of your investment in PV will only increase with time, and will not be adversely affected by economic recessions as other investment assets can be.  The sooner you invest in a PV system, the sooner and longer your electric meter will be running backwards, and you can reap the benefits of your investment.

  • What are the financial returns of a PV System?

  • This all depends on your unique electric rate and usage level, the size of the system and component options you choose, your financial situation, and income tax liability.  After your initial site assessment is complete, your rate of return and system payback analysis will be prepared.  Average rates of return range from 6%-12%, and system payback time range from 6-12 years.  Mountaintop Greene Clean Energy recommends that you also discuss these matters with your accountant, or a financial professional.

  • What are the financial risks regarding my investment?

  • As far as investments go,  the risk factors in your investment in a PV system are extremely low.  Future annual returns depend on PV system output and future electricity prices.  Your PV system output is calculated based upon both scientifically proven equipment performance and weather data at the location of the PV system.  We’re fairly certain that future electricity prices won’t decrease and, as a matter of fact, the New York State Public Utility Commission has recently given electric companies the OK to raise electric rates 3% per year for the next 3 years.  The NYSERDA Incentive Rebates Program, PON 2112, requires that the PV system site is adequate with regard to (lack of) shading and orientation, and also requires that the system design and output will perform to the highest standards.  Mountaintop Greene Clean Energy covers the workmanship of your PV system with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, and will honor all equipment manufacturer’s warranties.  Solar module manufacturers have at least a 25 year warranty, and inverter manufacturers warranties are usually 15 years, with extended warranties available.  PV technology has been around for a long time; the “Photovoltaic Effect” was first observed in 1839.  There are PV modules that were made in the late 1950’s by Bell Laboratories that are still producing 70% of the power today that they produced when they were newly built…today’s modules will almost certainly be working for 50+ years, and more.