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Adding Solar To Your Home: Is It Worth The Cost?

Are you thinking about adding solar to your home? Solar photovoltaic panels (PV) are appealing to new home buyers because of the reduced electric bills and a lessened environmental impact. But, are those shiny panels worth the initial investment? We say yes, and here’s why!

Adding Solar To Your Home: Is It Worth The Cost?

According to a recent study by Home Innovation Research Labs, “the following factors are the primary drivers in determining how cost-effective a rooftop solar PV system is”:

  • Local electricity price
  • Utility tariff for purchasing excess electricity generated at the house
  • Solar resource at the site and panel orientation
  • Installed cost of the PV panels

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Local Electricity Price

Residential electricity rates in Oregon average 9.8¢/kWh, which ranks the state 44th cheapest in the nation. The average residential electricity rate of 9.8¢/kWh in OR is 17.51% less than the national average residential rate of 11.88¢/kWh. This makes most of Oregon an ideal place to add solar to your home.

Utility Tariff

According to EnergyTrust.org, “Oregon’s net metering law allows all utility customers to generate their own electricity and reduce their electricity bills. If you install a solar electric system, your utility will come to your site and switch out your existing utility meter for a bidirectional “net” meter (there is no charge for the new meter). This meter keeps track of the power you acquire from the utility, and what you supply to the grid. Each month, the power you used from your utility is offset by the power you send to the utility. You are only charged for the difference or the “net.””

From the Statesman’s Journal – In some states, homeowners can be paid for leftover electricity, but in Oregon, if a customer sends more electricity to the utility than it receives, those credits are carried over for 12 months. If an excess remains after that, those credits are given to customers in the utility’s low-income assistance program.

Solar Resource

The availability of solar resource varies by location. In Ashland, we receive right around the average number of “sunny” days per year, but the Summer months typically provide an above-average solar resource (depending on a home’s location and orientation). This makes Ashland a great place to utilize roof-top solar.

Installed Cost of the PV System

According to Energy Sage – “As of December 2020, the average solar panel cost in Oregon is $2.58/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts (kW), an average solar installation in Oregon ranges in cost from $10,965 to $14,835, with the average gross price for solar in Oregon coming in at $12,900. After accounting for the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives, the net price you’ll pay for solar can fall by thousands of dollars”. With this in mind, the average time it takes a homeowner to “pay off” their solar system comes out to around 11.37 years and within 20 years the average lifetime savings are over $17,000.

Adding solar to your home

Bonus Perk: The Planet Will Thank You

Adding solar to your home is not only great for your pocketbook but for the planet a well! According to Zen Energy, Some of the key advantages of solar energy on the environment include:

  • Using less water.
    • Traditional electricity production can use thousands of liters of water each year.
  • Reducing air pollution.
    •  Electricity generation from fossil fuels can generate harmful carbon dioxide and methane gases that lower the quality of the air we breathe.
  • Help to slow climate change.
    • Those harmful carbon dioxide and methane gases are also some of the key contributors to climate change. By adding solar to your home you are helping to slow climate change.
  • Reducing your household’s carbon footprint.
  • Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
    • The sunshine used in solar energy production is free, and there’s lots of it. On the other hand, fossil fuels are running out, and fast. Reducing our reliance on these finite resources and taking advantage of an abundant, free source of energy, such as sunlight, could mean lower energy prices, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a stronger, more stable energy future.

Are You Looking For A New Home With Solar In Ashland, Oregon?

In response to the threats of climate change and demand for sustainable, eco-friendly homes in Southern Oregon, KDA Homes has adopted sustainable development practices in all of the homes we build, including providing roof-top solar (pre-installed or ready to install) in all of the homes we build.

Sustainable Homes Currently For Sale In Ashland, Oregon

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Beach Creek Ashland
Beach Creek Ashland

Now selling starting in the $400’s! Beach Creek, by KDA Homes, is a 10-acre neo-traditional neighborhood of 52 view homes centrally located within walking distance of everything Ashland offers. As you enter the community, you will and some of Ashland’s oldest and most beautiful oak trees, a park, and open spaces along Beach Creek’s banks. A promenade with trees and front porches connects pedestrians via the newly constructed Friendship Bridge. KDA homes are NetZero, Earth Advantage, Lifelong Housing, and Firewise certified. All homes have solar panels, car chargers, and fiber optic cable. All our homes come with a 10-year home warranty.


With over 100 years of combined experience, KDA Homes is committed to being pioneers in smarter home design leading the way for sustainability in residential development and green building. The company approaches every project with the end goal in mind –  building a home for a new community to grow. KDA is a proud member of the Ashland community.

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  1. http://nahbnow.com/2020/11/solar-panels-on-a-new-home-a-cost-effectiveness-analysis/
  2. https://www.electricitylocal.com/states/oregon/
  3. https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/02/03/home-solar-power-oregon-tax-breaks-what-to-know/4603933002/
  4. https://www.zenenergy.com.au/blog/five-advantages-of-solar-energy-on-the-environment/
  5. https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/or/

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