For congregations, panels cost a lot and their payback period is prohibitively long* Break-even in 18th year * Because congregations don’t pay taxes, they don’t benefit from the 30% tax credit.
…which presents an opportunity. Might tying energy conservation to solar panels make an enticing combination – both cost-effective and exciting?
Tying panels to deep energy conservation could shorten the payback for panels to just eleven years. Much shorter. Break-even in eleventh year
But still out of reach. Congregations often need to recoup their investments very quickly – in perhaps seven years or less. Might we get to seven or less by also tying panels to conservation by congregants - and by providing a modest grant?
Break-even in six years Yes! With a $5000 grant and sixty members contributing half their energy savings for three years, the payback shrinks to six years.
Affordable solar – simply conserve. What’s not to like?
Here are our assumptions. CongregationAverage congregant household Base year annual electricity cost$5000$900 Base year annual natural gas cost$3700$900 Amount of energy conservation17%14% Cost per watt of solar panels$3.40Annual increase in electricity cost*6% Annual kWh generation per installed watt1.13Annual increase in natural gas cost0% Base year cost per watt from grid$.10Congregant contribution of energy savings**50% * Based on Indiana Utility Forecasting Group projections. ** Three years only. $70 a year.
And here are our results, Solar panels funded solely by a $5,000 grant and $23,000 in energy savings recouped in six years. Savings Over Ten Years from Panels & Conservation CongregationCongregants (60)Total Electricity (kWh)76,500680,000756,500 Natural gas (therms)5,50068,00073,500 Financial after expenses$10,500$93,000$103,500 Carbon emissions (tons) 909201,010 exciting and Earth-friendly.
Energy Conservation Solar Panels bring the congregation on board… while does the heavy lifting.
Interested? Contact SeventhDayInitiative@gmail.com.SeventhDayInitiative@gmail.com Credit to Seventh Day Initiative