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Solar Calculator- What do I get out of the Solar Calculator

If you want to find out the prospected payback of photovoltaics mounted on your roof or on the ground, use our free solar calculator!

Determining the Power Yield

Your area’s ZIP code is used to determine the amount of solar radiation that is received by the photovoltaics at your project site. The value varies throughout the US. For instance, Los Angeles enjoys more sunlight hours than Boston, and thus has a higher solar radiation value. The amount of direct solar radiation which can be received by the solar panels also depends on the tilt of your roof and the direction it is facing. The Solar Calculator also considers important effects such as these, giving you information that significantly increases your payback.

When do photovoltaics pay off?

How well photovoltaic systems pay off depends on the state you are living in. The Solar Calculator takes into account the general installation prices for your state, the average retail power prices, and the rebates and incentives your state offers. The Solar Calculator proves that photovoltaics pay off best at sites with high power supply prices and well-measured state incentives. The best income returns shown in the Solar Calculator are delivered from systems in California, Richmond, Vermont, and Oregon.


The federal government and several state governments are offering a set of financial rebates for photovoltaics. The Solar Calculator shows the available rebates and automatically deducts these rebates from the amount you invest.

Determining investment costs with the Solar Calculator

The Solar Calculator uses average installation prices throughout the US to compute your anticipated investment. For California, more detailed prices are available so that economies of scale can be taken into account.

Feed in Tariff Incentives

Several states are offering attractive feed-in tariff incentives. For example, a state-owned utility company might compensate the power yield of photovoltaics. Incentive rates for solar power vary from 4.4 to 33.35 Cents / kWh, and the Solar Calculator uses the exact incentive rate which your state is offering to determine the feed-in tariff (FIT) payments.

Net Metering

Some states have chosen to provide a scheme that is called net-metering. Here, the generated power of your photovoltaics will be credited to your power bill. The exact net-metering procedures vary from state to state, so the Solar Calculator considers the net metering protocol of all states when finishing calculations.

The Solar Calculator will add the amount credited to your power bill to the power bill savings from your system. Payment for excess generation will be shown in the Solar Calculator as "Net Excess Credits.”

Solar Payback and Rate of Return

The accumulated solar payback is determined from the Power Bill Savings, the Net Excess Credits and the feed-in tariff payments, if available. The Solar Calculator will tell you the average annual payments of the sources of income, as well as the Total Payback in the estimated lifetime for your photovoltaics.

The Solar Calculator also computes the internal rate of return for your project. Therefore, our tool assumes you will finance your project with equity capital.

Get free quotes with the Solar Calculator

All in all, investing in photovoltaics is a lucrative project in many states and regions. If you’re eager to cash in and go solar, use our Solar Calculator to receive quality, free quotes today!

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