We’re going to do a little math story problem. It’s pretty easy.
If you choose alternative energy for your home, your investment has a payback period of several years. You pay for the technology all at once, in the beginning when it’s installed. (Often, it’s paid for with grants and other incentives, but we’ll assume you pay for it out of pocket) The payback period explains how long it will take for you to have saved enough money on energy bills to cancel out the initial investment.
These are examples, and not exact. I used 10 years for everything to make the math really easy. These are exaggerated hypothetical numbers for our story problem, based on Akron, OH.
Solar = 10 years
Wind power = 10 years
Green roofs = 10 years
Geothermal = 10 years
Question: If you use all of these technologies on your home or building, how many years will it take for your investment to pay off?
Answer in the comments section. You can be anonymous if you want. I’ll give the answer at 5:00 today.
Answer: If each of your renewable sources takes 10 years to pay off, the total payoff time is 10 years. Not 40 years. Just 10. You’re paying for them all at the same time, and they all pay off at the same time. Think of it this way, you’re paying a utility company for gas and electric right now, forever. If you had renewable energy, you’d buy, pay for it for 10 years, and then never have to pay for it again. That sounds like a deal!