Patrick Walsh's Blog


How Does Free Electricity Sound?? GreenAZ September 2008


September 2008

The savings on your Utility Bill could pay for a Solar Powered System.

APS is introducing a new loan for home owners to install solar panels to generate their own electricity:

The GEOsmart loan program means that for no money down, you can install solar panels and the monthly cost could be ZERO depending on the amount of electricity you use and the amount of sunlight that reaches your roof.

Here's how it works:

First find a licensed and approved contractor at Have the contractor calculate the right system for your home. Then plug in the numbers to the calculator and find out what your payments would be. Take your monthly electricity bill and, if the solar system can cover 80% of your electrical needs, calculate that number. If it is more than the monthly loan payment for the system then getting solar panels for your home is a 'no brainer.'

During the day when the system is producing electricity that you are not using, the meter actually runs backwards as your system sends electricity back to the utility company. This is a great way to increase your savings.

Typical numbers:

The installation for the average home is a 3KW system that costs around $21,000. This system triggers a $9,000 rebate.  (For more information on rebates go to  This rebate can be used to pay down the interest rate to around 8%.  A 10-year loan would run around $160 a month and a 15 year loan around $125 a month. I know for our home that is well below our average monthly electricity bill.

Customers in areas served by SRP can still get loans and work with the approved contractors. The interest rates may not be quite as attractive as they are for APS customers. (

Comment balloon 7 commentsPatrick Walsh • September 08 2008 08:22PM


that's's my dream to build a "green house" on the lake...I am gathering information right now to be able to do that..thanks for the resource

Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) over 10 years ago

Hi Konnie,

Glad you found this information useful!


Posted by Patrick Walsh, Realtor, CNE, Green - Tempe Arizona Real Estate (Keller Williams Arizona Realty ) over 10 years ago

Hi Patrick - I love this post! I'm glad to hear you see the value in this! My company offers the GEOSmart financing on our systems. I also like to inform people that there is a 30% federal tax credit available on solar that is expiring December 31, 2008. For residences this is capped at $2000. There is no cap for commercial systems and businesses can also use accelerated depreciation on their solar system to recoup costs even quicker.

Thanks for getting this out there!

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) over 10 years ago

I wish we would see more state support in Washington. Will a 3KW system provide enough to run your entire household? If so, this sounds liek a very cost effective program.

Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Realty One Group Cascadia) over 10 years ago

I'm a numbers-oriented guy, but have never done the math to the detail that you've done. When I think of the electric bills during our summers in southern Nevada, it makes solar panels a lot more viable option.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 10 years ago

Great post.  I feel that there are a lot of opportunities and information for green technologies in Portland, but can be difficult to find.  I'm surprised we don't have more info like this around here.

Posted by Matthew Ricker (Keller Williams) over 10 years ago

Great point on the loan amount versus average electricity use.  We have warm summers here too, but not as hot as yours!

Posted by Stanton Homes, Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina (Stanton Homes - New Home Builder) over 10 years ago

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