The Solar PV Payback Period of a San Diego Installation Is Incredible

Risk is an inherent part of the investment world.  You find a project you like, invest some money, and hope that your gamble pays off.

Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn’t.

But certain investments offer success rates that approach 100%.  The risk is so small that it can hardly be considered a “gamble” at all.

  • Education used to be in this category.  After going to college, you were practically guaranteed to have a job once you graduated.  Alas, this is no longer the case (as more and more students are beginning to realize).
  • Homes also used to be a pretty safe investment.  You buy a house, wait a few years, and sell it at a tidy profit.  At least until 2008 came along.

But there is at least 1 investment vehicle that continues to deliver “guaranteed” returns.

We’re, of course, talking about solar energy, which enjoys an ROI of roughly 9% in sunny San Diego.

When you hire a licensed contractor who uses reliable parts, you’re almost certain to make back all of your money.  In fact, the returns are so certain that we don’t talk about “if” – we talk about “how soon.”  How soon will you make back the money you originally spent on your solar photovoltaic (PV) installation.

Understanding the Solar PV Payback Period of Your Installation

Payback period is the length of time required for savings or profits to completely cover the cost of your original investment.  So if you spend $100 on a project and it takes 12 months for that project to generate $100, the payback period is 1 year.

In San Diego (and in most of California), the solar PV payback period of a standard installation is between 4 and 6 years.  Once installed, it’ll take this long for your panels to generate enough free electricity (and utility savings) to completely cover the money you spent on the system.

That’s pretty incredible.  If you install a system today, the system will recoup all expenses by 2020.  And you still receive 20 to 35+ years of free electricity before your panels stop working.

And that payback period assumes grid electricity prices remain stable.  But if you live in San Diego, you already know that utility rates constantly go up.

This means that as SDG&E increases its prices, the solar PV payback period of your installation only becomes shorter (i.e. you recoup expenses even faster).


Not only is solar a guaranteed investment.  But you know (in advance) how soon your investment will pay off.

Not even Wall Street can offer that level of certainty.

And the best part is, you’re actually helping the environment.  This makes solar even more incredible.  Save money.  Get free electricity.  And help protect the planet – all at the same time.