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Could Virtual Solar Power Convince You to Switch?

Mom's Virtual Solar Power - Brought to You by Generaytor
Mom’s Virtual Solar Power – Brought to You by Generaytor

Prices for solar power are falling but, if you still aren’t convinced, perhaps a virtual solar power system might change your mind.

Generaytor, a crowdsourced platform for, takes sunlight data and real data from nearby residential solar power installations, giving you an idea of how your own home might benefit from solar power. So far, I believe that it’s set up for the northern hemisphere, but I haven’t tried everything. (My mom’s house in upstate New York was fine, but my house in Perú doesn’t come up.) Still, in areas where solar power is becoming more commonplace, I’m certain that the data is there along with it.

What the Generaytor tool does is essentially monitor a virtual solar power installation on your own, or your mom’s, rooftop, giving you a good idea how much money and energy would be involved. For instance, my mom’s house, about 7.8 kW worth of solar panels facing east and west, theoretically generated 899 kWh in the last month. Considering that Mom uses spends about $120/mo on electricity, her utility bill would drop to $0. I’m not sure if NiMo (Niagara Mohawk) has smart meters to pay her back for excess renewable energy generation but, if it did, she could easily make a few bucks as well.

Of course, there are the upfront costs to consider, and Generaytor estimates that this particular solar power installation might cost somewhere around $30,000 before incentives. Out of pocket, Mom might pay a little less than $11,000 for the system, that is, if she doesn’t apply for zero-money-down installation, which changes the financials a bit. Given that annual energy savings exceed $1,500, it could pay for itself in as little as eight years! Still not convinced? Give Generaytor a try, and the answers might surprise you.

Image © Generaytor

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