PNM rate increase makes solar a better bet

By Shane Woolbright

In my effort to keep Sierra Club members up to date on why they should install solar panels, the return on those panels has gotten much better due to the coming hikes that PNM will add to our bills.

If you’ll remember, my solar panels cost a bit more than $12,000 for 3,000 watts from Sungevity. Sungevity donated $750 to the Sierra Club as part of its promotion of SC and solar power. My tax credits brought my cost down $4,920, so the net cost of the system was $6,630.

I have not paid a power bill this year, and my savings on my power bill project to $720. PNM also sends me checks for the amount of solar generation I send back to the grid. Those checks will exceed $120.

With PNM’s proposed rate hike of about 6 percent included, total savings will be around $900 annually for the $6,630 invested.

I get a great return, and I’m not contributing nearly so much to climate change.

If members will send me their PNM bill, I’ll be happy to let you know what you ought to consider in the way of solar panels, or you can contact Sungevity directly by emailing
tlopez@sungevity.com. Sungevity is offering a special deal in October: $1,000 discount for you, $1,000 to the Rio Grande Chapter if you go solar with them.

PNM rate increase makes solar a better bet