U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

PV vs. Solar Water Heating - Simple Solar Payback

Solar energy systems hang their hats on payback. Financial payback is as tangible as money in your bank account, while other types of payback—like environmental externalities—are not usually calculated in dollars. There’s no doubt that photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water (SHW) systems will pay you back. Maybe not as quickly as you’d like, but all systems will significantly offset their cost over their lifetimes. Here we’ll try to answer: Which system will give the quickest return on investment (ROI)?

October, 2008
Resource Type
Resource Source
Chuck Marken & Justine Sanchez (Home Power Magazine)
01-introductionhp-pvvsshw.pdf1.6 MB