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Solar on home....anyone switch recently?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Tundra234, Aug 11, 2022.

  1. Aug 11, 2022 at 3:43 PM
    #1
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 [OP] New Member

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    Alot of them
    Anyone switch to solar power on their house recently? Alot of overwhelming info out there. We have a consult this weekend.
     
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  2. Aug 11, 2022 at 4:04 PM
    #2
    Txexplorer23

    Txexplorer23 New Member

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    Unless you are doing it because it makes you feel warm inside like you are doing something to save the planet it’s not worth it. Some salesman is gonna come to your house and tell you how much money you are gonna save and that it’s going to take away half your electric bill but that’s what they do blow smoke to get you to buy 30-40k solar panels that won’t pay for themselves in 30 years.
     
  3. Aug 11, 2022 at 4:27 PM
    #3
    dittothat

    dittothat New Member

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    Not sure if you’re a DIY guy, George. But you can save a bunch of dough if you build the system yourself (to code obviously). Just something to think about..
     
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  4. Aug 11, 2022 at 4:42 PM
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    Retired...finally

    Retired...finally Utilizing that doctorate of procrastinatory arts

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  5. Aug 11, 2022 at 5:21 PM
    #5
    omgboost

    omgboost The Accountant

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    Make sure your roof is brand spanking new with minimal layers of shingles. I had mine installed and pretty much paid for itself over 5 years. I received 75% back in tax credits.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2022 at 5:51 PM
    #6
    Tundra1D6

    Tundra1D6 Well that escalated quickly…

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  7. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:05 PM
    #7
    SWPDXer

    SWPDXer New Member

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    If you are doing it because it makes you feel warm inside like you are doing something to save the planet it’s worth it
     
  8. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:25 PM
    #8
    Burdturger

    Burdturger New Member

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    I have a 14.1kw system on my home installed last year. My motivation was primarily for the tax incentive. What do you want to know?

    81567f1120f4f4290f8b1b62946930efb0496ed2-14.jpg
     
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  9. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:35 PM
    #9
    Fitzf15E

    Fitzf15E New Member

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    Did solar, but not on the roof. Had 24 panels on dual axis trackers, which, if you have the room, is way more efficient and doesn’t tear up your roof. Everything but actually hooking it up to the circuit breaker panel was DIY.
     
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  10. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:51 PM
    #10
    Baja Mike

    Baja Mike Baja Aficionado

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    I'd like to know if the solar panels acted as a layer of insulation and made you house a little cooler just by being on the roof.

    I have an old house with no A/C but my electric bill is so low it would cost me money to go solar.
     
  11. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM
    #11
    Burdturger

    Burdturger New Member

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    Im not sure the panels make a huge difference for insulating as say actual insulation would. I dont have any hard data on that but recently i was in the attic just below the panels and it was unbearably hot up there. Solar definitely isnt for everyone it just depends on what you are looking to achieve.
     
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  12. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:15 PM
    #12
    saybng

    saybng Just a member.

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    Method Nv's, falken wildpeak 275.65.20 Dirty deeds exhaust, 5100's all around...nothin fancy.
    :popcorn:
     
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  13. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:26 PM
    #13
    biebs96

    biebs96 my other truck is a big brown truck

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    I would have moved those vents to the front. My ocd would kill me with the missing panels.
     
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  14. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:54 PM
    #14
    Black@Blue19

    Black@Blue19 New Member

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    Came with all the lane departure and that stuff, electric tail gate lock, fog lights, 20s, sprayed on bed liner, tint, cat protector, and that’s about it??:)
    Had a neighbor put solar on their roof. It only saves them about 20 dollars a month and anything they sell back they do not get much. Going to be a long time before the solar panels are paid for. From what I hear it is not worth the cost to purchase the panels. One of those sales gimmicks. Best of luck!:)
     
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  15. Aug 11, 2022 at 8:20 PM
    #15
    crewmaxlmt

    crewmaxlmt How dare you!

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    Solar panels are one of the worst electricty generation sources for the environment. There are multiple studies out that support this. If it was not for tax incentives, nobody would purchase them for their house. Unless, of course, if you lived off of the grid.

    Down in California, you can’t even use the power during rolling black outs.
     
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  16. Aug 11, 2022 at 8:20 PM
    #16
    saybng

    saybng Just a member.

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    It depends..if you can pay it outright I would think benefits you..we are getting solar installed along with a new roof.
     
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  17. Aug 11, 2022 at 8:29 PM
    #17
    Black@Blue19

    Black@Blue19 New Member

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    Came with all the lane departure and that stuff, electric tail gate lock, fog lights, 20s, sprayed on bed liner, tint, cat protector, and that’s about it??:)
    Pay now or pay later it still doesn’t get your money back any faster. Electric companies do not pay much for selling back to them. Yours may be different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
  18. Aug 11, 2022 at 8:47 PM
    #18
    MadMaxCanon

    MadMaxCanon New Member

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    Too many, but not enough....
    I got solar about a year and a half ago. 20 panels. Cost me 0 dollars. I pay 10 cents per KWh compared to Edisons 35 cents. 88 bucks a month and my AC is always on. It was a no brainer. Ask about a purchase power agreement plan. They use your house as a farm and take care of the system and you get dirt cheap power.
     
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  19. Aug 11, 2022 at 9:58 PM
    #19
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I drink…and I know things. Staff Member

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    I will install my own solar system if the incentives are there, the panels will not be on my roof (because I have/will have the space) and it will be built by myself. No battery storage.

    For some people it makes sense. My complete utility bills have never been over 250.00 per month (80-100 for electric). My house is just efficient and I would spend the money on fixing windows, insulation, etc before dumping 20-40K on a solar system that you rent to own.

    Here is a recent experience from one of my best friends that purchased solar 2 years ago (he received the tax credit). His electric bill was 325-400 per month due to high energy prices and it's 100-107*F in the summer. He figured this would be a 10 year home at least. Well he talked to a solar company and was totally hooked. Had the install done and he was still getting electric bills, so the company added 2 more panels. His electric bill went to whatever the grid hookup/other fees were. He was paying 140.00 per month for the rent to own system. So with the fees and the cost was ~ 160 per month. As we all know, fuel costs have skyrocketed and they both work in the same building 40 miles away. For some reason they both drove instead of car pooled....but whatev. His wife wanted to try out an EV, so they purchased a Volvo 40 recharge (something like that) for 64000.00. They started commuting together since the fuel costs were killing them. One week they would take the EV and the next was the Lexus IS300. Electric bill doubled for the two weeks per month. 300+140=440.00 per month (only pay fees once). Now they also had a 900.00 a month EV payment and a more expensive electric bill than before.

    As life normally is, change is always constant. They decided to move closer to work. Now they either had to pay off the solar system and give it to the new owners or remove it and pay it off. Then you can install it on the next home. It cost 3000+ to remove his system and he hasn't even checked how much to install it at his new place. I'm pretty sure he is going to install the panels himself on a rack system in the yard.

    If he could have went back in time, he would never have purchase a solar system. His words, not mine.
     
  20. Aug 12, 2022 at 3:11 AM
    #20
    Black@Blue19

    Black@Blue19 New Member

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    Came with all the lane departure and that stuff, electric tail gate lock, fog lights, 20s, sprayed on bed liner, tint, cat protector, and that’s about it??:)
    In Texas our electric companies are not regulated, and our grid is a mess as well as the people running it. I pay 8. Something cents a kw hour AC on 24/7 with 5 ceiling fans and our bill is 150ish these last few hot months. We put in more insulation in the attic with an solar attic fan, just doing that made a huge difference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
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  21. Aug 12, 2022 at 4:07 AM
    #21
    DSTundra

    DSTundra New Member

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    Not necessarily true... It depends on a lot of factors -- the size of your system relative to need, like how much you pay for electricity, whether or not you get solar REC credits (the electric company pays you for every kW you generate), whether or not your electric company charges a monthly connect fee, etc. I've had solar for 10 years. The system cost me $32K to install an 8.085 kW system with 33 of the 245w panels in 3 strings of 11 back in 2012. I don't need to worry about panel shading, so my system uses a single inverter. I did a line-by-line analysis of my electric bill charges and reproduced each category from the bill into a spreadsheet. Each month, I entered only the amount of the bill (most months were negative/credit balance), the kW generated, and the spreadsheet took care of the rest -- calculating the amount of solar REC credits I received, the breakdown of blocks to calculate avoidance, etc. I got $.05 a kWh, so let's say that I used exactly 1000 kWh of electricity in a month and I also generated exactly 1000 kWh. In that case, because of the fact that I was getting solar REC credits of $.05 per kWh and I avoided all of the other charges because my output matched my usage, the electric company would owe me $50. At the time, I signed an 8 year contract to receive solar REC credits and I didn't have a connect fee. My system paid for itself in the middle of year 7 and it's now just sitting there making me money.

    Now that's a purchased system and back in 2012, there was a 30% federal tax credit and a 10% state tax credit, so that made the $32K actually $19.2K. I'm not sure what the solar REC credits rates are these days and I've heard that connect fees can be upwards of $30 per month in some places. Mine sits at $8 a month since my contract expired. As for a leased system, I'm not sure I see the cost savings in those...

    As with everything, YMMV. Do the math and see if solar makes sense in your case...

    Dave
     
  22. Aug 12, 2022 at 4:12 AM
    #22
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 [OP] New Member

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    So basically I'm trying to learn the whole overall system ins and outs. Our house already has double pane windows and added insulation. Our average electric bill is $240. I would have to look up the electric cost per kwh, but we are in one of the most expensive counties in Fl. In my opinion, is seems like a lot of peoples thoughts on solar are opinions, not so much factual statements. My neighbor behind me got his about 2 months ago. He said his bill was around $250. His cells are $118 per month and his electric bill to the power company was $56.
     
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  23. Aug 12, 2022 at 5:25 AM
    #23
    nobodyintexas

    nobodyintexas What?

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    Whatever this forum told me to do
    had a bid done recently.

    I'm just south of Houston

    34k for 9kw of panels.

    it would provide ~$118 worth of electricity a month at best.

    the 15yr note was $212

    My avg bill is ~$300/mth I pay .11 per kwh present renewal rates are $.22

    and

    and

    They wanted me to cut back my big ass oak trees that surround the house. GTFOH.

    I think we can sell excess back..but i don't think i could ever produce an excess.

    IN SOUTH HOUSTON!!!
     
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  24. Aug 12, 2022 at 5:30 AM
    #24
    Retired...finally

    Retired...finally Utilizing that doctorate of procrastinatory arts

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    And how much shade does the old oak give. You know, the shade that cools the house a few degrees? Of coarse reduced property values when the tree is gone.
     
  25. Aug 12, 2022 at 5:39 AM
    #25
    nobodyintexas

    nobodyintexas What?

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    Whatever this forum told me to do
    and we have hail here.

    and we have hurricanes here

    and we have metric tons of pollen dust here

    and my 1998 roof was not engineered to have a ton of slave labor silicon panels bolted to it.


    needless to say...I was not very interested.

    my expectations are to have the panels offset most of my bill. this does not happen in south Houston.

    it's the purchase price that kills the deal. you can't outrun it.

    and NOBODY knows if these plastic panels will last 15 years.
     
  26. Aug 12, 2022 at 6:56 AM
    #26
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I drink…and I know things. Staff Member

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    A couple of years ago I was talking with a really nice couple on a flight to Miami (where they were from). They were very “green” from a energy standpoint. One thing they said about solar in FL was disturbing but I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what they said, so this part of the post is worthless other than make sure you talk to as many people about solar systems.

    I know that FL tried to end Net Metering with House Bill 741. Luckily that was smashed. That would have ended banking power. You know FPL wanted that to happen.

    Your neighbor is saving some good money per month. One more panel and he could have been bill free on the 56.00 part.

    We met some really nice people from CA a few years ago through our kids going to the same school. Matt built solar systems for a living and had his own while living there. Now his wife no long works the 9-5 and he builds homes now…maybe 2 a year. They must have made a fortune selling their home in CA. Anyway, he has sparked my interest on solar and said to build it yourself (pay out of pocket) and it should be making money within 5-7 years. Interesting enough, he hasn’t built one on his current property as of yet and has lived there for over five years. I will have to ask him about that. It could be our electric bills are pretty cheap in comparison to other areas of our country.

    If it makes sense…do it! I personally think all new home builds should have solar installed. You have done due diligence for windows and insulation, so this would be the next step. If my electric bill was over 250.00 per month I would be looking into it a lot closer.
     
  27. Aug 12, 2022 at 7:21 AM
    #27
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 [OP] New Member

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    Now that you mention one more cell, I'm wondering if that's why he marked my electric bill $30 higher when he was taking notes.
     
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  28. Aug 12, 2022 at 7:45 AM
    #28
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ I drink…and I know things. Staff Member

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    Could be.

    What wattage panels are you looking at? My friend had 360w if I remember correctly. I believe his cost to add panels was 1000.00 each. I could be wrong though.
     
  29. Aug 12, 2022 at 7:53 AM
    #29
    omgboost

    omgboost The Accountant

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    I have net metering here in NY, it's great. Selling back to the grid is not worth it. Here, supply is about 13c a kWh and delivery is about 12c a kWh. Selling it back will get you probably 5c a kwh. My system is small, 3.8 kw. In a year, I can make 4.5k kwh, which is enough for me not to pay my utility company anything 8-9 months out of the year. I still have to be on the hook for the monthly charge which is $20 no matter how much or little electricity you use. I end up saving about $1k a year, 4.5kwh production x 25c a kWh.

    I have 11 panels, cost is 23k. Was able to get 17.5k in tax credits and 1.5k in employee rebate. I worked for the utility company so that was a nice bonus. I paid everything out of pocket rather than finance since the finance amount was $90 a month for 10 years. Yes, the financing numbers take into account that when you get the tax credits, you pay it back to reduce the amount you borrowed. It came out to around $11k in payments to borrow the after tax credit cost of $5.5k system. As stated earlier, I was able to get all my money back in 5 years, everything I make afterwards is to save to replace the inverter after year 10, then the next 10 years should be all money back to myself.

    Solar panels should last 25 years, inverter has lifespan of 10 years. Will cost around 3-5k to get it replaced every 10 years. If you need roof work done, it cost me $2k to get them to remove and reinstall panels. I have other issues with my installer but I overall, I think solar is great for the long term if the price is right. The issues could be due to my own due deligience early on and should not be viewed negatively towards solar.

    Also, since I worked for the utility company, they are raising rates every rate plan which is usually every 2-3 years here. The utility companies always ask for an outrageous amount of raises, like 30-40%. Then negotiations with regulators only make them raise rates by 10%, with the other 20-30% of the utility company's cost sitting on their balance sheet for the next rate case. Having solar and net metering protects you from the raises since you don't have to pay the supply and delivery charge for every kwh you make.
     
  30. Aug 12, 2022 at 8:00 AM
    #30
    Burdturger

    Burdturger New Member

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    There is a lot to consider but i'll try to keep it brief:

    - Stay away from leasing. Buy the panels. Buying provides you the tax rebate. Leasing can lead to problems such as putting a lean on your home if you break the lease due to moving for example (you would need to review the contract for details)

    -Figure out your average power bill per month to figure out if going solar is worth it. From my research, to be cost effective your average over the year must exceed $200 montly. Additionally, cost of power from a power company rises year over year roughly 4%. This may have changed just research it.

    -Just adding panels does not free you from the grid. When the power goes out, so do you unless you have a battery back up. For me batteries were not cost effective.

    -Be wary of solar loans with low rates. Most of them add an upfront charge to the principle offsetting the interest rate and thereby adding to your break even and require you to pay your tax incentive toward the loan. I took out a interest free credit card and it worked out better for me.

    -Get at least 3 quotes. Energysage is a good resource to get quotes fast with no obligation

    -Ask a lot of questions before you decide to pull the trigger. The company I picked never tried to up sell me and even talked me out of going bigger and explained why I shouldn't.

    -other considerations: how much direct sun do you get ( google: project solar for solar mapping); what happens to your excess energy to your power company (do they pay or credit you?) and will you still pay a connection fee, how old is your roof, what equipment are you needing and can you get consumption metering

    The last thing i'll add that surprised me that I did not know is I had assumed that during these summer months I'd be making all this extra energy but in fact its been less, probably 15 to 20% less than the early spring time. I thought there was a problem or that maybe my panels were dirty (we get a ton of pollen in my area). What I found, and was never explained to me or come up in my research is that panels are much less effective during hot days which we've been having a lot of lately so keep that in mind.

    These are just some of the main considerations imo. If i think of anything else I'll add to it. But like I said before solar isn't for everyone it just depends on what you are looking for.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
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