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Solar Power. Talk to me.

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The Meal
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by The Meal » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:24 pm

Zaxxon wrote:
Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:39 pm
Awesome. Lazy RM9 stopped uploading sometime ago, so my panels could use some company on pvoutput.
Well maybe a different ColOOlorado member can give you a bit of company. We've got our meeting (set up by neighborhood door knockers) coming up this weekend. Since we're just coming off our home purchase, our focus is narrowed to the lease vs. loan financing. (And since we lack a sustained energy use history in our new place, we're sort of coming into it a bit more blindly than I'd have preferred.)

This thread has been fantastic.
RunningMn9 wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:44 am
I'm more than a full year in, and couldn't be happier with the solar installation. The panels overproduced above the guaranteed minimums in year one, even considering a very soggy and sun-less June here in NJ. 2016 has gotten a strong start due to the near-total lack of winter here. I think that since I had the panels installed in Dec of 2014, I've paid my electric company a total of $70 (over 15 months or so). I was paying them $228 per month. I exchanged that for a $110 lease payment on the panels.

That's about $1700 in savings so far, without having to pay anything up front. I can live with that.
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
Our financing options seem to boil down to how much do you want to save vs. current: a good amount or even more than that? (With some added risk when it comes time to sell. When we were looking at homes on the local market in April and May, we were told that we may be able to offer less than asking for our current home as "it'd been on the market for 8 days, which means it already went through one Saturday, so the owners may be getting desperate." We had looked at one similarly-priced home, basically across the street from the place we bought, that included a full solar array — it had been on the market for 3.5 months at that point. So the investment capitalization concern seems fairly real.)

I was basically scouring the thread for information about any potential "gotchas": chiefly maintenance concerns (though I see there was an OOer scammed by a shady company who sold them crappy panels). I worry, too, about the future and how the grid gets affected by the solar connections (and how it affects those of us intending to use the grid as a convenient overnight battery).

Our neighborhood is roughly 15-20% solared up, and Nextdoor is filled with lots of positive experiences. (Of course, our neighborhood is in Weld County, where a significant portion of income comes from harvesting of our earth's limited natural resources, so there's a fair amount of push-back as well.) I anticipate a fair amount of shopping on our part before finally selecting a provider.

Exciting times.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by LordMortis » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:38 pm

(and how it affects those of us intending to use the grid as a convenient overnight battery).
They charge for that here. I don't know if charging will become more common. Michigan is not exactly.... progressive.... when it comes to traditional energy.

https://energynews.us/2018/01/09/midwes ... -metering/

At the same time, if use the massive infrastructure but aren't paying for via electricity consumption, I get the desire to keep changing the rules of the game to maintain the infrastructure you are using. I think this is going to come to a head for paying for roads as more and more people save money by going to electric vehicles and road funding gets more and more shortfalls from gas taxes.

Batteries to go off grid are still crazy expensive, aren't they? Like five digits expensive.

We live in interesting times.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by stessier » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:49 pm

LordMortis wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Batteries to go off grid are still crazy expensive, aren't they? Like five digits expensive.
The Tesla Powerwall is ~$6600, but you'd need more than one to completely replace your connection (I think) depending on the size of your house.

I wish we had been able to do solar, but all the incentives are gone from SC and there is no arrangement for net metering. Kind of stinks.
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LordMortis
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by LordMortis » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:06 pm

stessier wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:49 pm
LordMortis wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Batteries to go off grid are still crazy expensive, aren't they? Like five digits expensive.
The Tesla Powerwall is ~$6600, but you'd need more than one to completely replace your connection (I think) depending on the size of your house.

I wish we had been able to do solar, but all the incentives are gone from SC and there is no arrangement for net metering. Kind of stinks.
Nice. Still expensive but nice. When last I was reading (like when this thread came about) people were buying Tesla car batteries and modifying them for their degrdifying. It's good to see the pricing dropping that dramatically that quickly and that there are batteries actually being designed for the purpose.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/11/ba ... g-cheaper/

Not sure if that is meeting or exceeding expectations I remember being discussed but either way, it's good and it's definitely not a disappointing progression to date.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:46 pm

We finally talked to a Solar Rep a couple weeks ago and in the end decided that unless we buy the system outright it isn't that great a deal. The guy we talked to was with Sun Run. There are already a couple systems on the block. They went in last year.

We were quoted $205 a month for a 20 year lease. Nine of our 12 months are currently under that. Only three (middle of summer) are high, in the mid-300's. I have no doubt that over time we would save money, but, we also are thinking of moving in 5-10 years. It was weird that in googling solar leases one story I came across actually involved a person in my town who couldn't sell their house because of the lease.

I think buying a system, getting the tax credit personally and then basically increasing the price of the house when you sell it is a much better option.

Oh, and the other two houses on our block who had Sun Run leases, they are paying $160 and $95. They are both 2 story homes as well, which tend to be more expensive to heat and cool. The guy paying $95 must never use his A/C.

So, does anyone know anything about 105% limit on installing solar panels? That sounds kind of weird to me.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by malchior » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:59 am

Scuzz wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:46 pm
So, does anyone know anything about 105% limit on installing solar panels? That sounds kind of weird to me.
If you are talking about what I think you are that is a ANSI defined limit adopted by most regulators. The allowable interconnect range of the total voltage from the inverter of the solar system that is coupled to the grid is between 95% and 105% of grid voltage.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:12 am

Here in CO I believe it's 125% of expected usage (based on prior 12 months). It's not based on voltage, but rather to prevent reside tial installs from attempting to become large net exporters

Good luck, Meal!

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:21 am

stessier wrote: I wish we had been able to do solar, but all the incentives are gone from SC and there is no arrangement for net metering. Kind of stinks.
Crap, just as I was starting to look into solar. So we missed the boat, or just never was a great deal in the first place (in SC)?

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by stessier » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:25 am

Carpet_pissr wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:21 am
stessier wrote: I wish we had been able to do solar, but all the incentives are gone from SC and there is no arrangement for net metering. Kind of stinks.
Crap, just as I was starting to look into solar. So we missed the boat, or just never was a great deal in the first place (in SC)?
I would still check into it - I just read an article that said Duke hit 2% of it's customers with net metering, so the incentives ended (as they were designed to do at that level). I don't think there were any additional state incentives, but could be wrong. The article also said that the companies that were doing the installs have already left and moved to other states where they were still offering incentives. Said it was going to cost a few thousand jobs.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:04 pm

Ah well, I guess I'll just wait for the Tesla Roof to get here. Should be about the time I need to replace my roof, anyway.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:11 pm

Zaxxon wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:12 am
Here in CO I believe it's 125% of expected usage (based on prior 12 months). It's not based on voltage, but rather to prevent reside tial installs from attempting to become large net exporters

Good luck, Meal!
Yea, this is what I am talking about. Apparently in California, or at least with my utility, the figure is 105% of previous usage, although we were told in all reality we would get probably 5-10% better than that.

My problem with that is that we are pretty damn frugal now, keeping the AC at 83 during the 100 degree + summer days. I was thinking that solar would allow us to drop that a couple degrees, but it wouldn't because we would end up paying for anything over and above our normal usage based on that 105% figure.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:16 pm

Oh my, didn't think about this (from the Tesla Solar Roof page):

"Monthly loan payment
Customers can choose to finance their Solar Roof through their home mortgage. The loan amount is equal to the total Solar Roof cost, less the estimated 30% federal tax credit. The monthly loan payment is amortized over the selected loan term at the selected interest rate. Tesla is not a mortgage lender. Values depicted above are for illustrative purposes only.

Mortgage interest deduction
A benefit of financing a Solar Roof through a home mortgage is the tax deduction customers may receive on their mortgage interest. "

Also, for my address:

Enlarge Image

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Scuzz
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:21 pm

Just remember that under the new Trump Tax Bill you may not be itemizing next year, and that's where the home mortgage interest would go.

The tax write off is one reason I am thinking purchase over lease.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by malchior » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:25 pm

105% of expected usage? Oh - no clue on that limit. I know there are a bunch of factors that vary by state though so maybe the installer has an opinion about the limit.

That said, I think most people have missed the boat on solar for the near term. The solar tariffs are blowing up all the price models. My former employer is a big independent power provider and they laid off most of their home installers recently because price fundamentals are going to shit. That dynamic will change because panel production costs are still going down and efficiency ratings are still getting better but that'll be measured in years (or until these dumb tariffs go away). I wouldn't be surprised that the financial model still works for some but it is not as attractive as it was. Not to get super P&R but it is pretty shitty public policy. We need *more* solar for grid reliability than ever especially with peak loads increasing during the day.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by gilraen » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun) - but our lease is pre-paid, so that we don't have to worry about maintenance OR annual payment increases. Got them in February, on paper we only had enough panels to give us 85% of what we used last year. But either last year was somehow abnormal for our energy usage, or SunRun seriously underestimated their panels. With net metering, right now even with A/C cranking all day, we are producing considerably more than we are using. Our utility bill last month was about $25 :)

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by The Meal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:55 pm

gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun)
Are there any incentives for you if we have you set up a quote meeting?
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by TheMix » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:27 pm

The Meal wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:55 pm
gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun)
Are there any incentives for you if we have you set up a quote meeting?
We would get a referral bonus. Our rep actually lives up the street from us. He's been selling solar since the 70s. I don't know if he's allowed to go beyond his "area", but I can ask him if you'd like.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:33 pm

The Meal wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:55 pm
gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun)
Are there any incentives for you if we have you set up a quote meeting?
He would get a $350 gift card if you buy and say it was based on his recomendation.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:38 pm

gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun) - but our lease is pre-paid, so that we don't have to worry about maintenance OR annual payment increases. Got them in February, on paper we only had enough panels to give us 85% of what we used last year. But either last year was somehow abnormal for our energy usage, or SunRun seriously underestimated their panels. With net metering, right now even with A/C cranking all day, we are producing considerably more than we are using. Our utility bill last month was about $25 :)
Why would you settle for 85%? Maybe your roof wasn't big enough for full coverage?

The Sun Run guy we dealt with showed up with a list of our electrical costs for the previous 12 months. Then they figure how many panels they can get on your roof to give them the magical 105% of that 12 month average. But as I said above, he thought we would probably get easily 5-10% more than that.

It was a 20 lease with a set price, no changes, for 20 years. Or you could get an escalating lease that started cheaper and then went up something like 5.6% per year. In either case after 20 years you would have paid the same amount of money on the lease.

All maintenance was included, in fact he said they didn't even want you on the roof after the system was installed.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by gilraen » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:54 pm

Scuzz wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:38 pm
gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun) - but our lease is pre-paid, so that we don't have to worry about maintenance OR annual payment increases. Got them in February, on paper we only had enough panels to give us 85% of what we used last year. But either last year was somehow abnormal for our energy usage, or SunRun seriously underestimated their panels. With net metering, right now even with A/C cranking all day, we are producing considerably more than we are using. Our utility bill last month was about $25 :)
Why would you settle for 85%? Maybe your roof wasn't big enough for full coverage?
That would be correct, and yes, we knew that going in.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:55 pm

Hell, I settled for 50% because terrible, no good, very bad roof config.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by The Meal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:47 pm

TheMix wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:27 pm
The Meal wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:55 pm
gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
RunningMn9 wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:00 pm
I represent the lease crowd and can also report nothing but positive things, after about 16 months. The only downside now is that I hate rainy days even more.
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun)
Are there any incentives for you if we have you set up a quote meeting?
We would get a referral bonus. Our rep actually lives up the street from us. He's been selling solar since the 70s. I don't know if he's allowed to go beyond his "area", but I can ask him if you'd like.
Cool. Let's see the outcome of tomorrow's meeting first and I'll let you know.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by LordMortis » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:53 pm

TheMix wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:27 pm
He's been selling solar since the 70s.
We went Solar in the 70s (but just for HVAC, not for electric). I don't recommend it. The technology isn't there yet. I do remember one of the contractors gave me a Mountain Dew bottle cap that I could redeem for quarter, though. I don't think that came out in the wash against the money parents paid for the panel installation though.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by RunningMn9 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:58 pm

gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:50 pm
We are also leasing our solar panels (we went with SunRun) - but our lease is pre-paid, so that we don't have to worry about maintenance OR annual payment increases.
Your statement confuses me. I don't have to worry about maintenance or annual payment increases either. I did not pre-pay anything. The lease payment is fixed for the entire length of the lease, and the solar company is entirely responsible for maintenance (and ensuring that the panels meet production guarantees, or else paying me for any unexpected drop in production due to weather or what have you).
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The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by RunningMn9 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:04 pm

Scuzz wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:38 pm
Why would you settle for 85%? Maybe your roof wasn't big enough for full coverage?
Depends on state law as well. Here in NJ we cannot build a system that exceeds 100% of your usage (at the time of installation), and beyond that a residential installation cannot exceed 10MW. I've got a 9.9 MW system, that at the time would have accounted for about 75% of my needs. That 9.9 MW is the theoretical maximum output though, but due to roof configuration, the max output I've ever seen is in the 7.5 MW range (the panels are split into two groups and are not generally able to be simultaneously in direct sunlight). However, I also took the installation as an opportunity to reduce my consumption by quite a bit. So it generally provides a much higher % of my needs.

Except last year when it rained every day. But because of that, I didn't have to make any solar lease payments for the first 3 or 4 months of the year, so it eventually worked out.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by TheMix » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:16 pm

We recently built a new addition with a roof that is roughly 560 sq ft. The older part of the house has a roof that is at least 20 years old. SunRun (at least now) requires that the roof be "good" for a minimum of 10 years. Since we didn't want to add in the cost of replacing the older roof, we opted to just put panels on the addition.

As for:
Your statement confuses me. I don't have to worry about maintenance or annual payment increases either. I did not pre-pay anything.
I can only assume that you didn't purchase your lease within the last year from SunRun in the Denver area.

When we opted to go solar, SunRun had three options:
1. Buy
2. Lease for $X/month for 20 years. However, $X would increase 3% per year for the life of the lease.
3. Pre-pay the entire 20 years of the lease to lock in the 'today' rate.

I have a friend that purchased from SunRun a couple/few years ago. He also did the pre-paid lease option. However, he had to pay a couple thousand to lock in the rate. Policies and offerings change.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Scuzz » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Now those options are different from what the Sun Run guy here gave us just two weeks ago.
We had..

1. Option to buy. Which he really didn't talk about much until we told him we didn't care for the lease options.

2. Lease for 20 years, fixed rate. For us that was $205 a month.

3. Lease for 20 years, sliding scale from $146. With 5%+ (maybe it was 3%) increase every year. Final payout would be the same as option #2.

Maintenance was included with both options.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by stessier » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:48 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:04 pm
Scuzz wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:38 pm
Why would you settle for 85%? Maybe your roof wasn't big enough for full coverage?
Depends on state law as well. Here in NJ we cannot build a system that exceeds 100% of your usage (at the time of installation), and beyond that a residential installation cannot exceed 10MW. I've got a 9.9 MW system, that at the time would have accounted for about 75% of my needs. That 9.9 MW is the theoretical maximum output though, but due to roof configuration, the max output I've ever seen is in the 7.5 MW range (the panels are split into two groups and are not generally able to be simultaneously in direct sunlight). However, I also took the installation as an opportunity to reduce my consumption by quite a bit. So it generally provides a much higher % of my needs.

Except last year when it rained every day. But because of that, I didn't have to make any solar lease payments for the first 3 or 4 months of the year, so it eventually worked out.
Don't you mean kW? Or are you quoting a yearly amount? Our Electric co op just put in a 5 MW site...it's not small.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by RunningMn9 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:27 pm

Yes, kW. :)

As for the lease, I don’t use SunRun. The payment we have was fixed for the life of the lease. I don’t think I would have done it if I had to prepay the lease up front. The net present value of the lease was like $18k when the system was installed.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by The Meal » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:39 am

Here's the sum total of what we've got to work with in terms of sizing our system. We really started occupying the place around 6/21, we were out of town on vacation from 7/22 - 7/29. We got our Ecobee thermostat installed on 7/12.
Image

The folks we talked to yesterday are Apex Solar who are the 2nd largest installers in Colorado. They either sell outright or do a solar loan (12-yr @ 3.5%, 20-yr @ 4.0%). Considering the time we've been in the house, we'd be looking at the loan option. These guys are licensed up and bonded, as are their various subcontractors (the installers used are Suntalk, who've been around for 22 years and have A+ BBB ratings, etc.).

Colorado utilities are willing to allow an installation up to 120% of your previous year's kWh usage. Lacking that amount of data (such as us), there's an equation utilizing square footage and number of occupants. Our place is [2600 - 3300] square feet and contains [2 - 4] occupants. (Ranges due to consideration of our finished basement, and temporary occupation during the year.) Apex showed us a rooftop installation of up to 12 kW (42 panels at 285 W per panel, with 23 in a unshaded due-south facing {97% efficiency acronym, which I don't have on hand}, 8 in an unshaded easterly facing {91%}, 7 in an unshaded westerly facing {91%}, and 4 in partially-shaded south facing {70-something percent}).

Using NREL's estimator including drone-based LIDAR and our previous power consumption in a similar house they estimate 1500 kWh usage/month. This was a very loose estimate. Likely future changes to our consumption would be something along the lines of a Tesla Model 3 in the garage (or rough equivalent) by 2023.

United Power gives a 100% credit swap on 3/31 each year for energy returned to the grid. Additional energy-above-usage returns us value at wholesale (4¢/kWh), so that's the reason to not overdesign the system. I've already told the story in this thread about a different house-with-solar's experience in terms of resale (though all of that should be re-evaluated once the Federal incentives dry up — currently there's less incentive to buy a home with an installed solar system rather than install and nab that tax credit yourself).

Apex would have been willing to pay to swap in LED lights and a Nest thermostat, but we're already covered there. They will blow additional insulation into our attic. The sales guy was very interested to hear what our experiences would be with smart vents, but they don't currently offer any incentives in that area (I tried).

The inverter is the SolarEdge hybrid system (which is well reviewed at The Wirecutter). Apex provides an extended 25-year soup-to-nuts warranty on parts, installation and workmanship. If a pterodactyl shits on a panel and wind and rain don't clear it off, they'd be willing to charge us for maintenance (I'm also willing to climb our roof with a bucket and squeegee). Our next-door neighbor owns a 8-panel (or so) installation, and he's never been on his roof to perform any maintenance.

Colorado is one of many states (19?) that breaks solar valuation out of your property taxes and doesn't allow it to affect your assessment.

Our questions based on Apex's spiel (and they're tied together) boil down to "how much would we really need?" and "do we really want to go further in debt right after buying this house?" If we are willing to take on the debt, I prefer the solar loan over a leasing agreement (Colorado allows for PPAs, which means you allow their installation on your roof, but then you pay for solar power as if those panels were a separate-but-much-cheaper power company; so you save money right off the bat, but then you have a major entanglement if you want to sell the house before the 25-year leasing agreement times out; the other lease option in other states {by my understanding} has you paying a flat rate for the panels each month but getting first crack at the moving electrons).

The financial savings are there and meaningful (and sort of a slam dunk for our situation). The questions all sort of revolve around tweaking knobs to maximize your benefit. Were the financial side of things to be a break-even proposition, I'd still be interested in solar because I've got strong opinions about renewable energy (and mild interests in energy independence). We will be going forward with something, but are still doing our due diligence.
gilraen wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:54 pm
TheMix wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:27 pm
The Meal wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:55 pm
Are there any incentives for you if we have you set up a quote meeting?
We would get a referral bonus. Our rep actually lives up the street from us. He's been selling solar since the 70s. I don't know if he's allowed to go beyond his "area", but I can ask him if you'd like.
Yes, please! We should consider SunRun's financial model as well, and I'm definitely interested in hearing from as many experts as possible to evaluate what our solar capacity needs are.
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coopasonic
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by coopasonic » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:45 pm

I guess I am not a good candidate for solar. Energysage says I can save $28k over 20 years and it will only cost $46k out of pocket up front. With a loan I could save $670 over 20 years. Leasing I could lose $7k over 20 years.

I think I can better than that with other investment options.
-Coop

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

That sounds... odd for TX unless there's something about your particular home/roof that is complicating things. Have you looked at Project Sunroof?

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by coopasonic » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:57 pm

Zaxxon wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm
That sounds... odd for TX unless there's something about your particular home/roof that is complicating things. Have you looked at Project Sunroof?
Sorry, Project Sunroof hasn't reached that address yet
It was able to give me data for my old house in the next town over and said I could save $4k over 20 years.
-Coop

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:05 pm

The map literally stops less than a mile south of his house. :lol:
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:30 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:05 pm
The map literally stops less than a mile south of his house. :lol:
Womp womp.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:02 pm

Today my system hit 25 MWh of cumulative production. Some stats:

Days of operation: 1,524 (4 years and 2 months, approximately)
Production: 25,000 kWh
Household electricity usage covered since power-on: 48.50% (includes two plug-in vehicles that together have consumed about 9.1MWh)
Having the system also made it economical to participate in our power company's time of use rate, netting us additional savings on the power that we do purchase from them.

To this point we have not noted any loss in power generation capacity. We installed in 2014, and 2016 has so far been our highest-producing year. 2018 is on track to give 2016 a run for its money (we're at 108% expected production thus far for the year--2016 finished at 106.3%), although that could pretty easily change if the remaining months are less sunny than expected.

If we don't count the impact of the system on our home's value (which we don't, as we're not selling the home yet!), we're somewhere around 60% paid back. If we were to sell today, theoretically the remainder of what we paid for the system would be reflected in the home's value delta. Of course, we didn't do this for the financial aspect other than ensuring that it wasn't a terrible financial move.

Tl;dr - get you some solar! Obviously the specifics of cost, payback period, and carbon impact vary widely depending on geographical region, home layout/roof material/roof age, and local energy mix. But for folks who plan to remain in their current home for 10 years, it's likely to either pay back in that span or to be a relatively small net outlay if it doesn't pay back. For folks who love in a region with a dirty energy mix, the cost should be properly considered alongside the desire to make a significant move to curtail the carbon impact of one's household energy use.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by RunningMn9 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:52 pm

Coming up on 4 years in November. Cumulative production so far has been 42.61 MWh.

Not sure what percentage that is of my total consumption but I’d say it’s pretty high.
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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Carpet_pissr » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:24 am

What are the board's feelings on the accuracy of the EnergySage reports?

I got some information that I am not sure how to translate, and the pieces I do understand, not sure if true (or how calculated to verify).

I selected the BUY option...preferably 0% down.
5 years to pay off system.
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Already got a couple of quotes. Problem is I have no idea if I will stay in this house for 5 more years...that is difficult to predict currently. I THINK yes, but "lots of ins and out and what have you" if you know what I mean.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by Zaxxon » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:45 am

I don't know how accurate they are in the general sense, but I just put in my address and compared their 'pay cash' results with what I calculated when I bought my system, as well as where I'm at 4 years in:

-EnergySage says my net cost after tax credits would be $13k, while it was $10k in reality.
-8.5 years payback, which should be relatively accurate in my case
-$19k 20-year net savings vs $22k calculated by me. I don't see their assumptions here, so it's possible they're spot-on if they take into account time value of money, which my simple calc did not.
-3% increase in property value jives with what I've read (with the caveat that all estimates here are subject to market whims in your local area)

Tl;dr - seems at least in the ballpark to me.

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Re: Solar Power. Talk to me.

Post by coopasonic » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:28 am

The numbers they gave me are abysmal so I can assure you they aren't just giving everyone positive results.
-Coop

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