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 amI'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.
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.