Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 34

Thread: Solar for the home

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    Even with zero subsidies and in unfriendly solar areas (like MD) it no longer takes 20+ years, it's about half of that. In places that get lots of sun, have friendly utilities, and if you can get the incentives its often 4-5 years. Your information is very out of date.

    Even so, I wouldn't do it around here. That said, I run my outbuildings off of panels I built (from tabbed cells), cheapo Chinese charge controllers, and golf cart batteries and the whole setup cost me less than running actual electrical to those buildings would have.
    I just did a ROI payback on a 40kW rooftop system in Cecil County. Payback was 25 years without incentives and the building is oriented at the perfect angle for maximum sunlight. Unless something has changed in a few months...
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

  2. #12
    Registered User
    Member Since
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,585
    Quote Originally Posted by SamSpade View Post
    THAT is what I'm fearing, and that even if they fold, I'll still be on the hook for whoever cleans it up.
    Some of these companies basically have contracts saying, they can hike the fees if they want to, and you're technically buying electric from THEM, and they are selling electric from your roof to SMECO.

    Since equipment deteriorates over time - and they have the means to raise your rates - seems like a guarantee you'll get squeezed.
    They aren't selling anything to SMECO unless they over provisioned (in which case they will lose money, so they shouldn't do it). The panels literally run your meter backwards, and their converter will typically track generated KW which is what they will charge you.

    But you are 100% that it's the tricky language in the contract where they hope to get their money. Here's the thing though, it's all negotiable. Tell them you don't want any escalation and see what they say. The saleman work on commission and have sales quotas, they might be willing to make a deal where they don't make any money or the company even loses money in order to meet quota. Even if they don't generate future revenue, installed capacity looks good for the company (when trying to drum up more VC) and of course every install is an advertisement for their company.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by SamSpade View Post
    It's electric everything. 3300-3400 sq ft. Old brick home, hard to insulate.
    68 degree in winter, 78 in summer. Timers on everything. If it ain't turned off and needs to be, it turns itself off.

    The bill isn't the problem - what I want to know is if solar with be worth it.
    Like you've said, there's two options. Buy outright and take the tax incentives offered, or lease and have a slightly smaller electric bill. My cousin has panels on his roof (Solar City) and said he loves it. Leasing has nuances such as cost escalations, as mentioned, and can differ from company to company but generally, you're not on the hook for much other than not getting the subsidies or incentives. You also are not getting the full return from the PV system (as expected, the companies have to make money also). Buying outright gives you the incentives directly, you see all the benefit, but all the cost. You also get all the responsibility if something fails.

    Modern equipment is guaranteed for 20 years minimum so I wouldn't worry too much about the efficiency falling off.
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

  4. #14
    Registered User
    Member Since
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,585
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris0nllyn View Post
    I just did a ROI payback on a 40kW rooftop system in Cecil County. Payback was 25 years without incentives and the building is oriented at the perfect angle for maximum sunlight. Unless something has changed in a few months...
    Jebus. Get a couple of other quotes, check installers from VA. There is a subReddit for people to compare solar installation costs and 20+ years just doesn't jibe with what most people are getting.

    Of course I have been talking about grid connected, if you are using batteries then you are probably getting a good quote. Batteries are expensive and require you to overprovision rather than under.

    For a grid-connected 40kw system to make sense you would need to be using 5000+ KWhs per month, considerably more than your average customer.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    Jebus. Get a couple of other quotes, check installers from VA. There is a subReddit for people to compare solar installation costs and 20+ years just doesn't jibe with what most people are getting.

    Of course I have been talking about grid connected, if you are using batteries then you are probably getting a good quote. Batteries are expensive and require you to overprovision rather than under.

    For a grid-connected 40kw system to make sense you would need to be using 5000+ KWhs per month, considerably more than your average customer.
    This isn't a quote. This was an engineer's calculation based on nation-wide numbers and a calculated amount of sunlight in that particular location.

    This was a net metered, grid connected PV system with no storage capacity. Not a residential application.

    I'm not saying its gospel, and I'm sure there are people getting less payback, but we can't use "Jim had a similar system and his payback was 10 years. I saw it on Reddit." when meeting with our clients. Besides, if we say 20 years, and it takes 10. Awesome.
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

  6. #16
    Registered User
    Member Since
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,585
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris0nllyn View Post
    This isn't a quote. This was an engineer's calculation based on nation-wide numbers and a calculated amount of sunlight in that particular location.
    Well good luck to you. But I would just add that given the majority of your cost will be labor, a binding quote is more valuable than an engineer's calculation in determining your costs. And nation-wide numbers are hooey, unless you have ever paid the nationwide price for a gallon of gas or milk (I sure haven't).

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kwillia View Post
    I'm all electric. 1 full size freezer, 3 full size fridges, 2 heat pumps, 2 washers/dryers, 5 TVs, and a king-size waterbed being constantly heated to just the right temp. I don't question why my bill is higher then others. I also don't believe now is the time to jump into solar because all packages currently offered to homeowners now are designed to profit the middle-man company and the electric company pulling into their grid. I also don't trust losing the long term integrity of my roof resulting from installation. What burns me the most is that we are not allowed to bank power for outages or brownouts and there is no way in hell that long term the electric and solar companies will be letting houses get the upper hand. Agreements and regulations will continue to morph as needed to ensure profitability for all but the consumer.
    My last 4 bills have been under $90. I have a full size fridge, wine fridge, freezer, dehumidifier in the basement, 2 tvs, one of which is almost always on, power tools constantly, a very old hot water heater, electric dryer.... It spikes in the summer for 2 or 3 months to $250 when the A/C is running constantly.

    BUT... much of my frequent use lighting has been converted to LEDs, other lights are on timers or motion triggered so I can't forget to turn them off, I use a pellet stove all winter to heat (the oil furnace takes a lot more juice than you would think...), so lots of ways to counter higher KWH usage.

    There would be absolutely no reason for me to go solar. It would cost far more in the long run and add costs for maintenance.
    "It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob."
    The Brain

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    Even so, I wouldn't do it around here. That said, I run my outbuildings off of panels I built (from tabbed cells), cheapo Chinese charge controllers, and golf cart batteries and the whole setup cost me less than running actual electrical to those buildings would have.
    I'm putting the same kind of system together to provide the lighting power for a new garage and storage building we're putting up on our "off the grid" island. I figured it was easier than trenching a power line the 200' from the generator shed. The component parts are pretty cheap nowadays...I bought a package deal of panels plus automatic battery charger and then some golf cart batters and a cheapo power inverter.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -Frank Zappa

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    Well good luck to you. But I would just add that given the majority of your cost will be labor, a binding quote is more valuable than an engineer's calculation in determining your costs. And nation-wide numbers are hooey, unless you have ever paid the nationwide price for a gallon of gas or milk (I sure haven't).
    You'd think companies would be jumping all over this, but believe it or not I couldn't find a single company who wanted the work. Even Solar City turned it down.

    In terms of the overall project, we have to develop an engineer's probable construction cost. While a quote could be less, it could be what our estimate says. So we have to base it on nationwide numbers (oftentimes they have a correction factor for the area the work is in). Much like is done using RSMeans for construction pricing.

    You're right, a bulk of the cost is installation. I think the cost per watt is around $3.50, with a little over $1.00/watt being the actual PV system (panels and inverters).
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
    I'm putting the same kind of system together to provide the lighting power for a new garage and storage building we're putting up on our "off the grid" island. I figured it was easier than trenching a power line the 200' from the generator shed. The component parts are pretty cheap nowadays...I bought a package deal of panels plus automatic battery charger and then some golf cart batters and a cheapo power inverter.
    Homemade systems like this are far more feasible now if you use LED lighting. The difference in power draw on an LED vs any other lighting is dramatic.
    "It must be inordinately taxing to be such a boob."
    The Brain

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search:     Advanced Search
Search HELP

| Home | Help | Contact Us | About somd.com | Privacy | Advertising | Sponsors | Newsletter |

| What's New | What's Cool | Top Rated | Add A Link | Mod a Link |

| Announcements | Bookstore | Cafe | Calendar | Classifieds | Community |
| Culture | Dating | Dining | Education | Employment | Entertainment |
| Forums | Free E-Mail | Games | Gear! | Government | Guestbook | Health | Marketplace | Mortgage | News |
| Organizations | Photos | Real Estate | Relocation | Sports | Survey | Travel | Wiki | Weather | Worship |