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OT: Question for anyone who has gone solar



temery

What?
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... was it worth it?

Two years ago my electric bill was $50/month. With my adding mini splits for heat/air, it's now $200/month. With that in mind, I'm looking at solar as an option, and I'm looking for input from those who have gone solar.

How did it work out for you? Would you recommend solar to others? Things to consider?
 

Dove

Son of Wayne. Friend of Tony.
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I haven't, but consider a battery storage option with a system. Otherwise, you are collecting energy every day even if not using it. Or, worrying about energy collection when the sun goes away for days at a time. A battery can get you 3 days of stored energy when you need it.
 
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I had a friend who sold solar panels and I learned that very few homes are great candidates in New England due to trees, shade etc.

That said, my girlfriend has solar panels on her house and her last electric bill was literally $0.
 

8893

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Check if MA has the same incentive as CT does and it should cost you nothing if you qualify. My mother in law and good friends in town both did it for free this past year. Bottom line is there is a huge pot of government money (paid by all rate payers as part of our monthly bills) available for states to reach certain goals of percentage of users who are solar and they are still very far away from that goal so they are subsidizing it.
 
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Is there anything to worry about with all those holes being put in your roof? I would imagine a bad installer might be really bad news.
 
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I have been told that the no money down/free deals are a scam and will bring down the value of your home. Buying outright is the way to go. Lithium batteries all day, not amg. I'm going to be putting about 500w on the roof of my van for camping electricity. I have a solar generator in there (basically an all in one solar package) I can run lights and a mini fridge all night, but I'm out by morning, so may do a diy with better battery storage.
 
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I haven't, but consider a battery storage option with a system. Otherwise, you are collecting energy every day even if not using it. Or, worrying about energy collection when the sun goes away for days at a time. A battery can get you 3 days of stored energy when you need it.
I thought they were wired to send excess back to the utilities... no need to store for yourself.
 

Drumguy

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I have been told that the no money down/free deals are a scam and will bring down the value of your home. Buying outright is the way to go. Lithium batteries all day, not amg. I'm going to be putting about 500w on the roof of my van for camping electricity. I have a solar generator in there (basically an all in one solar package) I can run lights and a mini fridge all night, but I'm out by morning, so may do a diy with better battery storage.
I have lithium batteries in my van, 195 watts of solar on top. Works great. In CO (like here in CT) you have to be careful of low temps and have a battery shut off so they don't try to recharge when the temp is under 32. I'm nowhere near an expert on this, just our Facebook group for the PW owners.
 

ColchVEGAS

Still buckin like five, deuce, four, trey.
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I was literally just looking in to solar and had a company come out and give me their pitch. After doing more research on it I came to the conclusion it is only worth it to buy it outright.

In my case my average electric bill is about $175-200. If I went the solar lease route they pitched it is a 20 year contract with a fixed monthly rate of $150/mo that increases 3% every year. The solar system was guaranteed to generate a certain amount of energy per year, which broke down to just about exactly what I use on average per month. If I use more than they generate I would buy the difference from Eversource. CT is a net metering state so when you generate more than you use the extra goes back to the grid and they store it for you. If I ever needed that extra I generated one month I could always tap in to the banked energy but at the end of the year it resets, I believe.

If I buy them outright I would break even at the 14 year mark. Most panels have a 25 year warranty so the last 11 years there would be no bill, as long as generation and usage stays the same as the originally sized system. At the end of the day I did not go with solar even though I really would like to at some point. Now I just have to find the $40k to buy a system.
 

tykurez

For Your Health
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As others have said - I think it all depends on much sunlight you get. We live on an old farm with zero trees within a couple hundred feet of the house so we get full sun all day. For that reason we lease ours - $120/month which has reduced our electric bill to just the connection fee (~$10/mo) for all but about 2 months out of the year.

Any excess generation goes back to the grid and is a credit on my statement or is paid out as part of a yearly “true up”.
 
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Just signed the purchase contract. Leasing would have been $130/mo with a 3% annual increase for rhe 20 year term. Purchasing will be $190/mo for 15 yrs(which im planning to pay off much sooner to save on the interest) The system will produce 103% of my current annual consumption. after i take down some additional trees that % will increase. I'm planning on getting mini splits with the heatpump to complement oil baseboard heating. The panels will be on the roof on the back of the house, therefore, no solar eyesore. Hope it helps, if you need a recommendation PM me (Full disclosure..There is a $500 referral incentive I would receive)
 
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I have lithium batteries in my van, 195 watts of solar on top. Works great. In CO (like here in CT) you have to be careful of low temps and have a battery shut off so they don't try to recharge when the temp is under 32. I'm nowhere near an expert on this, just our Facebook group for the PW owners.
I'm actually in Conn, the sn was from 1998 and I never changed it. How much of a battery pack do you have? 100, 200, more? My solar generator is about a 100ah and I find I only get 10-14 hours out of it with a fan and fridge and those string lights. Lithium is expensive as hell, but worth it. I had actually forgotten about the low temp charging issue. I probably installing a diesel heater here before winter, have been using a mr. Buddy propane heater, it works fine, but the smell is no bueno and the condensation...
 

CL82

The best thing about puppies is they become dogs!
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My house is perfectly situated for Solar cells on the back roof. I just got my roof redone like a year ago so I’m pretty hesitant about putting on solar cells. One reason, is all the bolting that needs to happen, but the other is the solar cells in notoriously in efficient with much of their energy being given off as heat I can see that baking asphalt shingles.
 

Drumguy

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I'm actually in Conn, the sn was from 1998 and I never changed it. How much of a battery pack do you have? 100, 200, more? My solar generator is about a 100ah and I find I only get 10-14 hours out of it with a fan and fridge and those string lights. Lithium is expensive as hell, but worth it. I had actually forgotten about the low temp charging issue. I probably installing a diesel heater here before winter, have been using a mr. Buddy propane heater, it works fine, but the smell is no bueno and the condensation...
Ah, gotcha on the name! We have a Pleasure Way Plateau and it came with 2 Eco Ion 100 AH LifeP204 batteries. We also have 2 95 watt solar panels. We're still fairly new to the RV and I'm still not quite sure what all the numbers mean in real life, but we didn't have any issue with running out on a 24 day cross country (and back) trip this summer. We do have a battery turn off switch which helps conserve the batteries and our dometic fridge runs on propane.

We debated storing the RV on my business parking lot (I own the building) but found an indoor heated storage place in Belmont NH - (we have a family place up on Lake WInnipesaukee), so I don't even have to winterize it. We will have to run up and start the generator and drive around for an hour a month!
 
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I have had them for 10yrs. My back roof faces due south with no trees.

The initial system was about 7000+ watts installed in 2010. I added 2000+ on the garage a few years later and now have 9800 watts installed. Over the past 10yrs they have produced over 105,000 kw of power. ConEd charges about 20 cents or so where I live. After all the initial tax incentives at the time (30 percent tax credit) plus some NY state rebates, I am right around break even right now - give or take a year.

There is no maintenance except for every now and then the box that connects the system to the internet needs to be rebooted. And there are no leaks from the bolts.

I guess it's worth it. Without the incentives probably not so much. I think costs are a good amount lower now then when I did it.

Right at this moment it's producing 6,800 watts and it did 42kw total today. It is set up to net meter so that the excess power flows back into the grid and my meter spins backward. I've had only two months where my electric bill was zero (in summer).
 
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I thought they were wired to send excess back to the utilities... no need to store for yourself.
It's called net metering. Lots of bad info in this sub. There aren't too many holes in your roof as they use a unirac system and there's also a ridiculous amount of sealing that goes above and below. Some of the panels and no micro inverters have a 25-year life cycle so you want to make sure that your roof is newer. Know the difference between micro inverter and like a big sunny boy inverter. a micro inverter allows each panel to produce however amount whereas a string system usually everything drops to the lowest panel production.
 
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... was it worth it?

Two years ago my electric bill was $50/month. With my adding mini splits for heat/air, it's now $200/month. With that in mind, I'm looking at solar as an option, and I'm looking for input from those who have gone solar.

How did it work out for you? Would you recommend solar to others? Things to consider?
You need to look at all the variables. Roof mount, ground mount, tree cover, off-grid, grid-tie system, leased system, purchase outright. I have done all of the above and if I were first starting out I would find a reputable company that will handle all the State incentive programs, put in a grid-tied system that would preferably be a ground mount system. Any issues while leasing it shouldn't come out of your pocket, it will not hurt the resale value of your home if you sell. Of course this is just my opinion. Good luck to you.
 
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I was literally just looking in to solar and had a company come out and give me their pitch. After doing more research on it I came to the conclusion it is only worth it to buy it outright.

In my case my average electric bill is about $175-200. If I went the solar lease route they pitched it is a 20 year contract with a fixed monthly rate of $150/mo that increases 3% every year. The solar system was guaranteed to generate a certain amount of energy per year, which broke down to just about exactly what I use on average per month. If I use more than they generate I would buy the difference from Eversource. CT is a net metering state so when you generate more than you use the extra goes back to the grid and they store it for you. If I ever needed that extra I generated one month I could always tap in to the banked energy but at the end of the year it resets, I believe.

If I buy them outright I would break even at the 14 year mark. Most panels have a 25 year warranty so the last 11 years there would be no bill, as long as generation and usage stays the same as the originally sized system. At the end of the day I did not go with solar even though I really would like to at some point. Now I just have to find the $40k to buy a system.
ROI is EXACTLY the driving factor... How long do you plan to stay in the house, etc. In most cases people sell their houses before they break even. Hence, I am not a fan.
 

Dove

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Why is editing not possible?
 

ColchVEGAS

Still buckin like five, deuce, four, trey.
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ROI is EXACTLY the driving factor... How long do you plan to stay in the house, etc. In most cases people sell their houses before they break even. Hence, I am not a fan.
Not to mention unless your roof was just done you will probably have to do it during the lifespan of the solar panels which means you need to find a roofing contractor that also is comfortable with removing and installing panels, or you have to get two contractors.

If you lease you save money on your bill, but at the end of the lease you are in the same position and do not have any added equity as the leasing option does not add value to your home. Also, if you do end up selling now your market to sell to is fewer as the potential home buyer will have to take over your lease, if that is something they want to do.

My rough math came up with a 12 year loan at 5% interest will cost about $40k for the system. Over the life of the panels there is a lot of potential savings and that savings would pay for a new system at the end of the panel life, but that also assumes electric rates will continue to rise at the rate they are over the next 25 years, which I do not think will happen.

Supply rates in CT were double what they are today 10 years ago, but delivery rates were less. There will have to be a breaking point otherwise everybody will look for alternative options. Which also means the price for alternative options will drop. Solar and wind farms are going in all over the country and the power plants are the ones utilizing them. This should in theory bring energy costs down but a lot of these solar companies will tell you that electric rates will continue to rise at a rate greater than 5% every year with no end in sight.
 
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UConNation

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... was it worth it?

Two years ago my electric bill was $50/month. With my adding mini splits for heat/air, it's now $200/month. With that in mind, I'm looking at solar as an option, and I'm looking for input from those who have gone solar.

How did it work out for you? Would you recommend solar to others? Things to consider?
Temery, I switched later last year and have absolutely loved it. We used a company that can work (I believe) in all 50 states and it costs $0 to have the solar panels put up. The only stipulation is that they have to stay on your house for 20 years. They look at how much energy you used in the past 12 months, calculate the number of solar panels you need to produce that much (and up to 10% more), lock you in at a rate that's close to 50% less than what Eversource was charging, guarantee that their rate doesn't go up by more than 2%/year, they guarantee that you produce a minimum of what they projected and if there's an issue with your roof, whether it's the fault of the panels or just your roof getting old, you only pay a couple hundred bucks for the labor to have them removed. I thought it was a scam, but my parents have had them for a couple years, we've had them for almost a year and we pay them the exact same amount every month. The only minor hiccup we had was this past month it was so hot out that we used more than we produced AND we used up what we had stored in our "bank", so we had to draw the extra electricity from Eversource. My bill for the extra electricity was only $46, but my delivery was $90. It sucks, but in the end, we're still saving hundreds each year.

PM me if you want some more details about the company.
 

HuskyHawk

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I just signed up to what they call community solar. New solar farm about 2 miles from my house. We sign up and basically buy discounted credits for our electric bill from the solar company, which are applied to the bill. May save a little, not much.

In-laws went solar, with a leased set of panels. It saved a little money for them, but it's a pain as you've got this long term lease contract for the panels on your roof, most of the savings goes back to them. I assume if you buy panels you'd save, but only after a big out of pocket investment.
 
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I just signed up to what they call community solar. New solar farm about 2 miles from my house. We sign up and basically buy discounted credits for our electric bill from the solar company, which are applied to the bill. May save a little, not much.

In-laws went solar, with a leased set of panels. It saved a little money for them, but it's a pain as you've got this long term lease contract for the panels on your roof, most of the savings goes back to them. I assume if you buy panels you'd save, but only after a big out of pocket investment.
As for the out of pocket investment, many companies will let you finance the purchase. We've considered it and will probably pull the trigger next year. Our neighbors did it last year, and with the monthly payment on the loan they're saving about 10-15% in comparison to paying just their prior electric bill. We have better light than they do.
 

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