So i went solar...My experience so far

corvetteguy78

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Signed up for Solar late Feb of this year. The Federal Tax credits are set to expire in a couple years and they decrease every year. Right now its 26% and i think it goes down to 22% next year and then like 10% the following year and then it go away.

So my average electricity bill over the last 3 years is $230 a month so i decided to research solar option. I drove around my town and I went knocking door to door to people who had solar installed and asking people how their experience was with solar. Everyone i talked to was leasing theirs but over all they seemed happy and were seeing moderate savings 15 -25%. When you lease, you don't pay for anything out of pocket. You just let the company install the panels and you pay them an electricity rate just as you would your power company. ****OF NOTE: You do not get the solar tax credits if you lease, the solar company does. Leasing costs you more in the long run as the rates increase every year and like i said you don't get any of the tax credits. Plus, when my system is paid off, i own 100% of the electricity.

Then I went to Evergysage.com to research and get quotes and found a company called Green Power Energy out of NJ(im in CT) that had stellar reviews. So long story short, i did the consult, they designed the system for me, measured the potential of my roof to produce solar power ,showed me panel options and pricing/financing options and it all looked good to me. I went with LG Panels 350 watts x 33 panels to over produce what i average per year. The total cost of this was $38,000. Unfortunately i needed a new roof in order to do the project. Green Power already worked with a Roofing Company so they quoted my roof at $11,500 which is way less then what i thought for a 2500SQ ft house. Good deal. The good news is that the Roof can be lumped into the Federal Tax Credit as part of the Solar project.

So essentially this is a $49,500 project for 15 years at 3.99%. Comes out to be like $244 a month for 15 years. Connecticut has a Solar tax credit program as well so i was able to get around $4500 off the top of the loan to bring it down to $44,500. And then next year when i file my taxes i will get a Federal tax rebate of $12,740 on top of any other tax refunds we already get. That rebate needs to be applied to the loan as a one time principle payment next year which will bring the total loan to $31, 740.

It has been a long process. Our Solar just got up and running like 4 or 5 days ago but just wanted to share some numbers.

If I am looking at this correctly:

June 2019 we were averaging a usage of 34KWH per day. So far it looks like the Solar is producing 65ishKWh per day. Unless i am reading this wrong. Now obviously working from home and adding the hottub is going to increase the usage but i think it's generating enough to cover 100% of our electrical usage. You can see 5/2019 were were at 18KWH per day and 5/2020 we are at 27KWh per day so that shows how the work from home is effecting our usage.

Screenshot_20200614-165931_SolarEdge.jpg



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Hope this was informative, feel free to ask any questions.
 

Briansol

Admins
Staff member
Admin
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wow, you use a lot of power!

Do you have inefficient utilities?
electric water heater?
power watts.png

we have gas for everything except ac and the oven, so that may be why...

my wife is HORRIBLE about leaving lights on... even outside for the cat (like the cat needs lights to see... SMH)


so, it looks like your average $200/m elec bill became a 250/m loan, with a 15 year net even, and then free electric the rest of it's service life, assuming nothing breaks, etc? are they still wacking you the 35 or whatever it is connection fee?
 

corvetteguy78

Well-Known Member
VIP
wow, you use a lot of power!

Do you have inefficient utilities?
electric water heater?
View attachment 28321
we have gas for everything except ac and the oven, so that may be why...

my wife is HORRIBLE about leaving lights on... even outside for the cat (like the cat needs lights to see... SMH)


so, it looks like your average $200/m elec bill became a 250/m loan, with a 15 year net even, and then free electric the rest of it's service life, assuming nothing breaks, etc? are they still wacking you the 35 or whatever it is connection fee?

yes electric water heater, appliances are 10 years old or less, we have LED's etc....no gas options in my hood.

But the electric bill is actually a 3 year average for $230/m for our electric bills from all of 2017 2018 2019..some of my electric bills were as high as $500+ a month. I believe there is a $12 Eversource connection fee I will have to pay. So essentially, its $14($26 if you include the Connection fee from Eversource) more a month then what i was averaging but i got a new roof out of it.

I also believe that overproduction of KWH's get rolled over. So if i am producing lets say 1000KWH a month and i only use 800KHW, 200KHW get rolled over as credits, so in the winter months when im not producing as much I will have left over KHW credits to use to cover me. That's how it was explained to me. I'm also not going to wait 15 years to pay this off. I will own it in 10 years or less. Everything has a 20 or 25 year warranty for parts and labor including the new Roof.



elec bill.jpg
 

TurboMirage

YEEAAAHHH
VIP
yes i would have to agree, that's less than half what i use monthly. but we have electric heat, huge appliances and especially the fridge we try to keep it mostly full.
 

awptickes

unimpressed by you
VIP
We don't have a single incandescent bulb in the house, and only have two CFL bulbs left. Everything is LED. Our fridge and stove/oven are 12 years old, dishwasher is 5 years old.

Our heat pump was on the older side though -- but it just died Thursday/Friday. Apparently there was a storm and that was the end of it. So, yeah, no A/C currently, I'm interested to see what the power bill looks like on this cycle.

We looked at solar, but the guy who came out said that the benefit from solar for us, due to the woods surrounding us, would be negligible. We'd have to cut down trees to get more out of it, but by doing that we'd be increasing the cooling requirements of the house. That, and solar panels are ugly.
 

D16Civic

Matt
VIP
Interesting. Do you have any pictures before/after?

Assuming there's a giant battery somewhere that stores the energy and is then wired into your service panel?

Probably would never do this as our energy costs are pretty low and we have natural gas appliances, but it sounds alright.
 

Briansol

Admins
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Interesting. Do you have any pictures before/after?

Assuming there's a giant battery somewhere that stores the energy and is then wired into your service panel?

Probably would never do this as our energy costs are pretty low and we have natural gas appliances, but it sounds alright.
grid-tie systems don't use batteries, and they also 'lose power' just the same as the grid when it's down.
 

reckedracing

TTIWWOP
VIP
I looked into solar, didn't feel it was worth the jump.
I have electric water heater, electric dryer, and a couple window rattlers in the summer.
House is pretty well insulated all things considered.
Highest electric I get is 150-170 in August, with OL being work at home with a laptop and 2 monitors.
We'll see how it goes this year with a 3 AC for my home office and my workstation setup for the home office as well.
 

corvetteguy78

Well-Known Member
VIP
grid-tie systems don't use batteries, and they also 'lose power' just the same as the grid when it's down.
Yes...this is correct. Thankfully we live in a part of town with underground power lines, we rarely ever have had a power outage. At one point i was looking at Telsa Solar System and there was a battery system but it was like $12,000 or something like that but for us its just not needed.
 

Briansol

Admins
Staff member
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the left side and over the garage doesn't bother me, but that c-shape around the skylight over the front door is not ideal. They always do that to get that one last panel installed. drives me nuts. lol
 

BigJ

I'm just about that action Boss.
VIP
Cool write-up. I've always been interested in it.

It's kind of interesting how uncommon this still is in much of the US. Some of these systems really make sense. Here in washington, we have very cheap power, so its not as common but you still see it here and there. When I talk with my team in Netherlands, the last few years they've seen a MAJOR increase. Like 40-50% of households now.
 

corvetteguy78

Well-Known Member
VIP
I'll take lower home value for $2000 Alex.
based off what data? I'm not saying they add value or don't. But it seems more likely than not that they add value.

Solar Panels Increase Home & Property Value | EnergySage

" The Lab’s 2015 Selling Into the Sun report analyzed sales of solar-equipped homes in eight different states over 11 years with the goal of determining just how much value solar adds to a home’s sale price. The key finding: on average, homebuyers are “consistently willing to pay PV home premiums” of approximately $4 per watt of installed solar capacity (note: this study only covered homes where the solar PV system was owned, not leased). For a standard 6-kilowatt solar PV system, this means that solar can add $24,000 to your home’s resale value. "



How Much Value Do Solar Panels Add to a Home? | Green Mountain Energy

" The Berkeley Lab study says that each watt of installed solar capacity adds around $3 to a home’s value. The national residential solar system average of 5 kilowatts (kW) generates 5,000 watts of power. Translation: A solar-equipped home could potentially add about ($3 x 5,000 watts=) $15,000 to a home’s value. Pretty impressive! "
 
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