Solar Panel Proposal

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dziuniek
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Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

Hi fellow bogleheads,

I just received a quote for solar panels on my roof. Please offer any insights as I am not compeltely sure if it makes sense.

Roof is fairly new new as house is new construction from 2017.

Quote and info:

22 panels (south facing all in teh back of the house)
1 inverter
6.71 kWh system size
8,382 kWh production (97% usage offset over the last 12 months) (it was a hot summer here in CT).
$18,750. (price includes CT rebate for the company).
Federal tax credit 26%

Net after fed credit

Around $ 14,000.

per company about 7 years payback time.

Please offer hints and/or critique.

Thank you,

dizzy
puddingfox
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by puddingfox »

You absolutely should not rely on the salespeople's payback estimate. Do your own calculations. How much have you been paying for electricity over the last few years? Do you have a net metering program or other agreement that can be made with your electricity provider? What are the terms? Is is possible for the program to go away at some point leaving you with expensive panels and no way to sell your excess electricity?

Does the solar company offer any guarantees to back up their numbers? What if it turns out trees or buildings are shading your roof?
delamer
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by delamer »

The payback estimate for our system that the solar company supplied did not include the opportunity cost (lost interest/dividends) of keeping the $14,000 invested. That is, drawing it down each month to pay our electric bill rather than paying an upfront lump sum. So not an insignificant amount.

Our system will be significantly larger and have a battery, so I can’t really speak to your actual costs. Ours are a lot higher.

Frankly, while the cost/benefit analysis is important, you need to get a lot of satisfaction out of the “green” aspects of your choice since the numbers are a guesstimate.
dsmil
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dsmil »

I agree with others that you definitely need to look into their payback estimate. They certainly want to make it seem like a short payback estimate so they get your business. I was quoted last year with energysage.com and the solar website was assuming that electricity costs would be going up 5.4% per year. Using 2-3% would have changed the payback dramatically.

I feel like solar panels should be more of an environmental decision because there are investments that can also provide similar returns. Both the returns of investments and solar panels are not actually known. If you are mostly doing this for environmental purposes, do you have energy supplier options where you live? I ditched the solar panel idea and simply have a clean electricity supplier, with the cost being the same as the standard fossil fuel supplier. I get the clean energy and don't have to worry about having panels on my house.
PoppyA
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by PoppyA »

But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
av111
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by av111 »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:11 am Hi fellow bogleheads,

I just received a quote for solar panels on my roof. Please offer any insights as I am not compeltely sure if it makes sense.

Roof is fairly new new as house is new construction from 2017.

Quote and info:

22 panels (south facing all in teh back of the house)
1 inverter
6.71 kWh system size
8,382 kWh production (97% usage offset over the last 12 months) (it was a hot summer here in CT).
$18,750. (price includes CT rebate for the company).
Federal tax credit 26%

Net after fed credit

Around $ 14,000.

per company about 7 years payback time.

Please offer hints and/or critique.

Thank you,

dizzy
OP

I think quote from Tesla would be much better. Less than $2 per kwh. All state and federal credits are yours

If local electricity prices are high like peak of 30c to 40c per kwh and roof gets decent sunlight on 50% of the year, solar is a no brainer
AV111
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TomP10
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by TomP10 »

What brand are the solar panels (modules)? Over the last decade most of the companies make inferior panels have exited the business (most notably Suniva who had terrible quality issues and could not follow-through on promised warranty).

Jinko, Hanwha, LG, and SunPower all make very good panels.

I have had panels on my roof for 13 years.... no issue. The inverter (located in my basement) failed after 3 years. It was replaced at no cost to me by SunPower.
"It is remarkable how much long term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent." -- Charlie Munger
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tyrion
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by tyrion »

I just finished installing a slightly smaller (6.5KW) system in California. Some observations

Get at least 3 quotes.

I would check Tesla pricing. They are the cheapest per Watt these days. I went with someone else since we needed roofing done - complicated install.

Everyone I talked to said microinverters are better than string inverters. More expensive but more reliable.

You can check your panels on energysage. Warranty, reliability, etc. I would go with a 'tier 1' panel if you can.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

I am getting another quote from a different company tomorrow.
When I look at Tesla's pricing - it's much better.
Now, is the pricing on their website actual or... an estimate.
Cruise
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Cruise »

We had two reputable companies quote us. We went with the slightly higher-priced one because we had a better feel for the salesperson. Turns out the other company went out of business and ours is still in business 8-9 years later.

The company we went with gave us two options, the more expensive of which used higher efficiency panels (that would require fewer panels and only expose the southern facing roof). Again, we used that option because we figured fewer panels meant fewer holes in our roof. Also, cosmetically, no one from the street can even see we have panels on our roof.

Our payback period was around five years or so.
emoore
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by emoore »

I have Tesla solar panels for 2 years now. Have been very happy with them and the technical service. This was before Tesla went with the standard prices on the website (and those prices are actual prices, not estimates assuming standard installation and same number of panels). Seem like Tesla is the cheapest right now and if I had to do it again I would go with them again. They are using 340W panels which aren't the most efficient but pretty good.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

TomP10 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:46 pm What brand are the solar panels (modules)? Over the last decade most of the companies make inferior panels have exited the business (most notably Suniva who had terrible quality issues and could not follow-through on promised warranty).

Jinko, Hanwha, LG, and SunPower all make very good panels.

I have had panels on my roof for 13 years.... no issue. The inverter (located in my basement) failed after 3 years. It was replaced at no cost to me by SunPower.
LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd LR6-60HPB-305M - panels.

TSLA looks much cheaper, but from what I read online - it takes them forever to actually install. Hmm. Anyone have tsla ones?
BogleFan510
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by BogleFan510 »

Our solar system paid itself back to the original timeline (similar to yours). However, long warrenties are not worth what is bragged on. Labor to fix is the true cost and we had to spend several thousand after the first 9 years or so, even within the warrenty period, to keep the system components going. So we've lost roughly a year of 'payoff' over 10 years on unexpected maintenance.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

Checked with TSLA.

Their lead time in CT is 2-3 months currently.
That would mean the tax credit would be lower - as it goes down to 22% for 2021, I believe.

Still, TSLA looks much cheaper than the quote I got.

Will look at another quote or so - but seems like TSLA is going to be the winner.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by unclescrooge »

tyrion wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:54 pm I just finished installing a slightly smaller (6.5KW) system in California. Some observations

Get at least 3 quotes.

I would check Tesla pricing. They are the cheapest per Watt these days. I went with someone else since we needed roofing done - complicated install.

Everyone I talked to said microinverters are better than string inverters. More expensive but more reliable.

You can check your panels on energysage. Warranty, reliability, etc. I would go with a 'tier 1' panel if you can.
I got microinverters a few years ago on my system. Tesla didn't offer that as an option. Said they only use optimizers, whatever that is. Has this changed?
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TomP10
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by TomP10 »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:04 pm LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd LR6-60HPB-305M - panels.

TSLA looks much cheaper, but from what I read online - it takes them forever to actually install. Hmm. Anyone have tsla ones?
LONGi is also a top Chinese solar company.

In my opinion if you need to re-shingle your roof, then maybe the Tesla Solar Roof product makes sense. If not, I would go with high efficiency modules. Be sure the modules are PERC modules.... PERC is a technique for better light absorption and increases the module's efficiency. PERC products are offered by all major suppliers and it is probably the best value for residential. (Most companies also sell non-PERC modules too. I would not buy those in 2020... PERC is a better "bang for your buck" module.)
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Snezz1e
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Snezz1e »

One thing with Tesla is to achieve the lower price they only sell their system in 4kwh/8kwh size. You need 6.71kwh. I don't know the rules in your state but in Nevada, NVEnergy will not let you install a oversize system even though in your case the oversize system is still cheaper than the quote you got.

Even if your state doesn't allow oversized system the undersized system might be a better route to go. In NV, your excess production is now only paid at 75% of normal rates. A system that produces 8k kwh/year to match your usage doesn't mean you use all that you produce. In some months you produce more than you use and in some months you produce less and it balances out. With the 75% reimbursements you don't get the full value of the electricity you're getting so the payback period is really longer than quoted. By having an undersized system you may end up using all that you produce almost every month. This is all depending on how your state's net metering rules work though.

A smaller system I think will also lead to a lower loss when you sell your home if you're not there long term. Buyers will offer a little more for home with solar system but will they really be savvy enough to know the difference between a 4k vs. 8k system and adjust their offer accordingly or will you end up with similar offers regardless of system size.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by willthrill81 »

PoppyA wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
Panels have lifespans spanning decades, and means of recycling old panels are highly likely to be developed in the coming years. I wouldn't let that concern impact my decision at all.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

As far as the more production - this might actually not matter for long.
We have a bonus room over the garage that we're thinking about converting into a bedroom.

The room doesn't have it's own zone, so it's always a little cooler or hotter. (say 5-10 degrees). A minisplit there might make sense. So more solar panels actually wouldn't be a bad thing for the future.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by emoore »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:21 pm
tyrion wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:54 pm I just finished installing a slightly smaller (6.5KW) system in California. Some observations

Get at least 3 quotes.

I would check Tesla pricing. They are the cheapest per Watt these days. I went with someone else since we needed roofing done - complicated install.

Everyone I talked to said microinverters are better than string inverters. More expensive but more reliable.

You can check your panels on energysage. Warranty, reliability, etc. I would go with a 'tier 1' panel if you can.
I got microinverters a few years ago on my system. Tesla didn't offer that as an option. Said they only use optimizers, whatever that is. Has this changed?
Power optimizers are basically micro inverters for a string inverter. Not quiet the same or as efficient as micros but they do handle shading of panels much better than a string inverter. I purposely went with a string inverter instead of micro inverters since it would be easier to replace if either of them failed.
emoore
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by emoore »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:19 pm Checked with TSLA.

Their lead time in CT is 2-3 months currently.
That would mean the tax credit would be lower - as it goes down to 22% for 2021, I believe.

Still, TSLA looks much cheaper than the quote I got.

Will look at another quote or so - but seems like TSLA is going to be the winner.
Tesla "might" lower the price after the new year to get the same after rebate price of $1.49/watt. They did that this year to adjust the tax credit going from 30% to 26%. But nothing is guaranteed of course.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

Just an update for anyone interested:

My TSLA solar panels were installed yesterday.
7:30 am - 2:00 pm. :)

Town inspection + TSLA inspector tomorrow.

Then waiting on EVILsource*(electric co.) to do their thing after that.

Whooo-whee! :)

$16,500
less 2,448 CT Tax rebate (estimate)

$13,852 out of pocket.

*.26% fed tax credit (since I made it before year-end)

Total cost:

$10,251 :)

Will post final numbers once I get them, but not bad right? 8.16 kW system size
mervinj7
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by mervinj7 »

dziuniek wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:47 pm Just an update for anyone interested:

My TSLA solar panels were installed yesterday.
7:30 am - 2:00 pm. :)

Town inspection + TSLA inspector tomorrow.

Then waiting on EVILsource*(electric co.) to do their thing after that.

Whooo-whee! :)

$16,500
less 2,448 CT Tax rebate (estimate)

$13,852 out of pocket.

*.26% fed tax credit (since I made it before year-end)

Total cost:

$10,251 :)

Will post final numbers once I get them, but not bad right? 8.16 kW system size
Looks good. Did you end up estimating your own payback period?
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

Per TSLA it's about 7 years or so.

But I should be overproducing by about 20% so I'll be selling back to the grid too.

Seeing what the local utility prices are going to be in the next few years, I estimate about 5-ish years max. We have huge increases coming our way in CT.

I paid $1,880 for the last 12 months/1 year.

1,880 x 5 = $9,400.
+ BIGLY increases to electric bill incoming.
+ System should overproduce 20% or so I'll be selling that back to the grid. $$$

So I think 5 years is right on the money. Maybe less.
Last edited by dziuniek on Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tingting1013
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Tingting1013 »

Congratulations. I just got utility approval to turn on my Tesla panels today. 10 weeks from initial order.

Amazing to see the solar generated kWh in the app.
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runner26
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by runner26 »

dziuniek wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:14 pm Per TSLA it's about 7 years or so.

But I should be overproducing by about 20% so I'll be selling back to the grid too.

Seeing what the local utility prices are going to be in the next few years, I estimate about 5-ish years max. We have huge increases coming our way in CT.

I paid $1,880 for the last 12 months/1 year.

1,880 x 5 = $9,400.
+ BIGLY increases to electric bill incoming.
+ System should overproduce 20% or so I'll be selling that back to the grid. $$$

So I think 5 years is right on the money. Maybe less.
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.

Don't oversize!
SmallSaver
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by SmallSaver »

runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
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runner26
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by runner26 »

SmallSaver wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:58 pm
runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
True. But realize that the rules can change. When I moved in the grid connection charge for the utility was $5 per month and shortly after it was raised to 10. Also, I used to get paid more for my excess several years ago than today.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by davehica »

runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
dziuniek wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:14 pm Per TSLA it's about 7 years or so.

But I should be overproducing by about 20% so I'll be selling back to the grid too.

Seeing what the local utility prices are going to be in the next few years, I estimate about 5-ish years max. We have huge increases coming our way in CT.

I paid $1,880 for the last 12 months/1 year.

1,880 x 5 = $9,400.
+ BIGLY increases to electric bill incoming.
+ System should overproduce 20% or so I'll be selling that back to the grid. $$$

So I think 5 years is right on the money. Maybe less.
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.

Don't oversize!
Oversizing can be the right move depending on your future plans. I’m my case, I installed about 150% of my usage at the time because I was planning to add an EV and change all appliances from gas to electric.
chuckb84
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by chuckb84 »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:11 am Hi fellow bogleheads,

I just received a quote for solar panels on my roof. Please offer any insights as I am not compeltely sure if it makes sense.

Roof is fairly new new as house is new construction from 2017.

Quote and info:

22 panels (south facing all in teh back of the house)
1 inverter
6.71 kWh system size
8,382 kWh production (97% usage offset over the last 12 months) (it was a hot summer here in CT).
$18,750. (price includes CT rebate for the company).
Federal tax credit 26%

Net after fed credit

Around $ 14,000.

per company about 7 years payback time.

Please offer hints and/or critique.

Thank you,

dizzy
Well, per the rule of 72's, a 7 year pay back is a 10% return, plus it adds resale value to your house, and do you think your power bill is going down or up in the future? I'd do it.
AnonLady
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by AnonLady »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:11 am Hi fellow bogleheads,

I just received a quote for solar panels on my roof. Please offer any insights as I am not compeltely sure if it makes sense.

Roof is fairly new new as house is new construction from 2017.

Quote and info:

22 panels (south facing all in teh back of the house)
1 inverter
6.71 kWh system size
8,382 kWh production (97% usage offset over the last 12 months) (it was a hot summer here in CT).
$18,750. (price includes CT rebate for the company).
Federal tax credit 26%

Net after fed credit

Around $ 14,000.

per company about 7 years payback time.

Please offer hints and/or critique.

Thank you,

dizzy
I got my solar panels installed in early 2014 and just paid off my energy loan last year. They are one of the best investments I've made. I'm happy I went for it when I did and I doubt you will have any regrets, assuming the installer does a good job. I will say, my use is higher than when I first got them installed, so I still have more of a bill than I thought, but it would be worse without the panels and I filled up the entire south facing roof, so what do you do?

Definitely get a few different bids from various companies so you can compare and contrast, and if you can get some references from past customer's that's also helpful for deciding to pull the trigger. But I would highly recommend them.
harikaried
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by harikaried »

We should have oversized, but the utility required additional paperwork and approval. At least with current rates, we would have gotten almost 50¢/kWh sent back during summer peak while buying back at 4¢/kWh at night. But as others have pointed out, the rates and base charges can change, so it's hard to predict how long things will be good or bad.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:06 pm
SmallSaver wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:58 pm
runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
True. But realize that the rules can change. When I moved in the grid connection charge for the utility was $5 per month and shortly after it was raised to 10. Also, I used to get paid more for my excess several years ago than today.
True, but depending on state / utility / lobbying... -> some people get grand fathered in as well.

In my case / jurisdiction it still made sense to me.

Additionally, I work in utility regulation so I see what's coming in the pipeline - to some extent anyways.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
dziuniek wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:14 pm Per TSLA it's about 7 years or so.

But I should be overproducing by about 20% so I'll be selling back to the grid too.

Seeing what the local utility prices are going to be in the next few years, I estimate about 5-ish years max. We have huge increases coming our way in CT.

I paid $1,880 for the last 12 months/1 year.

1,880 x 5 = $9,400.
+ BIGLY increases to electric bill incoming.
+ System should overproduce 20% or so I'll be selling that back to the grid. $$$

So I think 5 years is right on the money. Maybe less.
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.

Don't oversize!
Up thread I mention the bonus room. That explains the excess production. (future-proofing)
In the meantime it does help the pay-off time.

Panels have gotten really cheap these days.
bwalling
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by bwalling »

SmallSaver wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:58 pm
runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
I get full rate for credits, but credits have to be used in 12 months. I overproduce in winter and consume the credits in summer (Florida requires AC full time in summer, but rarely ever heat or AC in winter).

If I don't use the credits, I sell to Duke at $0.02/kWh, compared with the actual consumption cost (after taxes and their other BS charges) of $0.14/kWh.

So, I need to match my 12 month consumption and 12 month production as best as possible, but producing more will not pay itself back.

Note also that the Florida legislature has toyed with changing the rules requiring utilities to allow for credits and net metering. This doesn't just mean over production gets me later credits - your production and consumption vary within the same day. Without net metering, you'll waste a lot of your production at various points each and every day unless you have a battery to store your excess.

I assume Tesla or the other companies told you this, but your system will shut itself off in the event of a power outage unless you have a battery. Not the reason you got solar in the first place, but something we didn't immediately think about until Irma knocked our power out.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

bwalling wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:28 am
SmallSaver wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:58 pm
runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
I get full rate for credits, but credits have to be used in 12 months. I overproduce in winter and consume the credits in summer (Florida requires AC full time in summer, but rarely ever heat or AC in winter).

If I don't use the credits, I sell to Duke at $0.02/kWh, compared with the actual consumption cost (after taxes and their other BS charges) of $0.14/kWh.

So, I need to match my 12 month consumption and 12 month production as best as possible, but producing more will not pay itself back.

Note also that the Florida legislature has toyed with changing the rules requiring utilities to allow for credits and net metering. This doesn't just mean over production gets me later credits - your production and consumption vary within the same day. Without net metering, you'll waste a lot of your production at various points each and every day unless you have a battery to store your excess.

I assume Tesla or the other companies told you this, but your system will shut itself off in the event of a power outage unless you have a battery. Not the reason you got solar in the first place, but something we didn't immediately think about until Irma knocked our power out.
Thank you, yes I am aware. The PowerCell is still too pricey for my liking and I haven't lost power here in CT yet.
It's anectodal but it seems more folks lose power in the Western and Southern CT rather than Central CT where I am.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

Final Invoice and Calcs Udpate for my TESLA solar panel system:

$16,400 Hardware + Labor:
-$100 deposit
-$2,448 CT State Credit
-----------

$13,852 Payment Due

-$3,601.52 (26% Fed Tax Credit to claim on tax return)

Total System Cost:
$10,350.48

Not bad. :)
Thegame14
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Thegame14 »

you save money and the environment, sounds like a GREAT deal!!!
harikaried
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by harikaried »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:29 pmTotal System Cost:
$10,350.48

Not bad. :)
Not bad indeed at $1.27/W! Hopefully this doesn't cause you stress but looks like Tesla updated its sizing for next year (as orders today will most likely not happen until 2021 with 22% tax credit):
https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/co ... s/gfxhhne/

Tesla is now offering 6 panel (2kW) increments from 12 panels (old 4.08kW "Small") up to 54 panels (larger than their old 16.32kW "XL"). Note: the pricing in that comment include a $1000 MA solar tax credit, so adjusting for that, the prices are unchanged ($1.49/W assuming 26% tax credit and $1.57/W assuming 22%).
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by BrandonBogle »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:29 pm Final Invoice and Calcs Udpate for my TESLA solar panel system:

$16,400 Hardware + Labor:
-$100 deposit
-$2,448 CT State Credit
-----------

$13,852 Payment Due

-$3,601.52 (26% Fed Tax Credit to claim on tax return)

Total System Cost:
$10,350.48

Not bad. :)
Congrats! I waited for Tesla to start offering a system in NC for months and in Sept decided to proceed with another company so they get installed this year for a local incentive. The day they came out in October to install my system, Tesla finally announced they install in NC.

I had only purchased 10 kW from the other company and need about 8 more kW to fully offset my usage. So I figured I can get Tesla’s 8 kW system installed. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Even though all four other installers I reached out to this year said installing on the front of the house (NE facing) would be fine (the 10 kw I already got on on the back S-SW facing), Tesla is saying their install wouldn’t meet the minimum efficiency requirement my AHJ requires. Odd that Tesla is the only one that seems to have run into this. So we are at an impasse until something changes.
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tyrion
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by tyrion »

dziuniek wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:18 am
bwalling wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:28 am
SmallSaver wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:58 pm
runner26 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:45 pm
You dont want excess as the utility pays squat for it. My system was installed by my builder and they gave me a 20 year pre paid lease as an incentive in 2015. In CA PG&E was paying only 2 cents per kwh for my excess so I have been working hard to use up my excess. Added a garage freezer to minimize shopping trips and then got a space heater to reduce gas heating. Now I am getting close to ending the ripoff.
Just a note, this totally depends on your utility and interconnection agreement. Where I am they pay the full retail rate for credits and there isn't any time of day or tiered volume pricing. That can be completely different with a different utility, much less a different state. As another example, of the two utilities around here one has a very low fixed monthly fee and a high per-kWh fee (good for solar), the other has a very high fixed fee and a very low per-kWh fee (very bad for solar). Unfortunately it's complicated enough that each deal needs to be assessed on its own.
I get full rate for credits, but credits have to be used in 12 months. I overproduce in winter and consume the credits in summer (Florida requires AC full time in summer, but rarely ever heat or AC in winter).

If I don't use the credits, I sell to Duke at $0.02/kWh, compared with the actual consumption cost (after taxes and their other BS charges) of $0.14/kWh.

So, I need to match my 12 month consumption and 12 month production as best as possible, but producing more will not pay itself back.

Note also that the Florida legislature has toyed with changing the rules requiring utilities to allow for credits and net metering. This doesn't just mean over production gets me later credits - your production and consumption vary within the same day. Without net metering, you'll waste a lot of your production at various points each and every day unless you have a battery to store your excess.

I assume Tesla or the other companies told you this, but your system will shut itself off in the event of a power outage unless you have a battery. Not the reason you got solar in the first place, but something we didn't immediately think about until Irma knocked our power out.
Thank you, yes I am aware. The PowerCell is still too pricey for my liking and I haven't lost power here in CT yet.
It's anectodal but it seems more folks lose power in the Western and Southern CT rather than Central CT where I am.
We are in a southern California location with a nice stable grid and got a powerwall put in a few months ago. Mostly because our summer peak rates are upwards of 50 cents per kWh but partially for the peace of mind. We experienced our first power outage this week. I heard a loud pop and went outside and everything was black as far as I could see except for our house with Christmas lights ablaze. Glorious.

We promptly turned off our lights to avoid drawing too much attention, but meanwhile we did all the normal stuff - made dinner, watched TV, etc. Power was restored after about 3 hours.

It's not something I would pay for in most circumstances, but my wife really liked the idea of energy independence. We are threatened (intermittently) with rolling power outages every summer and it's likely only going to get hotter.

For backcountry areas subject to safety power outages, a powerwall would be invaluable.
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dziuniek
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by dziuniek »

harikaried wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:57 pm
dziuniek wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:29 pmTotal System Cost:
$10,350.48

Not bad. :)
Not bad indeed at $1.27/W! Hopefully this doesn't cause you stress but looks like Tesla updated its sizing for next year (as orders today will most likely not happen until 2021 with 22% tax credit):
https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/co ... s/gfxhhne/

Tesla is now offering 6 panel (2kW) increments from 12 panels (old 4.08kW "Small") up to 54 panels (larger than their old 16.32kW "XL"). Note: the pricing in that comment include a $1000 MA solar tax credit, so adjusting for that, the prices are unchanged ($1.49/W assuming 26% tax credit and $1.57/W assuming 22%).
Nope, no stress at all. Mine look pretty darn good. Well, atleast much better than they used to!
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Firemenot »

PoppyA wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
That is the tricky part with wind and solar. The backside part is still a work in progress.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Firemenot »

willthrill81 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:28 pm
PoppyA wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
Panels have lifespans spanning decades, and means of recycling old panels are highly likely to be developed in the coming years. I wouldn't let that concern impact my decision at all.
Don’t be so sure on that. The large windmill blades can’t be recycled because they’re made of thermoset plastic composites. Chopped into pieces and straight to the landfill. Solar panels would be even more difficult due to all the different components and the nasties that leach out when broken. I’m an innovation optimist, but the current array of products are not as green when you factor in the back end issues. Hopefully next generation products address these issues.
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by willthrill81 »

Firemenot wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:28 pm
PoppyA wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
Panels have lifespans spanning decades, and means of recycling old panels are highly likely to be developed in the coming years. I wouldn't let that concern impact my decision at all.
Don’t be so sure on that. The large windmill blades can’t be recycled because they’re made of thermoset plastic composites. Chopped into pieces and straight to the landfill. Solar panels would be even more difficult due to all the different components and the nasties that leach out when broken. I’m an innovation optimist, but the current array of products are not as green when you factor in the back end issues. Hopefully next generation products address these issues.
That's why I said "likely to be developed." I know that they aren't recyclable yet. There will be a huge business opportunity for the recycling of solar panels, providing very strong motivation to find a method of achieving it.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
Firemenot
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by Firemenot »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:04 am
Firemenot wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
willthrill81 wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:28 pm
PoppyA wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:12 pm But as an environmental issue you have to take into account component disposal. The panels themselves have rare earth elements that are had to properly dispose of as are the battery banks.
Panels have lifespans spanning decades, and means of recycling old panels are highly likely to be developed in the coming years. I wouldn't let that concern impact my decision at all.
Don’t be so sure on that. The large windmill blades can’t be recycled because they’re made of thermoset plastic composites. Chopped into pieces and straight to the landfill. Solar panels would be even more difficult due to all the different components and the nasties that leach out when broken. I’m an innovation optimist, but the current array of products are not as green when you factor in the back end issues. Hopefully next generation products address these issues.
That's why I said "likely to be developed." I know that they aren't recyclable yet. There will be a huge business opportunity for the recycling of solar panels, providing very strong motivation to find a method of achieving it.
I think it’s pretty hopeless with current panels frankly. The panel designs will have to change to enable. Existing panels will basically be treated as toxic waste. And much will likely be improperly disposed of and cause ground contamination.

As an aside, there’s apparently a theoretical maximum of 17 percent energy capture (or some similar number) for silicon-based panels. People have been looking at aluminum which could have a much higher theoretical yield. Still though just PhD types messing with in university labs to my knowledge. I say this based on a tour of such a lab maybe 6 years ago.
rockstar
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Re: Solar Panel Proposal

Post by rockstar »

What plans are available from your utility company?
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