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Anyone have solar panels installed on their house?

war hymn aggie
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If so, what are your thoughts?

Wife & I are seriously thinking about having some installed on our home & need opinions, good or bad.

TIA.
LunitadelNox
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Some dude came by my house the other day to invite me to some seminar about solar panels. If you're on Nextdoor, you could probably find it. Don't remember the company name though.
momlaw
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I recall another thread on here regarding this topic.

Do consider long term. If your home is on the market most relocation moves have restrictions about not purchasing with solar. Also, have heard some lenders have similar restrictions. That could have impact on your value and return on investment.

MasterOfNone
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I thought this website was pretty cool. I would start here is I was a little more serious about installing solar.

https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0
scottimus
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What do you want to know?

I have installed a couple of systems.

My biggest piece of advice is incorporating solar into the initial mortgage. Start up costs are the biggest factor against it right now.
mts6175
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momlaw said:

I recall another thread on here regarding this topic.

Do consider long term. If your home is on the market most relocation moves have restrictions about not purchasing with solar. Also, have heard some lenders have similar restrictions. That could have impact on your value and return on investment.


Why would there be a restriction on not purchasing a home that has solar installed on it or lenders loaning on a house?
momlaw
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Employers and relo companies want to minimize potential losses if they take an employee's house in a relocation situation. If you are a relocating homeowner they would not take your home or cover you for losses. If you are a relocating purchaser they would let you know if you purchase a home with solar (and some other restrictions) they would not assist you with sale in future relocation.

Visiting a broker friend in California, where solar panels are heavily marketed/subsidized, he mentioned they were a nightmare for selling and purchasing due to this.
Lone Stranger
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People don't read the fine print in many of the contracts from solar marketers and installers (or maybe they don't understand what they are agreeing to). Some of the contracts people sign are very risky in regards to what the solar company can do related to taking your house if you aren't paying on time, paying off the panels before you sell the house, etc, etc. Places that heavily subsidized solar panels on houses are the battlegrounds right now for what a solar sales and installation contract should look like as people run into issues making it difficult to sell their home.

I get the same story from utility executive/attorneys in CA, AZ and NV. These are some of the hottest market for solar. The story goes "I want to put solar on my house but I've had 8 companies out and every one of their contracts had language of some type in it that says they can take my home for X, Y and Z that really have nothing to do with the solar panels or my home."

The industry is young enough the shysters, kooks and nuts are still involved to a significant degree at the sales and installation level. The market hasn't matured enough for the consumers to figure out what an acceptable contract looks like at the homeowner level so the mortgage companies and insurers are left to do that right now.
mts6175
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Makes sense, wasn't thinking about it from the leasing the system angle.
KidDoc
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Check out Tesla solar roof tiles. They look amazing and are supposed to start taking orders this month. I'll likely need a new roof in 5 years or so and I'm hoping to replace my typical roof with those tiles.
Hammerheadjim
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Wait on Tesla's Solar roof. Or have solar panels on a pole if you have room. There are even panels that close like a sunflower at night or during hail or thunderstorms to protect them.
scottimus
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The Tesla thing looks great. I am curious to see how it works out. Lots of connections in that system.

If it is still true, German panels carry a 25 year warrranty fur about 90% efficiency. A direct inverter to the grid is all you need.

I wouldn't do a battery bank unless you are a prepper.

If you have the start up monies and a big southern facing roof, you can make some money in solar in the long run.


rsa
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As part of your planning homework, check out the information energy.gov's Planning a Home Solar Electric System page (energy.gov/energysaver/planning-home-solar-electric-system).

As you investigate your options, you might want to consider some form of leasing arrangement instead of a purchase. Some leasing companies offer low- or no-money-down home solar installations by leveraging investors' equity with available tax credits and incentives plus depreciation allowances, and leasing is likely the more cost effective path in the long run. Whether you lease or buy, do meet with an attorney to go over the terms of the contract to make sure you are clear on all of the agreements in the purchase or lease contract.
CinchAG97
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One of the negatives to putting in a solar system is that utility companies in Texas are not required to pay you retail cost for excess electricity generated. Other states have that law in place, therefore you can maximize your generating capacity to help pay off the system and shorten the ROI. Not so in Texas. The utility can pay you wholesale for the excess electricity generated and then basically just sell it back to you at retail. So your solar system just made the utility richer, and you're assuming all of the risk.

Solar is "feel-good" for now, but it's not economically sound. If it was, the government wouldn't have to provide subsidies to incentivize people to install it. Hopefully that changes in the future as solar materials come down and generating efficiencies go up.
scottimus
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No Joke,

Some one just came to my door (registered solicitor) and tried to sell me solar.


A company out of Houston is marketing for them.

They said they have a guaranteed .10 cents kw/h rate locked in with CSU for so many years.

Told me we are paying .125 cents kw/h.


They even have programs for leasing.

She basically said you will be paying $25 a month for electricity but as prices go up and laws change it will be in your favor.
techno-ag
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Just get a backup natural gas generator. It kicks on in the event of a power outage.
FlyRod
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scottimus
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Post some power specs and I can show you panel options.
pacecar02
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I'm considering it in my next home. Upfront payment for installations and parts to reduce overall monthly bills.

I would want solar along with something like the tesla wall batteries
scottimus
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You don't need batteries. Unless you do.
KidDoc
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Tesla started their orders but the online calculator thing gives me huge variations in quotes each time I enter my address so I think they are having issues in their side right now. It looks like it will cost a bunch up front but supposedly save you money over the years.

Not sure I'm believing it but luckily I still have several years on my current roof before I have to worry about it.
The Original AG 76
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KidDoc said:

Tesla started their orders but the online calculator thing gives me huge variations in quotes each time I enter my address so I think they are having issues in their side right now. It looks like it will cost a bunch up front but supposedly save you money over the years.

Not sure I'm believing it but luckily I still have several years on my current roof before I have to worry about it.
I have a 1600 sq ft house in CS and used the Tesla calculator. It was quite accurate in estimating the roof footprint and was pretty accurate is estimating my monthly average electric bill.
It quoted my Tesla roof at SEVENTY ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS !!!!! Even with the ( hopefully soon to be KILLED ) solar government subsidy the cost is still over $50,000 for the roof and a battery.
That is a 45 year PLUS payback !!!
Completely useless. Residential solar is a SCAM and very inefficient. Nat gas is redefining the energy market and will assure Texas of a relatively inexpensive electric supply for many many years. Just more feel good enviro pablum.
KidDoc
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The Original AG 76 said:

KidDoc said:

Tesla started their orders but the online calculator thing gives me huge variations in quotes each time I enter my address so I think they are having issues in their side right now. It looks like it will cost a bunch up front but supposedly save you money over the years.

Not sure I'm believing it but luckily I still have several years on my current roof before I have to worry about it.
I have a 1600 sq ft house in CS and used the Tesla calculator. It was quite accurate in estimating the roof footprint and was pretty accurate is estimating my monthly average electric bill.
It quoted my Tesla roof at SEVENTY ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS !!!!! Even with the ( hopefully soon to be KILLED ) solar government subsidy the cost is still over $50,000 for the roof and a battery.
That is a 45 year PLUS payback !!!
Completely useless. Residential solar is a SCAM and very inefficient. Nat gas is redefining the energy market and will assure Texas of a relatively inexpensive electric supply for many many years. Just more feel good enviro pablum.
Yup I agree. Sadly BCS electricity is not cheap at $0.14 kw/h. It would be nice if the city would let go of their monopoly and we could shop around.

I also agree that the subsidies need to be squashed with our current level of deficit spending but that is a bit of a derail of the thread.
war hymn aggie
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I have agreed to get solar panels with SunPro.

They have a good rating & with the guaranteed savings, I look to see benefits from this investment in around 7-8 years. Our house was built in the mid 70's & is a 1 1/2 story & is very inefficient. We had insulated windows installed a few years ago which helped, but our energy costs are still very high in the warmer months, even with the thermostat set in the mid 70's with the ceiling fans blowing.

Sunpro will also replace my water heater (which is about 12 years old) & will also replace ALL of the light bulbs in my house with LED's.

35 4X6 panels on my roof with a 25 year parts & labor warranty for a little over $20K after government refunds.

We plan on living in the same home for awhile, so it's an investment that will save us money in the long run & it will also add value to the home once we decide to sell it.

If you are a homeowner that plans on living in your current home for at least 10 more years & has a utility bill that averages $200 or more/month, then I would recommend this investment for you.

scottimus
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What are the Kilowatt totals for yalls systems?

Also, what is the price trend for CS utility?
Surely it will not stay the same for the next 20 years.
91_Aggie
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war hymn aggie said:

I have agreed to get solar panels with SunPro.

They have a good rating & with the guaranteed savings, I look to see benefits from this investment in around 7-8 years. Our house was built in the mid 70's & is a 1 1/2 story & is very inefficient. We had insulated windows installed a few years ago which helped, but our energy costs are still very high in the warmer months, even with the thermostat set in the mid 70's with the ceiling fans blowing.

Sunpro will also replace my water heater (which is about 12 years old) & will also replace ALL of the light bulbs in my house with LED's.

35 4X6 panels on my roof with a 25 year parts & labor warranty for a little over $20K after government refunds.

We plan on living in the same home for awhile, so it's an investment that will save us money in the long run & it will also add value to the home once we decide to sell it.

If you are a homeowner that plans on living in your current home for at least 10 more years & has a utility bill that averages $200 or more/month, then I would recommend this investment for you.




Come back and tell us your experience after 1 month, 6 months and a year


BTW
a new water heater is about $400 and LED bulbs ate now about $2 To $2.50 each. Essentially they enticed you with about $500 worth of benefits.
tvoiles
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Have had a 4 kW array on our house for 5 years, no maintenance, just keeps on making power. Rate of return after government incentives is ~9%, so a good investment
scottimus
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tvoiles said:

Have had a 4 kW array on our house for 5 years, no maintenance, just keeps on making power. Rate of return after government incentives is ~9%, so a good investment


Is that in CS/BRyan/Elseware?
What rate are you getting back?
tvoiles
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CS

I use pretty much all the power from the array and so it just lowers my overall rate. Since they bundle generation and demand charges on the bill I get the equivalent savings of the full rate which is something like $.113/kWh

The array produces $50-$60/month electrical value each month

Occasionally I produce excess power (like 2 kWh/month) and they credit it on bill at generation rate only, so < $1 per month, I just ignore that

Don't forget that since it is savings you don't get taxed on the return so to compare it to a taxable return investment you have to compensate for apples-to-apples

The Original AG 76
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tvoiles said:

CS

I use pretty much all the power from the array and so it just lowers my overall rate. Since they bundle generation and demand charges on the bill I get the equivalent savings of the full rate which is something like $.113/kWh

The array produces $50-$60/month electrical value each month

Occasionally I produce excess power (like 2 kWh/month) and they credit it on bill at generation rate only, so < $1 per month, I just ignore that

Don't forget that since it is savings you don't get taxed on the return so to compare it to a taxable return investment you have to compensate for apples-to-apples


how much did your 4kW array cost ? Do you have any storage capacity? what company did you use ?
Thanks
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