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Are solar panels worth it?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by HikingDO View Post
    ^^^ Same here, live in Arizona so sunny almost every day, but smaller roof (2 story house) and the largest slope of the roof faces north. Oh well, gotta pay attention to stuff like that in my next house.
    Yeah. The Google calculator shows that our roof, location and electricity rate means a 19 year pay off. I don't think we will be living here that many more years.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by TheQuietOne View Post

      Edit: There is federal solar tax credit of 26% of cost for year 2020, but goes down to 22% for year 2021. If I had it done last year, it would have been 30%!
      I think the 26% has been extended for another 2 more years. Still, not all that great.

      I was about to put in but for a lack of net metering. At that time we had 30% fed and 25% state. The state credit is now gone.

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      • #18
        Just my opinion but I think for resale value any used tech is more likely to be seen as a hassle and outdated. Whenever I look at houses where the owner has installed a whole home intercom/stereo or video system with built in monitors it comes across as outdated tech from 10yrs ago without the latest features. I lump solar panels in this category. When buying a house I don't want to maintain them or look up warranty claim information for 10yr or older panels when they break. If you plan to stay a long time though or rent it out afterward, could be advantageous.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by tailwind225 View Post
          Just my opinion but I think for resale value any used tech is more likely to be seen as a hassle and outdated.
          Whatever. I'm just waiting for the value of VCRs to rebound and then I'm unloading my stash and retiring.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by tailwind225 View Post
            Just my opinion but I think for resale value any used tech is more likely to be seen as a hassle and outdated. Whenever I look at houses where the owner has installed a whole home intercom/stereo or video system with built in monitors it comes across as outdated tech from 10yrs ago without the latest features. I lump solar panels in this category. When buying a house I don't want to maintain them or look up warranty claim information for 10yr or older panels when they break. If you plan to stay a long time though or rent it out afterward, could be advantageous.
            Solar panels are passive solid state devices. They don’t tend to randomly break or cease to function in the first 20 or 30 years.

            Now an inverter has an expected lifetime of about 15 years. You need to replace them from time to time, but it isn’t a major outlay relative to the cost and electrical production of a relatively large solar system.

            On the other hand, a leased solar system with a power purchase obligation can be an albatross when it comes time to sell a house.
            Last edited by Hank; 12-28-2020, 04:54 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tailwind225 View Post
              Just my opinion but I think for resale value any used tech is more likely to be seen as a hassle and outdated. Whenever I look at houses where the owner has installed a whole home intercom/stereo or video system with built in monitors it comes across as outdated tech from 10yrs ago without the latest features. I lump solar panels in this category. When buying a house I don't want to maintain them or look up warranty claim information for 10yr or older panels when they break. If you plan to stay a long time though or rent it out afterward, could be advantageous.
              I suspect you're right. When we sold our home with solar(paid for, not leased) in 2014, it didn't enhance the value of the home and it was at best a marginal selling point.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by tailwind225 View Post
                Just my opinion but I think for resale value any used tech is more likely to be seen as a hassle and outdated. Whenever I look at houses where the owner has installed a whole home intercom/stereo or video system with built in monitors it comes across as outdated tech from 10yrs ago without the latest features. I lump solar panels in this category. When buying a house I don't want to maintain them or look up warranty claim information for 10yr or older panels when they break. If you plan to stay a long time though or rent it out afterward, could be advantageous.
                I would get solar if it suited me and had a payback of 5 years.

                Regarding intercom - it is certainty outdated with the use of cellphones.

                But I have wired the whole house for sound and put CAT-6. Speakers in selected places only which may or may not be used in the future. The cabling gives much better internet speeds than wi-fi.


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                • #23
                  @wawot1: Thanks for the link. I wouldn’t mind doing this in the future if we decide we want solar.

                  We purchased a south-facing home so it should have great sun exposure, but for now solar doesn’t seem worth it since no one seems to have noticed a benefit when reselling. I was thinking maybe if turned into a rental we could increase the rent since electric bill would be next to nothing, but that seems unlikely as well. Plus the outdated technology aspect is very likely, especially if the efficiency of new solar cells increases over time. Oh well.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by TheQuietOne View Post
                    Plus the outdated technology aspect is very likely, especially if the efficiency of new solar cells increases over time. Oh well.
                    Solar panel efficiency has increase by about 0.5% per year for the last 10+ years. It's unlikely that there will be some sudden breakthrough that renders an existing solar panel installation undesirable. (If you generate enough electricity to power the house or at least keep you in the lowest cost tier from your local energy company, that power output isn't going to change drastically.) Sure, Tesla's solar roof shingles are aesthetically pleasing, but a solid, sufficiently high panel / capacity solar system should be good to go a decade or two from now.

                    The bigger problem is your plan to convert your primary residence into a rental property and switch to a life of subsistence farming. Even if your solar panels save you ~$300 per month on your electric bill, it's unlikely that you can rent out the house for $300 more per month than a comparable property down the street, despite the appeal of free electricity. Folk who want free electricity likely need it to mine bitcoins or run grow lamps for weed. Your solar system won't be specced out for that heavy usage. Other renters probably won't think ahead to solar saving them money on AC in the summer and heating in the winter. They just want a lot of house for the rent and will deal with the cost of utilities once the bills start to roll in.

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                    • #25
                      Yeah, I agree that renters most likely won’t be thinking ahead about solar saving them money. Which is why we decided not to get solar.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by burritos View Post
                        Didn't crunch numbers on solar or EV purchase. Had solar panels installed 3 separate times over the years and got 2 EVs. It hasn't steered us away from our investment goals.
                        Next time you should do both at once.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

                          Next time you should do both at once.



                          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but someone is trying to make them look better.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by burritos View Post



                            Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but someone is trying to make them look better.
                            Good enough for Rick moranis is good enough for me.

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