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  • #31
    I looked at the numbers a couple years ago, and they only slightly kinda maybe made a little sense because Louisiana had ridiculous tax incentives which paid for more than half of the system.  Every other radio ad was for some sort of solar, how you can make your whole house solar powered for zero net dollars with a lease and tax credits.  Dozens of new companies popped up with shiny new trucks buzzing around selling and installing solar.  Tons of the bourgeoisie started putting ugly panels on their rooves which now litter the landscape.  Now all the new companies are going out of business and their customers are whining about their credits going away.

    The money just doesn't make sense.  Sure it "pays for itself" after X years, but these systems don't last forever.  Most people were sold these 15, 20 year leases thinking that after their 20 years are up, they'd get free power for life, as if these panels are somehow not a wear item.  In reality, 20 years from now they're going to need a new system and will start the repayment clock all over again.  Aside from the wear on the panels, another host of issues follows like roof leaks, insurance cost, one more thing to worry about anytime a storm rolls around, etc.  If they were an economic no-brainer, every new house would be built with panels.

    These solar panels are the big satellite dishes of our time.  Once solar shingles or some other more sightly advancement comes along, those big panels are going to look even more cheesy than they do today.  Sure, I'd love to do it when you can do solar shingles on the whole roof, but right now it's just too much of an eyesore.  I look forward to one day having some sort of a self-powered house, but it's just not worth it yet to do solar.


    • #32

      “I like the idea of living your life as responsible as possible, that’s a good way of putting it.

      I don’t think it matters in the end, renewables will overtake things eventually and it will be economically viable to the majority, its happening. We are just the early adopters.”

      I don’t see myself as an alarmist or being overly freaked out by climate change.  I think its a major problem though and I generally feel the same as quoted above. I think early adopters play a vital role though.  I wasn’t on the electric vehicle bandwagon until my brother in law got one and I was like “whoa, I can’t believe electric cars already exist and I didn’t know about it.”  I think getting solar or driving an electric car can have that kind of effect on others and can play a big part in the eventual success of these changes and new technologies.
      Click to expand...


      Again, leasing PV is for the birds.  The solar companies get all the gain with front loaded credits and run off--a fool's folly game IMHO.  If you're doing solar, do it right and that's purchasing.  ROI is 3-7 years ideally and warrantied products for 10-25 years.  That's a financial win.

      Take into account the resale and don't put in front of the house.   It's definitely an eyesore -- even in sunny San Diego where 5% household is already on netmetering PV since last year.



      • #33

        If you’re doing solar, do it right and that’s purchasing. ROI is 3-7 years ideally
        Click to expand...

        Who are the reliable solar companies for purchase of the units?


        • #34
          Inverter solaredge.
          Panels. Varies. A lot out there with wide variety of styles.


          • #35
            Our panels were installed today! We ended up going with a local company that has been installing solar for 10 years (I wanted a company that was likely to still be in business down the road). We went with American made panels, which cost a bit more, but I like to purchase things made here whenever possible. Anyway, even on a day like today that was cloudy and rainy all day, we are still net 0, which is kind of exciting. Ultimately this may have not been the most financially or environmentally responsible move, but I guess it's not the worst. And it made my spouse very happy so overall, worth it :-)


            • #36
              It's always exciting to watch the dial go backwards--never tire of that.  Back in the old days, we actually had dials instead of the digital ones of today.  It was wild watching how it moved with regular use, AC on, and then solar going in.

              Happy spouse = happy home.  And glad you chose to choose American despite the cost.  That's dedication.

              Congrats and welcome to solar!