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  • StarTrekDoc
    replied
    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!  

    Leave a comment:


  • wideopenspaces
    replied
    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 :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • StarTrekDoc
    replied
    Inverter solaredge.
    Panels. Varies. A lot out there with wide variety of styles.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kamban
    replied


    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • StarTrekDoc
    replied




    “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...


    Amen.

    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.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • hightower
    replied
    "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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied




    Sure, we all can live in a tent on the beach and fish for ourselves if that’s the argument.   We can also live a specific chosen lifestyle in a responsible manner.   I would daresay our family’s carbon footprint is as optimized as possible for our chosen vices.   Trying again not to get into that tangent.

    The question was whether Solar makes financial sense.   The economics works out for those I outlined above.
    Click to expand...


    I agree it makes sense in certain situations like those of us in high cost electricity areas. To your first point, I totally agree and thats where you can things a little too far. If we are all so very concerned, the right idea is to move to the mountains on one end, or be a politician/lobbyist to fight for environment. You can obviously go overboard on anything perspective wise.

    I like the idea of living your life as responsible as possible, thats a good way of putting it.

    I dont 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.

    Leave a comment:


  • StarTrekDoc
    replied
    Sure, we all can live in a tent on the beach and fish for ourselves if that's the argument.   We can also live a specific chosen lifestyle in a responsible manner.   I would daresay our family's carbon footprint is as optimized as possible for our chosen vices.   Trying again not to get into that tangent.

    The question was whether Solar makes financial sense.   The economics works out for those I outlined above.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied
    Being super users doesnt make us very green though. Its a very different proposition in Cali or Hawaii than say Texas where its dirt cheap. We are lucky to have payback in a couple years.

    Leave a comment:


  • StarTrekDoc
    replied
    I've already professed being the Lorax, and a true believer of the starfish metaphor - so will leave it at that.

    This is an investment forum, so will stick to that string...I would safely say the cohort here trends in top 5% of income/worth; likewise, we probably live in the top 5% of lifestyle, or 10% if you're a FIRE believer.

    This would likely put one into the realm of the super user of electricity, were PV Solar benefits really come into play economically (If you live in a high cost electricity or access to Time Of Use (TOU) schedules) with ROI within 3-5 years on a product that is warrantied for 10-25 years.   It makes economic sense.

    Throw in the likelihood of Tesla drivers or any EV driver, PV Solar becomes even more financially beneficial.

    I'm just tickled to see my financials and green world intertwine a little

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied




    I guess I just don’t agree with the notion that “because its not cheap, I’m not going to do it.”  My brother in law is that way sometimes and it drives me nuts.  My electric is 5.5 cents/kwh now, but I’m not going solar just to save money.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see these technologies become cheap.  I do believe it will one day be cheap enough that even the thriftiest people on this site will want to go solar, but that’s going to take time.  I don’t think we have the luxury of time anymore.  We need to reduce our carbon emissions now.  And yes, you’re right that there are plenty of other things we could do now that would have a big impact as well and that’s great, people should do those things too.  Our furnace and a/c are brand new and super efficient.  We’re not going to be running our AC at full blast, in fact we may just use a small window unit in our bedroom from now on.  We have insulation.  We have storm windows.  We don’t eat beef.  We use public transit whenever possible.  We voted against trump, although that didn’t work out too well.  I drive an all electric car.  We have 100% LED lighting.  My tankless hot water heater is super efficient. We live downtown in a walkable neighborhood and we ride our bikes and shop local as much as possible. These may be small contributions and probably laughable to some of you, but at least I can say I tried.

    All that being said, however, I also believe that if everyone did everything they could to reduce their carbon emissions now, it still wouldn’t be enough.  We need a big fat carbon tax program to reduce industrial emissions on a giant scale.  That’s obviously not going to happen under the current administration so I feel like in the mean time I need to do everything I personally can to help.

    The funny thing is that globally speaking countries like China, Germany, Norway, are making huge strides in cleaning up their energy production and are going to end up being the example to follow very soon.  The US is going to be left behind for the next 4 years.
    Click to expand...


    Ah, so you've been caught up in the climate scare. Thats great you do all those things. I also am vegetarian with full led house, etc...but no electric. Dont take it the wrong way, climate change is very real and a problem that needs to be addressed, but alarmism helps no one. Putting solar on your house is probably one of the most inefficient forms of combating cc there is. I still like it, but it doesnt do anything in a big way. Lots of larger interventions available and for free even. Putting panels up in Wasington state, texas, or some place and using solar instead of the already very green energy doesnt make a difference right? Sure if you're in someplace like WV maybe thats directly influential.

    Whats this about the US being left behind while mentioning China? You do know that the US has been decreasing total emissions since 2005 (back to 1992 levels now) and that somewhere around 25-33% of what is categorized as US emissions is from china via the jet stream? The US has the 2nd most installed wind power in the world, and its why texas has such cheap power. The half life of CO2 is around 1000 years, everyone could literally stop any production today and we'd still have problems to deal with that are huge. You're not going to get very far with prevention measures against CO2 (warming factor of 1 over 100 years by def), in that realm we need to focus on interventions as the obvious solution. Now for methane (28-36 warming factor) and nitrous (200-400 warming factor) you have something you can address. For CO2 the 'half-life' can be thousands of years, for methane its 12.4 and nitrous stuff is around 120. Those are not only many many times more dangerous as to warming potential but have a half life that is absolutely addressable. This is where the low hanging fruit is.

    You want to help with climate change, eating a whole lot less meat will have a larger impact than solar as will making sure good farming/disposal practices are regulated. You can do that today and its even basically a free change that also comes with a lot of health benefits. You want to address carbon you recognize money needs to go to research for ways to reverse it and combat the obvious negatives any way you can.

    Things have to be put into context and on some sort of addressibility scale with regard to impact/cost/resources. There is zero grounds for alarm, that is detrimental to all sides. It undermines the science and trust in authorities and allows deniers to mock and correctly point out fear mongering. Its unfortunately politicized but we dont need to take part in any of the hyperbole. Its alarmism that puts climate change as the number 1 risk that needs to be addressed on some lists instead actually powerful changes that can be achieved easily and cheaply, like clean water, malaria protection, and vaccination. You could do all those things in short order with the kind of money wasted on politicizing cc and getting zero change long term (unless you think 0.1 C /100 years makes a difference).

     

    Leave a comment:


  • hightower
    replied
    I guess I just don't agree with the notion that "because its not cheap, I'm not going to do it."  My brother in law is that way sometimes and it drives me nuts.  My electric is 5.5 cents/kwh now, but I'm not going solar just to save money.  But, that doesn't mean I don't want to see these technologies become cheap.  I do believe it will one day be cheap enough that even the thriftiest people on this site will want to go solar, but that's going to take time.  I don't think we have the luxury of time anymore.  We need to reduce our carbon emissions now.  And yes, you're right that there are plenty of other things we could do now that would have a big impact as well and that's great, people should do those things too.  Our furnace and a/c are brand new and super efficient.  We're not going to be running our AC at full blast, in fact we may just use a small window unit in our bedroom from now on.  We have insulation.  We have storm windows.  We don't eat beef.  We use public transit whenever possible.  We voted against trump, although that didn't work out too well.  I drive an all electric car.  We have 100% LED lighting.  My tankless hot water heater is super efficient. We live downtown in a walkable neighborhood and we ride our bikes and shop local as much as possible. These may be small contributions and probably laughable to some of you, but at least I can say I tried.

    All that being said, however, I also believe that if everyone did everything they could to reduce their carbon emissions now, it still wouldn't be enough.  We need a big fat carbon tax program to reduce industrial emissions on a giant scale.  That's obviously not going to happen under the current administration so I feel like in the mean time I need to do everything I personally can to help.

    The funny thing is that globally speaking countries like China, Germany, Norway, are making huge strides in cleaning up their energy production and are going to end up being the example to follow very soon.  The US is going to be left behind for the next 4 years.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dicast
    replied
    If solar and storage becomes cheap enough the energy companies will take it over. I have no problem with high rate locations taking solar if the payoff is just a few years for now. I have "plans to invest in fslr"...once our loans are gone...

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied




    6.3 — Nice.  That’s like FL too. dirt cheap.  The lowest after all the fees is about 17-19 cents/kWh here in Cali.

    FYI:  Time Of Use is coming to Cali regardless we choose solar or not.  This year they flattened to 2 tiers+superuser 400% baseline (~800-1000 kwH/mo) then move everyone to TOU in 2019.

    You’d be surprised how much you may like an EV.  They come in all shapes and sizes and performance is quite good.   CV gives you $3000 right off the top.  Rare to find such gifts just lying around to be utilized.
    Click to expand...


    Oh, I like EVs, theyre just spendy. I've rented a Tesla and had a great time, wouldnt buy one yet. We have a TOU option at PGE, but not the best fit for me currently.

    In a few years there should be a ton of EV/hybrid cars available, and wiil be much better overall choices and competition.

    Leave a comment:

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