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Solar Panels on Roofs, are they worth it?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Rich, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    From what I've seen in town, they put as many panels facing south as they can.

    Rich
     
  2. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    There is no investment on my part. That, in itself, is one of the things that bother me. As for using it as a UPS, that would cost a lot and we don't have many power outages. I don't think that would be cost effective.

    Rich
     
  3. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    As previously suggested, talk with some people that have had theirs installed for a period of time to verify what the salesman is telling you.

    I recently met with a builder (here in FL) who has an entire subdivison of houses with solar panels. The cost to install the panels averaged $31,000; but with Federal, state and local credits, it was on $15,200. That $15,200 added to the 30-year mortgage at 5.5% is only $86.30 per month. But the owners were eliminating their (average) $200/month electric bill, so a net savings each month of $113.70. Very good deal. Some of the owners even reported selling electricity back to the utility, but that depends on a lot of variables. But this FL with (probably) more sunshine then you might get in NJ.

    I work with several residential structural engineers. They are concerned with retro-fitting panels on houses and whether the trusses can support the panels. Not the weight of the panels, but the lift generated by the wind whenever we get a hurricane. Again, probably something you don't need to worry about in NJ.
     
  4. komondor

    komondor Mentor

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  5. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    Only available in CA, CO and TX. Not going to help the OP in NJ.
     
  6. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    This just doesn't sound right to me either. From what I understand, the costs are typically in the several tens of thousands (with the government subsidizing up to maybe half.) Since businesses don't run on negative cash flow I'd be asking what's in it for them.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've talked to a lot of salesmen about this and, at first, I had the option of getting the install free of charge or taking some kind of certificates from the power company and then it changed recently to just free of charge install.

    We do get some high winds on occasion, and you brought up one of the worries I have about the panels. I have no idea how they deal with the lift caused by high winds and that does concern me.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, I have, but not for a while. Perhaps they were refining the technology. I'd rather do that than put up panels. Gotta look more at that option. Thanx for the link.

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Agreed. I gotta lot of questions, all I have to do is find the right people to speak to, starting with my power company and roofer. If my roofer has any doubts at all, I'll probably nix the whole idea. He's the prime roofer in our township and knows more about house roofs than I do. Flat roofs on office buildings I understand, but know little about frame house roofs.

    Rich
     
  10. trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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    I'm tempted to look into these solar lease programs myself, the biggest question right now is the savings from the utility if they are allowed to change their pricing system to people utilizing solar.

    We have a backwards tiered use system here where the more you use the more you pay. Have an older house or a large house or large family it's going to cost you in the higher tiers. So what has happened it the affluent have every incentive to go solar to at least stay off the highest tiers with solar subsidization. What that means to the local utility (SDG&E) is they are loosing their gravy customer base and are pushing to charge high grid tie rates to people using solar.

    If that changes I'd have to have a close look at the lease contracts to see who pays that new cost, the solar lease companies or the unsuspecting homeowner.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    There are times I think CA is a separate country...:nono2:

    Rich
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That should be seen as SOP.

    Inverted tiers is to force conservation.
    The more you're over baseline usage, the more it costs.
    Hopefully commercial accounts aren't this way.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    losing

    Oops, wrong thread.

    Sorry :whatdidid
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Hope NJ power companies never have to do that. We're just charged a flat rate for kilowatt hours. I had no idea that was going on in CA.

    Rich
     
  15. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    As am I in Chicago, but this will certainly change for everyone in the future.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Makes those solar panels look even better.

    Rich
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Tier 1 (Baseline) $0.12845

    Tier 2 (101-130% of baseline) $0.14602

    Tier 3 (131-200% of baseline) $0.29561

    Tier 4 (201-300% of baseline) $0.33561

    Tier 5 (Over 300% of baseline)$0.33561
     
  18. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    I put a 4kw 21 panel sun power system in 2 years ago.my electric bill in northern California was running an average of $400+ a month. My solar bill rate varies depending on it me of day and season. In summer peak rate is $0.31/kwh noon to 7 pm. Partial peak is about $0.16/kwh and off peak at nite is $0.095/ kwh. So I run my pool at nite along with other heavy draw items and I sell back to the grid during peak. Cost at install was about $30k but after all the rebates n credits my final cost was around $17k. My payback is less than 5 years. I have a central inverter because I have no shading or obstructions. Systems are cheaper now but rebates are also a bit lower. System has been maintenance free. Periodically I will hose down the panels but I don't see a lot of difference in the generation.
     
  19. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    Dunno which power guys you got Rich (JCP&L?) but down here for AC Electric we have dual-tiers based on usage too. They may even be going to a three-tier system if the state approves it.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    PSE&G is what we've got. Maybe it is tiered, I'll give PSE&G a call when I get home from vacation. I don't pay much attention to bills, my wife just pays them unless she sees something strange. Does your bill give you details?

    Rich
     

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