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I think we're going solar

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by jerrymildred, Feb 5, 2021.

  1. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Thanks!
    I will ask my cpa about possible roof credits
     
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  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I think you'd hard pressed to find an installer willing to work on a roof even 10 years old.

    Metal roof makes sense for many things, until you get to the cost. If I hadn't had other home projects beyond the roof and solar, I'd gone with it.

    If the credit can't be applied to the roof, there is still a new roof deduction to most home insurance.

    I'm getting a 5.2kW system with Enphase microinverters for $17.8k. Hopefully by the end of the month. The planning and permitting process takes weeks. A 10kWh Enphase battery would have increased the price to $33k.

    Already having a switch for a generator in place would have saved some on that quote, but without the need for an emergency energy supply, it would still be a big cost for me without the benefit of TOU pricing. @bisco I'd still ask about it. The system can be set up to allow the generator to operate like a hybrid car; pulse and glide.

    They all do seem to use the same software to place panels on your house in satellite photos for the quote. Part of the onsite assessment after that included getting more accurate measurements with drone. The software had split the panel placement between the slope and flat roof. After he measurements, they are all going onto the one roof.

    Edit: Cost of the roof doesn't qualify.
    "Q2. Are roofing expenditures that were necessary for the installation of solar panels eligible for the Residential Clean Energy Property Credit? (added December 22, 2022)
    A2. In general, traditional roofing materials and structural components do not qualify for the Residential Clean Energy Property Credit because they primarily serve a roofing or structural function. However, some solar roofing tiles and solar roofing shingles serve as solar electric collectors while also performing the function of traditional roofing, serving both the functions of solar electric generation and structural support and such items qualify for the credit."
    https://www.irs.gov/pub/taxpros/fs-2022-40.pdf
    Residential Clean Energy Credit | Internal Revenue Service

    Though any insulation or air sealing that is part of the roof work might qualify.
     
    #262 Trollbait, Aug 13, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2023
  3. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    A giant +1 to everything @fuzzy1 wrote. You saved me a lot of typing, my friend. :)

    I'm glad you plan to buy the system rather than lease. Great decision.

    As an update on my system, we're still positive on production versus use this year, but July and August have been murder!!

    OH! And
    Pool? Oh, right. That big hole full of money. Not in my back yard, thankyouverymuch!!" :LOL: I had three non negotiables when house hunting and that one was on the list.
     
    #263 jerrymildred, Aug 13, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2023
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    are those prices before tax credits? that's what i'm being quoted, with a net of 22-23k.

    still, ten year break even was more than i expected. i wonder if tax credits haven't kept up with inflated costs.
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Someone in my neighborhood, just one street over, did find someone to install a solar system on a surprising poor (and sagging) roof three years ago. Then sold the home less than a year later. One of the first things the new owner did was re-roof, removing the solar system and re-installing afterwards.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Dang, but thanks for the update. At least before the 2022 IRA was passed, this angle was commonly mentioned in solar systems promotional articles.

    I don't know if that carrot was false or misleading, or Congress wised up and removed it.

    ... what am I saying? Congress never wises up ...
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Cost before credits. The quote also included potential income for selling RECs.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    interestingly, the third quote came in at 2/3 the kw and price, and shows a year earlier break even.
    these are all preliminary, and site visits will be necessary for final quotes.
    so far, all 3 warranty the entire system and roof penetrations for 25 years, labor and materials.

    what do you folks think about local vs national companies?
     
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I like my electrician for low overhead, personal touch. He's just a local electrician who specializes in solar installs. He doesn't get into the financial gimmickery.

    On the other hand, he might fall off a roof or retire before the work warranty is done.

    The big national company is more likely to still be there in 24.9 years, which is about how long you'll be on hold with their call center playing you a loop about how much faster everything is on their website, which is down. All of which you're paying for.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Got our first rejection today, ReVision energy said that looking at the maps, even with the norway maples removed, there was still too much shading to make it worthwhile, unless we’re just gung-ho on inefficient solar
     
  11. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Don't feel bad. Up here in the northwest we have very little gable space facing south - coupled with extremely low winter azimuth - coupled with tons of clouds most days in cool seasons. SoCal was the land of PV Shangri-La but up here? for solar? not so much.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    talked with NRG today. they are proposing a 6.5kw system with a 6 1/2 year payback.

    they use lidar to analyze the site, and said that shading on the rest of the roof renders additional panels much less efficient, leading to the 10 year breakeven.

    they also recommended a new roof, and have a contact they believe will be competitive due to working together.
     
  13. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Must depend on what the roof is made of. In SoCal our roof was a 26 year old concrete tile & on inspection they said it was good to go.
    .
     
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I did it anyway, and am glad I did.

    My house has plenty of good south facing roof space, though is hampered by tree shade that knocks off probably 20% of potential production. Low winter sun and many more overcast than clear days in winter also seriously cut production.

    But offsetting utility costs wasn't my only or even primary goal. Doing something concrete to slash my own carbon footprint was a higher priority. (And being an electrical engineer, eventual solar power had been on my wish/dream list since the '80s.)

    My 'starter' system was installed just over 10 years ago, and planned and built for easy expansion for eventual net-zero capacity. That starter portion was so successful that the second phase was added that autumn, and third phase two years later (8 years ago).

    My much less than ideal environment means that monetary "payback", even under the better incentives available back then and entirely DIY design and installation, is still about 5 years away. But from the perspective of "putting your money where your mouth is" and actually doing something about Anthropomorphic Climate Change, "payback" was achieved long ago. Especially when this solar system is bundled with other home efficiency improvements that slashed total energy use, significantly cut water use, and made us much more comfortable during the increasingly common heat waves, such as my region is experiencing this week.
    I would suggest that if you choose a smaller-than-net-zero system now, make sure the utility interconnection portion is sized large enough to easily accommodate future expansion without having to rip out and replace anything. And chose a PV module layout that also easily accommodates future expansion.

    I have expanded my system twice, and will do so again after acquiring a plug-in vehicle.
     
    #274 fuzzy1, Aug 15, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2023
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    That is pretty much the play that my electrician has pushed. We're going to try to make the final site selection next week and then I gotta bust piggybanks and talk to bankers and stuff.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I’ll have to find out just how shaded the low efficiency areas are.
    And I will go over expansion plans with them.
    Being in a rural area, he said there are potential concerns with the power lines and transformers, but they won’t know until they make the application.
    Apparently, the power company (eversource)
    Completes the application process at a speed based on the number of applications.
    So it sounds like I should take my time in research, try to plan for installation later next year and receive the tax credits the following April.
    He did mention that everyone is straight out right now
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Seems at one point Bisco had pic's of the beautiful yard as an avatar? You could maybe use some of that space instead of roof? We have funky yard space that we could use but it would only help a teeny bit. Another downside for folks that are doing it strictly for penciling $$ wise as opposed to being greenie motivated as bob & i are ... SoCal would give us cash back when we over produced (paltry 2.9¢/kWh hr that soCal Edison turned around & sold for 20¢/kWh). Up here in Montana, no such luck - it just feeds back into the mostly hydroelectric grid system.
    :(
     
    #277 hill, Aug 15, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2023
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think we can excess at the current kwh price iirc. but that's about 40% of the total bill.

    a solar company proposed out back 40 awhile back, but she who must not be named vetoed it.

    we never got to the cost of trenching in the cable to the house. and i have to wonder what a fuss our neighbors might make, having to look upon the 'eyesore':rolleyes:
     
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  19. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Hill - you may wish to look into community solar projects, you buy shares of a project that is applied to your bill. A project in Eastern Washington would have fewer cloudy days.

    PSE | Community Solar
     
  20. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Yes our community has had two openings to sign up for the few hundreds of panels they've installed along the past few years.
    - but that was several years ago and it's been closed ever since.
    :(
    But good idea to look beyond our immediate county or state borders.
    .
     
    #280 hill, Aug 15, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2023
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