Finally got my solar panels installed yesterday! - futures io
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Finally got my solar panels installed yesterday!


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Finally got my solar panels installed yesterday!

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  #1 (permalink)
 shodson 
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The guys at SolarCity finally finished installing my Evergreen Solar panel system yesterday. Even with both of our old A/C units running the electrical meter was spinning backwards quite rapidly! Now, I just need an electric car I can charge with my panels and I can stop sending my money to petro-dictators and suicide bombers.

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 deltason 
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solar power charging electric car. neat!

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 Big Mike 
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Wow, that's awesome!

Any pics of the job during or after?

Can I ask how long you estimate it will take to recover the installation costs?

I know that is not the most important factor here, but I think most people will immediately want to know this

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 NMTrader 
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Hi shodson,
Can you provide more details/specs on the units installed? Are they installed on your roof or ground, etc.

Regards, NMTrader
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 shodson 
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It is a 5.3 KWh system from Evergreen Solar (ticker ESLR if you want to trade their stock). Because of our less-than-perfect position relative to the sun we generate about 4.8 KWh at peak times but it's plenty enough to drastically reduce our electric bill from about $250/mo to $20/mo.

I bought it through SolarCity, who provided the financing ($0 down, 15-yr lease) and installation. The recovery costs are immediate: my lease payment is less than the amount I save in electrical costs from Southern California Edison.

For more info check out SolarCity SolarLease-Go solar for $0 down and a low montly payment. Solar leasing for a solar system allows you pay as you go, instead of all at once so you can start saving money from the very first day. Only from SolarCity

If you're interested contact Sean Maez at smaez@solarcity.com and mention you were referred to him from "Scott Hodson", I get a referral credit if you sign up

I don't have any pictures, I'll see if I can get some together. Half of the panels are on a part of the roof I can't see from the ground, maybe they'll show up on Google Earth some day soon

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 Big Mike 
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What kind of warranties come with them?

So I guess as energy becomes more expensive, you stand to get a check back from Edison instead of paying $20, right? That would be quite awesome.

Here in Texas I would be very concerned about storms. We often have very large hail (golfball to baseball size, sometimes bigger) and I wonder if they can stand up that kind of punishment?

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 shodson 
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There's no warranties. I mean, if the system stops working they (Solar City) need to fix it per the lease agreement, but there's no guarantees of how much energy will be generated or how much money I will save. Because I am leasing them I don't own them, they do, and they monitor the system remotely.

Yeah, besides the savings it's also a hedge against higher electricity prices in the future.

I asked about wind and storms and they say the mounts can handle more than twice the force of a Katrina-sized hurricane.

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 DiemTrader 
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Nice! I want to do this also!

What was the total cost?

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 shodson 
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The cost is $0 up-front. The monthly payments depends on the size of your system. You should contact Sean Maez at smaez@solarcity.com as they will work with you to size up a system relative to your electrical usage and local provider. Their goal is not to get your electrical cost to $0, rather, they want to get you to the lowest pricing tier where the unit cost of electricity is the cheapest. At that point you get diminishing returns on a system larger than that.

I was on vacation on Lake Powell last week at it was nice to know my electrical meter was spinning backwards all week while I was on vacation. It's common to see it spinning backwards in the middle of the day even when we have both A/C units running full blast on a hot day.

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 shodson 
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Here's a recent electric bill: $1.05. You can see the previous month is was $18+. In the summer we're used to paying $200-$300/mo thanks to our house having 2 AC units and getting screwed by Enron with horrible 10-year electricity deals the state got into few years back.

Sept elec bill: $1.05, with 2 A/Cs running most of the day on Twitpic

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 Saroj 
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great news shodson... you're lucky to be in CA... here in VA, cost of electricity is so low that utility is not cooperative on buying back... gonna take some serious Federal legislation to get them to budge.

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  #12 (permalink)
Jugador
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shodson View Post
Here's a recent electric bill:

Pretty cool...840 KWh for $18 bucks (minus your lease payment). For me that would be an $115 electric bill (.136). But, I only use about 500 KWh a month on average. ($70). So, I doubt it would benefit me much. Especially since my electric provider doesn't purchase excess power. Glad you found something that works for you.

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 MWinfrey 
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@shodson, wondering how your solar panels are doing after3-4 years. Also, wondering if you were able to get some pictures either of your house or another similar installation by the company you used.

Mike

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 supermht 
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Shodson, have you claimed 30% solar tax credit? you will save your installation fee.

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/what-you-need-know-about-extended-federal-tax-credits-energy-efficiency

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 shodson 
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MWinfrey View Post
@shodson, wondering how your solar panels are doing after3-4 years. Also, wondering if you were able to get some pictures either of your house or another similar installation by the company you used.

Mike

@MWinfrey, the system is still kicking, providing us electricity at a low rate. It was installed and is managed by SolarCity, another Elon Musk/Mark Goodson/Bill Todman production.

I don't have any pictures of the roof, but Google Maps does. Thanks Google/NSA!

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 shodson 
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supermht View Post
Shodson, have you claimed 30% solar tax credit? you will save your installation fee.

What You Need to Know About the Extended Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency | Department of Energy

@supermht, Solar City takes the tax credit, uses it to fund the lease. Businesses get a more generous govt tax credit than individuals, at least at the time I got the system that's the way it was.

I got my system $0 down and just pay a small monthly lease, which is less than my monthly electric bill before I got the system. Win-win.

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JTurner77
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Things still going well with the recent heat wave we just experienced... :-)

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