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Old 10-17-2019, 06:30 PM   #1
KarenBoo
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Default Solar Panels?

We signed up to get solar panels on our home today. We have about a week to rescind if we want to. To me, it seemed ridiculously simple and like "of course we should do that!!"


What am I missing? What should I know?

Our deal is:

Loan payment is less than our average electric bill.

Electric bill will be zero annually. (we will pay some during the summer, but will create credits during the mild Florida winters. So after a year cycles, we'll be at net zero for the electric bill.)

Loan is 15 years at 2.99% simple interest loan.
Zero upfront costs.
We own the system after we pay for it.
Guaranteed to produce electricity for 30 years.

We do plan to stay in our home for the next 5-7 years, which is our "break even point."

So, what's the catch? If this is true, I don't understand why everyone doesn't have it. I feel like I'm missing something.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:34 PM   #2
Hermana Linda
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

My husband is convinced that it will damage the roof. He also doesn't think they last long.

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Old 10-17-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
Soliloquy
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

From what I've heard, your state is actively trying to make it difficult for individuals to have solar. The power monopolies don't want to lose the business.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/07/b...lar-power.html


I have quite a few friends who have solar. It's some extra work but they are very happy with it. No roof damage. Although some of them have a solar farm (panels on the ground).

What are your options when you generate more power than you can use? Batteries or will it go into the grid?

---------- Post added at 07:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:29 PM ----------

Also, verify independently how much power you can expect to generate. And get multiple quotes.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:28 PM   #4
knitlove
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

I have a friend in Florida who is on year 3 of solar panels she loves them she has even had them weather one of the tropical storms with out issue.

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Old 10-19-2019, 04:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

I'd LOVE to get solar panels! The hold back for us is the start up costs. And also whether there's enough sun here in MI to make them worth it. Sounds like there's a good program in your area? I'll have to ask my hubby if there is something similar here....
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

I don't know that much about solar panels. But I am drawn to them and would love. There is a home nearby we pass often (right off the multi-use pathway) that has them all along one side of the roof. We are 100% treed so I would have to lose a lot of trees to get them. And maybe my neighbors would have to on one side. Also our electric bill isn't that much since we live in a low COL, have gas heat, and with region and all the trees don't need much so not sure it would be as cost effective. But I just love the idea of powering your home with the sun!
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
KarenBoo
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sunshines View Post
I'd LOVE to get solar panels! The hold back for us is the start up costs. And also whether there's enough sun here in MI to make them worth it. Sounds like there's a good program in your area? I'll have to ask my hubby if there is something similar here....
I know that options are different for different areas, but we have zero start up costs. The plan is to take out a loan to pay for the system. Once it starts up, we basically exchange paying the electric bill for the loan payment on the panels. Once the panels are paid for, then we are done paying for electricity until the panels die. (That's a little over simplified. The panels have a guaranteed life span of 30 years, but they will die a little each year. At the end of 30 years, they will be 82% effective as opposed to 100% effective when new. We also will have a nominal fee electric bill. (For us, that's about $12 per month.)

Some months we will have to pay for electricity because we will use more than we generate (summer heat.) Some months we bank credits because we will generate more than we use. But over the course of 12 months, we should pay the electric company zero for electricity. (Nominal fee for having the account with the electric company.)

---------- Post added at 03:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:27 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soliloquy View Post
From what I've heard, your state is actively trying to make it difficult for individuals to have solar. The power monopolies don't want to lose the business.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/07/b...lar-power.html


I have quite a few friends who have solar. It's some extra work but they are very happy with it. No roof damage. Although some of them have a solar farm (panels on the ground).

What are your options when you generate more power than you can use? Batteries or will it go into the grid?

---------- Post added at 07:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:29 PM ----------

Also, verify independently how much power you can expect to generate. And get multiple quotes.
Our extra power will go into the grid so we can bank credits for the months we spend more than we generate. We were told that the batteries are very expensive and not worth it. You still can't run a/c. You basically can use 4 plugs on the batteries. 1 fridge, 1 portable a/c, lights, and something else is what they would recommend. But, we average 6-12 hours of power outages per year, so that's definitely not worth the cost of the battery.

And yeah, we got two quotes so far, and they are very different in what they quote we will need to generate enough power. It's hard to compare!

I asked what happens if the power company will no longer play nice with solar. They said that the power company must honor your contract during the life of your solar panels. I'll have to verify that, but that sounds reasonable that the power company would be required to honor the contract.
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and our very sweet DD2 "Monkey" 1/08 (also food allergies, learning challenges)

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Old 10-19-2019, 03:17 PM   #8
ViolaMum
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Default Re: Solar Panels?

What about maintenance? My dh is a little leery of solar simply because we've heard about a couple of roof fires caused by solar panels.
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