Solar

JohnR

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Looking into getting solar panels to reduce our electricity consumption on the grid. Have several quotes with a couple more coming in, but the consensus is around 50 panels (one was more panels, like 54). No battery backup as that would essentially double the cost. Wife worries that if we finance, I'll never be able to retire.

Who has solar? What panels do you have?

My quotes are variable: finance through one, they are $253/mo for 20 years and I gotta give them the $13K tax incentive
Another one is 1.99% 20 years at $236

Cash option (aka bring my own loan) seems to be the better route if I can find a good loan. $34K after tax incentive.
 

SuperMatt

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My in-laws have solar panels on their roof. They paid with a monthly installment plan similar to what you’re listing. Question on the tax incentive: is it a fully refundable tax credit? Can it be spread over multiple years? Because if your tax burden is less than $13K a year, you might not get a full $13K refund. So it might actually be cheaper to let the company keep that since it lowers your cost.
 

Eric

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It came with the home we first purchased in CA but on a much smaller scale than what you're describing, for us it helped offset the cost but the savings wasn't big enough to justify it had we purchased it, and this is in the sunny central valley of CA. YMMV with that many panels though.
 

JohnR

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My in-laws have solar panels on their roof. They paid with a monthly installment plan similar to what you’re listing. Question on the tax incentive: is it a fully refundable tax credit? Can it be spread over multiple years? Because if your tax burden is less than $13K a year, you might not get a full $13K refund. So it might actually be cheaper to let the company keep that since it lowers your cost.
I never understand tax stuff. I know that we qualified for the $3750 tax credit with our Model 3 purchase 2 years ago. I'll have to do some googling to see if we do. And I don't think it can be spread over the years.

It came with the home we first purchased in CA but on a much smaller scale than what you're describing, for us it helped offset the cost but the savings wasn't big enough to justify it had we purchased it, and this is in the sunny central valley of CA. YMMV with that many panels though.

Maybe because it was much smaller is why you didn't see the reason to justify it. If I was in my 20/30's, this would be a no brainer decision. But at 56, it's something to think about.
 

SuperMatt

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I never understand tax stuff. I know that we qualified for the $3750 tax credit with our Model 3 purchase 2 years ago. I'll have to do some googling to see if we do. And I don't think it can be spread over the years.



Maybe because it was much smaller is why you didn't see the reason to justify it. If I was in my 20/30's, this would be a no brainer decision. But at 56, it's something to think about.
I bought an EV and I ended up selling some investments (and then re-buying them) to earn enough income that year to be able to use the full $7500 credit. If I hadn’t, I would have lost much of it. When I bought my condo, I got a first-time homebuyers credit that WAS fully refundable and allowed to stretch over multiple years, so I think I spread it over 3 years. So it’s very good to know what kind of credit it is.
 
U

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Looking into getting solar panels to reduce our electricity consumption on the grid. Have several quotes with a couple more coming in, but the consensus is around 50 panels (one was more panels, like 54). No battery backup as that would essentially double the cost. Wife worries that if we finance, I'll never be able to retire.

Who has solar? What panels do you have?

My quotes are variable: finance through one, they are $253/mo for 20 years and I gotta give them the $13K tax incentive
Another one is 1.99% 20 years at $236

Cash option (aka bring my own loan) seems to be the better route if I can find a good loan. $34K after tax incentive.
I wanted to purchase some solar panels from Tesla until...
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I think another important aspect to consider is with extreme weather changes it will be comforting to not be on a potential (likely) failing power grid. That alone should offset some of the cost concerns.

My parents went full solar about a year or so ago and they are still mentally adjusting to not having to worry about the monthly bill when they do something like use the AC a lot.
 

JohnR

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I wanted to purchase some solar panels from Tesla until...
ok, that article leads me to a LOT of questions.

Once the contractors had resealed the roof in January 2020,
So if the contractors (not Tesla contractors...ones the couple hired) RESEALED the roof and then it leaked, to me that's on the contractor. That would be like getting a flat tire, having a tire company fix it, then if it leaked again blaming the tire manufacturer. They paid the contractor to reseal it, they should have done the job.

When they bought the house, did they not have it inspected? A good house inspector would have clearly seen water damage in the attic, because I doubt that this leak just sprung up...it started small probably and got bigger. if I was buying a house with solar already installed and I was taking over a lease, then I would make sure the inspector looked over it closely.

Those are the 2 that stood out for me.
 

JohnR

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How does the tax incentive work if you install half the number of panels?
you get 26% tax credit of whatever you install. So if you have 100 panels and they cost $75,000, you will get 26% tax credit of that. Same with if you get 5 panels at $5000, 26% tax credit.
 
U

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Looking into getting solar panels to reduce our electricity consumption on the grid. Have several quotes with a couple more coming in, but the consensus is around 50 panels (one was more panels, like 54). No battery backup as that would essentially double the cost. Wife worries that if we finance, I'll never be able to retire.

Who has solar? What panels do you have?

My quotes are variable: finance through one, they are $253/mo for 20 years and I gotta give them the $13K tax incentive
Another one is 1.99% 20 years at $236

Cash option (aka bring my own loan) seems to be the better route if I can find a good loan. $34K after tax incentive.
Interesting, is this for residential or business use? What capacity panels are these? I got an estimate and 16 would cover my 2/3rds of my energy needs even with EV charging factored in (not a lot sunnier state than yours). From my perspective having the ability to store power is key. 1) i can continue using solar at night that way 2) eliminates the reliance on the grid. If the grid shuts down, I can just lower my consumption.
 

JohnR

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Interesting, is this for residential or business use? What capacity panels are these? I got an estimate and 16 would cover my 2/3rds of my energy needs even with EV charging factored in (not a lot sunnier state than yours). From my perspective having the ability to store power is key. 1) i can continue using solar at night that way 2) eliminates the reliance on the grid. If the grid shuts down, I can just lower my consumption.
residential. We are all electric here. 1900 square foot house. I think about 400watts?
 

Yoused

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I have a friend who got something like 20 panels on the garage roof, and he says his light bill is under $10/mo most of the time. Someone wanted to charge him something like $12K to wire in the inverter, but he is a licensed electrician so he just did it himself. Some of the prices on these things are way over the top.
 

DT

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We actually have friends in the biz, I've seriously considered it several times, the last couple of years we've been a little iffy on staying here so the ROI calc was a bit off.

Interesting, is this for residential or business use? What capacity panels are these? I got an estimate and 16 would cover my 2/3rds of my energy needs even with EV charging factored in (not a lot sunnier state than yours). From my perspective having the ability to store power is key. 1) i can continue using solar at night that way 2) eliminates the reliance on the grid. If the grid shuts down, I can just lower my consumption.

That being said, we may never leave :D, so this is interesting including some of the points above: 1) having storage for outages (that's charged via panels), 2) with 2 EVs now, we're going to be consuming a bit more (and we're already high-ish users since we're heavy on the AC :) )
 

Huntn

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I’m thinking about it, in the past, I have looked at a huge upfront price, 10 years to pay off, and then possible maintenance issues.

However here is the key if my payments equals my current electric bill or doubtful is less than my current electric bill, then it would be worth it. One solar panel rep who caught me in brief conversation at Costco says their panels have a 25 year warranty. I’m going to go for a free consultation.

Questions
  • I wonder who provides that warranty on panels, will they be around in 20 years?
  • Does the setup include batteries capable of running the house electrical/AC needs through the night, or does it start pulling from the grid?
  • Does a typical setup, feed back into the grid, and be paid for the contribution?
  • What incentives are available to defer the cost?
  • do solar panels function during overcast skies?
 

DT

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There's an existing thread for this with all sorts of terrific info, including costs/ROI analysis:

 

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