Solar power for the home

DaveF

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Never been a better time to go solar.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/19/...iption-price-lease-elon-musk-cancellation-fee
Tesla has launched a new rental option for its solar panels in a bid to revive its slumping home solar business. The company is offering the new rental plan in six states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico — and it will cost as low as $50 per month (plus tax) with no upfront installation costs or long-term contract. The monthly payment also includes support, maintenance, and any “other necessary hardware,” though renters must pas any tax incentives or rebates to Tesla.
 

DaveF

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I now have a full 12 months data. I'm really too pandemic-tired to be doing even this simple data review, but I've been eager to see the results with this latest bill. As hoped and planned, it appears, we've generated 100% of our electricity use on average over the year.

upload_2020-4-18_11-20-28.png
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Okay, so there was a thread about solar that was just closed and a new one started.

I just discovered these in my feeds and thought I would weigh in...

I made out really nicely with solar energy in NJ. Seems like we are one of the few states that has a leasing option. My brother in NC can't seem to get this deal.

We had an elaborate solar energy system installed in our home for free. They loaded our roof with panels. We got into a 25-year contract. Our electricity went from $300+ a month down to $163 and it stays at that price even if NJ electric goes up (which it will). The solar company maintains the system and even replaces bad panels during the life of the contract.
 
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DaveF

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FYI the article linked is just empty linkbait. The real info apparently is in a YouTube video. I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll try to, since I’m wondering how someone saves money with $20k (guessing) in batteries to buy electric off peak.
 

DaveF

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Got halfway through Tesla video when he says he got the battery system for free. So gave up on that “review”. (His monthly bill was only $140/mo to start. And he doesn’t need it as power backup. So I don’t see how it would make sense $-wise: It would be about a 20 year payback for panels and batteries.)
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Our electricity went from $300+ a month down to $163 and it stays at that price even if NJ electric goes up (which it will).
What do you do to have such high electricity bills? Do you have gas for heating?

My highest electric bill this year was $89 for August. It's around $40 - $45 in the winter.

edit

I added it up. The last 12 months' total was $596.42, or $49.70 per month on average.
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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No fair - I asked first.

I use natural gas for the water heater, furnace, and stove/oven, along with a gas fireplace and BBQ. My 2,000 square foot house was built to energy star standards so it's pretty well insulated. We have very hot summers and cold winters so it's necessary. Since I'm retired the house is up and running all day long with lights, appliances, and entertainment use.

The local utility actually owns a series of hydro power dams on the Snake River so we pay 7 or 8 cents per KWH. Excess capacity is sold off to California who charges their ratepayers 16 to 18 cents per KWH.

My question to Ronbo et al was to see if their houses were not energy efficient, and whether they use electricity for heating.
 

DaveF

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No fair - I asked first.

I use natural gas for the water heater, furnace, and stove/oven, along with a gas fireplace and BBQ. My 2,000 square foot house was built to energy star standards so it's pretty well insulated. We have very hot summers and cold winters so it's necessary. Since I'm retired the house is up and running all day long with lights, appliances, and entertainment use.

The local utility actually owns a series of hydro power dams on the Snake River so we pay 7 or 8 cents per KWH. Excess capacity is sold off to California who charges their ratepayers 16 to 18 cents per KWH.

My question to Ronbo et al was to see if their houses were not energy efficient, and whether they use electricity for heating.
That’s the kicker: $0.07/kWh. I’m paying $0.13/kWh. My electric bill would have been $65 instead of $130 per month with your rates.

I can’t speak to Ron, but in western NY, a lot of houses were old (50 to 150 years) and still had old, poor insulation, single pane windows, etc. Some used electric heat. And cold NY winters. Electric bills were easily $300 to $400 a month in the winter. Reducing it was a major house overhaul.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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but in western NY, a lot of houses were old (50 to 150 years) and still had old, poor insulation, single pane windows, etc. Some used electric heat. And cold NY winters.
Interesting dilemma. If you had $20K to spend would it make more sense to (A) install solar or (B) upgrade your insulation and install double-pane windows? IIUC both come with government subsidies.

My house was built in 2005 so it's not applicable to me. Plus essentially none of my roof faces south.
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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FYI my gas bill in August was $15.86. This January it was $121.05. That's the largest spread. The August bill is probably baseline for cooking and hot water.
 

DaveF

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I think most people spend on the upgrade to drop electric. My house is new in NoVa, so I spent on solar for reasons I've previously explained.

But a leasing option as Ron describes could be a way to reduce electric use without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars up front. Or it's done in combination with a home upgrade. I don't know if any of this is even in the ballpark of Ron's home energy needs. :)
 

Sam Posten

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I think most people spend on the upgrade to drop electric.
I too am only in the post hurricane or power outage use group. Sure it would be nice to save on electric but at this point in my life I consider electricity costs a CDB. If I get an electric car that would also be a driver. But to get what I want I need at least two power walls. I dunno when the break even for that would make sense financially but the idea of going full roof says to me "Still down the road".
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Interesting dilemma. If you had $20K to spend would it make more sense to (A) install solar or (B) upgrade your insulation and install double-pane windows? IIUC both come with government subsidies.

My house was built in 2005 so it's not applicable to me. Plus essentially none of my roof faces south.
OR (C) overhaul the (dedicated) HT room to include some of (B)?

Well, this is HTF afterall... :lol:

_Man_
 
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DaveF

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I too am only in the post hurricane or power outage use group. Sure it would be nice to save on electric but at this point in my life I consider electricity costs a CDB. If I get an electric car that would also be a driver. But to get what I want I need at least two power walls. I dunno when the break even for that would make sense financially but the idea of going full roof says to me "Still down the road".
Many businesses look for ways to reduce the CDB. :)

Solar is for now a very expensive way to provide resiliency to power outages. Solar is ~$20k to $40k, and the PowerWall / battery backup is $10k to $20k. And you only get about a single day of power storage per $10k PowerWall.

Contrast that to a backup gas generator, installed, for $5k to $10k. And that can power the home for days.

There are non-financial reasons to go solar and powerwall that can outweight those considerations, of course. :)
 

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