Residential Solar

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Addie
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Residential Solar

#1

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:42 pm

NPR
To Some Solar Users, Power Company Fees Are An Unfair Charge

In Alabama's Blount County, off the highway, down a dirt road and up a hill is writer T.K. Thorne's house. She points to her roof and a shining row of black solar panels.

It's a 4-kilowatt system — pretty typical for residential solar — and Thorne got it almost four years ago hoping to help the environment and reduce her electricity bill.

It was a big investment — $8,400 even after a federal tax break. Thorne estimated how long it would take to pay off the solar system, installed the panels, and began waiting for the savings to begin.

But then she found out about a monthly $5-per-kilowatt solar fee from the state's largest utility, Alabama Power.

"That's $20 a month," Thorne says. While that doesn't sound like a lot of money, she says, it will double the time it will take her to pay off the system.

Because of the fee, 65-year-old Thorne says it'll take almost two decades to pay back her panels.

"Yes," she says and laughs, "I may not be alive."

Green energy groups say this solar fee is a key reason why, according to Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association, Alabama comes in 48th out of 50 states in residential solar capacity. (North Dakota and South Dakota trail Alabama).

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Addie
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Re: Residential Solar

#2

Post by Addie » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:45 am

Electrek: Tesla launches solar rental service, can get a solar panel system for $50 per month

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Maybenaut
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Re: Residential Solar

#3

Post by Maybenaut » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:27 pm

We have solar. We’ve had it for about 7 years. We got the big federal tax break, plus a grant from the state (Virginia), so what would have been a $28K install ended up around 16K (I think). It’s pretty awesome.
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Northland10
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Re: Residential Solar

#4

Post by Northland10 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:15 am

My utility company recently sent a letter about options for going solar. it will not be of any use for me right now. First of all, I rent. Second, I do not live on the sunny side of Sunnyside.
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Addie
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Re: Residential Solar

#5

Post by Addie » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:36 am

I always think of that story W4 tells about her cousin who, on sunny days, stands on his porch, with his hands on his hips, and shouts, "We're making money!" :lol:
Maybenaut wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:27 pm
We have solar. We’ve had it for about 7 years. We got the big federal tax break, plus a grant from the state (Virginia), so what would have been a $28K install ended up around 16K (I think). It’s pretty awesome.

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Maybenaut
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Re: Residential Solar

#6

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:44 am

Addie wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:36 am
I always think of that story W4 tells about her cousin who, on sunny days, stands on his porch, with his hands on his hips, and shouts, "We're making money!" :lol:
Maybenaut wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:27 pm
We have solar. We’ve had it for about 7 years. We got the big federal tax break, plus a grant from the state (Virginia), so what would have been a $28K install ended up around 16K (I think). It’s pretty awesome.
:lol:

We’re never going to make money. We have a passive system - the power we generate goes to the grid, and the power we use comes from the grid. We have a total of 18 panels that generate about 80 percent of the energy we use. But I can stand on my stoop and shout “We’re saving money!”
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too." - Thomas Jefferson

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Whatever4
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Re: Residential Solar

#7

Post by Whatever4 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:06 pm

Addie wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:36 am
I always think of that story W4 tells about her cousin who, on sunny days, stands on his porch, with his hands on his hips, and shouts, "We're making money!" :lol:
Maybenaut wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:27 pm
We have solar. We’ve had it for about 7 years. We got the big federal tax break, plus a grant from the state (Virginia), so what would have been a $28K install ended up around 16K (I think). It’s pretty awesome.
:lovestruck:
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Jeffrey
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Re: Residential Solar

#8

Post by Jeffrey » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:12 pm

Paul’s Hardware, a Tech YouTube channel has posted an update on his residential solar install. He estimates 12 year pay off on the system.


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Foggy
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Re: Residential Solar

#9

Post by Foggy » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:52 am

We had a solar guy who knocked on our door last spring. We let him in and listened to a long pitch ... but our roof faces due east and west. No southern exposure. Tall trees on three sides of the house. He sent some techs to look at us, and we never heard from him again. :blackeye:
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ZekeB
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Re: Residential Solar

#10

Post by ZekeB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:00 am

Twelve year payoff? Is that including the lost investment opportunity of those dollars spent? I'm wondering if the cells have a 12 year lifespan. Does this include routine maintenance? You can't just put it up and never touch it again. The batteries would need replacement a couple of times in that 12 year period. I've never seen solar with a positive return unless there were energy credits involved.

I'm more than familiar with solar. I've used it for remote locations where it was prohibitively expensive to run power lines. That was the only place I saw where it had potential.
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Re: Residential Solar

#11

Post by RoadScholar » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:20 am

The technology has improved. Lithium batteries have a longer lifespan, and the cells (or sheets, now) are more efficient. Just ten years ago I would have agreed with you about the hardware.

A lot of the cost (as you know) is installation labor. Not much you can do about that.
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