Thread: Hello from Ohio
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Old 01-18-15, 05:57 AM   #2
Steve Hull
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: hilly, tree covered Arcadia, OK USA
Posts: 827
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Tyler, welcome.

First, do some homework. You probably know that there is a federal 30% tax credit, but also find out if Ohio, or your utility, offers more credits. To get the federal tax credit, the system must be installed, operating and be approved by the utility (if on grid) by Dec 31, 2016.

On grid or off grid?

If on grid (or grid tie), find out what your utility requires. Can you do the installation yourself? Sadly, some communities and utilities mandate that a pro do all the work. Regardless, you MUST have a licensed electrician do the final hook-up. Failure to do that will nullify your home insurance and prevent you from connecting to the grid.

Find out, if you are doing a grid tie, what the net metering specifics are. This can make or break an installation in terms of pay-off.

Go to PVwatts and put in your location, and proposed orientations. Estimate how much room there is on your roof on the exposure you want.

Get out your utility bills and figure how many kWhrs you use in a year. Not critical, but helpful to know. Know exactly what a kW hr costs in different times of the year.

The self installed cost of a PV system (excluding an electricians hook up charge) is about $1.60 per watt (before tax credits/rebates). This includes the panels, inverters, racking, wire and disconnect panels. If you want to do off grid then it is about 5 times higher due to batteries.

I am in the process of doing a 10 kW on grid Enphase based PV system here. There is a LOT to be learned from Pinball and others that have put in substantial systems.

But do the homework and do NOT get sucked in by companies that put up the PV panels at no cost to you.

Again, welcome.

consulting on geothermal heating/cooling & rational energy use since 1990
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