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Old 01-22-18, 07:59 PM   #11
where2
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Hi all. I'm stuck between a rock and a bright place. Geo vs Solar.
Solar. The 30% federal tax credit, and the monthly dividends in low electric bills for the next 7-8 years should cover close to 100% of your investment today on a DIY system.

What's your electric provider's base service charge, and when does their net metering roll-over kWh system "reset" each year?

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Old 01-26-18, 07:26 PM   #12
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Solar. The 30% federal tax credit, and the monthly dividends in low electric bills for the next 7-8 years should cover close to 100% of your investment today on a DIY system.

What's your electric provider's base service charge, and when does their net metering roll-over kWh system "reset" each year?
Sorry not to answer sooner...that's exactly the information I'm working with now. I'll post it as soon as I find out.

Also, I'm learning about energy credits and the $$ paid by my state (PA).

I also called a local company about a quote for my house. I was fully honest and told them that I'm serious, but I'm a DIY'r and would like to do the installation myself....I approached them on the level of being a consultant and I would pay them for their work. They were interested and are sending me a quote. They have equipment to measure exposure levels to tell me "exactly" what kind of return I can expect.

I'm not real concerned about the ROI on this. That may sound odd. I mean the money is in the bank earning next to nothing and I really should be doing something with it.

I will post back. This is going to be fun.

Thanks for taking the time to answer!
Don
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Old 01-26-18, 11:44 PM   #13
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I'm not real concerned about the ROI on this. That may sound odd. I mean the money is in the bank earning next to nothing and I really should be doing something with it...
Adding insulation, air sealing, other forms of lowering air infiltration and energy loss are always better investments than a PV array. Finding all the vampire loads in your house is cheaper than building and maintaining a PV array to cover the vampire loads.

Your ROI comment doesn't strike me as odd. I paid for our system with overtime earnings. When some people look at an overtime paycheck, they focus on what Uncle Sam "took" in deductions. When I looked at mine, I found an easy way to recover 30% of every dollar I spent on a PV array. It took me two years of tax returns to get my entire 30% back, because it is a tax credit not an instant rebate... In just 4 years, I've recovered ~48% of my original investment. I had NO state incentives (other than $0 sales tax on solar equipment). I have no SREC market. My only return on this investment has been from the 30% federal tax credit, and lowered electric bills. We were going to buy the electricity either way. I'm just buying 55% of it from myself. Unlike many folks, my system doesn't cover 100% of our needs. My system was sized to cover as much of my second floor south facing roof facet as possible. That happens to equate to 55% of our total annual energy consumption on this all electric house.

One thing you should understand: When you go to sell this residence and downsize, do not expect the appraisers to be able to properly evaluate the "value" of a PV solar array. The lowered electric bill literally acts like a dividend paying "rich uncle" every month, lowering your electric bill.
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Old 01-27-18, 11:13 AM   #14
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Doug's New 4.6 KW micro inverter DIY Grid Tied PV Array
Designing and Installing a Grid-Tie PV System
Here are two great DIY solar installs.
Here is my install
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-...lar-array.html

I watched out for ROI very closely on my build and tried to buy everything on sale or close out.

If only take into account power savings my system will be paid off just over 5 years.
Around July 2018.
(I have other savings so it paid off much quicker but that is all in my solar post)
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Old 01-27-18, 04:07 PM   #15
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Looking over my Met-Ed bill...I have:
Customer charge
Distribution charge
Solar Requirements Charge(isn't that ironic)
Default Service Support Charge

I also have a Generation charge from AEP, my energy company.

I'm assuming the "base" charge will be the Solar, Default and Customer charge added...they are $19.00/mo.

I have looked at Met-Ed's(first energy, York county PA)website and I do NOT see anything about a rollover/connection time frame. I'll continue looking tho!

Thanks again for the help,
Don
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Old 01-27-18, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinballlooking View Post
Doug's New 4.6 KW micro inverter DIY Grid Tied PV Array
Designing and Installing a Grid-Tie PV System
Here are two great DIY solar installs.
Here is my install
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/solar-...lar-array.html

I watched out for ROI very closely on my build and tried to buy everything on sale or close out.

If only take into account power savings my system will be paid off just over 5 years.
Around July 2018.
(I have other savings so it paid off much quicker but that is all in my solar post)
Yes, been in your thread many times !! Great project. I hope mine goes as well. I'm sure I'll have more options to bounce off the group. Hopefully they tolerate my noobness!

Don
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Old 02-13-18, 06:52 PM   #17
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So, 3 quotes in. 12.5kw, 14.75kw system and today, a 22kw system!! Geez. Such a difference. 22kw system said it was "based off solar charts for your area".

I'm still inclined to buy a cheapo solar panel, throw it up on my roof and measure exposure over weeks time. That much variation scares me.

Don
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Old 02-14-18, 07:16 AM   #18
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When I did my solar install I made a spreadsheet that calculated payback time that included the State and Federal incentives. It turned out that there was a "sweet spot" where you get the most bang for your buck. For me that was around 7.5kw system. This is mostly based on the credit maximums. My state was $2000 at the time.

If you figure that your base connection costs are always going to be there, the sizing isn't as critical so long as it cuts the top off of your usage curve it will lower your bill substantially. This assumes that your local electric company won't pay you for generation above your usage.

As far as resell value; we had our home re-appraised about 6 months after the solar and the guy told me that because their is demand from home shoppers that they now calculate it into the home's value. He added about $20k to ours for the solar system. I'm guessing that this my be area dependent.
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Last edited by Roostre; 02-14-18 at 07:19 AM.. Reason: add clarity
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Old 02-14-18, 09:08 AM   #19
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Rooster,

Thanks for the post/help. That's great direction on stuff I need to do anyway before buying. But that still leaves me with question of, how much solar potential does my house roof have? It seems to vary with each installer.

I have 180 pages of stuff collected from my local utility and my state (Met-Ed and PA) that I need to start hashing through.

Cut to the chase...I need to do my homework!!

Don
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Old 02-14-18, 09:16 AM   #20
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Rooster,

Thanks for the post/help. That's great direction on stuff I need to do anyway before buying. But that still leaves me with question of, how much solar potential does my house roof have? It seems to vary with each installer.

I have 180 pages of stuff collected from my local utility and my state (Met-Ed and PA) that I need to start hashing through.

Cut to the chase...I need to do my homework!!

Don
I'm sure you've seen this in your research, but for those who run across this thread in a search; The PVWatts calculator has been quite accurate for my install; perhaps even a bit conservative.

PVWatts Calculator

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