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djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
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reply to nunya

Re: I've gone and done it ... solar install

But, back to the solar situation. I stand by my assertion that it rarely is cost effective to use solar panels in residential situations.

Meh. Even without the tax breaks, it'd still be cost effective here. My panels cost around 26k before the incentives. That'd push my ROI out to 8 years or so. Still not bad. The projected savings for my system was well over $100k over its 25 year warranted lifespan.

The panels are getting cheaper too.

»www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/busin···all&_r=0

The US is adding a 31% tariff on Chinese solar panels. As the incentives die off, the prices for the technology will come down.

I'm a lot more interested to see what creative ways the power companies use to put the screws to us solar net metering customers in the coming years.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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You are providing absolutely no information that we can judge your system other than the $26K before incentives and projected savings over 25 years. What was your final cost? How much power were you using? What are the specs for your system?

$100K savings over 25 years? That's saving $4,000/year or $333/mo. Just how much power do you use per year? OP has a 7K/yr system and his yearly production is worth $720.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
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Click for full size
The solar company's analysis
Click for full size
SCE average rate history
said by Jack_in_VA:

You are providing absolutely no information that we can judge your system other than the $26K before incentives and projected savings over 25 years. What was your final cost? How much power were you using? What are the specs for your system?

$100K savings over 25 years? That's saving $4,000/year or $333/mo. Just how much power do you use per year? OP has a 7K/yr system and his yearly production is worth $720.

True enough, since you're interested, I provided the analysis provided by the solar company. You're forgetting to include the yearly rate hikes by the power company. Note that the final price does not include an extra $2,000 off that I was able to negotiate.

Now, I think their figure of 7.5% of yearly electricity rate increases is too aggressive, but where I live it's not unconscionable. I've posted a chart someone put together with SCE's average per-kwh rates. I live in an inland suburb, where it is nearly impossible for us to keep our usage below Tier 3 (tiers 1 & 2 are at a more reasonable 15c-ish per kWh). Our solar system neatly removes the most costly (and least cost-regulated) electricity.

That said, I use significantly more power than the data for which this projection was used. That year we had a mild summer, and the data for September was incorrect because I only lived here for a partial month. I now work from home. Because of Edison's punitive tiering, the more electricity I use, the higher the effective savings.

This year the system can save up to $300/month or so. The actual amount of savings depends on what tier the produced electricity would have been in, had I not had the solar system.

--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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Where they tricked you is the rate increases over 10 and 25 years. They are ridiculously overinflated "guesses".
Between 1980 and 2005, the average price per residential kWh in the US went from $.0536 to $.0945 - a whopping 4.09 cent increase over 25 years (76%).

Even using today's average rate of $.127 / kWh, that's only an increase of $.0734 / kWh in the last 31 years. Bear in mind that today's prices are artificially high due to government mandates.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


djrobx
Premium
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Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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said by nunya:

Where they tricked you is the rate increases over 10 and 25 years. They are ridiculously overinflated "guesses".
Between 1980 and 2005, the average price per residential kWh in the US went from $.0536 to $.0945 - a whopping 4.09 cent increase over 25 years (76%).

Even using today's average rate of $.127 / kWh, that's only an increase of $.0734 / kWh in the last 31 years. Bear in mind that today's prices are artificially high due to government mandates.

They didn't trick me. I already acknowledged this if you read my post completely. In my case, there could be no increase at all, and I'd still be making money.
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AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by djrobx:

said by nunya:

Where they tricked you is the rate increases over 10 and 25 years. They are ridiculously overinflated "guesses".
Between 1980 and 2005, the average price per residential kWh in the US went from $.0536 to $.0945 - a whopping 4.09 cent increase over 25 years (76%).

Even using today's average rate of $.127 / kWh, that's only an increase of $.0734 / kWh in the last 31 years. Bear in mind that today's prices are artificially high due to government mandates.

They didn't trick me. I already acknowledged this if you read my post completely. In my case, there could be no increase at all, and I'd still be making money.

Did I overlook it or did you not include your system capacity and how much power you use now?

Unless you know some new math or I'm calculating wrong you won't make any money until you pay your upfront money. Either the $26,600 or since you're getting a "rebate" of 10K the $16,600. After that balance is "0" then you can make money.


djrobx
Premium
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Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
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3 edits

1 recommendation

Click for full size

Usage data from Edison
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by djrobx:

said by nunya:

Where they tricked you is the rate increases over 10 and 25 years. They are ridiculously overinflated "guesses".
Between 1980 and 2005, the average price per residential kWh in the US went from $.0536 to $.0945 - a whopping 4.09 cent increase over 25 years (76%).

Even using today's average rate of $.127 / kWh, that's only an increase of $.0734 / kWh in the last 31 years. Bear in mind that today's prices are artificially high due to government mandates.

They didn't trick me. I already acknowledged this if you read my post completely. In my case, there could be no increase at all, and I'd still be making money.

Did I overlook it or did you not include your system capacity and how much power you use now?

Unless you know some new math or I'm calculating wrong you won't make any money until you pay your upfront money. Either the $26,600 or since you're getting a "rebate" of 10K the $16,600. After that balance is "0" then you can make money.

$14,600. I negotiated it down further.

Obviously I'm talking about making money over the 25 year warranted lifespan of the system, not day 1 of ownership. I shouldn't need to clarify that. I'm using 25 years because that's the panel warranty and the duration of the analysis I posted. The panels themselves could last longer. The inverter will need to be replaced sometime during this lifetime, but with any luck they'll be cheaper by the time that's needed. It looks like I can buy a new one for $2500 online now.

As I already stated, the amount of savings per year is a very complicated calculation. You need to look at Edison's tiers (which vary from 15 cents up to 32 cents when you include the distribution charges), then subtract whatever total grid usage plus what the solar generated during that month from the top tiers and work your way backwards.

I have included the 1st year estimates here for illustration, but they drastically under-estimate the actual savings because I was rarely home that year (and we already got a nice rate hike in Tier 4/5, bite me Edison!). The system generates about 10% more than what was estimated (around 900kwh in August. The total output since November 17 is 8652kwh according to the inverter. It has another month and a half to go and it's already over the yearly estimate shown), and I'm using far more electricity than they used to generate these estimates.

I've also included the usage chart form Edison. It includes the YoY comparison of Septemer 2011 and September 2012. I actually used more electricity AFTER adding the solar panels than I did the previous year! That's because I work from home now, and it's been a brutally hot summer. The Aug and Sept bills would have been absolute whoppers without the solar.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

Where they tricked you is the rate increases over 10 and 25 years. They are ridiculously overinflated "guesses".
Between 1980 and 2005, the average price per residential kWh in the US went from $.0536 to $.0945 - a whopping 4.09 cent increase over 25 years (76%).

Even using today's average rate of $.127 / kWh, that's only an increase of $.0734 / kWh in the last 31 years. Bear in mind that today's prices are artificially high due to government mandates.

We have good reason to believe that energy prices will go up as they say. Aging power plants, coal plants going offline, the rise of China and India to compete for fossil fuel, more energy consumption including electric cars, and the fed printing more and more money are reasons to believe that rates will dramatically rise.

If you're not preparing for serious rate hikes you're either ignorant of world conditions affecting the price of energy or you're old enough that you're going to die in a few years anyway and the price of energy in 20 years won't matter to you.

I'm not just pulling this out of my ass. Our co-op recently had to raise rates. They had a 10 year lock in on their pricing of open market power which they couldn't renew for 10 years. It's more like year to year now and the prices are pretty much guaranteed to increase regularly.

Cheap energy is no more. Time to generate your own, get used to conserving or be prepared to shell out more.


dogma
XYZ
Premium
join:2002-08-15
Boulder City, NV
kudos:1

10 year energy inflation chart

20 year energy inflation chart
said by fifty nine:

We have good reason to believe that energy prices will go up as they say.

Cheap energy is no more. Time to generate your own, get used to conserving or be prepared to shell out more.

You are clearly correct as evidenced in the graphs above (I understand your passion, but no need to be abrasive about it).

Anyway, it's been about [eyeball estimate] 3.4% Year-over-Year for the past 10 years. I am still working up my NPV forecast but I would now like to mention in all fairness, Solar has a low ROI when viewed as a straight investment against something similar in risk like a CD (but a better ROI non the less) primarily because the principal [the Solar panels infrastructure] depreciates to zero over time in a strict financial sense. Whereas the principal [cash] of a CD as a lesser depreciation value.

However, when viewed as a "specialized" hedge investment against inflation, the returns "should be" very good --assuming-- energy rates continue to rise based on historical trends. This is because the Solar owner has effectively fixed, or locked in his/her rates.

I will post my model based on this shortly.


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to fifty nine
said by fifty nine:

We have good reason to believe that energy prices will go up as they say. Aging power plants, coal plants going offline, the rise of China and India to compete for fossil fuel, more energy consumption including electric cars, and the fed printing more and more money are reasons to believe that rates will dramatically rise.

Right. You can count on a certain percentage just for inflation.

I think the only reason they would NOT skyrocket, would be solar's own doing - competition from solar. Depending on tier, we pay up to 3x as much per kWh as our neighbors in the city of Los Angeles (DWP). Edison claims these rates are implemented this way to "encourage conservation".

I can't see any good logical excuses why LADWP can service their customers in the same geographic region for far less than Edison. Edison charges these extortionate rates because they can.

There are already $0 down lease options that have competitive monthly fees, if those come down in price, Edison may tire of losing their business to the solar leasing companies. They just might have to respond with more reasonable pricing.
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AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to fifty nine
said by fifty nine:

We have good reason to believe that energy prices will go up as they say. Aging power plants, coal plants going offline, the rise of China and India to compete for fossil fuel, more energy consumption including electric cars, and the fed printing more and more money are reasons to believe that rates will dramatically rise.

If you're not preparing for serious rate hikes you're either ignorant of world conditions affecting the price of energy or you're old enough that you're going to die in a few years anyway and the price of energy in 20 years won't matter to you.

That's assuming we don't double down and get serious on nuclear. Then the fossil fuel argument goes out the window. And living near TMI, nuclear doesn't bother me in the least bit.

Also if the current administration gets kicked out in a month and sensible coal and energy policy come along we can get that capacity back. And by sensible energy policy I mean allowing coal and ensuring that what is mined here stays here.

And then there's the natural gas boom. Being in PA I'm familiar with it and we have tons of it available. Enough to keep prices low for a long time.

So yes energy rates may go up but if we are sensible with our energy policy it won't be the apocalypse people are thinking,

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to dogma
said by dogma:

I am still working up my NPV forecast but I would now like to mention in all fairness, Solar has a low ROI when viewed as a straight investment against something similar in risk like a CD (but a better ROI non the less) primarily because the principal [the Solar panels infrastructure] depreciates to zero over time in a strict financial sense. Whereas the principal [cash] of a CD as a lesser depreciation

The depreciation scam should be ignored. Since depreciation has no relation to the actual life of an asset it is a scam, plain and simple. Your "fully depreciated" solar (or any other asset) won't magically stop working once their depreciation is $0. They also won't have a value of $0 at the end of the depreciation period. Conversely it's possible that your asset will have to be declared a total loss well before its depreciated value.

It's also a scam for the law too. You loose something to theft, fire, vandalism, etc and you get "depreciated value". Good luck finding something at that price in the same condition.

So, yes depreciation should be left out.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to itguy05
said by itguy05:

That's assuming we don't double down and get serious on nuclear. Then the fossil fuel argument goes out the window. And living near TMI, nuclear doesn't bother me in the least bit.

Where are you going to store the waste? Is everyone going to be OK with waste stored in their back yard?

Even before we get to that, are we going to approve permits to even build the darn things? Even with a new administration, they aren't going to dismantle the EPA and NRC overnight. That takes much more than just an act of Congress.

Also if the current administration gets kicked out in a month and sensible coal and energy policy come along we can get that capacity back. And by sensible energy policy I mean allowing coal and ensuring that what is mined here stays here.

Communism ensures what is mined here stays here. The free market ensures that it is sold for the most profit. China needs coal. India needs coal. Their needs aren't decreasing.

And then there's the natural gas boom. Being in PA I'm familiar with it and we have tons of it available. Enough to keep prices low for a long time.

So yes energy rates may go up but if we are sensible with our energy policy it won't be the apocalypse people are thinking,

If it's keeping energy prices low, why are rates rising?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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1 edit

1 recommendation

said by fifty nine:

If it's keeping energy prices low, why are rates rising?

Because of the EPA and Environmental Wacko's

That's why rates are rising and unless we get them under control will continue to do so.

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to fifty nine
said by fifty nine:

Even before we get to that, are we going to approve permits to even build the darn things? Even with a new administration, they aren't going to dismantle the EPA and NRC overnight. That takes much more than just an act of Congress.

But the right person can start the conversations and get the regulations changed. We need to do something and shuttering coal and nukes is not the answer.

quote:
Communism ensures what is mined here stays here. The free market ensures that it is sold for the most profit. China needs coal. India needs coal. Their needs aren't decreasing.
Nice try but that was part of Communism but Communism was more than that. It was the theory that the government owned everything, you worked and they gave you what they thought you needed.

I'm talking about our resources and keeping them here for the benefit of our people. If you think the world's oil is limited (it isn't necessarily - look up abiotic oil) it makes sense to keep what's in your ground for use by your citizens. It's just good sense.

Regulate it like a utility. We'll guarantee you a decent profit and you can pull our stuff out of the ground. In exchange all of it has to be used by our people. Or we get 90% and 10% goes to the world. China has no issues doing that with their Rare Earth minerals so why not us with our oil, coal, and natural gas reserves?

quote:
If it's keeping energy prices low, why are rates rising?

That would be a question for your utility. Our rates have been relatively stable here for a few years. Right under $.10/kWh.

peasoup42

join:2012-12-26
Ridgecrest, CA
reply to djrobx
@ djrobx...

I noticed you're not too far from me. Would you recommend your installer to others here in the SoCal area? Also, I've tried to go back thru the 9 pages of this thread and never caught how big your setup is. How many panels are you running and what is each panel wattage rating?

Do you have the infamous tile roof or do you have shingle roofing?

Lastly, does your system report it's performance to the internet like the other systems do (a feature I found quite interesting)?

Trying to compare to see what I would be interested in spending to take advantage of solar. Much appreciated!! )


djrobx
Premium
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Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
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said by peasoup42:

@ djrobx...

I noticed you're not too far from me. Would you recommend your installer to others here in the SoCal area? Also, I've tried to go back thru the 9 pages of this thread and never caught how big your setup is. How many panels are you running and what is each panel wattage rating?

Do you have the infamous tile roof or do you have shingle roofing?

Lastly, does your system report it's performance to the internet like the other systems do (a feature I found quite interesting)?

Trying to compare to see what I would be interested in spending to take advantage of solar. Much appreciated!! )

Definitely. I used REC solar, and they were awesome to work with in every way.

Mine's a 5.3KW (22 panel @240) system. I have a spanish tile roof.

I didn't opt to buy the reporting modules, but it can be added to the inverter. You do get that thrown in if you decide to lease (because the lease company wants to track the output).
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peasoup42

join:2012-12-26
Ridgecrest, CA
said by djrobx:

Definitely. I used REC solar, and they were awesome to work with in every way.

Mine's a 5.3KW (22 panel @240) system. I have a spanish tile roof.

I didn't opt to buy the reporting modules, but it can be added to the inverter. You do get that thrown in if you decide to lease (because the lease company wants to track the output).

TY for the info and need to check with them to see if they service Tehachapi. I've got the tile roof as well and was worried about the removing of them to facilitate install and then having unexplained leakage as well as the weight of both panels and tiles.

My roof is actually east/west facing and will need them to be tilted to the south for best exposure. Hope that isn't additional because of that setup.