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Old 03-19-2016, 03:51 PM   #21
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.........
This is what happens when enough utility lobby folks get appointed to the public utilities commission...........
Similar legislation now in some states to add additional fees to electric and hybrid vehicles to compensate for the gas tax they did not spend.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:24 PM   #22
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Our bill (and many others) is broken out between 'delivery' and 'supply' charges. The supply can be (and often is) a separate company, so there is no supply side subsidizing the delivery (infrastructure side) in our area.



But the utility cost goes up with usage as well. Marginal production is often more $ than average production, so it makes sense from that level.

-ERD50
If the supply side is based on KWH used then it is subsidized for low users...


For me it is mixed in with my usage as long as I use a certain amount.... then the electric provider kinda waives the charges....


I just looked and am shocked.... there are some specials going on that are encouraging usage.... as long as you go over 999KWH you get a $90 stmt credit and that makes 1,000 KWH cost a whopping 1.2 cents per KWH... that is not a typo... the rates based on 500 KWH is 10.9 cents and 2,000 is 7.9 as you get a smaller credit when you go over 1,500KWH....



Edit to add.... just found the charges for the infrastructure company as it is separate from electricity providers....

$5.47 per billing cycle and 3.8780 per kWh
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #23
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Similar legislation now in some states to add additional fees to electric and hybrid vehicles to compensate for the gas tax they did not spend.

That is a good idea as they should be slapped with additional fees, if they are not because the gas tax is the funding mechanism for funding highway construction and repairs (in my state anyways). If they are using the roads they need to pay, also.


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Old 03-20-2016, 08:25 AM   #24
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Interesting that fuel tax is about 1/4 of road spending in your state. Makes sense to have EV's cover that portion somehow.

http://www.modot.org/about/documents...alSnapshot.pdf


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Old 03-20-2016, 09:27 AM   #25
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Interesting that fuel tax is about 1/4 of road spending in your state. Makes sense to have EV's cover that portion somehow.

http://www.modot.org/about/documents...alSnapshot.pdf


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Interestingly though, there is an additional problem. The road tax brings in less actual dollars today than 20 years ago, I read. Fuel efficiency of gas vehicles over the decades has caused less revenue. Of course a very low tax of 17 cents unchanged from years and years compounds the problem. No toll roads either... So I guess, electric cars are not only being dirty cost shifters, but so are those high MPG cars, also. Slap a big fee on those dirty tax shifters too!


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Old 03-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #26
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> the gas tax is the funding mechanism for funding highway construction and repairs

Sadly, fuel taxes long ago stopped being dedicated to road construction and repairs.

Much of federal fuel taxes have been diverted to mass transit rather than roads.

States also have diverted a lot of their fuel taxes as well. For example, "Texas spends 25% of its fuel-tax revenue on education programs". From the same article,

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New Jersey is projected to collect $541 million in state gas-tax revenue this year, of which $516 million has been set aside to pay for about $1 billion in debt interest. New York last year collected about $2 billion in fuel, auto-rental and related taxes and fees. Those dollars went into a fund that paid $1.4 billion on debt interest payments, up from $870 million in 2008.
Funding (or not funding) roads has become a mess. People still think gas taxes pay for their roads, but that's just not true any longer.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:53 AM   #27
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Interesting. Thx


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Old 04-27-2016, 09:52 AM   #28
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Still investigating our options.....
I went to a workshop sponsored by a local solar system sales company Saturday. I was expecting a pitch towards sales vs. lease but despite all the advantages of owning, they actually favored leasing when questioned directly.

Since we met with Vivint back in post #4, I learned that my brother signed up with them about 30 days ago so too soon to tell how it's going.

Several broad statements made in this thread may or may not apply to each individual's situation so due diligence is mandatory. I live in MD and there is currently a state mandate to achieve renewable energy goals. It is certainly true in my opinion that the current state of the industry is a game changer for local utilities and they will have to respond so any payback analysis is likely to change going forward. The impacts will affect consumers of both solar and conventional power. I have gone from favoring a PPA lease to favoring purchase and now I am favoring a non PPA lease. Leasing mitigates several of the risk factors IMO and generates a modest savings, but more significantly fixes the solar rate for the term (e.g. no escalator).

For what it's worth, my neighbor has a small system and he went forward with an analysis that showed a 7 yr payback, but he claims the actual payback was 4 yrs. I think his system is about 9 yrs old now.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:06 AM   #29
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For what it's worth, my neighbor has a small system and he went forward with an analysis that showed a 7 yr payback, but he claims the actual payback was 4 yrs. I think his system is about 9 yrs old now.
I'd be very interested to see the analysis that shows a 4 or 7 year payback (in MD especially, I assume your kWh rates are near average?). It would seem that much larger than typical subsidies must be involved?

-ERD50
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:45 AM   #30
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I looked at solar but the payback period for us is very long. Instead I bought a book by an energy auditor with a household that uses 6 kwh a day (avg US is 30 kw) of electricity and we have been working towards that level of usage. We used to be above average users of electricity for similar homes in our area on our utility charts and last month we were right around their efficient homes cutoff (390 kwh for efficient homes vs our 388 kwh, around 12 kwh daily avg).
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:13 AM   #31
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now I am favoring a non PPA lease.
One thing you have to be aware of.... Let's say you are on a 20 year lease and you want to sell your house... the buyers must agree to take over the lease (and now for the kicker) they also must be able to qualify for the lease. If they are really stretching to buy the property, that may be difficult.

You want make sure you do not have to be paying for the solar panels when you do not live there!
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #32
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I'd be very interested to see the analysis that shows a 4 or 7 year payback (in MD especially, I assume your kWh rates are near average?). It would seem that much larger than typical subsidies must be involved?

-ERD50
So would I but I missed the presentation he gave to the homeowners assoc. I may ask for details but we are on less friendly terms these days. I would be surprised if they used a reasonable discount rate for this ROI. Just to be clear, the analysis forecast a 7 yr payback and the actual claimed payback was 4 yrs due to productivity and I guess the SREC payments that were not included in the analysis.

The rates around here are 9-10 cents for power plus ~6 cents for distribution. Distribution includes a .5 cent surcharge for conventional power. The grid connection fee is $7.5/mo.

The incentives are 30% Federal, 5K county, and 1K state tax credits.

SolarCo uses a the total cost for conventional power of 16 cents vs. the solar lease rate of 11 cents but you can reduce the conventional power rate by ~2 cents if you shop for your supplier and utilize the rewards available for peak management. I'm using 13.5 cents (conventional) vs. 11 cents (solar) for my analysis. Apparently you can still get the peak management reward even if you are 100% solar but that will not affect my analysis.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:45 AM   #33
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One thing you have to be aware of.... Let's say you are on a 20 year lease and you want to sell your house... the buyers must agree to take over the lease (and now for the kicker) they also must be able to qualify for the lease. If they are really stretching to buy the property, that may be difficult.

You want make sure you do not have to be paying for the solar panels when you do not live there!
That is not accurate for the PPA lease that I reviewed. I have not seen the non-PPA contract yet. Like I said before due diligence is required and the available options are constantly changing.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:48 AM   #34
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Business Week had a great article about the perils of going rooftop solar in Nevada. Buyer Beware !

Musk vs. Buffett: The Billionaire Battle to Own the Sun

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“The outcome was horrendous” in Nevada, says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. Homeowners no longer have any financial incentive to put panels on their roofs, and those who already did may end up paying an additional $11,000 over the next two decades, he says.

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Caught in limbo are people such as Dale Collier. The day after the commission hearing, he showed off a 56-panel system on his home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson. It cost him about $48,000 to install in 2011. SolarCity hadn’t yet set up shop in Nevada, so he paid for it by refinancing his house. The system took his NV Energy bill down to about $80 a month from the $330 it used to average, he says. One year, he got a $1,355 check from NV Energy because his solar power was helping the utility meet its renewable energy requirements. “It was the smartest thing I’d ever done,” he says. “Now, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:57 AM   #35
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I looked at solar but the payback period for us is very long. Instead I bought a book by an energy auditor with a household that uses 6 kwh a day (avg US is 30 kw) of electricity and we have been working towards that level of usage. We used to be above average users of electricity for similar homes in our area on our utility charts and last month we were right around their efficient homes cutoff (390 kwh for efficient homes vs our 388 kwh, around 12 kwh daily avg).
Thanks...good info. Do you have the title/author of that book?
I just got a 60 day home energy report from my utility company for Dec-Feb and the threshold for efficient homes around here is 1020 kw/month. We just missed the cutoff.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:40 PM   #36
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That is not accurate for the PPA lease that I reviewed. I have not seen the non-PPA contract yet. Like I said before due diligence is required and the available options are constantly changing.
I assume you mean that the new buyers do not need to qualify for the PPA lease? I assume you must still get the buyers to assume the lease payments, they must still pay it, right? Or do they come and remove the panels? I assume requiring the buyers to take on the PPA would be part of the sale, correct?
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #37
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I just looked and am shocked.... there are some specials going on that are encouraging usage.... as long as you go over 999KWH you get a $90 stmt credit and that makes 1,000 KWH cost a whopping 1.2 cents per KWH... that is not a typo... the rates based on 500 KWH is 10.9 cents and 2,000 is 7.9 as you get a smaller credit when you go over 1,500KWH....


A little different in our area for water, if you use more, you pay a higher rate. Certainly a conservation approach. Surprising the electric providers are not embracing that concept, considering they talk brownouts every summer.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:33 PM   #38
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Thanks...good info. Do you have the title/author of that book?
I just got a 60 day home energy report from my utility company for Dec-Feb and the threshold for efficient homes around here is 1020 kw/month. We just missed the cutoff.
It is called The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel. It is a bit older so we did have other action items beyond the book, but the book kind of showed us what was possible without any major investments. We didn't do any home upgrades, just odds and ends kinds of things that all added up and energy saving gadgets and bulbs from Amazon.

Added -

We live in a relatively temperate climate, so YMMV. But I met a person (an energy auditor but not the one who wrote the book) who had a big house, lives in the Lake Tahoe area, who also had something like 6 kwh a day usage, and his house is in an area with pretty cold winters.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:00 PM   #39
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I assume you mean that the new buyers do not need to qualify for the PPA lease? I assume you must still get the buyers to assume the lease payments, they must still pay it, right? Or do they come and remove the panels? I assume requiring the buyers to take on the PPA would be part of the sale, correct?
That is more or less correct. You can buy the system at fair market value, prepay for power to be generated (and pass those costs to the buyer if possible I presume), or transfer the lease with no pre-approval required. Each option has it's own risks that change as the system ages. On the positive side, demand for resale properties with solar has been pretty good in this area.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:10 PM   #40
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Business Week had a great article about the perils of going rooftop solar in Nevada. Buyer Beware !

Musk vs. Buffett: The Billionaire Battle to Own the Sun
That was an interesting read MB. Thanks for posting it.

Roof top solar isn't very common here in northern Illinois so I haven't been following it very closely. I have little interest in it. I guess my position would be that subsidies and rates should not reflect an advantage to the roof top solar owners or a disadvantage to the non-owners. I just can't see why I should pay higher electric rates or taxes to encourage my neighbors to buy or lease systems.

If someone is cavalier enough to buy or lease a system based on current gov't policy, well, they pay their money and they take their chances. Here in Illinois, we're well aware that legislators can change their minds again and again and again........
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