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Old 05-26-2016, 03:54 PM   #21
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Survey guy was just here and all looks good. He verified that the design will fit and it fits perfectly. The south half of the garage roof will be covered with panels and that's where the power comes in and the breaker box is. He verified sun angle and that looks good.

No part of the living space will have panels.

I don't understand the anti-solar stuff. Aren't we supposed to be reducing carbon footprint and green house gasses? I know that solar won't work for hi demand industrial purposes, but residential solar is a no brainer eh? Everyone has a roof. And solar reduces the draw on the grid when the sun shines and all the air conditioners are running and people are at the office working so that power plants are not stressed as much.

Not to mention the Federal government is subsidizing it.
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:03 PM   #22
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I know that solar won't work for hi demand industrial purposes, but residential solar is a no brainer eh?
No. As a policy, sprinkling solar panels on tiny installations on residential rooftops, each configured uniquely, each installed at great expense per unit of area covered compared to other options, is about the least efficient, least effective way to do it. It's just not smart--from a policy or engineering perspective.

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Not to mention the Federal government is subsidizing it.
That's the main thing that irks. If you want to spend your own money to do it, that's fine. But we're spending government money on this, and so we have a responsibility to spend that money with some prudence and get as much benefit as possible from the money taken from people (against their will) through taxes.
Note: I have no animosity toward you or others who take this government giveaway. The money is apparently going to be wasted anyway (it's in the budget), it might as well be wasted on you. Publicizing this waste (as you are doing on this board--don't forget to tell all your friends how you are having others pay your electric bill) is a public service, and may contribute in some way to stopping the foolishness as people wise up. So, thanks! A real patriot would put up a big "THANK YOU FOR THE FREE ELECTRICITY, SUCKERS!" sign on his lawn and light it night and day (with incandescent bulbs).
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:11 PM   #23
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"Educating" the non users that they are paying for the others getting a free ride will eliminate a lot of that positive support for solar.
But it's true, right? The solar folks need the grid, as they are using it as a "bank" for their output and backup power. In fact, their highly variable inputs to the system have to be accommodated by the utilities at significant cost. The solar users should not have their grid costs subsidized by "regular" customers, they should pay their own way. When everyone pays their true costs (including the infrastructure), they'll make decisions that are more rational.
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:12 PM   #24
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And solar reduces the draw on the grid when the sun shines and all the air conditioners are running and people are at the office working so that power plants are not stressed as much...
Here in AZ, the big problem with solar is that the peak power consumption for AC in the summer extends several hours into the evening, long after sunset.

So, the peak demand for power plants is still the same as if solar generation did not exist! And that is true whether the solar generation is distributed as residential installations, or concentrated as a large-scale industrial plant.

What we have not solved is an economical way to store excess power. There's a recent thread about it. A pumped storage facility would cost a few US$ billion, even if a suitable terrain is found. And we would need several dozens of them.
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:17 PM   #25
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Absolutely. I try to take advantage of every government giveaway I can. And I'm looking forward to cooling my house more in my old age too.

So far I've enjoyed rebates and credits on;

1) Attic insulation
2) Appliances
3) High efficiency HVAC
4) High efficiency toilets

And finally solar power -
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:24 PM   #26
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Going Solar

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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
But it's true, right? The solar folks need the grid, as they are using it as a "bank" for their output and backup power. In fact, their highly variable inputs to the system have to be accommodated by the utilities at significant cost. The solar users should not have their grid costs subsidized by "regular" customers, they should pay their own way. When everyone pays their true costs (including the infrastructure), they'll make decisions that are more rational.


Glad you said it Sam! I was tiptoeing around it a bit. Because I am biased I pulled back a bit. I give them on average $70 a month yearly and they give me thousands yearly back in QDI preferred stock dividends. So my electricity is free already.
As a personal self interest though, if I was looking at solar, I would be checking thoroughly to see what the political landscape is on those "grid fees" before installing. That may be a gift that keeps on giving. I would assume the solar installers are not including that in their proposals.


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Old 05-26-2016, 04:30 PM   #27
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They already told me my electric bill is not going away, there is a grid fee involved and I will be using power from the grid. Just not as much. Avoid the "top tier" surcharge.
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Old 05-26-2016, 04:34 PM   #28
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... but residential solar is a no brainer eh? ...
Yes, but probably not in the way you are thinking. samclem touched on some of this, but putting solar panels on a bunch of individual residences makes no sense - it is a no-brainer to NOT do it that way. If we are to do it, it should be done as a solar panel 'farm', on the ground or the flat roofs of large commercial/public buildings where you get economy of scale.

If you're in favor of solar, you should be in favor of commercial installations and against residential. If you're in favor of solar, you want the most solar installed for the least money with the most power out (no shading, roof angle issues to reduce output), and commercial scale is the way to do it.

I've seen the stats on safety of different forms of energy, and rooftop solar is among the worst (the worst?), relative to the power it supplies. Working on residential roofs leads to falls, injuries and even deaths. And every project is another roof with another set of conditions to work around, and then on to the next project. Much safer on a large flat roof, everyone gets familiar with the site, it can be monitored, etc.

Yep, it's a no-brainer.

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Old 05-26-2016, 04:48 PM   #29
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A lot of companies here are putting solar on their roof. And stadiums too;

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/n...pel-levis.html

Real estate is CA is expensive.
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:02 PM   #30
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They already told me my electric bill is not going away, there is a grid fee involved and I will be using power from the grid. Just not as much. Avoid the "top tier" surcharge.


That is the area I am not familiar with. We have no surcharges where I live. In fact from October through May they beg you to turn on the heat and A/C. Its 33% less cost per KWH after 750 KWH are used. And that price is just 5.73 cents per KWH. Maybe that is why I rarely see any solar panels in my locale.
And please make sure you know I am not criticizing you, Robbie. The subject interests me, and I like having fun with it. Though I do keep a wayward eye on the situation as a huge slug of my money is invested in the Utes. But, I promise I have never looked at a home that had solar panels and had thoughts of vandalizing it!
Good luck with the implementation!


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Old 05-26-2016, 05:15 PM   #31
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Hehe, yeah things here are a bit different, juice is a lot more expensive.

Tiered Base Plan (E1) | PG&E

Here it starts at 18 cents and gets to 36 cents.
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:55 PM   #32
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Hehe, yeah things here are a bit different, juice is a lot more expensive.

Tiered Base Plan (E1) | PG&E

Here it starts at 18 cents and gets to 36 cents.
Where I live in Tx it is 7.8 cents per kwh. (fell in the last year due to low natural gas prices). Because of vertical disintegration of the utility industry you really could not do net metering in Tx (at least as the retail rate) as you pay x for energy and y for delivery of the energy to your home from the substation. You buy power from a retailer who contracts with a generating company to supply power to the substation. The most the retailer could give you for power you put back on the grid is about 5.4 cents or the energy charge. With that its about a 20+ year payout for solar where I live plus we have hail and I have not seen a lot of reports on how well panels stand up to hail (we had up to 3 inch hail around a couple of weeks ago and while it was not quite that big where I live it made quite a racket when falling onto the metal roof (The house had 2 roofs in about 8 years and in year 18 need a new one and I convinced my father to put on a metal roof which also saves energy)
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:01 PM   #33
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Oh yeah, if I was paying five to eight cents per I would not have done it. We start at 3X and move to 6X, which also means the payback is 3 to 6 times as fast.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:05 PM   #34
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Survey guy was just here and all looks good. He verified that the design will fit and it fits perfectly. The south half of the garage roof will be covered with panels and that's where the power comes in and the breaker box is. He verified sun angle and that looks good.

No part of the living space will have panels.

I don't understand the anti-solar stuff. Aren't we supposed to be reducing carbon footprint and green house gasses? I know that solar won't work for hi demand industrial purposes, but residential solar is a no brainer eh?
I don't think it is anti-solar as much as it is pro-cost effectiveness use of your money. Solar roof top panels are a greener choice than many other goods or services you could spend your money on. It is your money so if you want solar that is your choice and whether solar is cost effective for you depends on many factors.

I was just trying to point out in my earlier post you may get a higher ROI on an investment in conservation like energy efficient appliances, thermal drapes and outdoor solar lighting which might keep you in the lower price tiers. But it is hotter where you live so if you keep your air on quite a bit in summer maybe conservation for you would only go so far.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:15 PM   #35
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Wow, $4.72/watt. That's expensive. Even for SunPower and Cali. Hopefully, the warranty includes labor. Microinverters have had a troubled past and unless you have significant shading issues, you're usually better off with a string inverter. Yes a string inverter may not last as long but there will always be different manufacturers selling them even if your inverter company has gone belly up. SunPower is good stuff of course: my SP system just passed its 4 year birthday.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #36
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Yeah, everyone says that price is high. A few guys on another forum bought some kits and had a contractor install them at way less cost. Saving a few grand is not my goal, performance and appearance is.

The warranty is complete, 25 years parts and labor. The panels are new with the microinverters installed right on the panels, SP's been testing them for a while before releasing says the agent.

I dunno. It goes with my new plan of blowing dough before I die -
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:56 PM   #37
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Hehe, yeah things here are a bit different, juice is a lot more expensive.

Tiered Base Plan (E1) | PG&E

Here it starts at 18 cents and gets to 36 cents.


Gee, not only is it high, the billing is complicated. And your location adds to it also. Our billing is same price everywhere... Remind me not to buy any PGE preferred stock. The one redeeming feature is I assume your electrical use is less than mine from fly over country. But that may be a false assumption as California has some hot areas, also.


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Old 05-26-2016, 09:07 PM   #38
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Yeah Baby!

Re-doing the HVAC (at government expense, stick it to the taxpayers) saved me a lot.

I'm gonna roll it again -
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:20 PM   #39
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$12.24/month of my electric bill (about 11% of my total electric bill) is a customer charge for access to the grid whether I use electricity or not. The rest is base on usage (9.8c for first 200 kwh and 21.9c for next tier).
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:12 PM   #40
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Good to know that I'm a little bit less than twice your cost.
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