Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-27-2016, 08:26 PM   #61
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I liked the quote from one farmer: If the folks in Kansas want to live with those "blight on the landscape" wind turbines, it doesn't mean landowners across the country should have to roll over and allow the power lines to cut across their landscape. Maybe Clean Line didn't include enough money in their business plan to make those farmers along the way see things their way. Tough.
Actually you just need to partner with Warren Buffet. He owns a railroad that you could build most of the lines along. (you would likley need to re-route the land but...) Interestingly most of the fiber optic network in the us runs underground along the sides of railroad lines already
__________________

__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-27-2016, 08:52 PM   #62
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I liked the quote from one farmer: If the folks in Kansas want to live with those "blight on the landscape" wind turbines, it doesn't mean landowners across the country should have to roll over and allow the power lines to cut across their landscape. Maybe Clean Line didn't include enough money in their business plan to make those farmers along the way see things their way. Tough.


I just found a present article. Seems the business is trying an end around getting local in state towns to receive some "power goodies" to build a coalition. They wont give up. I suspect they are going to say we tried to be fair and it didn't work. Probably reorganize as an entity that can use eminent domain to get their way. This one has the makings to get dragged out for a while.
http://www.whig.com/article/20160202/ARTICLE/302029566#



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________

__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 08:53 PM   #63
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
Actually you just need to partner with Warren Buffet. He owns a railroad that you could build most of the lines along. (you would likley need to re-route the land but...) Interestingly most of the fiber optic network in the us runs underground along the sides of railroad lines already
Wouldn't "Clean Line" have thought of that? Either it's impractical or they think Warren et al will charge them more than these farmers (and the folks who set the rates for any taking of private property by eminent domain). Maybe they are in for a surprise.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 09:10 PM   #64
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,886
The distribution fee on my recent bill was about $15. Total bill was $57 and change, for 309 kWh.

Rate is $0.1161/kWh, but "effective rate" is $0.18...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2016, 11:28 PM   #65
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 18,653
My total bill for last month was $120 for 877 kWh. So, that's 13.7c/kWh, effective rate.

My highest bill last August was $349 for 2703 kWh. That's 12.9c/kWh average, all in.

Wow, I did not know I have such a bargain compared to Californians. My total effective rate including taxes and fix charge is lower than their Tier 1. If I lived there, I would have solar panels out the wazoo too.

PS. Here's the breakdown of the $120 last month. Fix charge: $20. Off-peak power: $40. On-peak power: $50. Taxes: $10. All figures rounded to the nearest dollar.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2016, 01:07 PM   #66
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 2,055
They came by today and collected the one grand deposit. I asked about the time frame and she said about 12 weeks from today. Design and plans, final adjustments, permits and all have to be done before install.

Good thing I got started on this now, who knows if the tax credit will be around next year eh?
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 06:25 PM   #67
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 2,055
Today I approved the design and it goes to the city for permits.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg solarroofpanels.JPG (27.3 KB, 21 views)
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 08:36 AM   #68
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 262
Be sure you sign up for time-of-use E6 rate if you have PG&E. Reason is, the power you feed back to them isn't credited in watts, it's in dollars. TOU pays you 30+ cents a kw hour during peak times. A few hours in the afternoon pays for the whole day's running of the AC. I am making about $5 a day bank on electricity most summer days above what I use.

Anyways, look into TOU. PG&E makes it go away at the end of this year. Last chance to sign up. If you don't like it, (impossible as you will bank power at high rate, use it at lower off-peak rate) you can change to another plan at the next monthly billing cycle.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #69
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 2,055
The vendor told me to switch to E6 and I did. They also told me that even though you are credited in dollars, you don't actually get that rate. You get a 10 dollar bill each month and they reconcile once a year. When they do they will credit you for "net power generated", but at the wholesale rate of 4 cents a KWH, not the "going rate". She said that is why they are sizing these things at 80 to 90% of usage.

It makes sense to avoid paying 18 to 36 cents a KWH, but it doesn't make sense to generate it for 4 cents.
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 12:46 PM   #70
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,027
Never been a fan of the Feds (or any other taxing body) picking winners and losers with my money. HECO (Hawaiian Electric) has struggled to integrate all the solar that has been added since the price point has at least seemed like a winner to folks. They don't share the figures in any usable form, but it would at least appear that most of the extra solar generation capacity is "wasted" because it either can't be integrated or else it doesn't actually obviate the need for peak generation capacity. Full disclosure, I'm not an expert nor do I have hard numbers. Just going on the various news articles I've seen over the years.

I'm a big fan of efficiency improvements and alternative energy if it's not only cost-effective but works as well. The only alternative energy I'm aware of with PROVEN pay back and integration (without subsidies) is solar hot water (in SOME markets such as Hawaii.)

Having said all this, I don't blame anyone for grabbing all the subsides they can get. It's the American way! YMMV
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 01:18 PM   #71
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieB View Post
The vendor told me to switch to E6 and I did. They also told me that even though you are credited in dollars, you don't actually get that rate. You get a 10 dollar bill each month and they reconcile once a year. When they do they will credit you for "net power generated", but at the wholesale rate of 4 cents a KWH, not the "going rate". She said that is why they are sizing these things at 80 to 90% of usage.

It makes sense to avoid paying 18 to 36 cents a KWH, but it doesn't make sense to generate it for 4 cents.
I built out to 100% and I now kinda wish I had built it larger. Now that I can experience the benefits of solar, I'd like to replace my gas water heater with electric and perhaps even my gas heater and stove. I use my hot tub as the 'Net Zero' floating load. I figure I might as well either run my AC more, or heat up the hot tub more in order to offset any residual electrical generation rather than sell it back for 4 cents a Kw.

I don't pay the monthly flat fee. I've been letting it accumulate. There's some sort of California energy credit I get twice a year on my bill that nearly offsets the whole thing. After a year now, my monthly flat fee is $34. I spoke to a PG&E rep and she said that was fine. No worries.

BTW, I 'financed' my solar install with one of those 'project checks' my credit card company sent me. 12 months free financing. That meant, I got my solar tax credit before I had to pay the credit card bill. Now that the 12 months zero interest is almost up, I found another credit card that will transfer balance from this one with zero interest for 15 months and no transfer fee if you transfer a credit card balance to it within 60 days of getting the card. That's 27 months of free financing, so far, on my solar installation.

As an FYI, I have 5.05kwh solar and cost me $16,400 to have it installed turn-key. It is 16 panels of Solarworld 315w commercial panels with a SolarEdge inverter and power optimizers on each panel.

Here's a link to my solar information and graphs /charts;
http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=43187&sid=39456

Play with the buttons and see what my solar and loads have been for the past year. Pretty cool technology to be able to tell what's up with my solar at any given time. There's a smart phone app for the same info if I'm out of town and want to check on stuff.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 02:11 PM   #72
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 810
My neighbor was an early adopter and has a system that's almost 10 kw. He swapped everything except the furnace and he is thinking about that. I did have a very expensive PG&E bill in February for January, the majority of which was for gas heating. It's hard to justify the expense of solar, unless you can switch everything over to electric. There are a lot of capital costs involved, unless you switch over the replacement cycle. I suspect when I swap out my 10 SEER A/C unit for a 15 SEER unit when it dies, my annual electric bill will drop under $1,800. Hard to justify solar in that situation.
__________________
Another Reader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 02:38 PM   #73
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 262
The best value for your dollar is with energy efficient devices. Nothing beats not actually using electricity when trying to minimize your utility expenses. I converted everything to energy star rated appliances, LED bulbs, timers on a lot of items I could afford to offset the Time-Of-Use surcharges, etc.
Any decent solar salesman will tell you to under size the solar generation system and to upgrade to energy efficient appliances and bulbs in order to get the highest return on investment.

There are other incentives for going solar though; getting off the grid, environmental concerns, etc. I deliberately sized to 100% because I believe that electric rates are going to go much higher in the future and that my energy needs will increase, not decrease as I get older and less tolerant of hot / cold, using the laundry clothes line outside, etc.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 03:42 PM   #74
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 2,055
Oh yeah. I took advantage of the fed tax credit and the CA cash for appliances plan back in 2010 and replaced the HVAC. 95% furnace and 15 SEER AC. Energy bill was cut in half.

Seven grand to install, but only 4 grand after rebates and credits. Strike while the rebates are hot!

I see energy prices rising also and "the older you get the colder you get" as well as less heat tolerant.

This is a preemptive strike on the cost to keep me comfortable -
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2016, 04:28 PM   #75
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro33 View Post
There are other incentives for going solar though; getting off the grid, environmental concerns, etc.
But, are any significant number of solar users actually going off grid or are almost all of them fully connected to the grid? I'm under the impression, mostly from this thread, that hardly anyone actually has any storage capacity at all and instead rely on a grid hookup at all times.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 08:09 PM   #76
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 17,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro33 View Post
I built out to 100% and I now kinda wish I had built it larger. Now that I can experience the benefits of solar, I'd like to replace my gas water heater with electric and perhaps even my gas heater and stove. ...

As an FYI, I have 5.05kwh solar and cost me $16,400 to have it installed turn-key. It is 16 panels of Solarworld 315w commercial panels with a SolarEdge inverter and power optimizers on each panel.

Here's a link to my solar information and graphs /charts;
Heitman House 5.040kW | Live Output
Fascinating chart. Can you get the production vs consumption numbers in a weekly or monthly format - I only saw daily?

So I see you do produce more solar power net than you use (at least in June). Since the solar is a sunk cost at this point, I guess it would make sense to go to electric heat (air and water), if the cost of gas is more than the equivalent heat from the 4 cents/kWh you receive for excess. Maybe with heat pumps, but here in N-IL, gas is far cheaper than resistive heaters for air/water @ ~ 11 cents/kWh, so @ your 4 cents it might just be close?

Looks like you are a fairly light kWh consumer ( ~ 500 kWh/month)? Why would you want to build out more, when you already produce more than you use?

What's the payback on your $16,400 investment? I don't know your kWh rates, but assuming ~ 30 cents in CA, and 500 kWh/month, that's (ignoring the 4 cents for excess for now) ...

500 ⋅ 0.3 ⋅ 12 = 1800 $1800 generated annually, so payback of around 9 years, not counting opportunity cost of the investment. But if we count opp cost at a conservative 3.5% WR, that pulls $575 out of the savings, so around 13 years?

That's why it's hard for the numbers to work in areas like IL, with lower kWh rates - payback takes near the life of the panels, which might outlive me!

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:30 PM   #77
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 18,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro33 View Post
... As an FYI, I have 5.05kwh solar and cost me $16,400 to have it installed turn-key. It is 16 panels of Solarworld 315w commercial panels with a SolarEdge inverter and power optimizers on each panel.

Here's a link to my solar information and graphs /charts;
Heitman House 5.040kW | Live Output...
That's cool data.

I see that your peak production today is 4kW, out of a 5kW system. That's not too bad at 80% of rated output. The total daily production is 25kWh, which is more than what you use. But without the grid for banking the excess power, it would be very expensive to get enough batteries to store that excess power for overnight use.

Another thing I observe is that your power production peaks at noon, and starts to taper off past 2PM. Here in Phoenix where the AC load is horrendous, the temperature keeps on rising until sunset. Even at 11PM the temperature may still be at 100F or higher.

Hence, the power companies are right in saying that solar production does not help them downsizing their generator capacity, because they still have to meet the same power demand when the sun is already down.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2016, 10:33 PM   #78
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Fascinating chart. Can you get the production vs consumption numbers in a weekly or monthly format - I only saw daily?
Yes, you are viewing the 'live' chart. Click on the daily, weekly, monthly, yearly buttons for further out charts. Also, click on the day, a calendar pops up and you can look at any day of the year.

Quote:
So I see you do produce more solar power net than you use (at least in June).
Yes, for June, but look at January. Almost no solar production. That is why 'true up' with the electric company is once a year. I make more power now, it's banked. I use more power in the winter, it's withdrawn.

Quote:
Looks like you are a fairly light kWh consumer ( ~ 500 kWh/month)? Why would you want to build out more, when you already produce more than you use?
Weather is cool right now. Here's a link to June 4th where I ran my AC and the outdoor temps got above 100;
PVOutput

Quote:
What's the payback on your $16,400 investment? I don't know your kWh rates, but assuming ~ 30 cents in CA, and 500 kWh/month, that's (ignoring the 4 cents for excess for now) ...
I figure I will recover my investment in 8 years unless electric rates increase over the next 8 years, then I'll recover my capital sooner. Right now, summer rates are 15 cents a Kwh from 9pm at night until 10am the next day. From 10am to 1pm it's 23 cents, from 1pm to 7pm it's 34 cents, 7pm to 9pm back to 23 cents and then it starts all over again. Weekends and holidays are a little different.
This is why it pays me to generate and bank during peak rate times and run my AC on the shoulder or off peak rate times. I can use twice the amount of electricity during off peak if I bank it during peak.

Quote:
500 ⋅ 0.3 ⋅ 12 = 1800 $1800 generated annually, so payback of around 9 years, not counting opportunity cost of the investment. But if we count opp cost at a conservative 3.5% WR, that pulls $575 out of the savings, so around 13 years?
Only if electric rates NEVER raise during that time. Based on my last 10 years living here, electric rates have risen an average of 7% a year. Do the math now, based on the figures I gave you for time-of-use rates AND a 7% rate increase annually. I'll have my capital investment back relatively shortly.
Also, the solar equipment has a 25 year warranty and the labor is 15 years. No risk for me.

Quote:
That's why it's hard for the numbers to work in areas like IL, with lower kWh rates - payback takes near the life of the panels, which might outlive me!
I have almost 300 days of sunshine a year here in California where I live. Annual rain fall is 36 inches over 66 days average.

California has a bill in the legislature that at least 50% of all energy must be from renewable resources by some future date to be determined. That is a lot of capital they'll have to expend and soon too. By 2020, in less than 4 years, California must be at least 33% renewable. That mandate is law.

Here's a news article about it;
California renewable energy mandate

Consider this;
If you had the opportunity to pay up front for electricity for a guaranteed 25 years, what would it be the dollar cost that would make it a decent long term investment. A lot of people get hung up on the 8 to 13 years of recovery of their capital investment plus earnings loss, but after that, it's all basically free electricity. I have now fixed my cost for electricity for the rest of my life, long as I remain in this house. The mortgage is paid, so no cost there. I have a well I put in a while back, (California drought? What's that?) it has it's own little battery/solar power source since that was cheaper than running power all the way to the pump house. It's a 12 volt system. If I can get off propane, or at least reduce it to a couple hundred dollars a year, I'll pretty much have no real monthly living expenses other than food and gasoline for my (paid off) cars. There's still property taxes (prop 13 has limited that to 2% increase max a year based on the market value of the house.) and insurance costs. My total monthly expenses are under $2,000 a month. My income is around $6,000 a month in retirement with a pension and 2% draw from my investments. I will start getting around $2500 a month (me and DW) in 2 years for Social Security. At that time, I won't need any draws from my investments.
My feeling is, I am not risk tolerant and now I don't have to be. Locking in electric rates for the next 25 years is one piece of the pie for achieving that goal, like the well was.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 06:06 AM   #79
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 810
"I have now fixed my cost for electricity for the rest of my life, long as I remain in this house. The mortgage is paid, so no cost there. I have a well I put in a while back, (California drought? What's that?) it has it's own little battery/solar power source since that was cheaper than running power all the way to the pump house. It's a 12 volt system. If I can get off propane, or at least reduce it to a couple hundred dollars a year, I'll pretty much have no real monthly living expenses other than food and gasoline for my (paid off) cars. There's still property taxes (prop 13 has limited that to 2% increase max a year based on the market value of the house.) and insurance costs. My total monthly expenses are under $2,000 a month."

Now there's a true Californian way of thinking! My neighbor with the 10kw solar system wants a grid alternative and a well. The City water rates are skyrocketing and he had to let his huge (by Bay Area suburban standards) back lawn go because of watering restrictions and cost. Of course, no well, because we don't own the water rights, but self sufficiency in the face of increasing local and state government parasitism is increasingly popular.
__________________
Another Reader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 06:52 AM   #80
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,651
We have just completed the physical installation of our solar arrays on the house we are building.
The attached image is of the panels on the main house.
We also have panels on the garage roof.

Total array size is 17.8kWh and is calculated to provide 100% of the energy our house and both electric cars use on an annual basis.

We currently are waiting for the paperwork to be processed by the utility, and then we should be live

Payback is about 12 years if electricity doesn't get more expensive.
The house is all electric, no natural gas. We will be installing a battery backup system, however, the grid is pretty stable in our area.

For the curious, we have more information at my website.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (614.7 KB, 9 views)
__________________

__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
going solar GrayHare Other topics 49 05-02-2016 12:27 PM
Going Solar - Maybe jimnjana Other topics 75 10-20-2013 05:48 PM
Going, Going, Gone? CitizenK Hi, I am... 24 04-10-2012 04:00 PM
Lowes is going to start selling DIY Solar Panels jimnjana Other topics 3 12-13-2009 03:48 AM
Wamu ~ going, going.... VaCollector Stock Picking and Market Strategy 8 09-25-2008 10:36 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:42 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.