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Old 09-09-2016, 06:02 PM   #121
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:19 AM   #122
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With solar tech rapidly improving, after 8 to 13 years I'd probably be drooling over the new system with X% more output for Y% less cost than mine. Heck, by waiting just 1 year (solar OMY syndrome?) I can now get a better system for less cost.
I'm surprised at the max output rating per panel improvement in just the last few years. Their are some pv panels now rated at over 340 watts, mine were 240 I believe. So, at least in the future if I ever have to replace the panels I have I will likely be increasing the output by a significant amount. panel envy.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:40 AM   #123
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I'm surprised at the max output rating per panel improvement in just the last few years. Their are some pv panels now rated at over 340 watts, mine were 240 I believe. So, at least in the future if I ever have to replace the panels I have I will likely be increasing the output by a significant amount. panel envy.
You have to be careful: many of those higher output panels are physically larger.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:00 PM   #124
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You have to be careful: many of those higher output panels are physically larger.
thanks, didn't think of that. a quick google doesn't dash my hopes, as I could upgrade from 230 pmax to 315 pmax w/same size panels. Who knows what the output levels will be in another 10 yrs or so.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:23 PM   #125
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It's up but not running. Got to get final inspection and PGE has to approve bi-directional meter.



It was running briefly during setup and the sun was still low in the sky. The smart meter showed power usage of -1.3 KW. After shut down I was using 700 watts, so the panels were making 2 KW with low sun. Pretty cool. After approval, I go out and flip 2 breakers to put it online.

And yes I flipped them after the guys left and nothing happened, so I have to wait for approval. They advised it should be pretty quick. Woo-hoo -
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:36 PM   #126
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It got final approval from the city inspector and it's in to PG&E for "permission to operate", I checked the PG&E site for more info and found something interesting. The net metering cap was set by law at 5% of total generation and it's almost gone.

Of the 2409 megawatts allowed only 7%, 174 MW remain. Woo-hoo, in right under the wire -
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:30 PM   #127
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It got final approval from the city inspector and it's in to PG&E for "permission to operate", I checked the PG&E site for more info and found something interesting. The net metering cap was set by law at 5% of total generation and it's almost gone.

Of the 2409 megawatts allowed only 7%, 174 MW remain. Woo-hoo, in right under the wire -
Too bad you didn't get it in last month. The window for the optimal Time-Of-Use rates closed. Peak time was 1pm to 7pm with part peaks at 10am to 1pm and 7pm to 9pm
The rate was called E6 rate.

So when I make electricity during those hours above what I use, I bank it at the peak rates. Now I think TOU is around 3pm to 9pm. Not generating near as much during those hours and therefore, not banking at the premium rates.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:42 PM   #128
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I changed to E6 when I hired the job as the contractor advised, so I am on the E6 plan even though I'm not operating yet. It did cause my bill to rise but not for long.

I'm always going to be buying power from PG&E. I think my usage is around 7000 KWH/yr and my generation is only going to be ~5500.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:47 PM   #129
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I changed to E6 when I hired the job as the contractor advised, so I am on the E6 plan even though I'm not operating yet. It did cause my bill to rise but not for long.

I'm always going to be buying power from PG&E. I think my usage is around 7000 KWH/yr and my generation is only going to be ~5500.
You'll be amazed;
Selling unused power to PG&E at 36 cents per kwh and buying it back at off peak; night time, for 16 cents doesn't take long to close the gap.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:49 PM   #130
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Have you received your end of year "net bill" yet?
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:01 PM   #131
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I got my true-up bill in July. It was 36 cents. That was for some federal tax of some sort. I forgot the cap-and -trade credits rate payers get a couple times a year. I actually was over paid by $16 based on that, but you can't get overage from cap and trade rebates back or bank 'em.

This even covered my monthly connection charge of something like 36 cents a day. (roughly $10 a month.)

BTW since we have to pay the minimum 36 cents a day for connection to the grid, you may as well use $10 worth of power as it offsets the first $10 or so of energy use.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:12 PM   #132
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Cool, good to hear!

Yes, they are working on a "new net metering plan" after this one expires soon and it's not going to be as good a deal as we got -
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:30 PM   #133
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RobbieB is correct. The PG&E solar party is over. E6 was replaced by two TOU plans, ETOUA and ETOUB. One is 3 to 8 PM and the other is 4 to 9 PM. No vendor will guarantee they can get the system installed, inspected and the PTO by the date the net metering agreement will expire. And it's not known yet what the new net metering agreement will be.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:40 PM   #134
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I'm sure the new net metering agreement won't be a solar rate payer friendly. The E6 rate sunsets in 2022 I think. So, while grandfathered in for now, I'll have to deal with the loss of E6 sooner or later.

California's new bill on reducing carbon emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2020, even though the state population is due to double from what it is now by then, is going to fundamentally change how Californians live. The power that law gives to the CARB is just astounding! My hope is that the state starts to recognize the contribution solar customers are making and provide incentives. Right now, the state of California offers nothing in the way of financial help for those who are solar or thinking of going solar. I guess I'll have to go back to a wood stove or better, a kerosene heater so they don't see my smoking chimney. Ha!

We are having the same issue with water;
Reductions in use have cut water utility profits so they raise rates, which inspires more conservation, which triggers more rates, and so on and so on.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:48 PM   #135
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How old is your furnace?

I took advantage of the massive CA and Federal credits back in 2010 and upgraded to a 95% efficient (condensing) gas furnace. Not quite as effective as the 15 SEER AC, but very effective and there is a PGE "home upgrade" program out with fat rebates right now.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #136
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My neighbor and I joke about drilling a well. I offered to pay half.... Unfortunately, we don't own the water rights.

I stuck with the 80 percent furnace when I replaced mine. Tough to justify the additional cost plus the cost of re-routing the exhaust flue.

I will need to replace my A/C soon. No rebates on those right now, unfortunately.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:06 PM   #137
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I have no problem with "fairness", I have a problem with "tiers"

If I use say 8000 KWH annually and I generate 5500 the diff is 2500.

At the bottom tier that's 2500 x .16 = 400/yr = $33/mo. If that happens I will not be upset. I was paying from $100 to $200 a month, so even if the deal gets worse as time goes on it will still be a good deal.

The cream is I just got in under the wire and will get a shorter payback -
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:35 PM   #138
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I stuck with the 80 percent furnace when I replaced mine. Tough to justify the additional cost plus the cost of re-routing the exhaust flue.

I will need to replace my A/C soon. No rebates on those right now, unfortunately.
Yeah, you really have to "strike while the iron's hot"

I got in right under the wire on this deal too;



Pretty sweet eh? And it worked exactly as described -
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And Congress is investigating
Old 09-16-2016, 11:27 AM   #139
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And Congress is investigating

Some in Congress have some "concerns" about how the tax breaks have been used. The solar companies say all is well. From today's WSJ (subscription may be required):

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Congressional lawmakers have launched a formal investigation into whether solar-energy companies improperly received billions of dollars in tax incentives from the Obama administration.
The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday sent letters to seven foreign and domestic companies in the solar industry, expanding a more limited probe started earlier this year.
The recipients included three firms in the residential solar industry—SolarCity Corp., Sunrun Inc. and Sungevity Inc.—and four solar utility companies: SunEdison Inc., Abengoa SA, NextEra Energy Inc. and NRG Energy Inc.
It sounds like the issue is the transfer of tax credits from the solar companies to investors. Maybe not relevant to residential systems?
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:20 PM   #140
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I dunno. I know that some folks lease these installs and don't get the credit and some pay zero and just pay the solar company for the power produced just like they would for the power company.

Mine is pretty easy. I own it and it's on my roof and I paid in full so I get the credit -
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