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Old 08-14-2018, 07:14 AM   #1
Texastaxi
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Default Has anyone gone solar, on your home?

I talked to a company, yesterday evening, about solar power.

For our barndo, using our current average electric bill, it'd take about 12 years before it'd pay itself off and we'd have totally free power ... the panels and performance are guaranteed for 25 years.

There are no batteries. During high sun times, you sell power back to the grid, and during dark or higher consumption times, you buy power back from the grid. They look at your usage, and plan your system so you basically net 0. There is an option to add a battery bank, for power outages, but it's cheaper to just get a whole house generator. The panels can withstand golf ball sized hail, and category 4 hurricanes. Since we have a metal roof, they attach with clips that go under the edges of the sheets and there are no extra penetrations in the roof.

I figured Tina would be the weary one, but she was ready to get them started installing it last night. It almost seems like a no-brainer if you plan on being in your home for longer than it takes to pay off the panels.

This company also guarantees that the panels will make the power that they say they'll make for 25 years or they'll pay you twice the difference.

The way it's set up, you can finance the panels and our payment would be slightly less than our current electric bill for about 12 years. After that, no more electric bill. They guarantee everything for 25 years. At minimum, you'd have 13 years of no electric bill. The life expectancy of the equipment is 40 to 50 years.

Am I missing something here?
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:22 AM   #2
savin yours
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We have a 5.1kw system on our house. It doesnít even come close to paying the bill in the summer time. Fall and spring, we pay a few bucks a month. What size system are they trying to sell you? What size is your home?


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Old 08-14-2018, 07:25 AM   #3
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I don't know that a guarantee is worth anything if the company does not exist in 10 years.
Make sure this company has been around for a LONG time and not some new start up.
Make sure you research them fully
Research actual performance of solar energy
Ask your insurance company how much more you will need to raise your coverage and how much that will cost.
What ever you do, don't let them talk you into anything before you have done plenty of research
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:41 AM   #4
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On the insurance side, not all companies will insure them.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:41 AM   #5
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Sometimes an engineer is needed to confirm the roof is capable of handling the extra load. If it isn’t then extra bracing will be needed. Sounds like you may have a newer place so roof life isn’t a big issue but that has to be calculated in too. Roofs have a life span...and the panels must be removed to replace the roof. This can be a huge extra cost if not expected.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:20 AM   #6
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My uncle converted to solar and it works as advertised.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:23 AM   #7
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Lots of threads on here already about this. So long story short. It never pays for itself. This came from a member on here that sells these systems for a living


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Old 08-14-2018, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savin yours View Post
We have a 5.1kw system on our house. It doesnít even come close to paying the bill in the summer time. Fall and spring, we pay a few bucks a month. What size system are they trying to sell you? What size is your home?
Our barn is 1,600 sq ft, and he sized a 19.2kw system. It's 64 (3'x5') panels.

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Originally Posted by froghunter View Post
Sometimes an engineer is needed to confirm the roof is capable of handling the extra load. If it isnít then extra bracing will be needed. Sounds like you may have a newer place so roof life isnít a big issue but that has to be calculated in too. Roofs have a life span...and the panels must be removed to replace the roof. This can be a huge extra cost if not expected.
It's a 1 year old metal roof, on a barndo, so it shouldn't need to be replaced anytime soon. I would contact the manufacturer about the extra load, but he did take pictures of the inside ... I'm assuming they look at this and address any possible concerns before the install.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:33 AM   #9
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Lots of threads on here already about this. So long story short. It never pays for itself. This came from a member on here that sells these systems for a living


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x2. There was a great thread about it a while back and when the salesguys dont have it on their house...you have to see a problem.

A local lady was complaining on Nextdoor that her current bill for solar setup and what she pays for her electric bill is actually higher than it was previously due to our power co-op charging fees to put power back into the grid. When you want to use their lines, you also get to pay for that line maintenance. Dont forget your basic service fees for your monthly electric bill even if you are selling power back.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:53 AM   #10
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If everything goes just like they say and after 12 years if paid for and you no longer have a electric bill why arenít people waiting in line for these systems?


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Old 08-14-2018, 09:07 AM   #11
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I don't know that a guarantee is worth anything if the company does not exist in 10 years.
This right here. The failure rates of solar companies is through the roof.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 8mpg View Post
x2. There was a great thread about it a while back and when the salesguys dont have it on their house...you have to see a problem.

A local lady was complaining on Nextdoor that her current bill for solar setup and what she pays for her electric bill is actually higher than it was previously due to our power co-op charging fees to put power back into the grid. When you want to use their lines, you also get to pay for that line maintenance. Dont forget your basic service fees for your monthly electric bill even if you are selling power back.
The salesman that came to my house brought his electric bills. Last's months was -$303, which was credits still leftover from the winter when he was selling back more than he was using.

Quote:
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If everything goes just like they say and after 12 years if paid for and you no longer have a electric bill why arenít people waiting in line for these systems?
I know he's a salesman, but he said this is the easiest job he's ever had and that he really doesn't work, due to all the referrals. He just goes on 3 presentations a day, that are all people that want systems, and closes most all of them. So, it does seem this is gaining more traction that it was last year when the salesman said he didn't have a system on his own house ... which I'd never buy from anyway. During the pitch, that was the one question that was going to be my "ace in the hole". I never had to ask because he volunteered the info without me asking. As for the TBHer that sells solar but doesn't have them on his own house ... not sure I'd really trust his judgement to begin with.

I'm not trying to argue for or against this ... just discussing.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:08 AM   #13
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If your powerbill is low then the solar will not pay for its self. If you have a large power bill, then solar will pay for itself.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:15 AM   #14
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the buy back thing is where I would look as well I have oncor and they are crooks nothing more . I can see that company telling you no way we are not buying anything .

I heard about that issue from a few people local that there power company Oncor was not paying out , they did not charge but no credit at all .

and now the are trying to add a fee to the bill if you have solar turbine etc .. they offer rebates but only if you use " their" installers ha ha its a circle jerk from hell .
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:15 AM   #15
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I was just talking to an electrical engineer about this yesterday. He is not aware of any solar panels that can put out 240V AC. There will still
be additional equipment to convert the DC output to AC and he believes that there will still be batteries.

That being said I have no personal experience with them so Iím not qualified to say whether his statements are true. But he is very well versed in his field so I suspect he is correct.


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Old 08-14-2018, 09:15 AM   #16
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we have been thinking about doing it as well, but all points taken in to consideration... don't seem like a truly fisable idea for use, as the Co-Op will get there's, perhaps being out and off the grid, it would be great
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:16 AM   #17
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Ha!...HDWrench...thats funny.

In for discussion.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:20 AM   #18
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If I ever build another house I will be looking into geothermal heating/cooling, good insulation and running as much as I can on propane/ natural gas

Like stated above, if solar was so great there would be lines and long waits to get things done I would think
At least for total solar powered houses
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:21 AM   #19
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#CoalminersLivesMatter
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
I was just talking to an electrical engineer about this yesterday. He is not aware of any solar panels that can put out 240V AC. There will still
be additional equipment to convert the DC output to AC and he believes that there will still be batteries.

That being said I have no personal experience with them so Iím not qualified to say whether his statements are true. But he is very well versed in his field so I suspect he is correct.


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The way these panels work is each one has a microinverter that converts the DC to AC power. These are the ones they use. Enphase I'm not sure exactly which ones, but this is the brand in the quote. He showed me a map of all the houses, in the area that they've done already so there's no question that they've got the 240v conversion issue solved ... and he said other than the panels on the roof, and the wire to the breaker box, there is no other equipment.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:29 AM   #21
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Daughter and son-in-law had solar panels installed on their two story house in Austin when it was built. They don't have the batteries, it just ties into the grid. Their highest Electric bill in the summer has been around $50. Their system has paid for itself in savings over the six years they have been in the house. They got a tax credit from Austin when they installed it to help offset the cost. They have two meters on their house. One shows the watts generated and fed into the grid and the other shows their usage.

Last edited by wsteffen; 08-14-2018 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:30 AM   #22
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We bought a house that already had solar panels installed. Our previous house (same neighborhood / same provider) was about half the size of our new house and our new house has a pool. Our electric bill is just about the same in the new house as it was in the smaller house.

We have also had a few hail storms come through in the year we have been living there.

No issues so far...
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texastaxi View Post
The way these panels work is each one has a microinverter that converts the DC to AC power. These are the ones they use. Enphase I'm not sure exactly which ones, but this is the brand in the quote. He showed me a map of all the houses, in the area that they've done already so there's no question that they've got the 240v conversion issue solved ... and he said other than the panels on the roof, and the wire to the breaker box, there is no other equipment.


When you built did you foam encapsulate your house? If not I think you would see a better return on your investment by doing that. And you wouldnít have your roof covered by solar panels.

Strictly my opinion but I see it as unsightly and another maintenance item.


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Old 08-14-2018, 09:48 AM   #24
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Who is the company?
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
When you built did you foam encapsulate your house? If not I think you would see a better return on your investment by doing that. And you wouldnít have your roof covered by solar panels.

Strictly my opinion but I see it as unsightly and another maintenance item.


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Unfortunately, I didn't do enough research on spray foam and had the whole barn insulated, when it was erected ... the spray foam won't stick to the vinyl backing on that other insulation. SO, I had to go with conventional insulation ... I wish I could have sprayed it. I could have had the walls done, but without doing the encapsulation, it's pretty much useless, as you probably know.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:49 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
Who is the company?
You gonna go whoop his arse?

It's Sunpro.
If you call them though, use my name so I can get a referral!
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:18 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Friar View Post
Ha!...HDWrench...thats funny.

In for discussion.

I think if your in a right area like Austin that is what that city is about but around here , heck not even city bus's HA HA .

My buddy is all about solar in CA he has a massive battery bank and is now 100% off the grid , no meter no nothing , he does have a small gen set with propane for fuel if thee is an issue .

I can see that working great but cost wise , it was not cheap . but you are free from them and their ever increasing bills and fees plans etc .


They had a limiter on my system when I moved in . I bypassed it and holy hell got a call in less than an hour !!!!

They told me it was against the law to tamper with it etc etc . I just laughed told them to stuff it come get it .. I will use my power when and how I want I am paying for it and there is no discount for the limit box so why is it here .. again oncor is the devil
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Texastaxi View Post

They guarantee everything for 25 years. At minimum, you'd have 13 years of no electric bill. The life expectancy of the equipment is 40 to 50 years.

Am I missing something here?
This is the line I can't believe. Minus the microwave in my old mans house I can't recall any electronic device lasting this long.

I can't imagine the factory that is building these specific solar panels today will have the ones they install still in production in 40-50 years. The technology of solar panels in 10 years won't be anything like what they are today.

I would ask the sales guy about this. It seems like they would have you by the hogans down the road if there were problems. "Well we don't make these panels anymore but we can upgrade you to a more efficient panel for "X" and we will have to redo the system that runs it too because it all runs on some new code that isn't compatible with your current one.

It's cool to see how some are seeing the benefits of having them and good luck if you go for it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:34 AM   #29
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friend had them on their roof. Storm damage and they had to pay an arm and a leg to have them removed, stored in their yard then re installed after roof was repaired.

Was not a barndo.

Insurance only covered damage to roof not removal, or installing them again on the roof.

If you have the space have them put them on the ground. Easier to get to to clean and will never have to deal with them needing to be removed from your home.

I am still on the fence. I know tech is always improving. I think at this point i am holding out a bit longer.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #30
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Are any of these solar panel owners people who like their a/c to keep them cool in August? Some folks tell me a bout there low power bills but they both work and for t days a week they don't cool their house for 9 hours of sunshine infested Texas summer.

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Old 05-16-2019, 01:30 PM   #31
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Solar is subsidized from the Gov't. Many companies will not pay you anything. I have a neighbor trying to get rid of the whole system because it is a huge eyesore, and real detriment to resale on a home and our electric company will not pay. When the Gov't quits subsidizing most of these companies will be belly up because there is no real profit w/o help.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:26 PM   #32
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Quote:
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Are any of these solar panel owners people who like their a/c to keep them cool in August? Some folks tell me a bout there low power bills but they both work and for t days a week they don't cool their house for 9 hours of sunshine infested Texas summer.

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My wife works from home full time, and teaches the boys homeschool(superwoman). House is cool unless we are on vacation.


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Old 05-16-2019, 02:38 PM   #33
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going to talk to a company out of Austin Tomorrow, about what it would cost me, and I need to see the phis ability, and speak to my FEC Co-Op about buy back
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