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Thread: Going solar?

  1. #101
    Mr. G Q Onyx Z32's Avatar
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  2. #102
    Meh, there are nicer buildings, architecurally, but that is pretty bad ass. I want to visit Dubai someday. Paulo's Avatar
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    That's awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing what the long term results are.

  3. #103
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post


    We have officially made our first kW of power! Unfortunately we probably gave half of it to the neighbors and paid National Grid as if we used the power we gave them. Not much was on at the house and anything we feed back into the grid right now we get billed for because the current National Grid meter can only sense rate of flow, not direction of flow. So the system is off now and was only up for the self tests but our 9Kw system was still making between 5-7Kw on this very overcast day. Tomorrow the inspector comes then a few days after that the meter will get swapped and we can go live!
    Congrats Man! My system has been in your state for 3 weeks now. We had it installed, then the inspector came out. Now, I'm waiting for a Final Acceptance from National Grid, which then gives them another 10 days to come swap out my meter to a Bi-Directional!

    I am kind of bummed. These last few steps are taking FOREVER!

    It's been weeks now since I had that first kW. My meter in the basement with the system off now says 7 kW, it's been so long! It's been slowly getting power at 1W at a time per panel... ha

    Soon though, you and I will be able to share data and crap I just want to flip that switch in the basement SO BADLY!

  4. #104
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    I complained too soon! I got to flip my switch tonight!! Right after I posted my frustrations, National Grid showed up unannounced with my bidirectional NET Meter in hand. Final Acceptance, completed. It took five minutes for him to swap my meter and it was done.

    Solar Liberty linked my account with SolarEdge and I'm off and running!!

    The joy I had flipping the switch... even though it's pretty much dark right now

    8.96 kW ... hopefully it's sunny tomorrow!
    Last edited by Clean Baldy; 07-13-2017 at 08:45 PM.

  5. #105
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Nice! Did you have some inspection issue with your meter?

  6. #106
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    Nice! Did you have some inspection issue with your meter?
    Yep. I needed an electrician team out with National Grid for a full road disconnect to re-attach the meter box to the wall of my house. It was falling off when I bought the house, so that was an extra step in the process. It was planned, but just took some coordination to get an electrician team out when Natainal Grid could do the disconnect/reconnect. That only took an extra week off of the timeline. So, from panels on the roof to turning it on today, 21 days. 3 weeks exactly.

    Hopefully you're looking at way less and things just happen! Would be awesome if you get up and running within a few days! (Crosses fingers for ya)
    Last edited by Clean Baldy; 07-14-2017 at 12:09 AM.

  7. #107
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Yeah, my project manager said we should definitely be live by the end of next week.

  8. #108

    World Wide Waterjet


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    Why did you "go solar"?

    Great way to invest money? Save the planet? Fun hobby? Fuck the man?

  9. #109
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Devil View Post
    Why did you "go solar"?

    Great way to invest money? Save the planet? Fun hobby? Fuck the man?
    I like money. It's a hedge into the future that will have no direct costs to me up front. Win win. I use 12,000 Wh of energy in a year. I was able to fit 8,960 kW of solar on my roof. If it over produces, which it should, my electric bill will be $18 for the fee of just having grid connection, along with any leftover my solar didn't capture/cover.

    Doing the math, with the cost of the system vs. what I pay in electric bills, I am going to be paying less for the solar loan payment than I would for my electric. Heck, I won't have to start paying for the loan for 365 days. Talk about a good start...

    Right now, with immediate discounts in NY, then also Amherst having a discount, along with NY and FED tax credits, Ill have it paid off in four years and it'll be free electricity. It'll cost me less per month up until then.

    so, instead of just paying for grid power, I invested in a four year return on my money. It'll also raise the value of my house.

    As a bonus, I now get to tell people that my car is solar powered...
    Its also pretty cool. I like technology, too... and I guess the environment is pretty cool...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Devil View Post
    Why did you "go solar"?

    Great way to invest money? Save the planet? Fun hobby? Fuck the man?
    If you're curious, I have a solar solar design tool. If you'd like me to tell you the feasibility of your house for solar, I'd be glad to give you a quick idea...

    PM me your address and the last twelve months of electricity kWh you used. That'll help determine the system size you'll need. If you have National Grid, there's a USAGE option on the website that has a yearly graph that you can export.

    ill also use it to check your roof space, to see what panel will fit...

  10. #110

    World Wide Waterjet


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    Maybe I should try the numbers again, like I said in post #22 it made no sense to go with NRG. The other thing is, do you really believe you can go that long with ZERO repair costs? That can greatly effect your ROI.
    I really like the idea of solar but not for the ROI especially in WNY snow, etc. I live in Aurora but almost in Colden, the snow is more consistent down here.
    Last edited by Blue Eyed Devil; 07-14-2017 at 12:05 PM.

  11. #111
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Devil View Post
    Maybe I should try the numbers again, like I said in post #22 it made no sense to go with NRG. The other thing is, do you really believe you can go that long with ZERO repair costs? That can greatly effect your ROI.
    I really like the idea of solar but not for the ROI especially in WNY snow, etc. I live in Aurora but almost in Colden, the snow is more consistent down here.
    I went with LG panels for the warranty. SolarEdge, too. I had a choice of gong with a similar wattage panel for cheaper, but couldn't justify the risk. A panel company called Seraphim. I could have paid $2.60/W installed, but went with LG at $2.75/W.

    As for snow, the calculator I use takes into account sunlight and weather based on ZIP code, including snow. Since net metering works on credits, summer is when you build them up and then winter is when you use them. That's also why proper sizing based on historical usage is very important for our area.

    Still around if you'd like me to give you a second set of numbers. Just let me know...
    Last edited by Clean Baldy; 07-14-2017 at 12:43 PM.

  12. #112
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Devil View Post
    Why did you "go solar"?

    Great way to invest money? Save the planet? Fun hobby? Fuck the man?
    100% for the investment. My wife and I are both professionals in our 40's, one kid, good health, so we get killed on taxes every year. We'll be able to claim the full state and federal tax credits in one year. $22k system, cost to me is $7200 after all the tax credits, discounts and incentives. Took their 1 year zero interest loan and since we just paid off our home equity loan I'll take the payment I was making there combined with my old average electric bill and toss in an extra $100 a month and I'll pay for the solar in a year making it 100% interest free.

    All hardware/labor is covered for 5 years, parts for 12, and solar production to 85% of day one production for 25. The panels and controllers are plug/play and my neighbor/project manager says we could swap one ourselves in about 10 minutes. So basically very little chance of major costs over the 25 years. My average electric bill is about $115 when you account for my higher bills in summer because of AC or $1380/yr. New bill will be $17, the meter minimum with National Grid or $204/yr. $1176/yr savings. Even assuming ZERO inflation on electric rates I break even at 6.1 years and at the end of 25 years, again assuming 0% rate inflation I'm still up over $22k. Electric rates WILL NOT be 0% inflation and the Solar Liberty estimate puts my break even just over 5 years with a 25 year RIO of almost $50k. If some hippies get voted in and start passing a bunch of carbon tax nonsense the returns will look even better.

  13. #113

    World Wide Waterjet


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    So you guys own your systems or are they leases?

  14. #114
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Own

  15. #115

    World Wide Waterjet


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    Nice!

    It is too bad that NRG left such a bad taste in my mouth about solar. The payback was a joke. I will not waste my money on any investment that gives me less than 10% return.

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    the solar on my house has produced 8.35MWh on a 4.6K system on my garage roof. It is massively oversize for my house but at least no matter what I do in my house my bill is always the same. If I had a way to secure a line of credit I would have continued installing solar because I enjoyed doing it. The labor is the easiest part. I just didn't have a investor to front the money for jobs. I also used the solar as a excuse to replace my roof which also applies as part of the tax incentives which is something a lot of people don't know. I will be adding more onto my house because I need a new roof on my house next. I will also be converting my hot water to electric, and adding a electric heater in my garage to help use the surplus of electric.

    I have 16 HIS-S280RG, and I am using Enphase M250 inverters. They have been in service since First Report Date: 01/12/2016 06:34 AM PST I have had no issues to date.


    my setup is overproducing its estimated production by quite a bit. Which is fine by me because i think the panel was under rated which works out with the estimated annual degradation.


  17. #117
    Custom Title Clean Baldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somedude View Post
    the solar on my house has produced 8.35MWh on a 4.6K system on my garage roof. It is massively oversize for my house but at least no matter what I do in my house my bill is always the same. If I had a way to secure a line of credit I would have continued installing solar because I enjoyed doing it. The labor is the easiest part. I just didn't have a investor to front the money for jobs. I also used the solar as a excuse to replace my roof which also applies as part of the tax incentives which is something a lot of people don't know. I will be adding more onto my house because I need a new roof on my house next. I will also be converting my hot water to electric, and adding a electric heater in my garage to help use the surplus of electric. I have 16 HIS-S280RG, and I am using Enphase M250 inverters. They have been in service since First Report Date: 01/12/2016 06:34 AM PST I have had no issues to date. my setup is overproducing its estimated production by quite a bit. Which is fine by me because i think the panel was under rated which works out with the estimated annual degradation.
    Sadly, roofs DO NOT count towards the tax credit. Normal asphalt shingle replacement isn't a part of it.

    Roof replacement could potentially be sold to you by the solar installation company, if the solar installer themselves replace the portion of roof during the project and you're billed together, to essentially hide the roof cost in the solar panel cost. (eg. Instead of $2.75/W installed, the IRS would see $7.50/W, because they rolled your roof in).

    I had a solar company trying to convince me to utilize their roofer as well, then they'd just roll all of the costs in together. Reaching out to my CPA excited as all can be, he laughed and told me that there are some shady solar installers that are doing this. It's NOT legal and the IRS will care if they find out.

    So, it's only possible because of sneaky paperwork. At the end of the day, you simply replaced roof shingles, which are never a part of a tax credit for anyone.

    If you did your roof a month before your solar panels and paid for it separate, you will definitely not even want to try. The IRS doesn't care if you replaced your whole roof, which is needed in the first place, to put solar panels on. They're two different products.

    SO, lessons learned?
    1. You can put the roof on your IRS paperwork, but if you are audited, they will ask for the money back with interest and penalty. If you'd like to try, you'd also only want to try with the portion of roof that have your solar panels. A $15,000 full roof replacement, with just $3000 of it holding solar panels would NEVER be allowable, even if it was allowable to begin with.
    2. If your solar company rolled the roof into the total cost and on paper it looks like you overpaid for your solar system, then you can also try, but you wouldn't want to. Will they catch you? Maybe.
    3. The IRS probably knows how much solar panels cost nowadays. If your neighbors are getting panels for $3.00/W and yours comes in a $8.50/W, they may start to wonder why... and you don't want the IRS asking $15,000 questions. SO, final answer. Don't roll your roof into your tax credit. You'd be asking for trouble.

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxe...-new-roof.aspx

    That bankrate article explains it pretty well in the first two paragraphs. Only a special roof could get part of the credit, but only the costs which would be above and beyond a normal roof replacement. So, if you went asphalt to asphalt and there's nothing special about the roof, you can't even think of writing it off. If you went from asphalt to a metal roof with reflective coating, you can write off the difference in cost to go with your solar system. ONLY the portion of roof that would be under solar panels, too.

    There is A LOT of misinformation on Google as well. Some companies boast about including your new roof. Some show the language of the rule, which people try to skew... "Very vague".

    http://nwphillysolarcoop.com/roofs-a...al-tax-credit/

    If you have a structural issue and the solar company recommends to fix your roof to allow panels to be installed, they may be allowable. If you just replaced an aging roof just because you wanted the panels on a newer shingle, that's probably not allowed.
    http://nwphillysolarcoop.com/roofs-a...al-tax-credit/
    Last edited by Clean Baldy; 07-15-2017 at 10:43 PM.

  18. #118
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Good info. I never looked into this because we did our roof about 5 years ago.

  19. #119

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    somedude,

    What type of money would it require for investing? $50,000? $100,000? $200,000?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Roofing FYI: I put 50 year shingles on my house and I was shocked at how much more heavy duty they are than 30 year. They are way thicker, heavier and cannot be cut with a knife because of the fibers etc. in the construction. Maybe something to consider if you are going solar because who wants to have to replace them after 20 years. (30 year shingles only really last 20 years)
    Last edited by Blue Eyed Devil; 07-16-2017 at 08:53 AM.

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    you guys all plan on living in the same house for 20, 30, or 50 years?

    Every 7-10 years I'm ready for an upgrade to a new and nicer house, in a nicer area but thats just me.

  21. #121

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    I built my "dream home"... sort of.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If I move again it will be out of NY, that is for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Devil View Post
    somedude,

    What type of money would it require for investing? $50,000? $100,000? $200,000?
    100k line of credit. The state is so slow to process paperwork or was a year and a half ago the fastest turnaround i could have on project funding is 2 months. Even if i only did 1 job per week that ties up a tremendous amount of money

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Clean Baldy View Post
    Sadly, roofs DO NOT count towards the tax credit. Normal asphalt shingle replacement isn't a part of it.

    ......
    Structure upgrades required to install a reliable solar install will be included into your cost of solar, and will be eledgible for state and fed tax credit. You are correct in saying that i cannot replace my entire house roof amd bill that. The roof that would be eledgible would only be the portion required for solar. It would be a very bad idea to install a system ontop of a roof in poor condition. New York (NYSERDA) is working extremely hard to make sure the solar industry does not get a bad rep because they are pushing solar really hard right now


  23. #123
    GIMME DA COOKIES JayS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinH View Post
    you guys all plan on living in the same house for 20, 30, or 50 years?

    Every 7-10 years I'm ready for an upgrade to a new and nicer house, in a nicer area but thats just me.
    We have no plans to move, but we didn't buy a starter home either. We rented a house for a year and that really helped us figure out what we wanted when it came time to buy. I can picture moving out more in the country when I retire but that's a long ways off. Instead of buying a "nicer" house we're just making this one nicer. Home theater downstairs, next will be remodeling the upstairs with a new kitchen and open concept.
    Last edited by JayS; 07-17-2017 at 10:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinH View Post
    you guys all plan on living in the same house for 20, 30, or 50 years?

    Every 7-10 years I'm ready for an upgrade to a new and nicer house, in a nicer area but thats just me.
    I financed my solar through the on bill recovery program. My bill is 67 per month including utility fees. And will be for quite a few years. I was able to use all of my tax credits up in the first 2 years. So i replaced the aging roof on my garage, installed solar, fixed my electric bill rate for a ling time, and got around 6 grand back in taxes in the first 2 years. Now in a couple years when i sell my house the next owners will be paying on that loan since it follows the property not me (if properly negotiated into the sale of the house).

    Cliffs, so in short i got paid more to install solar then what i will ever end up paying in the time i live here. Everybody flipping homes should be doing this.


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    Quote Originally Posted by somedude View Post
    Structure upgrades required to install a reliable solar install will be included into your cost of solar, and will be eledgible for state and fed tax credit. You are correct in saying that i cannot replace my entire house roof amd bill that. The roof that would be eledgible would only be the portion required for solar. It would be a very bad idea to install a system ontop of a roof in poor condition. New York (NYSERDA) is working extremely hard to make sure the solar industry does not get a bad rep because they are pushing solar really hard right now
    Albiet a bad idea to install a solar system on top of worn shingles, it is not a requirement. That is considered normal wear and tear and the IRS sees it as a personal choice to get solar panels. You'd be expected to cover the maintenance of your shingles and that's why you can't write it off.

    HOWEVER, you mentioned Structural upgrades. If during the solar panel installation process, the structural engineer required that you update the actual roof structure because it couldn't sustain the extra load, then you're getting into "allowable" territory.

    So, again, you cannot write off the shingle replacement. The IRS doesn't care about a maintenance item and it isn't a solar producing product covered under the 30% tax credit, as it's just a normal item that's on every other home already...

    Following? Sorry if you were planning to write it off on next years taxes...

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