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volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/16/19 8:41 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

When I was looking at new cars last fall, I had a lot of people tell me that my numbers were "unreasonable".  I had more than a few naysayers tell me there was "no way" I'd get the car I wanted at the price I was willing to pay.  

And then, I did.

The same thing happened tonight.  Company B showed up, and this sales rep knew his E36 M3.  We talked numbers, both engineering and financial, for an hour.  As it stood, the deal looked like a winner- the system cost was in my ballpark, financing terms were very favorable.  Equipment was better than the other quote.  Company has very favorable ratings.  I had to run back and deal with the kiddos, but I told him to send me the paperwork and I'd look it over tonight.  

Which I just did.  And signed it.  In 4 months, we'll be an energy generator.  yes

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/16/19 8:45 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Excellent!  I love being proved wrong!!

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/16/19 9:18 p.m.

I just talked with a customer tonight (mortgages) and he can't sell his home due to the lien placed on the property and the company won't come remove the solar nor allow him to pay off the lien until 5 years has elapsed due to money they receive from the government.  He is 3 years into the lien.

Not only that once they remove it they won't repair the damage to his roof.  He's losing his new much higher paying job and now hates his home.  I've got him filing a complaint with the Attorney General but that won't get him out.

Attorneys want more than the buy out cost, if they'd allow him to buy it out.  So even if he won he'd have the time and effort plus attornies costs plus solar costs.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 6:31 a.m.

In reply to carguy123 :

Wow, that sounds like a complicated mess.  I checked and the loan I'm taking out has no prepayment penalty.  From everything I've read, solar panels actually increase the value of the home, so not sure why he'd want them off.  I'm sure there's some details I'm missing, though.  Hope you all can figure it out.  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/19 6:45 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

So teach me a few things...

What makes your system much less than others?  Is your house very small?  Low electric loads?  Big incentives?  Friend in the business?

In other words, how do the rest of us plebeians get a price like that?

I feel like there is something I’m missing here. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 7:40 a.m.

I think a big part of the price difference between the two companies was who does the work.  Sunrun, as it turns out, contracts through other companies to perform the installation. The company I spoke with last night (Solar Energy World) does all their work, so there's less overhead.  They're also a local company, which I think helps.  

The design of the system was a factor, too.  The first design had panels on both sides of the roof- the north side and the south side.  He told me that was because they had a minimum system size.  However, the second guy ran his calculations and showed me he could hit 86% of the same output by putting panels on just the south-facing roof.  So, yes, the system will be smaller in terms of # of panels, but they're putting them where they will actually make sense, instead of blanketing both sides of the roof with them- and getting very little power from the north side, especially in the winter.  

They use a more intelligent inverter system too, which optimizes energy production on a per panel basis (not micro-inverters, but a setup that allows the large inverter to work in a similar way).  

The panels themselves are slightly more efficient, and also meet the criteria for U.S. made content, which actually makes them cheaper due to the import tax structure for "green" energy components.  

Combine it all up, and my out of pocket cost for the system will end up being less than $2 per watt, after federal and state incentives, and even less due to these "Solar Credits"- basically, an extra credit on the bill (on top of the net metering) for "green" energy production.  The SEW rep explained what I had heard about Net Metering sunsetting too- basically it's the limitations of the grid to absorb surplus solar energy, and how it varies region by region within the state.  Since we're in a rural area with few solar installations, there's no risk of that happening here soon, and if it does, it only prevents additional customers from coming on, until new transformers are added.  

On top of all_that_, SEW was able to get me a full point cheaper on the financing, which saved on the monthly payment as well as the interest costs over the life of the loan.  Basically, the monthly payment will be approximately what I had been paying BG&E for electricity.  When the loan's over in 12 years, I own the equipment, and all the power it generates.  

 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
1/17/19 7:43 a.m.

That's awesome.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 7:46 a.m.

As an added feature, the inverter will constantly update with power production figures, so I can log in and see exactly what the system is doing.  It'll even break it down into per-panel production, so I can really geek out on data.  wink

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
1/17/19 8:04 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to SVreX :

When I was looking at new cars last fall, I had a lot of people tell me that my numbers were "unreasonable".  I had more than a few naysayers tell me there was "no way" I'd get the car I wanted at the price I was willing to pay.  

And then, I did.

The same thing happened tonight.  Company B showed up, and this sales rep knew his E36 M3.  We talked numbers, both engineering and financial, for an hour.  As it stood, the deal looked like a winner- the system cost was in my ballpark, financing terms were very favorable.  Equipment was better than the other quote.  Company has very favorable ratings.  I had to run back and deal with the kiddos, but I told him to send me the paperwork and I'd look it over tonight.  

Which I just did.  And signed it.  In 4 months, we'll be an energy generator.  yes

As a salesman you are what we would call a pipe smoker.  That is you listen carefully , research, carefully consider your options and then sign.  

I really enjoyed working with people like you.  Yes I had to know my stuff and have the backing to make repeat calls to answer complex questions or provide additional data. 

The reward would be just what you are doing now.  Acting as a information resource to those unable due to time, temperament, or lack of ability. To do what you have just done.  With industrial sales it’s common to get referrals from people like you who have been satisfactorily treated. In return I’d keep you appraised on updates, upgrades and information on the subject and figure out ways to get you a little bird dog. ( sales slang for a modest stipend or reward) 

Selling that way means no high pressure, no lying, cheating or other soul crushing pressures. And a decent income.  

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 8:07 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Funny.  I've often considered smoking a pipe.  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/19 8:14 a.m.

Great info. Thanks. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/17/19 8:31 a.m.

That makes me want to look around for a local company to do the same. The large vaulted ceiling in the house is near 45° angle and faces directly South. 

That would certainly make some good power in South/Central Oklahoma. But I don't plan on living in the current place for another decade. *sigh*

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
1/17/19 8:48 a.m.

Mr money mustache did an article semi recently on diy solar rooftop systems. I'd be interested in doing it myself.

But if I could basically just pay for my regular power bill for 12 years and have no other time costs, that is really attractive.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 8:48 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/affordable-solar/how-solar-panels-increase-your-homes-resale-value/

 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 8:51 a.m.
Robbie said:

Mr money mustache did an article semi recently on diy solar rooftop systems. I'd be interested in doing it myself.

But if I could basically just pay for my regular power bill for 12 years and have no other time costs, that is really attractive.

I like MMM, but he has 1 kid and his full time job seems to be saving money, and then writing about it.  For the rest of us, our time has a monetary value.  I also place a monetary value on not falling off the damn roof and having a 40 pound panel landing on my head.  

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane Dork
1/17/19 8:56 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:...  Basically, the monthly payment will be approximately what I had been paying BG&E for electricity.  When the loan's over in 12 years, I own the equipment, and all the power it generates.

Exactly the situation I'm in.   Congrats!  Good find :)  

Just a note, make sure that the interface they set you up with actually allows you to view individual cells.  The interface is generally handled by the inverter manufactuer (EnPhase in my case).  They set me up with the "basic" (called "My Enlighten View) at first, which was easier to use, but didn't give me panel-level info:

I pointed out to the installer that I couldn't get the data I was expecting, and he got it switched into the "full" system:

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
1/17/19 9:06 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/10/18/why-your-time-is-worth-way-more-than-25-per-hour/

Most people criticize mmm for valuing time too highly. But I think you are right he doesn't have a regular 9-5.

I'm interested in doing it myself simply because I like doing stuff like that myself. Not saying you should be if you don't want to.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 9:26 a.m.

In reply to Robbie :

A do agree, there has to be a balance.  Of course, in this forum post, we're discussing solar in a sort-of vacuum.  Yes, I am taking the lazy way out, absolutely.  I exercise my right hand clicking a few buttons, and boom, solar panels appear on my house.  I like doing stuff myself, and it would be cool to try...

But I also have 3 cords of firewood I need to split.  By hand, as I don't believe in log splitters.

I have 2 kids that I like to take outside and run around, because there's value in physical exertion to them, and they're too young to help me hang solar panels.

Mrs. VCH wants a new chicken coop built, which I'm working on even though it's 30 degrees out.

We have a rental house for which I am the primary maintenance person

There are several car projects simmering on the burner

I plan to build a new garage this year, which I'll do probably half the work on by myself.  

We're still finishing up renovating the guest house/ in-law suite this solar array will be going on.  Apart from the solar panels, I'll be doing all of the remaining reno work.  

So....yeah.  I'm plenty busy.  laugh

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
1/17/19 9:35 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:
Robbie said:

Mr money mustache did an article semi recently on diy solar rooftop systems. I'd be interested in doing it myself.

But if I could basically just pay for my regular power bill for 12 years and have no other time costs, that is really attractive.

I like MMM, but he has 1 kid and his full time job seems to be saving money, and then writing about it.  For the rest of us, our time has a monetary value.  I also place a monetary value on not falling off the damn roof and having a 40 pound panel landing on my head.  

Time has a monetary value?  Do you mean what you are paid for working?  Or all time?  If the latter you mean you figure a round of golf costs you X plus 3 hours of time at Y?  Or TV /movie/bar/ whatever time?  

If so I guess we differ. ( not saying you are wrong but I look at it differently) 

When I’m doing a home project, I not only don’t count my time in a negative way but use it in a positive fashion.  

Let’s assume I’m installing panels. Not only do I know they have been properly installed with no shortcuts taken but if I can upgrade the hardware or wiring etc. it’s done and done properly.  

In addition knowledge is power. I learn everything about the system so repairs in the future should they be needed can be done and I don’t have to trust a stranger to diagnose the problem and not overcharge me.  

As for falling off a roof?  There is safety equipment to prevent just such an occurrence.  One of my roofs is a 27/12 pitch roof ( think church steeple). Then  rent  a man lift and you can safely work 40-50-135 feet above ground with the turn of a key and control of a joystick.  In fact it makes it so safe and so easy I fail to understand why it’s not universally used instead of walking on a roof.  

Fair point, some people are afraid of heights, ( yet fly in airplanes at 500mph 40,000 feet in the air)!!!!! OK, sure, in that case hire others to do that work.  

Just realize that normally hiring others means you are paying 2-3 times their salary, maybe a lot more! 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
1/17/19 10:49 a.m.

I didn't know the price for solar had gotten this reasonable. I don't plan on being in my current home for long enough to really consider it, but I will consider it for my next house.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/19 12:53 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

A safety note...

A boom lift is NOT a safety device. A safety harness and guard rails are.  

Boom lifts are not designed to keep people from falling off roofs.  Boom lifts are designed to lift a worker to a proper working height.  A safety harness is designed to keep people from falling off roofs, and from falling from boom lifts.

Safety harnesses are required by OSHA for work on roofs, AND for working in a boom lift. 

Operating a boom lift without a safety harness is extremely dangerous. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/19 12:57 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Can you please clarify something...

Are you saying your final cost for the system came in at about $11,500?  Is that the total cost, or is that the amount you are out of pocket after incentives and tax deductions?

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
1/17/19 1:11 p.m.
PSVreX said:

In reply to frenchyd :

A safety note...

LUA boom lift is NOT a safety device. A safety harness and guard rails are.  

Boom lifts are not designed to keep people from falling off roofs.  Boom lifts are designed to lift a worker to a proper working height.  A safety harness is designed to keep people from falling off roofs, and from falling from boom lifts.

Safety harnesses are required by OSHA for work on roofs, AND for working in a boom lift. 

Operating a boom lift without a safety harness is extremely dangerous. 

 First they are properly called a man lift, not a boom lift. Boom lift could be confused with Telehandler which has a boom and will lift material. Or I suppose even confused with a crane which may have a boom and is used for lifting.  Now we can discuss articulated or straight booms if you want to split hairs further.  

However You are right, now please come here and I’ll show you how to properly fit a safety harness and Safety line.  Then give you the full safety procedures. Next we should discuss required safety appeal, safety glasses, safety footwear and the required OSHA qualifications. PS In my 22 years in the high lift rental/sales industry we never rented that equipment without asking the required questions.  

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/19 1:12 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I was just responding to what you said. You referred to a man lift as safety equipment. It’s not. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
1/17/19 1:29 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

The price was a little under 14k, which after the 30% federal tax credit and the $1k MD rebate, brought my out of pocket to 8000 and some, for (15) 300W panels (4.5kW total).  Estimated yearly production given conservative solar energy density for this area, azimuth of the roof, and surrounding trees and whatnot came to about 5700 kW.  

It ain't Wonko's 44 panel solar farm (*grin*) but it'll do for us, for now.  Assuming a linear scale, a system of that size would probably run about 42k, before all the incentives.  

Just as a note, it's been mentioned before, the 30% Fed tax credit is decreasing next year and in a few years will be gone altogether.  

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