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Solar panels..


Tortuga

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There are solar panel sales reps knocking at my door more often than Mormons and JW's combined, the last guy had a pretty good sales pitch but I'm hesitant to bite, mostly out of ignorance, so I'd like to get some feedback from anyone that has experience with solar panels or is familiar with the current status of solar panels in California.

 

I saw there was another thread about two years ago about solar panels at the KH but I'm looking any current information about solar panels, incentives, rebates, cost, contracts, etc.

 

Thanks.

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I too have recently looked at solar. Solar City charges $30-$35K, for a full install without a backup battery storage unit OUCH!    :angry_cursing:  Currently CA has Federal and state incentives.

 

Online, just the panels run $3-$5K depending on efficiency, quality, warranties, size of home, German or Chinese etc.  :cool:


Edited by Precision
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Also too the orientation of the home without southern exposure can be a deal breaker. Maybe the solar company rep. can come out for a free analysis. 

 A friend who maintains the A/C at the hall has done solar installs. Not too complicated if you do most of the work and have your A/C electrician obtain the permits, hookup the electrical and test the system out.   :sunshine:

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Yeah,  $35k is too steep for me,  especially if it takes me years or decades to break even.  Makes more sense to me to do solar on a new build where the cost can be absorbed. 

 

30 years ago my grandmother installed solar heat in her home in Indiana.  Made her home nice and toasty. 

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The guy that I talked to today kept saying the system wouldn't cost anything, obviously that wouldn't be completely true but I think he was saying the finance payments would be less than my current energy bill so essentially I'd be paying less each month and eventually own the equipment. I tried to get an estimate of the total cost of the equipment if I bought it without financing and it sounds like their system is around $15,000. 

 

We just talked at the door for a few minutes and we didn't do any numbers but I checked their website and it says the same thing he did.

https://www.unisunsolarnetwork.com/solar-power-faq/

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They have made that type of door step sales illegal in Ontario. Look at Nanor? Solar manufacturing in California.  They use printing technology to make their panels.  Will have to check spelling and link when back on computer. On my tab 3 running Android 6.x alpha 2.

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There is a Brother in West Congregation that has been working in the industry for years.  I  have been meaning to talk to him about kayaking,  I  can ask him about this too....

 

I also remember there being a news item a few months back, some teacher or scientist said that solar panels posed some kind of health risk. Not sure but I think it in Georgia or Alabama,  somewhere in the southern area. ..will look, see if I can uncover something. ...

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11 hours ago, Tortuga said:

The guy that I talked to today kept saying the system wouldn't cost anything, obviously that wouldn't be completely true but I think he was saying the finance payments would be less than my current energy bill so essentially I'd be paying less each month and eventually own the equipment.

I did more research and it looks like I misunderstood what the salesman was telling me. According their website they are offering a PPA or Power Purchasing Agreement. The PPA means they install and maintain the solar panels for free but they maintain ownership of the panels. The customer agree to switch from their current utility company to the solar company and agrees to buy power from them at a reduced rate for the length of the agreement.  

 

So instead of buying electricity from PG&E at their rates, I'd be buying electricity (produced by the panels on my house) from the solar company at a reduced rate. According to several sites I looked at, the solar company gets the tax incentives and rebates because the solar company own the equipment. Basically the solar company is borrowing my roof to set up a power production unit and they get all of the benefits and profit, the homeowner just gets lower rates and is now contracted with a small utility company instead of a big utility company...

 

The salesman said the homeowner get the tax credit, rebates and energy credits, so either I misunderstood him or their PPA is different from everyone else..

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7 hours ago, tekmantwo said:

I also remember there being a news item a few months back, some teacher or scientist said that solar panels posed some kind of health risk. Not sure but I think it in Georgia or Alabama,  somewhere in the southern area. ..will look, see if I can uncover something. ...

http://jwtalk.net/forums/topic/24498-solar-panels-suck-up-all-solar-energy/?do=findComment&comment=358383

 

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Many of the states have restructured their solar credit program to disallow individuals to receive the credits and incentives, therefore, the only way to receive any benefit from solar is to either go totally off the grid or go through a solar power company who can get the credits.

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We had to use solar panels for years. Had too. Now, we are on the grid, and it is too expensive  to update the system for it to be viable. It would take too many years to get out of the red. So, we are dismantling, hoping to not loose money doing even that! Someone need a pelton wheel? That is going, too. We have become dependent on the grid, and, at times the generator. Thus, the machine. 

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On 5/14/2016 at 11:34 AM, Tortuga said:

The guy that I talked to today kept saying the system wouldn't cost anything, obviously that wouldn't be completely true but I think he was saying the finance payments would be less than my current energy bill so essentially I'd be paying less each month and eventually own the equipment. I tried to get an estimate of the total cost of the equipment if I bought it without financing and it sounds like their system is around $15,000. 

 

We just talked at the door for a few minutes and we didn't do any numbers but I checked their website and it says the same thing he did.

https://www.unisunsolarnetwork.com/solar-power-faq/

Just be careful when calculating numbers etc ... a lot of "selling techniques" are very refined and only after thorough investigation full picture can be seen.

Also is $15.000 a regular price of comparable models where you live  ? or is it well below ? Where is equipment manufactured ?

I know of one property where residents purchased fully automated gate that was priced to sell (comparable models where $6000 more)

Now they are stuck with constantly breaking down gate (It has been faulty at least 2 times already)

Bottom line ? Do you thorough research before committing dear friend. 

Having said that there are some good deals around.

 

Some reviews about Unisolar that will help you to ask right questions http://www.yelp.com.au/biz/unisun-solar-san-diego-2


Edited by Gregexplore
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1 hour ago, Gregexplore said:

Just be careful when calculating numbers etc ... a lot of "selling techniques" are very refined and only after thorough investigation full picture can be seen.

Thanks for the info, I have pretty much decided not to get solar. The cost and break-even point just didn't make sense to me so I was surprised when the salesman told me the system was free. Now that I have gathered more information I see that he was talking about a PPA and since I wasn't familiar with a PPA  I thought he was talking about purchasing the system.

 

If I decide to get solar, I would talk to several companies and compare them. I appreciate the info about the types and quality of the equipment, that's good to keep in mind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Solar panels are becoming more and more efficient, they've made big strides in the past ten years...

 

But $35,000 sounds like a total rip-off.

 

The other potential trap is that you can have problems with the fire brigade if you have a fire. In daylight they have to be wary of all that voltage that's unable to be shut off in your roof.

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27 minutes ago, RaymondG said:

Solar panels are becoming more and more efficient, they've made big strides in the past ten years...

 

But $35,000 sounds like a total rip-off.

 

Absolutely !!!  There are lots of DIY companies out there that will help you run through the process, comparing components, warranties, orientation. off grid, and tie in systems. If you can install the panels, brackets and wiring , you can save a ton of dinero, hiring an experienced electrician to help with local building code compliance and the permit process. 

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