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My brother recently bought a new house in Roseville. Home came with solar power. He shared that his electric bill for his 3400 sf home that has had AC running alot was $34. He was dissappointed because he had one of the highest bills on the block. So I got to thinking and wondering how much it would be for me to install a system on my house. I've heard that if you hire someone to do it, the price is quite high.
Anyone out there buy the components and install it yourself?
 

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I know in AZ some of the power companies will subsidize your install and there are other tax credits and incentives to be had as well. From what I recall, you could save in the ballpark of $20K or so on a $30K system, granted this was a while back and the funding for those programs may have run out, or been diverted into clunker bucks. Well worth looking into.

I'd check out some solar power websites and forums as you're hanging out with a bunch of pollution creating fossil fuel burning heathens who think global warming will just make for longer boating seasons over here. :)sphss :D
 

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Full Of It.
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I may have a big carbon footprint, but I don't like paying expensive electric bills.

I hear the latest and greatest is a solar equipment lease. You pay less than on the lease than you do for your old bill from day one, with no upfront costs at all.

Technolology is only going to get better...
 
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Good for him, he took advantage of someone else's exorbitant and misguided investment. Thats the way to do it.

If you're looking for a ROI, forget it.
If you want to save the environment, eat a beaver :D
 

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Most utilities will charge you more for the electricity that you use if you have solar panels. Install a heat pump, pay more for natural gas. We had a 30 story tower built here and they had a big story about how it is run off of fuel cells. That's great, but they still pay a huge electric bill as if they didn't even have fuel cells. They are charged the amount they would use if they had to reconnect to the grid. The electric company will charge you because they still have to produce the capacity to serve you when it stays cloudy for a few days or you decide that those hideous panels just have to come off of the roof. I doubt the size of home and bill. It is impossible to store electricity efficiently and it's dark half of the day or the sun is rotating away from the panels.

Building more nukes is the only way to go.
 

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My brother recently bought a new house in Roseville. Home came with solar power. He shared that his electric bill for his 3400 sf home that has had AC running alot was $34. He was dissappointed because he had one of the highest bills on the block. So I got to thinking and wondering how much it would be for me to install a system on my house. I've heard that if you hire someone to do it, the price is quite high.
Anyone out there buy the components and install it yourself?
It's easy and you'll save half the cost over contractors.
Last I looked into it ya get the power company to change your meter to a compatible unit, ya hang the panels, and it's a 2 or 3 wire down drop to the panel.

They start getting more pricey if ya add the battery storage units, but then ya get 24 hr power and it really is the way to roll.
Just use quality batteries.
If ya got the lettuce for the premium Trojans, then by all means,,

You can A/C the garage,, the dog house on and on.
I suggest considering elect heat too. A big savings potential.

Start here:
http://build-solar-panels-easy.com/...d=1049948098&gclid=CP2W_aqS5ZwCFRBbagodMyWeFQ
 

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Solar works, but to truely run a normal home most can't afford the install nor have the actual space needed for the number of panels that are required. I've done quite a few off the grid setups. They range in size from 4-5kw and up. A 2500 sq/ft home with ac's will require 8-10kw's minimum. The numbers are higher if you want an off the grid setup. Off the grid setups are usually backed by a genie of some sort. I'm sure there are many do-it-yourselfers on here that could do an install. Even though most homes are single phase lower amp deals, there's still more to it then hooking up three wires. Electricity is very unforgiving in the hands of the inexperienced. I've been around three different journeyman(not my guys) that have been juiced. Its not pretty. One of the best ways and safest to save money is run all the cabling and such, and then let someone qualified actually hook it all up. Some electricians will let work with you in that manner, and some won't.
 

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Now you are getting into some big money: cheap batteries don't last too long and the good ones cost a fortune. Try to find some golf cart batteries if you can and buy the best if you want them to last more than a year or two. Also now you are getting into the world of AGM, lead acid, and other battery types. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Then you have to get a good charger, one that will monitor the charge rate and the battery temps. Plus you need a good inverter to be able to use all that storage capacity at night. It's a lot more complicated than it looks at first, but it can be done. Most saltwater cruisers have battery storage systems and inverters, but they get their power from diesel generators which can recharge a decent sized bank in a few hours, solar is very different: a slow trickle vs a fast charge.
 

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Most utilities will charge you more for the electricity that you use if you have solar panels. Install a heat pump, pay more for natural gas. We had a 30 story tower built here and they had a big story about how it is run off of fuel cells. That's great, but they still pay a huge electric bill as if they didn't even have fuel cells. They are charged the amount they would use if they had to reconnect to the grid. The electric company will charge you because they still have to produce the capacity to serve you when it stays cloudy for a few days or you decide that those hideous panels just have to come off of the roof. I doubt the size of home and bill. It is impossible to store electricity efficiently and it's dark half of the day or the sun is rotating away from the panels.

Building more nukes is the only way to go.
This doesn't sound rite at all. How would the power company magically charge you more if you had panels? The guy comes buy a reads the meter just like before only you use less power which = less money. It not that complicated. Every house should have solor panels in socal.
 

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You guys are talking about a couple of different concepts here, one being entirely off the grid, which is the deal that takes all kinds of solar panels, batteries, storage, etc, versus just a setup to do some peak shaving and cut the power bill down by slowing the meter, or on very low use days, spinning the meter backwards and getting what essentially amounts to a "credit" on your bill for that day. ;)
 
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This doesn't sound rite at all. How would the power company magically charge you more if you had panels? The guy comes buy a reads the meter just like before only you use less power which = less money. It not that complicated. Every house should have solor panels in socal.
It isn't cost effective. Not even close.

And it isn't magic. If you're connected to the utility they have to account for your load. We have clouds on earth and it gets dark at night. Good chance you won't be on solar 24/7, your base and rates will change and not in your favor. The utility would prefer to have you completely off the gird as opposed to sometimes maybe, maybe not.
 

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The utility would prefer to have you completely off the gird as opposed to sometimes maybe, maybe not.
Not sure where you're getting your info, but that's not the case at all. They don't care one way or the other as they only measure current load and peak load capacity and are selling whatever surplus power is available at the time. If you're on the grid, you're paying retail rates for the power, if not, they're selling it elsewhere. As pointed out above, if you can get your meter spinning backwards, the power companies will pay you for the power you generate and will then resell it into markets where there are shortages, in fact, they are mandated by federal law to purchase the power you're producing. Don't worry, they're not losing money one way or the other with solar as it just opens up more opportunities to broker power into markets that pay more for it than you do. ;)

Here's some light reading for you:

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35297.pdf

Here's another one with rebates and incentives:

http://www.dsireusa.org/
 

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The Man
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A guy here at work was talking about this the other day. He has a neighbor that has his whole house hooked up to solar power..and still to the electric companys line. Well somehow he was making too much solar power and somehow it was making his meter roll backwards...showing that they owed him $$ at the end of the month or something...so they made him turn his setup down b/c I think it was backfeeding into their system or something...all that was way over my head so I just nodded and smiled :D
 

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The systems are a bit costly.
I am doing a system to power 3 lights at a bus stop that will provide 360 watts 24 hrs a day if needed.
it Costs $5,600.00 fo the system speced. well then theres the labor if you have some one do it.

It will take years to pay it self back:|err

Just remember it is electricty in the end result so it should be installed by someone who understands it:)bulb
 

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It isn't cost effective. Not even close.

And it isn't magic. If you're connected to the utility they have to account for your load. We have clouds on earth and it gets dark at night. Good chance you won't be on solar 24/7, your base and rates will change and not in your favor. The utility would prefer to have you completely off the gird as opposed to sometimes maybe, maybe not.
Ok that makes more sense, but how would they raise the base rate just because someone had panels? Also if someone was makeing enough power to cover their needs for the whole 24 period the base rate would matter. If I used say 30 kw/hrs a day and made 30 kw/hrs a day then it would matter what they were charging because the power I used at nigh would just be the amount of extra power I made during the day. I know that is a perfect senario but even it it was off either way it still wouldn't cost much. As far as cloudy days go if you made a little bit more power each day to build up a credit then cloudy days would just tap into that.

Another question is how is it not cost effective. The panels are supposed to pay for themselves in roughly 6-7 years and are warrentied for 30. That 23 years of make power for nothing. Sounds pretty cost effective to me.
 

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Not sure where you're getting your info, but that's not the case at all. They don't care one way or the other as they only measure current load and peak load capacity and are selling whatever surplus power is available at the time. If you're on the grid, you're paying retail rates for the power, if not, they're selling it elsewhere. As pointed out above, if you can get your meter spinning backwards, the power companies will pay you for the power you generate and will then resell it into markets where there are shortages, in fact, they are mandated by federal law to purchase the power you're producing. Don't worry, they're not losing money one way or the other with solar as it just opens up more opportunities to broker power into markets that pay more for it than you do. ;)

Here's some light reading for you:

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35297.pdf

Here's another one with rebates and incentives:

http://www.dsireusa.org/
I want to do this too. I'm planning on building a shop/garage and build the roof to maximize sun exposure. The system will back feed the grid until the demand is pulled back from the house from AC and what not. I believe the amp draw from a AC/heat pump is what can't be run off of solar alone.

Should cap and trade pass everyone on the grid will be in deep poop.


From my research the cost effectiveness depends on your location.
 
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Not sure where you're getting your info, but that's not the case at all. They don't care one way or the other as they only measure current load and peak load capacity and are selling whatever surplus power is available at the time. If you're on the grid, you're paying retail rates for the power, if not, they're selling it elsewhere. As pointed out above, if you can get your meter spinning backwards, the power companies will pay you for the power you generate and will then resell it into markets where there are shortages, in fact, they are mandated by federal law to purchase the power you're producing. Don't worry, they're not losing money one way or the other with solar as it just opens up more opportunities to broker power into markets that pay more for it than you do. ;)

Here's some light reading for you:

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35297.pdf

Here's another one with rebates and incentives:

http://www.dsireusa.org/
Thanks for the reading material but I have enough at the moment.

Regardless of what is published, they either want you as a power consumer, a power generator, or not at all. But you seem to have the inside track, so I'll move along :D
 

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Thanks for the reading material but I have enough at the moment.

Regardless of what is published, they either want you as a power consumer, a power generator, or not at all. But you seem to have the inside track, so I'll move along :D

Don't you just hate when facts get in the way of a good debate??? :)sphss

The power companies aren't losing money or even remotely threatened by solar. Once again, very few people who go solar are entirely off the grid... the rest of them are using it for peak shaving (reducing the higher usage) and some do manage to spin the meter backwards on occasion. Other than being off the grid, the utility is still making money. ;)
 
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Ok that makes more sense, but how would they raise the base rate just because someone had panels? Also if someone was makeing enough power to cover their needs for the whole 24 period the base rate would matter. If I used say 30 kw/hrs a day and made 30 kw/hrs a day then it would matter what they were charging because the power I used at nigh would just be the amount of extra power I made during the day. I know that is a perfect senario but even it it was off either way it still wouldn't cost much. As far as cloudy days go if you made a little bit more power each day to build up a credit then cloudy days would just tap into that.

Another question is how is it not cost effective. The panels are supposed to pay for themselves in roughly 6-7 years and are warrentied for 30. That 23 years of make power for nothing. Sounds pretty cost effective to me.
When it's all over and done, its more like 15-20yrs depending on the system and size. Thin film solar is not a perfect science. It takes 100 acres to produce a measly 10MW. By comparison a typical steam plant is North of 500MW on probably less than 10 acres.

If you stay at or under your baseline, you cannot beat the utility. And that is a simple fact.
 
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