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Getting solar panels in a couple months.....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by geek, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    497
    Loc:
    Northcentral Connecticut
    I'd echo the "get solar hot water" over an electric tank. I put solar hot water (for domestic HW needs) in when I built the house 20ish years ago. Never any problems whatsoever with it. I get nearly 100% of my HW during the summer from it and about 40% during the winter. My total oil bill (hot water & oil fired base board heat) is about 1/2 my next door neighbor's who has the same floor plan (my builder sold him my house plans).

    The 19K is a tough nut for the solar electric - I gave some serious thought about doing that myself last year. However, even with electric costing 18 cents/kwh, it's a long time to see if it's going to pay off - and we get enough shade/dark/wet/etc. that I decided not to go that route - invested the $ in my 2nd son's college :)

    BTW, I'd be really skeptical of your solar rep's "it's guaranteed" - nobody can guarantee the amount of sun you'll see this year, the height the trees around you will grow, the price of electric NU is going to charge....do you get all of your money back if he's wrong? If not, it's not really guaranteed - it's just (possibly well informed) hope.

    Jim

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  2. moralleper

    moralleper New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    Kalama, WA
    not sure if this is available to you but in my neck of the woods if you Power company complies then when you net meter you get credit from the Power company for every KW produced, same rate as you pay per KW, but there is also a federal program that pays you for every kw you made that year. You might ask the power company about that.
  3. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    geek:

    I had a 4 kW grid-tied system installed a few months ago, same deal as you. I am probably hitting the solar DHW setup in the next year to replace my Bosch propane on-demand heater. If you do some searching, you can set yourself up with a nice DHW solar system for $3K - $4K and do it yourself, as opposed to paying someone to put one in for $10K.

    Here's a link to my thread on my solar install:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/17314/
  4. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,451
    Loc:
    Central CT
    cool Mike,

    how much was your out of packet expense and how much the company charged for the whole system ?
  5. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
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    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    It's somewhere in the thread...I think it was around $30K. State grant $14K + Fed. tax credit of $2K, so I spent something like $14K after all said and done (+ second mortgage closing cost of $1K plus other miscellaneous BS). My payments on my system are $159/month for 10 years...my electric bill was typically $75/month. I effectively doubled my cost for electric. But, like you, the point wasn't to save money of have a "quick pay-back".

    I am proud of my decision and feel that I "walked the walk" instead of simply b*tching about climate change and coal. Though I still do that, too. Good luck. Hopefully, you can inspire some of your neighbors and friends.
  6. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,451
    Loc:
    Central CT
    well said mike, thanks much for your feedback....
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