New roof!

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
Had the old one torn off and an unused chimney dropped. I would have liked to put metal up, but the rest of the neighborhood is either slate or asphalt. We went with Owens Corning Duration Sierra Grey.

https://www.owenscorning.com/roofing/shingles/trudefinition-duration/?color=sierra-gray

The wife thinks it's a bit light in color, but the upstairs is much cooler. She'll come around. Best part was the price, $4800. I was expecting double.

Now to get cellulose blown in where the chimney was and then look into siding.

With the chimney down my 9/12 roof faces directly south and is unobstructed. That may set me up for solar if the calculations ever work out favorably.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,237
South Puget Sound, WA
That's a great price for a roof job. I was wondering about their Energy Star rating. Good deal if it keeps upstairs cooler.

What solar quotes have you gotten?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
I haven't had any quotes yet. Before I poke holes in the new roof I want to reside the house and tear out the ceiling of my upstairs to foam it. I wish I knew about foam (at least half the knowledge I have on it now) back when I finished off up there. Conservation has always made more sense to me than trying to chase power production. Not that personal power production is bad.

I have to admit I'd be more interested in solar if I could drop the electrical grid entirely. Batteries should be improving soon. My pitch is 36°, my latitude is 42° so I'm not too far off ideal.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
The next lighter roof shade had an energy star rating. Shasta white. I felt I'd be pushing marital bliss with that choice though.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,237
South Puget Sound, WA
New York state has good solar incentives. Might be worth pricing out before the new tariffs kick in.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
The tough part of that is system size. I don't use much electricity. My bill came in last month at 170kwh. Most months I'm below 250kwh. I checked my cost with the fees added in and it's .22/kWh. That hurts, but that's mostly due to a base charge not getting spread out over lots of usage. The electric half of my bill totaled $38.77.

How much could solar save me? It's not too hard to imagine a hundred dollar/month finance payment that would save me $40/month. I'd love to kick the utility to the curb, but we're not there yet.
 

Where2

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2013
354
South Florida
The tough part of that is system size. I don't use much electricity. My bill came in last month at 170kwh. Most months I'm below 250kwh. I checked my cost with the fees added in and it's .22/kWh. That hurts, but that's mostly due to a base charge not getting spread out over lots of usage. The electric half of my bill totaled $38.77.

How much could solar save me?
Give us your base charge $. PV Watts suggested your straight costs on electricity is around $0.12/kWh. However, I don't know if that includes all the transmission fees and other tack on costs??

A 4kW system, in Schenectady, NY at 36° tilt, and presumably 180° (south) facing, using a 15% derating (85% system efficiency) produces the following numbers in PV Watts:
January=323kWh
February=414kWh
March=483kWh
April=477kWh
May=508kWh
June=504kWh
July=526kWh
August=519kWh
September=488kWh
October=366kWh
November=308kWh
December=260kWh
Annual Total = 5,136kWh

If your electricity no longer cost you what it currently costs, If electricity only cost you the base charge, no matter how much you needed, what would you change about your home? Would you consider adding a mini-split for heating in shoulder seasons, and cooling in the summer?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
My list of delivery charges for 170kwh of usage:

Basic service: 17.00
Next 7 are based on usage:
Delivery 9.48
SBC .86
Legacy transition charge .31
RDM (negative charge) -.41
Transmission rev adj .07
Tariff surcharge .56
Sales tax 1.11

Total 28.98


The supply charges for my 170kwh are:
Electricity supply 6.05
Merchant function .35
Esrm 3.01
Sales tax .38

Total 9.79


September 18 was my highest energy usage last year at 289kwh.

If electricity wasn't going to cost anything I would probably convert my clothes dryer and stove to electric from natural gas. Well, maybe not the stove as my wife needs high btu for cooking. Electric elements dont cut it. A minisplit wouldn't get much consideration. I don't have much cooling needs. My house is cooled by a combined 11k btus of window units downstairs, and I think it's 15k upstairs. Heating is similarly small. My modcon boiler produces between 13 and 45k btu at 194 degrees. I tuned the boiler and the max temp is 155F I think. My house is normal sized for my area, but I've tweaked things here and there to make it efficient.

Right now I am on the budget plan with my utility. They charge me $109/mo. That's full heating cost. Since I switched to NG I don't burn wood at the house anymore. The chimney taken down was the woodstove chimney. I need to move the stove to where the old boiler was and line the interior chimney. I want the stove to stay as backup. Lovely ice storms and such...
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
579
Central Ohio
The tough part of that is system size. I don't use much electricity. My bill came in last month at 170kwh. Most months I'm below 250kwh. I checked my cost with the fees added in and it's .22/kWh. That hurts, but that's mostly due to a base charge not getting spread out over lots of usage. The electric half of my bill totaled $38.77.

How much could solar save me? It's not too hard to imagine a hundred dollar/month finance payment that would save me $40/month. I'd love to kick the utility to the curb, but we're not there yet.
Our electric usage is about double of what yours is. I've done the numbers a couple times and the numbers just don't add up to justify the cost of solar. I'd love to do solar so I can become more self sufficient. If my wife and I bought an electric car then maybe it would make sense. I'd have to run the numbers though.

Instead, I opted to "lease" 5 solar panels from the electric company for 5 years at a fixed per KWh rate. You can now "lease" up to 10 panels. I need to call them and see if that will renew my current 5 year contract or will it start again. I see the solar panels as a hedge against rising electric costs too.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
Electric supply corp. are fast becoming worse than car stealerships, latest being charging you a fee every month based on what you might have used without the solar.
 
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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,152
SE PA
Clearly, Matt, you just need to buy an EV. You have already made your house really efficient and use NG that is presumably pretty cheap.

If you can move 10,000 miles per year to electric, that will be about 3,000 kWh right there (assuming a cold climate and spirited driving). Plus your current electric usage, a 4-5 kW system would just cover it. How about cutting your electric in half AND saving 500 gallons of gasoline cost per year?

I got my powderpuff used Volt for $16k. If I had a car commute <40 miles per day I could rack up electric miles.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
I looked at the Volt range too short electric wise need 95/day min.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
Lol, the wife could probably do electric. I'd have a tough time convincing her to get rid of her car. She's only had it since 2015. She kept her last car, her first, from 95 to 2015.

Then again she is the only person who refuses to charge her cell phone until her battery completely dies. She worries about battery longevity. Its stressful enough dealing with a cell phone that runs out of battery every other day on her drive home. If I had to deal with the same habit with a car battery it might send me over the edge. I might have to veto her getting an electric car, lol.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
I drive a company truck about 200 miles a day, often towing.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
was a time when i was doing close to 100k a year- service work , fuel was under $.40/gal.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,152
SE PA
How many miles does the Mrs do in a day or a year Matt? Volts are cheap, are fun to drive (and sporty compared to many cars), and the gas backup removes any worries (300 miles on an 8 gallon tank). She might like the low noise, low jolt driving, my wife was hooked after a test drive.

My '15 volt gets 40 mpg city and highway driving like a maniac, and 40 miles all electric range. I am doing a lot of gas (long roadtrips) and I think I will still get 25,000 miles between oil changes.

The only downside for a family car...4 seats.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
She doesn't drive far in the normal week, maybe 40 miles a day or so. Weekends vary. 4 seats would be an issue. She likes to pack and pack. This weekend we took the truck to the lake. She heard we were going in the F250, literal words from her: "Oh, so we cant pack much." No Idea what she was thinking as I could probably put her CRV in the bed of the truck.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
I think there's a much better chance she'd do ok with a hybrid.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,920
Downeast Maine
Do you think it would be better to make the roof absorb more heat in the winter or reflect more heat in the summer? To my knowledge you can't do both, yet.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,710
Northern NH
IMHO roofs in cold climates tend to have snow on them (if the attics are properly ventilated). Far better to optimize roof for summer heat since there is no snow. Roofs usually die due to hot temps and UV,, far better off going with something reflective for summer than heat absorbing in winter.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
I think it's better to shed heat in the summer.


Sun hitting dark shingles will obviously heat them up, and possibly start an ice dam down below. Keeping that snow up there, without overloading the roof, provides a good bit of insulation.
 
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ben94122

Member
Sep 4, 2017
69
California
Regarding electric ranges not having enough BTU output: we recently moved from a house with a propane range to one with an induction electric range, and I love induction. Boiling a big pot of water (the same pot, same starting temp, same fill volume) is 3x faster on the induction range: 12 min vs 33 min on propane. I love the induction not just for higher high but for more control and repeatability: no more looking under the pot to guestimate how hot I'm cooking: frying eggs? Preheat the pan on 6 then cook on 7. I've never had natural gas, but I'd assume it is similar to propane...
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,333
WI, Leroy
ng more omphf than propane
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,710
Northern NH
Other way around propane has higher BTU content than NG, roughly double. Propane stores as a liquid so the maximum fuel flow is dependent on the vaporization capacity of the tank which is related to temp. In cold weather it can make a difference especially with small tank and a big burner. The adiabatic flame temps are just about equal. Natural Gas is generally a gas (it freezes at - 296 Degree F and therefore no vaporization is needed so as long as there is enough capacity in the line, it will flow unless it has hydrates in it.

One of my projects had a "synthetic natural gas" generator. Its basically takes propane and dilutes it with air to make natural gas. The facility normally runs compressed natural gas delivered in trucks but if there is problem, they have a large on site propane tank with a propane fired vaporizer on the liquid side so they can make synthetic natural gas as long as they have propane.