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Old 09-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #16
Tinkerbellie16
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Originally Posted by DisneyAndRedSox View Post
We recently went solar and just got our first $0 electric bill!

Our neighborhood has totally gone solar. Our house is perfectly facing north (panels hidden on the back), land used to be a meadow so no obstructions and our site survey came in at 98%, I think you need to be 85% to qualify or rebates and incentives.

We paid upfront for the lease, but we get to keep the SREC's (solar renewable energy certificates) so this will be a revenue stream for us. Break-even is about 4 years or us. We are also generating more power than we need, so we are selling some power to a neighbor through a meter sharing program.

Mass also has a law that the town can not include panels when determining the value of a home, they can do this if the house is sold with a new owner.
I am not sure about Colorado but I never thought about whether solar would increase the value of the home. I'm going to check on that, thanks for posting about that!
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:01 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ilovemk76 View Post
Sola panels lose efficiency and each year generate less electricity. The OPs panel generate 120% brand new but will generate way less in 10 years. The company only has the deal for 20 years because they know how inefficient they will be by then.

We have researched it and until the panels have a better life we will not install them.
Good point as well. That is why it is important to choose the right solar panel - some are more efficient than others. Our panels will give about 120% for the first 7 or so years and then they will decline. By 20 years, they estimate that they will generate 80%. The first solar panels from the 1950s are still generating power! But yes, at the end of 20 years, the output declines and the technology improves and that is why they usually just give you the system.

But even a 'worse case' scenario will give us huge savings over the course of 20 years. And best case scenario is that we have even bigger savings.

It's also important to keep in mind that a good company will give you all the details, including the 'anticipated' output and savings for the next 20 years. And a good company has certain guarantees.

I am so happy about our decision though that I had to share with my fellow DISers on the budget board
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #18
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I realized solar isn't a good option for us because it would take much longer than the panels will even last to recoup our costs or break even. There are also a lot of local regulations on the use of the panels
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