Originally Posted by iluvmycuties
we were told LIPA does NOT buy back;
Hey all. Just to answer the quote above. Lipa installs a net metering meter which allows your meter to run backwards. When you are generating more than you are using, your overall KW# goes down, which in turn lowers your bill. If your usage is less than 0 at the end of the month, any extra kw's go into an "energy bank", which will be applied to your bill in the future. If you do not use all the credits in your energy bank at the end of the year, LIPA will send you the difference in a refund check. We had a 3060 W system installed in 2006. Our lowest bill (for a family of 3), has been $45.00. Our highest was $120.00 during the july heatwaves with 2 window AC's running all day. Before we installed it our average bill was 200 - 350 and we tend to blast the AC alot more now that we don't have to be scared of the bills. The total cost out of our pocket was about 13,500, and lipa pays the rebate direct to the installer. The total price was 24,500. It also adds value to the house, but in this market .... That doesn't mean much if you can't sell it.
Other costs that you must consder are a new roof, (if your roof is not new, the panels will last 25-30 years or more. Consider the expense of pulling them down and then back up to replace the roof.) Also, you can't install them on a roof with more than 1 layer, so if you have more, you need a new roof. Also, the house should have a direct southern exposure with very little shade. (that may mean tree work expenses) No rebates will cover the roof or the tree work. All this considered, we calculated a 9 year period before we break even and start actually paying less. But here's the best part. With some creative financing which lowered my mortgage interest rate, I only added about 100 bucks to my mortgage. And that covered other home improvements too. So it works out about the same, I just send my money to the mortgage instead of LIPA.
As to expansion capabilities, any package you look at will have an inverter which is just about at capacity. You should talk to your installers before you have it installed. It will cost a bit more for a higher rated inverter, but that will allow for expansion later. The LIPA rebates will not cover the added expense of a bigger inverter. Overall, we are very happy with our system.
Oh, one other thing, expect it to take a year or more to have installed, depending on your local zoning restrictions and permits required. Also, I understand the Solar contractors here are looking at almost 2 years due to incresed demand in recent months, but I could be wrong on that one.
Due to unforseen circumstances, we have decided to move. So our house is currently up for sale. If interested you can see the details on [url=http://www.solarhome4sale.com]For Sale By Owner - Solar Powered Home - Remodeled with Rising Energy Costs in mind[/url]
If you would like further info on solar power you can email me at
[EMAIL="axe6st@ yahoo.com"]axe6st@ yahoo.com[/EMAIL]