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Old 06-23-2008, 07:58 AM
 
627 posts, read 1,161,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdz View Post
millie61 - I'm fairly new to Texas, but I THINK that for the most part, energy costs in Texas are fairly cheap compared to many other areas in the country.
It is quite expensive to install solar panels and I'm assuming people don't see the need to go that route YET. CPS does offer rebate incentives for solar energy installation (among other things) on their rebate page.
Yea, I was recently at the new Rackspace facility and got the tour from the guy in charge of the renovation of the old mall. They ran the numbers and it did not make sense for them to do solar at this time. They are doing just about everything else they can from an efficiency/green standpoint though. LEED Certification(which you have to be doing a lot of "green" stuff to get), Recycling what they can, Reflective Roof, Rain Water Collection for landscaping, and floor level AC.

One interesting Recycle item was that Glass panels have been painted white on one side, and then hung on the walls as white boards. (Obviously the paint is on the side against the wall)

When complete they will have the largest LEED Certificed facility in town by a factor of 3 or 4... They are dedicated to revitalization of that part of town, including in the final plan dedicating a significant part of the campus as "Public" space, with a public park. They hate the closed design of most campuses like USAA's.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:30 AM
 
3,736 posts, read 5,424,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdz View Post
millie61 - I'm fairly new to Texas, but I THINK that for the most part, energy costs in Texas are fairly cheap compared to many other areas in the country.
It is quite expensive to install solar panels and I'm assuming people don't see the need to go that route YET. CPS does offer rebate incentives for solar energy installation (among other things) on their rebate page.
That was true for us for the most part.

We seriously looked into going all solar when we started restoring this house, but it was just cost-prohibitive for us at the time,given how many other projects required immediate attention (like new plumbing, new roof, new foundation, new electric....). We actually didn't do a comparison with energy costs, just learned the initial outlay was beyond our means. However, if we planned to be here long term (more than 10 years), we'd do it.

My brother in SoCal has all solar on his house and is thrilled. It wasn't a straight cost-benefit analysis though, but an overall commitment to minimizing energy use
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:28 PM
 
418 posts, read 844,702 times
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Quote:
CPS Energy started a solar rebate program a year ago to promote rooftop arrays. So far, only nine homes and businesses have installed solar panels.
MySA.com: Metro | State (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA062908.01A.Solar.3fee0cb.html - broken link)

I see why we didn't have many answers.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:18 AM
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Location: San Antonio
14,631 posts, read 21,584,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traficdogn View Post
MySA.com: Metro | State (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA062908.01A.Solar.3fee0cb.html - broken link)

I see why we didn't have many answers.
I got the distinct impression from that article that it's nowhere near cost-effective to go solar yet. Too bad, because the notion of not getting an electric bill is intriguing.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
I got the distinct impression from that article that it's nowhere near cost-effective to go solar yet. Too bad, because the notion of not getting an electric bill is intriguing.
The notion of being able to charge an electric car at home with solar is what entices me. I don't want to get an electric car, then have CPS jack up the rates on me. I want to have my own supply.

Using the data in the article, I figure the ROI would be around 1.6% The current treasury yield for a 5 year bond is 3.5%.

For someone with parked cash, it might become economical when electricity prices double, or the cost of installation goes down by half.

I think it will be economical in the next 5 to 10 years.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,778,138 times
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Maybe it'll be subsidized at some point. Kinda like a radiant barrier... I was all over it and then did the math and just to buy the material at Lowes would be pushing $1,000.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:34 PM
 
418 posts, read 844,702 times
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Woops correction from above.
$400 savings a year from a 3kw system that costs $16k would be 2.5% ROI.

I have also been reading that, a 3kw system should cost around $7k in Austin. Austin does get $4.50 per kw rebate as opposed to our $3. At a cost of $7k ROI would be 5.7% Not shabby at all.

The biggest problem would be the HOA. I have read that most HOA's in Texas ban solar.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:30 PM
 
3,736 posts, read 5,424,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traficdogn View Post
The biggest problem would be the HOA. I have read that most HOA's in Texas ban solar.
That just boggles the mind.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Centreville
90 posts, read 208,100 times
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Wow.
If that's the case, that's incredibly disappointing. It's something I was looking forward to doing when we get buying.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:24 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,454 posts, read 1,641,085 times
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Most HOAs ban solar because a) the panels stick up from the roof and are often unsightly and b) when panels break, homeowners are loathe to get them repaired due to the costs associated with solar technology. There are pushes to get panels thinner and flush-mounted, but it's a slow progress. Heck, I read not to long ago about a research company that has begun embedding solar cells into roofing material (shingles) in a more cost-effective manner.

--Dim
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