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Old 05-02-2021, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
7,033 posts, read 5,945,650 times
Reputation: 15851

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I am interested in getting solar for our home. But when I do an online search to learn more, I become more confused. Own the system? Rent the system? What facts do I need to learn? How can I determine which is a good company to deal with? How do I know I am getting a good deal?
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Lone Mountain
315 posts, read 127,325 times
Reputation: 441
I'm going through that process myself.

There are a few things to consider off the top:
1. Are you going to be in your present house for awhile?
For me, I don't plan moving as this will be my permanent home.
That being said, it answers the next question : lease vs purchase.
2. Lease vs purchase
If you have the money and plan on being in your house at least
8-10 more years, a purchase would probably make more sense than
a lease. There is currently a 26% federal tax credit on the purchase of
a residential solar system. You don't get this if you lease, only if you buy
and install the panels.
3. How to determine if you are getting a good deal
I got price quotes from 3 different companies. They came in all over the
board. I have a fairly large house (5500 SF) with a pool, spa, and the intention of
buying an electric vehicle within the next year. I'm looking at 40,000-42,000
Kilowatts hours of production needed. One quote was $75,000, one was
$63,000, and the last at around $52,000. This was over the phone on a Zoom
call with each and prior to a physical house visit/inspection which might slightly
change those numbers.
4. Which companies are good?
My husband went online and did some research. He looked at reviews, ratings
for the panels that companies used and other information. He wanted to go with
Sol Up and coincidentally, that company came in at the lowest price at $52,000.
I had a follow-up with one of the competitors and they reminded me that Sol Up
uses Panasonic solar panels and that later this year, Panasonic is discontinuing the
production of their solar panels. I'm not sure how that will affect the panel warrantees
so I need to do more follow-up and research before deciding who we will go with.
5. Break-even : buying the panels
I think when I plugged in my numbers, the break-even point after the federal tax
credit was accounted for was somewhere around 9 years. Meaning, after 9 years..
this is the amount of money I would have paid to NV Energy for my power bills and
any power after that point would be "free". Projected life of operational system is
20-25 years.

Again, there are many factors to consider and many rely on your future intentions on how
long you plan to be in your current house, what kind of financial resources you have,
and whether the money you would invest in buying solar panels make sense being put
into your house or could be better invested in a different place.

A solar lease might make it more difficult to sell your house depending on the lease terms and
restrictions.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:08 AM
 
23,310 posts, read 42,714,463 times
Reputation: 24123
Mariza, thanks for the great info.

I'd also consider the age of the existing roof. Is it a newish roof or is it due for replacement in the near future?
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Southern Highlands
2,216 posts, read 1,406,862 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Mariza, thanks for the great info.

I'd also consider the age of the existing roof. Is it a newish roof or is it due for replacement in the near future?
Also consider that solar panels make it much more difficult to repair a roof of any age.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:57 PM
 
331 posts, read 164,657 times
Reputation: 216
I got solar and came to this conclusion:

Everyone has different opinions and feedback.
Do you want to increase the value of your home AND get credits on your tax return? Get solar.
Do you want a lower electric bill? Get solar. You will pay for 2 things: the lower electricity bill AND the cost of having the panels. It's like having a water filter. You pay the water company for the water usage and you pay the water filter company for buying their system.
Do you want to save the environment? If yes, go solar.

The house I live in is brand new. My wife and I are the first people to live in it. Whoever lives in this house next, whether it be a tenant paying rent or a new owner, will benefit from the panels (but will pay more to live in the house because the value went up).

As for which company, Sol Up seems to have the best and highest ratings. I had mixed feelings about them because the representative who I talked to sounded very unenergetic and boring. There are many companies that will say they know their stuff and they are the best. I'd go with the company that 1) knows their stuff, 2) treats you like a human being and not a sales number, 3) is a person who you can contact at anytime even after the panels are installed and turned on. Home Depot is partnered up with SunRise. When I contacted their rep, he sounded really nice and energetic but the ratings were very concerning.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Southern Highlands
2,216 posts, read 1,406,862 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Do you want to save the environment? If yes, go solar.
Please give us the details on how you plan to recycle your worn out solar panels.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:23 PM
 
9,391 posts, read 3,129,247 times
Reputation: 16527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Please give us the details on how you plan to recycle your worn out solar panels.
That's simple. You put the min the recycling container and put it out on the street.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Southern Highlands
2,216 posts, read 1,406,862 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
That's simple. You put the min the recycling container and put it out on the street.
That works for motor oil too.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,363 posts, read 14,579,728 times
Reputation: 7846
Solar is not without waste and toxicity. If you lease, you will have a lien on your home for future re-sale, so know that up front!
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:48 PM
 
331 posts, read 164,657 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Please give us the details on how you plan to recycle your worn out solar panels.
A few articles from a quick google search:

https://www.usgbc.org/articles/top-f...nels-your-home
https://www.powerhome.com/how-do-sol...e-environment/
https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/...nvironment.php

As for your question:

https://www.cedgreentech.com/article...ls-be-recycled
https://blog.ucsusa.org/james-gignac...anel-recycling
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