Residential Solar

ichawkeye

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Jan 11, 2003
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Correct, it's typically called an "interconnection fee". All the utilities increased this fee within the last year here in Florida. Usually it's a minimum of $25-$30. What it really is, is just another way to fleece people out of money. The energy you send back during the day is of great benefit to the utilities and eases the strain on their power distribution. The utilities are fighting solar tooth and nail, and that should tell you all you need to know about how good solar is for the average consumer.

Agree.

For the record, I don't mind the $25/month we pay, even though we ultimate produce all of the electricity we consume annually for our panels. There is a value in gaining electricity from our electricity provider when our solar isn't producing. For example, we consume ~80% of our electricity from our electricity provider during the four primary winter. Our bill is still $25 each of those months though, as we're sitting on a credit of electricity produced versus consumed heading into those months.

I view it as $25/month to have continual electricity. I'm good with that (as long as the cost remains reasonable).

If you live in a warmer climate, I could see viewpoints being fully aligned with yours.
 

naturalbornhawk

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 4, 2004
7,047
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Yeah, definitely wait on the batteries. The brand I always promote, Enphase, is coming out with some new batteries Q1 or Q2 next year. MAJOR improvements. I don't know what prices will look like, but you will get more bang for your buck with the new batteries that are coming. Also, if you want to get just the solar now, Enphase is plug and play, so you can add the batteries down the road no problem.
This info is gold. Very much appreciated.
 

DouglasHawk

All-Conference
Gold Member
Nov 23, 2021
434
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Central Iowa
If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to help. I had a system installed in April and have paid $0 in electric bills since then. Got quoted from a few companies, ended up going with one local to me. I could not be happier with the system. Roughly 8 year ROI, maybe less depending on rate increases over that timeframe.

I would skip on batteries, unless you really, really, really want them for if the power goes out.

OezGa7v.jpg
 
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Menace Sockeyes

HR Legend
Sep 2, 2010
41,810
59,496
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If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to help. I had a system installed in April and have paid $0 in electric bills since then. Got quoted from a few companies, ended up going with one local to me. I could not be happier with the system. Roughly 8 year ROI, maybe less depending on rate increases over that timeframe.

I would skip on batteries, unless you really, really, really want them for if the power goes out.

OezGa7v.jpg
Which company? We’re looking at one right now.
 

DouglasHawk

All-Conference
Gold Member
Nov 23, 2021
434
663
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Central Iowa
Which company? We’re looking at one right now.

I'm located in Des Moines, and we went with CB Solar, a Des Moines company started and run by a few ISU grads. Took longer to get installed due to their size, but I was happy to support a local company and in state grads. Pricing was also best out of the 5 quotes I got, but almost 15%. If you do get a quote with them, let me know, as they have a referral bonus I'd be happy to split with you.

They used Seraphim (tier 1 manufacturer) all black panels, and SolarEdge inverters. They offered Enphase (the company SolarHawk recommends) for the same price, but they had more experience with SolarEdge so I went with their suggestion. 25 year panel warranty, 25 year inverter warranty, 5 year workmanship warranty (roof leaks, etc).

Not sure what their current pricing is, but I paid $2.25 per watt, before tax incentives.
 
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Menace Sockeyes

HR Legend
Sep 2, 2010
41,810
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And just to add a little more info to anyone considering solar, when you buy a system, the company should be selling you a system that is appropriately sized for your consumption. If you buy a system without giving them any utility bills RUN! The only way to properly size a system is to build it based on your Kwh usage. Also, keep in mind that the system will offset what you have been using up to that point. So if a year down the road you get an EV and start charging it from home, you're gonna get a bill as your consumption is gonna jump drastically. So if you anticipate any kind of major energy consuming purchases in the near future I would suggest oversizing your system.
We’re meeting with Purelight Power out of Urbandale (soon to be adding IC?). Any information you have on that company?
 

DouglasHawk

All-Conference
Gold Member
Nov 23, 2021
434
663
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Central Iowa
We’re meeting with Purelight Power out of Urbandale (soon to be adding IC?). Any information you have on that company?
You didn't ask me, but they were one of the quotes I got, and they were the most expensive. Their panel placement design on our roof was also pretty inefficient, they wanted to do 37 panels for a 10.5 kWh system, with some panels on the East side of our roof. The system we got was 33 panels for 11.5 kWh, on only the S and W roof.

To cut through the BS, you should ask all installers for a cash price, as many of them (at least the national ones like Purelight and SunPro) include huge markups if you finance, and it is a lien on your house as well. We used a HELOC to pay for ours, which IMO is the way to go.
 
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