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Thread: Solar Purchase vs Lease - Newbie

  1. #1
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    Default Solar Purchase vs Lease - Newbie

    Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and in fact just joined

    I just read through the entire solar city lease thread located here. http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...ood-to-be-true

    While My scenario is similar I felt a separate thread will help me get answers specific to my needs. So here it is:


    I live in Northern CA and I am considering going solar. I was looking for the same info as this thread as I am considering a Solar System installed at my home.

    One of the main reason I am also considering going solar is because I am getting en electric car which is going to increase my electricity usage and I wanted to see if I can invest in solar to offset the usage as well as take the benefits.

    I have gotten quotes from a private installer, SolarCity and Real Goods Solar and I am trying to compare them.

    Here is a quote from various providers.

    SolarCity

    System Size. 3.22KW DC System

    SolarLease

  2. #2
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    Buy = most savings, but higher initial outlay.
    Lease, you are sending someone elses kids to college!

    Real Goods is a large enough company, they will be around I think. The common thought is to allow for inverter replacement ($3500) about every 8-12 years.

    The big names Xantrex, Sunny Boy, SMA should be around for the long term

    What does the site survey of your roof show? If it has good exposure and large enough planes, you should not need to use microinverters, which I think will be a PITA to replace if they go bad after 3 or 4 years in the weather.

    Roof qualifed people, will not care 1,2, 3 stories, they are all supposed to install a safety rail to tie into in case they slip.

    Some roofs, with vent pipes, trees, cell tower shadows, just are not suitable for any install.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV || || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

  3. #3
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    Real Goods Solar guy had been on the roof and took his tool and came up with the analysis that my roof get 99% sun entire year. Just few days in month of Nov some slight shade but he said it is as best as it can be. So I guess Micro Inverters might not be required I suppose.

    I too think Purchase is better than lease. Never believed in lease but with zero down if I save some $s per month it seems like a simpler and good option.

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    1) Have a lawyer check out the contract - seems the Solar City leases are different in different areas - very different. They are squeezing for whatever they can get out of it.

    2) You are signing for 20 years. Be sure you will be happy for that time.

    3) Decide if it will be a plus or a minus for the prospective buyer. A solar system does not automatically add on to the value of your home in the eyes of everyone.

    4) All credits, incentives, RECs and that type of thing belong to Solar City for the life of the contract. There can be considerable money there in some areas. You give up all rights to claim anything except that you are buying green power I guess.

    Russ

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    None of these deals are anything to write home about particularly the 0 down solar city
    Am I to read this correctly that you will pay them 22.2 cents per KWH generated?
    I would roughly calculate the average monthly production on that system at 322 KW
    So Tell me if I have the math right
    322 KWH x .222= $71.84
    Add the lease payment of $88 and the total is $159.84 so you are paying them $.495 per KWH
    What are you paying now for electricity?

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    How many homes use that small amount (322 kWh) per month?

    In most cases there will still be an electric bill to pay. The cost per kWh will be a bit higher as all the fixed charges are still the same.

    Russ

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    Well after looking at all the alternatives we have a winner.
    The system behind door #3 by private installer.
    I don't like the 35% discount bull give the real price don't inflate it and then drop it to make a deal seem better.
    However his install costs at $5.10 a watt before rebates and credits is the clear winner.
    You are also getting the highest rebate per PTC ratings per California as the Schuco and Canadian solar have the highest PTC rating. ( Schuco's are actually made by Canadian solar.)

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    I was under the same impression that the third quote seemed the best. The only draw back I see is that he is a private guy so if tomorrow i have an issue how do I go about addressing it.

    The other just seem more expensive. Basically all they are trying to shave of my Tier 3 and Tier 4 rates at PGE which I need to do the Math to see how that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by csriram45 View Post
    I was under the same impression that the third quote seemed the best. The only draw back I see is that he is a private guy so if tomorrow i have an issue how do I go about addressing it.

    The other just seem more expensive. Basically all they are trying to shave of my Tier 3 and Tier 4 rates at PGE which I need to do the Math to see how that makes sense.
    All will evaporate in 5 years except the lease which will continue till you die and no longer care. The leases are sold to investors who will not warrant any issues but will continue to collect the rent. My 2 cents

  10. #10
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    Default Another Quote

    Gross System Cost $17,710 ($5.50/watt DC, $6.42/watt AC)
    CA Expected Perf-Based Buydown (EPBB)
    Step 8
    ($966)
    Installer Contract Cost $16,744 ($5.20/watt DC, $6.07/watt AC)
    Federal Tax Credit/Tax Impact ($5,023)
    Net Cost (year of installation) $11,721 ($3.64/watt DC, $4.25/watt AC)
    System Description
    Total System Size 3.220 kW DC Power (STC) / 2.760 kW AC Power (CEC)
    Estimated Annual Production 4,687 kWh
    PV Panel Description 14 x ET Solar Industry, Ltd. Model: ET-P660230B
    Inverters Qty. 14 - Enphase Energy Model: M190-72-240-S02

    Here is another quote I recd for install. How good is ET Solar over other panels in this quote? What do you thin about this quote?

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