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  • Hello from Arizona

    getting ready to install a DIY system. I have bought the panels, inverter, optimizers so far and have a layout and design. Still looking at racking. Probably ironridge on a flat foam elastomeric roof. My biggest problem is the racking installation. I don't want to do that myself and I can't find anyone that will piecemeal an installation in Phoenix AZ. The tax credits are distorting the market here. Anyone around Phoenix AZ knows of a roofing contractor that will install the racking system for me. Don't want to violate my roof warranty or my insurance. Also looking for someone to generate my building permit package, with the politics in AZ the way they are, I really want a squeaky clean permit package to submit.

  • #2
    Originally posted by teeumup
    Don't want to violate my roof warranty or my insurance.
    Use a ground mount, and its more fun for a DIY. Bruce Roe

    Comment


    • #3
      don't have the property to do a ground mount, but I agree it would be the ideal way to do it!

      Comment


      • #4
        Have run into a complete brick wall in Arizona trying to get anyone to design and install my system where I bought the basic equipment. Guess all the money is in the equipment and not the labor. if anyone knows of a company that will provide a solar design package for a home in Arizona please let me know. I am retired and really don't have an income anymore so I don't qualify for the federal tax credits which forced me to try to do this myself. Also, I have a flat roof territorial or Santa Fe style home with high parapets so I need a custom racking system to raise the whole array just under the parapet hight. I have a code restraint that requires that my array is not seen from the street. Now of course if I had a ground array or a slope roof house then there is no restraint to have anything hidden, sort of discriminates against people with flat roof residential properties. Arizona and the local utilities are doing everything possible to keep solar out of the hands of actual citizens by making the permitting process impossible, eliminating net metering and slowly eliminating all export tariffs over the next 10 years. Shame on Arizona politicians for allowing this to happen. I guess they did not learn from Nevada's experience as they drove all solar installers out of the state and just recently are working to reverse those bad decisions.

        thanks for any help in advance

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        • #5
          "Shame on Arizona politicians for allowing this to happen. I guess they did not learn from Nevada's experience as they drove all solar installers out of the state and just recently are working to reverse those bad decisions."
          Sad, but true.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by teeumup View Post
            Have run into a complete brick wall in Arizona trying to get anyone to design and install my system where I bought the basic equipment. Guess all the money is in the equipment and not the labor. if anyone knows of a company that will provide a solar design package for a home in Arizona please let me know. I am retired and really don't have an income anymore so I don't qualify for the federal tax credits which forced me to try to do this myself. Also, I have a flat roof territorial or Santa Fe style home with high parapets so I need a custom racking system to raise the whole array just under the parapet hight. I have a code restraint that requires that my array is not seen from the street. Now of course if I had a ground array or a slope roof house then there is no restraint to have anything hidden, sort of discriminates against people with flat roof residential properties. Arizona and the local utilities are doing everything possible to keep solar out of the hands of actual citizens by making the permitting process impossible, eliminating net metering and slowly eliminating all export tariffs over the next 10 years. Shame on Arizona politicians for allowing this to happen. I guess they did not learn from Nevada's experience as they drove all solar installers out of the state and just recently are working to reverse those bad decisions.

            thanks for any help in advance
            1.) I hope you're planning on a sloped array with rows of panels. Otherwise, expect what's already low production from horizontal panels to be even lower if you don't clean a horizontal array rather often in Phoenix.

            2.) However, it sounds like what are HOA rules (and not sounding like any building code) with respect to visibility would mandate a horizontal array.

            Just wonderin'.

            3.) To be clear, you can still get a tax credit for what sounds like a system that's partially DIY, or where you're acting as your own project manager. You just won't get a tax credit for your labor.

            4.) Several AZ members may know of vendors who will install only, but I'd take a guess that the way you want to go may well not save you as much as you initially thought. Think like an installer: Would you be responsible for punching a bunch of holes in a flat roof and expect all will go well with it for as long as you'll stay in business without some pretty serious consideration of the possible liability in terms of what you'd charge someone to do such a thing ?

            If that's not the original roof, how about the roof contractor who installed the foam ?

            5.) FWIW as an opinion only, and if the postings here are representative of the usual level of knowledge, people with flat roofs usually and often need some help with understanding that they have another whole set of additional considerations, both from array performance and structural standpoints (starting with the fact of life that flat roofs and ballast type systems are usually an unworkable and bad idea) that are over and above (so to speak) the considerations of owners who put arrays on sloped roofs.

            Add: That you don't yet have an approved design probably isn't making it easier to find a contractor.
            Last edited by J.P.M.; 07-11-2018, 11:08 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Welcome to the forum.

              Reading your post, you have a huge stack of hurdles to jump. If it were me, I would rethink the whole going solar project. Sell what you already have and and enjoy your retirement without all the troubles you will have during and most certainly after the install.

              I had a flat roof home in Mesa for 30 years and no way would I put all those extra penetrations on a flat roof. Just the 8 mounts for my solar hot water collectors were re-sealed way too many times. I had to re-paint my ceilings from water stains over and over. When I sold the home last year, the buyer demanded the solar panels be removed.

              My home in Gilbert has a fully paid for 6.63Kw grid-tie with SRP but I got in under the old rules before they gutted the solar program. I would never install solar today under the new TOU plan that SRP and APS force all RE customers to use. The ROI point is too far away these days and electricity in Arizona is not that expensive.
              Dave W. Gilbert AZ
              6.63kW grid-tie owner

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by azdave View Post
                Welcome to the forum.

                Reading your post, you have a huge stack of hurdles to jump. If it were me, I would rethink the whole going solar project. Sell what you already have and and enjoy your retirement without all the troubles you will have during and most certainly after the install.

                I had a flat roof home in Mesa for 30 years and no way would I put all those extra penetrations on a flat roof. Just the 8 mounts for my solar hot water collectors were re-sealed way too many times. I had to re-paint my ceilings from water stains over and over. When I sold the home last year, the buyer demanded the solar panels be removed.

                My home in Gilbert has a fully paid for 6.63Kw grid-tie with SRP but I got in under the old rules before they gutted the solar program. I would never install solar today under the new TOU plan that SRP and APS force all RE customers to use. The ROI point is too far away these days and electricity in Arizona is not that expensive.
                OP: re-read what Azdave has written. Hands on, 1st person, on site experience from a one who has been there, done that.

                Not raining on your parade, but from what you write, how you write it, and then reading between the lines, it sounds like you might have been unaware of what you were getting into. Sometimes things don't work out as planned. NOMB, but I'd walk away from the project, take my losses, and, as Azdave suggests, enjoy your retirement.

                Respectfully,

                Comment


                • #9
                  Remember the tax credit can be claimed over multiple years, doesn't have to be all used at once. Talk to your tax pro.

                  Permitting wasn't too hard in PHX. I went thru self install self design. It is harder than other counties though according to everyone's stories on here. As long as you give 3' walkways around the edges and stay under 7.6kw and avoid the rules that require a licensed electrician it shouldnt be too hard. They want electrical engineering/stamped for: .Derating a breaker, replacing a panel not like for like, or load side tap.so if you got the standard 200a panel, easiest permit is a Max of 7.6kw inverter on a 40amp breaker. This is why most installers like to cap at a solar edge 7600. Gets more expensive electrician and paperwork wise to go over 7.6kw.

                  For flat roof check our quickmount pv low slope mounts. I used their tile mounts and that gave me alot of confidence in the quality of install. They also have good YouTube install videos so you can make sure it's done right.

                  If you look for someone to help or takeover your best bet will be finding a solar installer willing to do a side job, with no warranty. Check nextdoor neighborhood app?

                  If I was in your position and really wanted solar I would have gone with a lease. They aren't ideal but if you can't use the tax credit and have to pay for help, your ROI is going to be way out there anyway...

                  Best of luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ImInPhxAZ View Post
                    Remember the tax credit can be claimed over multiple years, doesn't have to be all used at once. Talk to your tax pro.

                    Permitting wasn't too hard in PHX. I went thru self install self design. It is harder than other counties though according to everyone's stories on here. As long as you give 3' walkways around the edges and stay under 7.6kw and avoid the rules that require a licensed electrician it shouldnt be too hard. They want electrical engineering/stamped for: .Derating a breaker, replacing a panel not like for like, or load side tap.so if you got the standard 200a panel, easiest permit is a Max of 7.6kw inverter on a 40amp breaker. This is why most installers like to cap at a solar edge 7600. Gets more expensive electrician and paperwork wise to go over 7.6kw.

                    For flat roof check our quickmount pv low slope mounts. I used their tile mounts and that gave me alot of confidence in the quality of install. They also have good YouTube install videos so you can make sure it's done right.

                    If you look for someone to help or takeover your best bet will be finding a solar installer willing to do a side job, with no warranty. Check nextdoor neighborhood app?

                    If I was in your position and really wanted solar I would have gone with a lease. They aren't ideal but if you can't use the tax credit and have to pay for help, your ROI is going to be way out there anyway...

                    Best of luck!
                    Leasing has real and hidden problems that those with skin in the game conveniently never mention. It's pretty common knowledge or at least a more widely held opinion now that leases have been peddled for some time now, that leases are a sucker's bet for most applications.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Greetings. Sorry to post on the wrong thread, but I'm new here, and I'm not seeing the tab to start my own thread (maybe I just haven't had enough coffee yet this morning). Can anyone help me find it please?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by azdave View Post
                        I had a flat roof home in Mesa for 30 years and no way would I put all those extra penetrations on a flat roof. Just the 8 mounts for my solar hot water collectors were re-sealed way too many times. I had to re-paint my ceilings from water stains over and over. When I sold the home last year, the buyer demanded the solar panels be removed.
                        My flat roof install has been leak free for 6 years. I think the key was having a roofing company do the penetration sealing and a roof recoat after the mounts were installed but before the panels went on. Since I expect to be moving next year, it will be interesting to see if buyers balk at the solar.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ian S View Post
                          My flat roof install has been leak free for 6 years. I think the key was having a roofing company do the penetration sealing and a roof recoat after the mounts were installed but before the panels went on. Since I expect to be moving next year, it will be interesting to see if buyers balk at the solar.
                          Ian: Nice to see ya'. You OK ? Anything new ?

                          Potential buyers will probably balk less if you can show that you are not increasing the asking price because of the presence of the PV, and that the roof is leak free. Is the PV grandfathered ? Is it still under warranty ?

                          Regards,

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                            Ian: Nice to see ya'. You OK ? Anything new ?

                            Potential buyers will probably balk less if you can show that you are not increasing the asking price because of the presence of the PV, and that the roof is leak free. Is the PV grandfathered ? Is it still under warranty ?

                            Regards,
                            Hi J.P.M. I'm good thank you. Well, I opted for the early SunPower buyout and they claim that original warranties remain in effect. Not that I've had any issues in over 6 years. Like I said, we are planning a move sometime next year likely to Sedona, AZ. The climate is a bit cooler* and there is less pollution. And the scenery is still as awesome as when I first visited in the early 1980's. It's very touristy but there's lots of nice homes in quiet neighborhoods. We love it there and it's still close enough to Phoenix for a day trip and Flagstaff of course is even closer and cooler still.

                            Re the PV: a new buyer will have a few years on the inverter and 18 or so on the panels. The PV is grandfathered until 2032 with the existing rate plan and net metering. I don't expect it to bring a premium and I don't really care as it's paid for itself already. The roof may be in need of a recoat and I wonder if that can be accomplished with the panels in place but covered. The home interior needs updating but I will leave that to the next owner and price it accordingly. The mortgage will be paid off next month, the surrounding area is booming with activity and the development is very desirable. The HOA Board (I'm Treasurer) is actually considering going for historic status next year when it becomes eligible. Supposedly yields a 50% property tax reduction. Will need to see the fine print of course.

                            Because of the how new PV is treated in Arizona, I don't expect to consider it for our Sedona home.

                            *I've lived in Phoenix for nearly 30 years and it seems summers are starting earlier and going longer. Tuesday it's supposed to hit 117F and nightime lows are in the 90's which used to be rare but is now almost normal for this time of year. I believe this will just get worse and eventually this area will be almost uninhabitable. Guess we'll get out while the getting's still good!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Inverlyon View Post
                              Greetings. Sorry to post on the wrong thread, but I'm new here, and I'm not seeing the tab to start my own thread (maybe I just haven't had enough coffee yet this morning). Can anyone help me find it please?
                              Unfortunately you will have to wait until the Admin approves you to become a true member and gives you the right to create new posts.

                              Until then enjoy what you can read.

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