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  • Another newbie

    Hi Everyone my name is Rob and I'm a complete novice when it comes to solar power. I'm hoping some of you more knowledgeable people will be able to help me. I'll be back soon with questions
    Last edited by robjenko; 12-03-2018, 08:45 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by robjenko View Post
    Hi Everyone my name is Rob and I'm a complete novice when it comes to solar power. I'm hoping some of you more knowledgeable people will be able to help me. I'll be back soon with questions
    If you do what you can to inform yourself and seek answers to your questions on your own before you look to be spoon fed answers, you'll learn more, faster and also ask better formulated questions when you do ask them. That method will save all of us a lot of time. Your proactive consideration will pay big dividends.

    Welcome to the neighborhood.

    Add: Start your self education with a book: "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies" .~ $25 @ bookstore or amazon. A good primer.
    Last edited by J.P.M.; 12-03-2018, 04:20 PM.

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    • #3
      Hi Rob,

      Welcome! Let's start with the basics:

      1) What state do you live it?
      2) Roughly how large is your home, how old, how well insulated?
      3) What kinds of heating, cooling, do you have? Using which fuel(s)?
      4) How many MWh do you use annually on your electric bill
      5) Do you own? Do you have an HOA?
      6) Are you considering ground mount or roof mount?
      7) What size electrical panel do you have? (e.g. 200 amp?)
      8) What is your main goal(s) for solar?
      9) How long do you plan to live in your home?
      10) Do you have or plan to add any electric vehicles in the next couple years

      Have you tried this website? (I have no affiliation, but that's were I started, it's very good) -- remove parenthesis to get to url.
      (www).energysage.com

      Remember, solar is not inexpensive, PPA's and leases are a scam. A well designed solar PV solution will cost approximately $2.50 to 3.50 per Watt. So given a 5kW to 10kW array at ~$3/W it will cost at least $15,000 to $30,000. For roof mount, you'll need a good roof that was recently (and properly) installed in the last 5 yrs.

      If you act soon, you can still get a 30% federal tax rebate. But the percentage will be reduced over the next few years. In a few states (like NJ where I live) state SREC credits also help a lot. But, it will still take you at least 6-10yrs to break even depending on your current electrical usage and cost per kWh.

      Some people aren't willing to wait that long -- or expect to move prior to realizing any real financial benefit. In some states (California) energy costs are so high (per kW/h depending on TOU) solar can still be a no brainer, potentially even paired with storage.

      Finally, steer clear of "big box" solar retailers -- SunPower, SunRun, SolarCity, NRG, etc. Seek out reputable small business solar installers in your local area with at least 5+ years of experience and get many references (including Angies list, EnergySage, word of mouth, etc.)

      -Jonathan

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