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Buying new Lennar home, forced to accept their solar...PPA or Purchase Panels?

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  • Buying new Lennar home, forced to accept their solar...PPA or Purchase Panels?

    Hello everyone, never had solar and am doing my research now but still feel ill equipped to make a sound decision at this point. Wife and I are purchasing a new Lennar home in SoCal. Scheduled to close in April. It is a solar community and Sunstreet solar is a Lennar subsidiary and that is the solar provider. We need to choose between a 20 year PPA or purchasing the panels.

    Here are some considerations: family of 4, 2,100 sq ft, single story community, no shading, we run A/C a lot in summer (wife is teacher and is home in summer), no plans to add pool in future, this will be our forever home (as optimistic as that sounds). We do plan on purchasing via financing a 2nd system in the fall of this year to cover all of our additional energy needs. IN 2017 WE USED 10,135 kWh in our current home. Current home is same sq ft 2,100 single story.

    Sunstreet is installing an 8-panel system. There is no option to customize, it's 8 panels period. The system is designed to cover approximately 50-70% of estimated needs for family of 4 in 2,100 sq fit home (according to Sunstreet). That said, they are estimating 4000 kWh to be produced annually with annual charges of $580 for use of those hours. The 8 panel system is 2.56kw. Sunstreet did say we can add a 2nd system after the fact not from Sunstreet to cover additional needs.

    The PPA is a 20 year term that guarantees a 20% monthly discount from Edison, that is the only monetary guarantee. They say they take the blended average of Edison rates and then deduct 20% off and that is the rate we pay.

    We can purchase the 8 panel system for $12,500 then after the tax rebate it would be $8,750. We have the cash to pay for the system but that money was earmarked for other home improvements.

    The panels are LG with model # LG320EIK-A5 (320w) and the inverter is Enphase IQ6PLUS-72-ACM. I attached a picture of the specs for your reference. I've been told by a few people in solar industry that these are indeed decent panels.

    So here are my questions:
    1. Is the equipment I'm getting, LG panels, inverter, and any other related equipment you can see from the specs, good quality for the $12,500 asking price? How much am I overpaying for the system? (Consider I do not have option to customize, reject, or substitute other models.)

    2. Should I pocket the $12,500 now and accept PPA, (estimated $50-$60 a month Sunstreet bill under PPA), then purchase 2nd system in the fall to cover the remaining 6,000-7,000 kWh deficit.

    -OR-

    3. Should we purchase the 2.56kw system now for $12,500 and then also purchase additional system in the fall? Not sure what a 4-5kw system on its own will cost, I've read ~$20,000+.

    I really appreciate your guys' help. We don't want to make the wrong decision. IMG_0525.PNG

  • #2
    do NOT get a PPA. It will complicate sales and is not the most financially beneficial solution for the homeowner. Further it will drastically complicate the addition of more solar latter. Most installers will not touch a home with an existing PPA. IF you own it, then addition is no problem.

    Further I would not buy a system form them at all. They are trying to sell you an 8 panel 2.56kw system for $12,500 which comes out to $4.88/watt, That is WAY WAY over market price.
    skip it and get one system latter instead of adding on.


    Further they are installing the system on the South East roof instead of the South West roof would be more beneficial financially for you
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post
      do NOT get a PPA. It will complicate sales and is not the most financially beneficial solution for the homeowner. Further it will drastically complicate the addition of more solar latter. Most installers will not touch a home with an existing PPA. IF you own it, then addition is no problem.

      Further I would not buy a system form them at all. They are trying to sell you an 8 panel 2.56kw system for $12,500 which comes out to $4.88/watt, That is WAY WAY over market price.
      skip it and get one system latter instead of adding on.


      Further they are installing the system on the South East roof instead of the South West roof would be more beneficial financially for you
      i appreciate your insight, I can see how purchasing would cause less problems later. Keep in mind we do not have option to not accept PPA or not purchase. We have to do one or the other or else we cannot buy the home and all things considered, we are going to buy the home regardless.

      Comment


      • #4
        1.) No. It's a rip off deal.

        2.) Do neither.

        3.) No.

        Instead, get informed.

        Spend $ 20 or so on a copy of "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies". After that, take the newfound knowledge you gain and use it to get familiar with PVWatts.

        Then, learn about utility rates, particularly how T.O.U. billing affects you and how it can be gamed a little bit, and also how net metering is not the sweet real it once was.

        Knowledge is power. In this case, the power to avoid getting screwed by outfits who use people's ignorance to separate them from their assets.

        Also read and heed Butch's post.

        While your at it, if you do get a PV array, do not do as your attached drawing states and mix roof surface types, tile and comp. shingles. That cheap out benefits no one except the builder or installer and will increase the likelihood and/or be the source of problems down the road.

        Quality systems from reputable installers can be had for ~ 3.25 - $3.50/STC Watt. $4.88 is a screwing.

        Welcome to the neighborhood.
        Last edited by J.P.M.; 01-08-2018, 01:10 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fabian43 View Post

          i appreciate your insight, I can see how purchasing would cause less problems later. Keep in mind we do not have option to not accept PPA or not purchase. We have to do one or the other or else we cannot buy the home and all things considered, we are going to buy the home regardless.
          do you have to get solar from the builder? Can you have it moved to the south west roof?
          can you get a smaller system ( so you get screwed less)?
          do you have an option for solaredge? Ask for them to use the solaredge hdwave SE7600 with build in electric car charger.
          this would more easily allow expansion later and solaredge has a better reliability than Enphase.

          As JPM stated the compost on the roof is another crap move .
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fabian43 View Post

            i appreciate your insight, I can see how purchasing would cause less problems later. Keep in mind we do not have option to not accept PPA or not purchase. We have to do one or the other or else we cannot buy the home and all things considered, we are going to buy the home regardless.
            No opt out ? That's B.S. any way you look at it. I'd walk away from such a deal. Period.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

              No opt out ? That's B.S. any way you look at it. I'd walk away from such a deal. Period.
              Keep in mind that the "solar pv system" cost is probably a fraction of the total cost of the home.

              The pv system may not be the best part of the purchase but if the home is a great buy, that is the most important part of the investment.

              While the purchase price is highway robbery I would first make sure you can get the FED tax rebate on an existing system. If yes then make the decision to purchase it or if not try to negotiate a lower price on the home to cover part of the cost of the pv system.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                do you have to get solar from the builder? Can you have it moved to the south west roof?
                can you get a smaller system ( so you get screwed less)?
                do you have an option for solaredge? Ask for them to use the solaredge hdwave SE7600 with build in electric car charger.
                this would more easily allow expansion later and solaredge has a better reliability than Enphase.

                As JPM stated the compost on the roof is another crap move .
                Yes we must get solar from Sunstreet. Lennar is gaming the system because they own Sunstreet.
                No, they will not reposition it.
                No other customization or options are offered.

                We must choose PPA or purchase. Garage faces southwest as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                  Keep in mind that the "solar pv system" cost is probably a fraction of the total cost of the home.

                  The pv system may not be the best part of the purchase but if the home is a great buy, that is the most important part of the investment.

                  While the purchase price is highway robbery I would first make sure you can get the FED tax rebate on an existing system. If yes then make the decision to purchase it or if not try to negotiate a lower price on the home to cover part of the cost of the pv system.
                  Totally agree with you, not buying the home is not an option. We are getting our dream track home lot...13,000 sq ft flat lot, it is the community my wife has always wanted to live in. We are buying the home regardless. I checked with my CPA and he said as long as we purchase the 2nd system in same tax year, we can claim rebates on both systems.
                  Last edited by Fabian43; 01-08-2018, 01:52 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fabian43 View Post



                    We must choose PPA or purchase. Garage faces southwest as well.
                    southwest is better than south east.

                    you are getting screwed by them. best to try to limit it. purchase would be best.
                    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fabian43 View Post
                      I checked with my CPA and he said as long as we purchase the 2nd system in same tax year, we can claim rebates on both systems.
                      talk to your CPA again. it doesn't matter if they are done in the same year or not.
                      you would claim the first system in the year it is purchased and the second system in the year it is purchased.
                      OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fabian43 View Post

                        Totally agree with you, not buying the home is not an option. We are getting our dream track home lot...13,000 sq ft flat lot, it is the community my wife has always wanted to live in. We are buying the home regardless. I checked with my CPA and he said as long as we purchase the 2nd system in same tax year, we can claim rebates on both systems.
                        Do what you can to make your wife happy.

                        Yes, you have stepped into a scam, life happens. Some times you get and sometimes you get got.



                        4400w, Midnite Classic 150 charge-controller.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          @ Fabian43

                          Unfortunately our forum software doesn't like some "characters" like an apostrophe so it just stops the post. Try not to use an apostrophe when you post.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you still are negotiating price, seems like that would be the best place to re-coup some of the sour taste of the overly priced system. Or if the deal is done maybe you can complain a bunch and get them to throw in some upgrades or similar to to keep you a "happy customer". You can always ask...

                            On the construction/install side, maybe if you just happen to be there when these portions of work are being done, perhaps you could pay those guys a bit extra to move things around a bit, such as adding the tiles to the entire roof. Just a thought.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You and all your future neighbors are getting scammed. Work out the best deal and and pay cash for the panels, Next get a few neighbors to agree to be class and look around for law firm that will do a class action lawsuit for forcing the purchase of overpriced panels.

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