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Getting solar and looking to see if it's a good deal.

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  • Getting solar and looking to see if it's a good deal.

    Just found this forum yesterday and looks like tons of great info.
    I'm just looking for advice to see if what I've been offered is a good deal.

    I live in Arizona so there's plenty of sunshine, and the kilowatt cost is 15 cents including fees and taxes.
    My bill average is $145 and yearly average is 11,794kw.
    I'm pretty conservative with the power used, I have the AC set to 78 during the day (if I'm home) and 80 at night.
    And the heat set to 70. I have a plug is hybrid and that cost is about $30 a month included in the $145 avg. bill.

    I have a flat roof and this is what they quoted:
    21 panels 320watt Silfab 60 cell monocrystalline PV module. (don't know the inverter size or brand.)
    Free upgrade electric panel if mine can't handle the power, but I have a 200 amp panel so I think I won't need a new one.
    With my flat root and 21 panels, they estimate a 15 degree tilt and system loss of 14.08 and should produce 11,721kw per year.
    Also included is Solaredge Optimizers and monitoring on each panel with the Solaredge app. I downloaded it played with the demo and it looks really informative and tons of useful info.
    All permits and fees are also included.

    After all their incentives (not including the Federal or state tax credits, the price is 20k. 4k of that is I guess for the mounting system for my flat roof and tilt.
    Then after the Federal/state credits the total system comes out to just over 13k.

    I figure for 13k, I can't go wrong. If I ever sold the house, I'm pretty sure I could get at least 13k added to the price, or at least not lose very much. And the remainder of the warranty is fully transferable.
    The entire system is 100% fully warrantied for 25yrs parts/labor and no more than .06% yearly degradation or free replacement on the panels that have more than that. And if a panel breaks form something hitting it, that would be covered by homeowners insurance.

    I'm having to get a home equity loan at 5% to pay for the system, but I figure even having to make monthly loan payments I'm still ahead.

    ​​​​​Arizona now makes solar users go to Time of Use billing and I've calculated that now my monthly avg. bill will be about $15 a month to the electric company.

    To me, it sounds totally worth it, but would love some input from others who have more experience than me.

    Sorry for the long read, I'd tried to include all the info I could.
    I'd really appreciate any comments.
    By the calculations the Admin posted here, my cost is exactly $3 per watt so it would seem in the range of normal pricing.
    And don't know if I'm calculating this correctly or not. I got 6.8yrs for the system to pay for itself
    Currently paying avg. $145 monthly, after installation electric cost will be about $15 avg. a month. Pay $145 monthly payment works out to 7.5yrs. I didn't add for interest but I figure I'd pay a few hundred a month and hope that would get me close. I'm pretty sure I'm not calculating this correctly, some help would be great.
    Last edited by Jasper7821; 03-31-2019, 03:44 PM.

  • #2
    A good time frame I believe is 7-8 years, so 6.8 looks good. The $3 a watt looks good too. I was at about $3.10 but had a ground mount system a fairly good distance from the home. And many trees were removed at the solar companies expense. Sounds like you've looked at the numbers and decided this is a good deal. The only thing I would caution is what you would get if selling right away. There's a lot of opinions on that. Here in Missouri they tell me what the system produces a year. So in your case 11721 at 15 cents or about $1758 bucks is what a potential buyer would pay up for the system.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply and some reassurance that it's maybe about normal what I'm paying.
      I can't believe they'd give less than 2k for the system my size in your area to the home seller. I wish I could have found a home with solar for that price added to the home when I bought my house 5yrs ago.
      I have no intentions of selling, but just a what if.
      thanks again.

      i did some quick searching and it seems in my area, purchased solar can add 4-6%of the selling price. And leased solar can subtract 3-8% of the selling price.
      so if those numbers are true, then solar would add 10k -15k based on my 250k value of my home.
      So if true, then there
      Last edited by Jasper7821; 03-31-2019, 09:43 PM.

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      • #4
        It all comes down to the appraiser knowing how to handle the solar panels. I sure wouldn't take just a 2k increase for my 12.96kw system, but if the appraiser only increased it by that much the bank isn't going to loan money to a buyer over that. That would be great if you can recoup the total investment if you sell before your break even point.

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        • #5
          Thanks, if I ever did sell, it probably would be at least 3-5yrs. I'd think by that time I'm way ahead of the game and I'd come out positive anyways. I think it will all work out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alan1296 View Post
            It all comes down to the appraiser knowing how to handle the solar panels. I sure wouldn't take just a 2k increase for my 12.96kw system, but if the appraiser only increased it by that much the bank isn't going to loan money to a buyer over that. That would be great if you can recoup the total investment if you sell before your break even point.
            Actually, it all comes down to what the buyer thinks the property is worth. Some buyers like PV. More than a few think it sucks and wouldn't want it. I know quite a few. Those wo don't like PV will shrink the pool of potential buyers and a smaller buyer's pool will lower the properties value. You'd take a $2K increase if that's all you could get - and that assumes there is a reliable way to separate a PV system's worth from the rest of the property's features. First off, at this time it's nearly impossible to separate the worth of a residential PV system from the rest of the property's value. That value, whatever it may be, is also highly variable with respect to location/neighborhood. That situation is not helped by most appraiser's lack of knowledge about PV, how it works or the worth (or non worth) of a PV system.

            One other consideration often overlooked by most everyone for various reasons is that a system is usually sized with the current owner's usage in mind. To a (potential) buyer with a much lower annual load than the current owner, that surplus capacity (to the buyer) is of little/no benefit, and so any value the system may be to that buyer (and the one holding the only opinion that counts BTW) will probably be diminished. To oversimplify, if I need a 5 kW system, why would I pay for a 10 kW system ? At the other end, a buyer with a larger load probably, at this time anyway, will have a hassle upsizing an existing system, not only from POCO hassles, but equipment mismatch and other technical hassles.
            Last edited by J.P.M.; 03-31-2019, 11:51 PM.

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