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When does solar make sense?

Ace in the Hole

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@Xtrmwakeboarder I’m flying back from a conference right now, I’ll reply tomorrow. Texas is a unique place in terms of companies/utilities and how the buy backs work.

Do you have space for a ground mount?

In Texas I will steer you away from battery backup for a multitude of reasons…the NG whole home is a good idea, along with a system sized appropriately for your house/NEM.

You are in one of the higher rate areas. There and Georgetown are 2 of the highest in the state.

It makes sense depending on your NEM, which I need to look up. I sold a lot of solar in Texas..second only to hawaii about in terms of deals I personally sold to ppl. It’s all about the NEM. I’ve got someone I can refer you to without the BS.
@Xtrmwakeboarder I've got some time over this weekend to chat if you want. I remember some pics of your roof and that's the limiting factor. I don't think you will be able to do a full coverage system tbh..but I need the actual address and an arial image to know for sure.

for what it's worth...my natural gas bill did not change at all during the snow storm...it was always within a dollar each month the entire time we lived there. Shoot me a PM with an address and ill put some data together, and thoughts. You can post what I send you back if you want so people can see it.


For cliff notes: You won't be at 100% coverage (IMO), battery isn't a cost effective method for your area, and lastly a NG generator is the ticket for backup, if you are worried about that I would do propane with a large tank....maintenance on those is very low. Some good opinions in this thread, some really inaccurate ones as well.
 
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Ace in the Hole

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Whole home or portable?

Whole home looks like a big investment, like solar, but it just sits there most of the time. Probably $15k plus several hundred a year in maint. and then who knows how much for the NG when the lights go out. The good thing is, if the gas is still on, it seems like it can run indefinitely.
Pricing has cooled significantly in TX on these since its been a while since the panic buys of the last storm. 10-12 has been the numbers I've been seeing on 22kw ish size. Generac and Kohler are the two bigger players down in TX as far as supply. Generac seems to be easier to get in terms of supply chain.

Most have an automatic cycle monthly where it runs etc. Oil change and battery service is about all you typically need to worry about beyond that.
 

Justfishing

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I would say first step is an energy audit. Identify weakness in the energy effiency of the home.

A heat pump water inside the house my be worth looking at. Basically its an ac. The heat is dumped into the water

Air sealing is of critical importance. It will increase the comfort too.


Do you have ducts in the attic? Have them evaluated it my show some real problems.
 

Ace in the Hole

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I would say first step is an energy audit. Identify weakness in the energy effiency of the home.

A heat pump water inside the house my be worth looking at. Basically its an ac. The heat is dumped into the water

Air sealing is of critical importance. It will increase the comfort too.


Do you have ducts in the attic? Have them evaluated it my show some real problems.
It's a brand new home, but on an older house absolutely agree with an audit.. Old windows are a sink, so are ac leaks, etc. 60% or so of homes we audited as far as energy combo projects had at least 3 duct leaks. Lack of insulation is another big energy loss point.
 

Justfishing

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In todays age anything should be built to a net zero standard. The size of equipment i see looksso small
 

Uncle Dave

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Looking for input from the experts and users on here. I've heard solar doesn't make much sense in TX, but after getting my first bill from Coserv, I thought I'd double check.
  • ~3,300 square feet house
  • N/S Facing
  • Charging of electric car maybe once a week
  • No pool yet
  • Single story
  • 2 AC units, one on each side
    • One side at 74 24/7
    • The other side is at 74 during the day and cranked to the max at night. It's supposed to hit 60, but it's never been below 66 because it's still hot AF at night
  • Lights are rarely on. It's only two of us
3,163 kWh resulting in $440.93 bill + additional BS fees for a total of $476.30

I'd like to get a whole house backup and was leaning towards a NG generator, but with these bills, does solar + battery backup make sense?

@BasilHayden @Ace in the Hole

If you divide your bill into the KWH used you get the real KWH charge - which in your case is .15 a KWH

Pretty damm cheap. I pay over double that.

Its going to take along time to get an ROI with that price.


Im very happy with my whole house gen but needed something like that because I have to run two water pumps concurrently - a well pump and a sewage xfer pump on top of a 5 ton central AC multiple fridges etcetera. The NG part has been great. I had over 100 hours of outages last year.


IMG_1106.jpeg
 

Ace in the Hole

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Exactly my point. Your bill is not going to double in 10 years if nothing changes. My SCE bill probably went up 25-30% in So Cal in 13 years.
Going to disagree with you in part...

14.4 years to be exact in most places...its in a lot of leasing disclosure statements especially if they have an escalator clause.

https://www.sce.com/regulatory/tariff-books/historical-rates SCE right at doubled in 12 years.. Electricity is absolutely going to rise more rapidly now however IMO with the governments actions on coal, impending lack of water for hydro generation, the push for all electric no NG homes in populated areas, demand increase etc.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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Going to disagree with you in part...

14.4 years to be exact in most places...its in a lot of leasing disclosure statements especially if they have an escalator clause.

https://www.sce.com/regulatory/tariff-books/historical-rates SCE right at doubled in 12 years.. Electricity is absolutely going to rise more rapidly now however IMO with the governments actions on coal, impending lack of water for hydro generation, the push for all electric no NG homes in populated areas, demand increase etc.
I went through the solar calcs yearly, and even went through them with the solar guys on RDP.

Every user is different but my bill didn’t double in So Cal. Not even close, and nothing changed power consumption wise, in fact I added a mini split to my backyard office. My highest bill from the first year to last year was $200 vs $260.

Solar made 0 sense for me at my usage levels there, and I could have put enough panels to power my house 2x over.

I also had friends that has $1500 electric bills in the summer. His solar ROI was 5 years.

I agree power is going to get more expensive faster in the future.
 

Ace in the Hole

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I went through the solar calcs yearly, and even went through them with the solar guys on RDP.

Every user is different but my bill didn’t double in So Cal. Not even close, and nothing changed power consumption wise, in fact I added a mini split to my backyard office. My highest bill from the first year to last year was $200 vs $260.

Solar made 0 sense for me at my usage levels there, and I could have put enough panels to power my house 2x over.

I also had friends that has $1500 electric bills in the summer. His solar ROI was 5 years.

I agree power is going to get more expensive faster in the future.

You are exactly right...it all depends on the end user and whether it works for them (ie makes sense). It's going to be an interesting next few years. Sales and installs are up this year by a decent chunk and likely would be higher if supply crunch wasn't so bad in our industry.
 

Angler

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I have a friend who bought a system, and after 6 months, the company went bankrupt, but by that time it was installed, and I think he had a loan of $30k. At month 9, a part failed in the system, and he had to call someone else to service.

He needed a part, but they could not find one. So he had to upgrade part of the system with s differs manufacture. $3500 more, and his 9 month old system is running again, but when the power goes off, he has problems with errors when it turns on.

It took 5 days just to get someone out to look at it.

Bottom line, if you like fucking with service repairmen, who have no idea what their doing, and have time to sit around and wait for them, and like headaches, solar for you.
Your friend should have used a reputable company for his investment.
 

Uncle Dave

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Even if the company was short if they used popular stuff he'd have been ok.
Almost none of these guys have any spare parts, and then you ask where do the spares come From? Europe - Israel?

What the procedure is it APE? (advanced parts exchange) in case of problem or imminent failure ?
Or is it RMA only and can individuals open RMA's without an account?
Or do you have to pay for a new part and shipping then, ship back the old part to then hopefully get a refund or a pro rated refund like a tire?

Architecture also makes a difference - losing a panel vs losing the whole roof on a central inverter.
 

Fastdadtsmith

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Just an off topic comment, I'm doing a 24kw standby generator in Havasu right now. 15k all in with generator, 500 gallons propane tanks (no propane included), ATS by licensed electrician, permit, GC fees. House currently has no gas or propane so that added the most of the add in. The electrician for the ATS was 2k, probably could shop that and save a buck or do it yourself, or post it on here and have somebody type you thru it.
 

Xtrmwakeboarder

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View attachment 1143755 View attachment 1143756 @Ace in the Hole here is the south facing roofline. Back of the house is damn near exactly south facing.

First pic is right rear corner perspective and second is left rear corner.

A little context on this from left to right. That little bump out by the AC condensers is 10', the start of the main house to the patio is 26', the patio is 15', and the last bit with the three big windows is 18'
 

Xtrmwakeboarder

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Just an off topic comment, I'm doing a 24kw standby generator in Havasu right now. 15k all in with generator, 500 gallons propane tanks (no propane included), ATS by licensed electrician, permit, GC fees. House currently has no gas or propane so that added the most of the add in. The electrician for the ATS was 2k, probably could shop that and save a buck or do it yourself, or post it on here and have somebody type you thru it.
500 gal is what, 4 days? $1,500 to fill up?
 

Not So Fast

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I;ll find out tomorrow, they will be here at 5;30 am with 30 pamels to be installed on my patio roof, hoping it was a good decision. After reading about Lake Mead and Powells demise I thought it was a good time to have it done because unless you live outside the southwest, electricity is going to be hard to get and expensive pretty darn soon. Its a shame it has come to this, I saw it happening many years ago (running out of water) I pray tp God they come up with a reasonable fix for it but the so west has just grown in numbers way too much for the river to support us. The solutions that I read about are many years in the making.
Say what you want but this is a very serious situation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NSF
 
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