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UBUYGAS
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Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or........

Tue May 06, 2014 7:47 pm

.....Install my own panels?

My next door neighbor is a Master Electrician with 30 years experience.

I got my LEAF 4/20/13, From 4/2013 to 4/2014 I used 14,266 KWH and paid around $2800.00

SolarCity says they can install a 6.75KWH system with 18 panels and take off 55% of my electrical bill with no out of pocket costs for me but I will be locked in with their panels for 20 years.


Does this sound like a good deal?

I'm afraid that in 3 to 5 years the price of the panels are going to go down so much that I can do my whole roof for $10,000.00



What would it cost me in materials to install 18 panels on my own?

TIA,

Sal
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Mx5racer
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Location: Yorba Linda, ca

Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Tue May 06, 2014 9:22 pm

We went with solar city before the full rebates and have been very happy with them.
I think that doing it yourself would be the best if you have the cash. Solar city option puts the panels on the roof now, waiting for the future is lost savings and extra unclean power used.
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Volusiano
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Tue May 06, 2014 9:47 pm

If you lease from Solar City, be aware that if you need to sell the house, you may have a hard time finding somebody to agree to take over your lease monthly payment, unless it's a prepaid lease.

The 30% Federal tax credit ends in 2016, 2 years away. There's no telling if they're going to extend it out further or not. So if you want to go solar, don't wait too long.

I don't think solar panels are going to be so cheap in 3 to 5 years that you can do your whole roof for $10K. Without the 30% federal tax credit today, solar is not affordable/justifiable to most people.

Solar installation is not just about electrical work where you can simply seek advice from your master electrician neighbor and that's all she wrote. It's dangerous back breaking work carrying heavy panels on the roof and doing dangerous walks on the roof all day long to do installation. Some local government requires professional installation as well.

QueenBee
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Tue May 06, 2014 10:21 pm

You can DIY for less than $2.00 a watt before any incentives. So a 7,000 watt system would be less than $14,000. With a neighbor like that the electrical wil be the easy part. If you are comfortable working on your roof and are mechanically inclined assembly is something you can figure our pretty easily. It takes a little bit of skill to layout the roof mounts so your lag bolts hit the trusses and installing the flashing. There is another thread that with a good walk trough of someone's system.

So DIY is definitely an option but I think you really need to get quotes from local installers. They will also let you know what kind of financing options you have. In WA we have a great credit union that offers 4.5% 15 year solar solara PV loans that are really easy to get.

I would expect that you should be able to get a fully installed system for under $3.50 a watt.

Please let us know what you decide and what kind of formulas you use to make that decision. I'm just not sure leasing is a good deal/idea unless you can't get financing.

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UBUYGAS
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 3:48 am

Thanks all for your replies.

What about some kit like this?

http://www.gogreensolar.com/products/60 ... =recomatic

I either install it myself with my neighbor or find an installer like the guy mentions on the video on that page.
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megalo
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 8:18 am

You can build a system for less than that Go Green Solar kit. QueenBee on this forum helped me immensely with getting my system built.

camasleaf
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 8:26 am

megalo wrote:You can build a system for less than that Go Green Solar kit. QueenBee on this forum helped me immensely with getting my system built.

+1
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UBUYGAS
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 9:03 am

Thanks. Maybe QueenBee can post some URLs to sites where I can research/buy the equipment.


megalo wrote:You can build a system for less than that Go Green Solar kit. QueenBee on this forum helped me immensely with getting my system built.
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Devin
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 9:45 am

I just wanted to add that I went with a 20yr lease from SolarCity. I chose to go prepaid due to concerns about selling the house etc. It only cost me $4,030 for a 4.32kW system for 20 years. They've been easy to deal with and even proactively came out to replace the inverter when half of the input on it had failed (they could tell from their remote monitoring before I was aware of it).
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QueenBee
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Re: Need Opinions - Use SolarCity to Install for Free or....

Wed May 07, 2014 9:44 pm

Devin wrote:I just wanted to add that I went with a 20yr lease from SolarCity. I chose to go prepaid due to concerns about selling the house etc. It only cost me $4,030 for a 4.32kW system for 20 years. They've been easy to deal with and even proactively came out to replace the inverter when half of the input on it had failed (they could tell from their remote monitoring before I was aware of it).


So the total cost of the system was $4,030 and you get to use all the electricity it produces for free?

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