We did it! After what feels like a lifetime of deliberation, we are now a solar home. Driving on solar electrons is a dream come true!
We went with West Seattle Natural Energy, they were awesome! Our roof was a little tricky, low pitch torch down with a layer of insulation on top with exposed ceilings (little room for error). In just a few years since our last estimate the cost practically fell in half so we really went for it and had a 9.8 kW install (10 kW is the max for the WA state sales tax exemption), a total of 40, 240 watt Solar World panels, made in Beaverton Oregon with Enphase micro inverters. the cost with new electrical panel upgrade, roofing and all came to $4 a Watt. We are getting 15 cents a kW from the utility which should average about $2K a year. We could have gotten up to 53 cents a KW back but would have had to go with WA made panels and inverters which would have cost much more up front. We decided to go with the less expensive panels, and get a larger array, figuring that in the long run we will make out better, considering the rebate here ends in 2020. We will have almost no utility bill on top of the rebates. It was pretty amazing to plug the Leaf in for a charge on a sunny day and still have the meter go backwards! Based on preliminary calculations our monthly average in savings and rebates should be more than the monthly loan payment, which blows my mind. For anyone in this area, I would highly recommend Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union's Energy Smart loan program. we filled it out on line and got approved the next day, without having to do a home equity loan.
The timing for solar in WA state is great right now. Prices are at an all time low right now, and are expected to rise soon. The tariff on Chinese imports went into effect on Sept 1st, it's expected that now the US manufacturers are going to raise their prices. The sales tax exemption for solar in WA state ends in June of 2013. These two factors, along with a low install bid we couldn't refuse, caused us to pull the trigger finally. It's always a gamble, but at this point it really doesn't matter how much better the price gets, it's low enough to be worthwhile.
Last edited by GaslessInSeattle
on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
Tesla S P85, Gray, pano, carbon fiber, took delivery: 2-9-13... LOVE this car!
9.8 kW PV Solar installed 9/12, http://www.westseattlenaturalenergy.com
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