GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 95 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With the way the money seems to be running out for all of the incentives for going solar I decided to look into it. Last week I had a solar contractor come and evaluate our solar needs and determined it was a pretty good candidate for solar. Here is the company I'll be working with. http://www.smartenergytoday.net/

After crunching the numbers we decided on a 4kw system consisting of 14 of these...


That will take care of our annual usage if not over-produce only slightly based on rates. Our utility uses net metering with over-production resulting in credits that we can redeem at 1/1 (sweeeeet) when we under produce. un fortunately after the course of the year if we end up with un used credits those go away or as I think of it, donated to the needy.

Since we are going to pay for the system up front and that we are going to be the first house on the neighborhood to work with them they gave me a few discounts to get the ball rolling.

Initial price for the system is going to be just over $18k. After the federal, state, and utility company rebates/incentives are applied my out of pocket cost will be about $3,400. About 85% of the system is being paid for! The system will pay for itself in a little over 5 years.

Along with the solar array I also had them install the solar attic fan and reflective attic liner that reflects the radiant heat from the roof back up instead of absorbing into the insulation. Those were installed this weekend and so far I have noticed a difference. How big of difference, I'm not sure yet.

Anyways, I'm really excited about everything and being able to power my Volt using the Sun. I'll keep this post updated as the process moves along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
With the way the money seems to be running out for all of the incentives for going solar I decided to look into it. Last week I had a solar contractor come and evaluate our solar needs and determined it was a pretty good candidate for solar. Here is the company I'll be working with. http://www.smartenergytoday.net/

After crunching the numbers we decided on a 4kw system consisting of 14 of these...


That will take care of our annual usage if not over-produce only slightly based on rates. Our utility uses net metering with over-production resulting in credits that we can redeem at 1/1 (sweeeeet) when we under produce. un fortunately after the course of the year if we end up with un used credits those go away or as I think of it, donated to the needy.

Since we are going to pay for the system up front and that we are going to be the first house on the neighborhood to work with them they gave me a few discounts to get the ball rolling.

Initial price for the system is going to be just over $18k. After the federal, state, and utility company rebates/incentives are applied my out of pocket cost will be about $3,400. About 85% of the system is being paid for! The system will pay for itself in a little over 5 years.

Along with the solar array I also had them install the solar attic fan and reflective attic liner that reflects the radiant heat from the roof back up instead of absorbing into the insulation. Those were installed this weekend and so far I have noticed a difference. How big of difference, I'm not sure yet.

Anyways, I'm really excited about everything and being able to power my Volt using the Sun. I'll keep this post updated as the process moves along.
Great choice on the panels. SolarWorld is EXCELLENT. What did you decided for inverter (s)? Also, 85%, what kind of credits do you have?? That is awesome. Everyone should do solar where you live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Great choice on the panels. SolarWorld is EXCELLENT. What did you decided for inverter (s)? Also, 85%, what kind of credits do you have?? That is awesome. Everyone should do solar where you live.
They vendor they get their inverters from has a couple different options so it'll be a play action decision. I'm going to see if I can get makes and models of the ones they use. When I get home tonight I'll get the list of credits. I was blown away at how much they paid for. I couldn't get my checkbook out fast enough to get the down payment in and get these installed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
They vendor they get their inverters from has a couple different options so it'll be a play action decision. I'm going to see if I can get makes and models of the ones they use. When I get home tonight I'll get the list of credits. I was blown away at how much they paid for. I couldn't get my checkbook out fast enough to get the down payment in and get these installed!

Ok, I personally recommend Enphase inverters for many reasons. I wish you the best though with whatever you decide. Good luck with your install! You will really enjoy a net-metered bill. Ours is usually 18.44, which is the least it can net-metered down to which means I produced more than I used or at least break even ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Congratulations on your decision of going solar!
I second the Enphase Micro inverters. They give you the option to monitor the performance of individual PV modules. Gives you hints about shading or a bad panel. No High Voltage DC wires. Nice Web interface. Easy to install.

I installed 10 of those Solarworld modules (240W each) with Enphase M-215 inverters last year. Covers about 65% of my used energy and about 90% of my energy cost due to TOU rates.
Do you have the option for a Time of Use electricity rate? Feeding to the grid at peak hours and charging the VOLT at off peak hours can accellerate your pay-off significantly.

A nice companion to the solar/EV setup is the NEUR.IO home power monitoring system. That will make you 100% energy aware of what is going on in the house.

Enjoy your investment!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Sounds like you are making all the correct decisions (purchasing, instead of leasing/PPA.) I also concur with firehawk on Enphase micro-inverters. A friend of mine who has been in the solar biz since the 1970s did our system. At this point, he basically uses nothing else.

Radiant barriers are great. When we rebuilt our house a few years ago, our contractor used OSB sheathing on the roof that already had the foil attached to one side. It adds very little cost, and the benefit is huge. Just made sure the carpenters installed it 'shiny side down'. :) Between the RB OSB, insulation/ventilation improvements we did at the time, and now the solar modules on our south- and west-facing roofs the AC almost never runs. Outdoor temps have to approach 100° F first. Of course in your case they will staple the foil to the undersides of the rafters - which is almost as effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
I installed TechShield(foil-faced OSB) on the new part of my roof. The rest is spray-on aluminized paint. That with the R30 attic insulation (vs none) cut my A/C bill in half. Need a new roof before I consider Solar. Dumb to install panels over an old (16yr) roof.

At 6c/kWh for grid, the payback is longer than the panel life right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
I installed TechShield(foil-faced OSB) on the new part of my roof. The rest is spray-on aluminized paint. That with the R30 attic insulation (vs none) cut my A/C bill in half...
Our contractor used LP TechShield too, though there are others now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
I have 24 Solarworld 260's. Love it. Enphase here as well. If you go Enphase be sure to get (or try to get) access to Enlighten Manager. You no longer get per panel view in My Enlighten. I believe there is an upcharge for it but it pays off in the long term. I had a connector drop out and tripped the brkr for 1/2 the array. I spotted it and had the contractor come out. Otherwise I'd have been on partial power for who knows how long!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
Ditto!

In process right now for 18x SolarWorld 275W panels plus Enphase M250. Provider rebate and fed tax credit, puts me < 10 year payback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The system is set up to provide 4732kwh/year
So the price breakdown went like this...
$18,354 for 14 panels installed.
-$4,669 for Federal incentives
-$6,000 for State (Oregon) incentives over 4 years
-$2,793 for PPL/Energy Trust
-$2,084 for Net Metering (4,732kwh X rate($0.11) X 4 years = $2,084)
+$595 for web monitoring by utilities

That's as much as I can break the price down. I'm not sure what rebates are included within state rebate.

He said that since my southern exposure gets no shade really that doing a string inverter is better in my case.

Oh and my guy said that since I replaced my roof this year I could get a rebate for the portion that the panels will be installed on since it's supporting them. Any truth to that? It's something I'll look into at any rate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Oh and my guy said that since I replaced my roof this year I could get a rebate for the portion that the panels will be installed on since it's supporting them. Any truth to that? It's something I'll look into at any rate.
See if you can get an invoice for that section of the roof, but you should ask a professional tax adviser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
The system is set up to provide 4732kwh/year
So the price breakdown went like this...
$18,354 for 14 panels installed.
-$4,669 for Federal incentives
-$6,000 for State (Oregon) incentives over 4 years
-$2,793 for PPL/Energy Trust
-$2,084 for Net Metering (4,732kwh X rate($0.11) X 4 years = $2,084)
+$595 for web monitoring by utilities

That's as much as I can break the price down. I'm not sure what rebates are included within state rebate.

He said that since my southern exposure gets no shade really that doing a string inverter is better in my case.

Oh and my guy said that since I replaced my roof this year I could get a rebate for the portion that the panels will be installed on since it's supporting them. Any truth to that? It's something I'll look into at any rate.
Couple things...yes, you can claim the roof if you can prove it was for solar; otherwise, it is tricky. Also, I still recommend Enphase over String any day of the week. What most people fail to realize is there is always shade. It is called clouds. You would be amazed at how they affect panels. Most people would never know this though because they don't monitor panels individually ;) I would go with Enphase M250 for your setup. If you have a choice, go with them. The fee for utilities is confusing for me. I have never heard of such a fee, but I guess it exits where you are. What is the purpose?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
With the way the money seems to be running out for all of the incentives for going solar I decided to look into it. Last week I had a solar contractor come and evaluate our solar needs and determined it was a pretty good candidate for solar.

Initial price for the system is going to be just over $18k. After the federal, state, and utility company rebates/incentives are applied my out of pocket cost will be about $3,400. About 85% of the system is being paid for! The system will pay for itself in a little over 5 years.

Along with the solar array I also had them install the solar attic fan and reflective attic liner that reflects the radiant heat from the roof back up instead of absorbing into the insulation. Those were installed this weekend and so far I have noticed a difference. How big of difference, I'm not sure yet.

Anyways, I'm really excited about everything and being able to power my Volt using the Sun.....
Congratulations, Palakaman!!!!
I'd be all over the deal you have - including overturning the couch for loose change to make it happen.:cool:

Ok, I personally recommend Enphase inverters for many reasons. I wish you the best though with whatever you decide. Good luck with your install! You will really enjoy a net-metered bill. Ours is usually 18.44, which is the least it can net-metered down to which means I produced more than I used or at least break even ;)
Yeah, net-metering plans vary, so read the fine print carefully. Our utility does a monthly "true-up" and allows you to have a $0.00 monthly bill if you can manage to over-produce that much - which, in my opinion means that you went WAY overboard on sizing the array (or went on vacation.)

Congratulations ...
A nice companion to the solar/EV setup is the NEUR.IO home power monitoring system. That will make you 100% energy aware of what is going on in the house.

Enjoy your investment!
We're fortunate in having a utility that offers a free portal that provides similar information along with the ability to program multiple schedules and on-the-fly HVAC, electric water heater and pool pump changes/schedule selections via smartphone or web access. Besides those features, I can also see our household usage in 15-minute increments, hourly increments, daily summaries, or, in a 13-month view. It's free in return for me agreeing to allow them to bump the temperature 4*F above/below my setting during a "Conservation Event" when they're maxed out on the production side. I do, however, have the ability to override their setting if need be - if I even notice it.

Radiant barriers are great.... Between the RB OSB, insulation/ventilation improvements we did at the time, and now the solar modules on our south- and west-facing roofs the AC almost never runs...
Agreed! We did that as well except that we have ventilation via vents under the eves [between the rafters] of the roof extending to the opposite side of the house. Our roof was redone a year before we installed solar. We don't have an attic - vaulted ceiling - so that's as far as we went.

Like you, the panels on our southern roof provide shading similar to having trees on that side of the house. Funny, since we cut one down on that side to install the panels and another from my neighbor's yard that was shading our northern roof - where there are 8 panels facing south on a riser.

...If you go Enphase be sure to get (or try to get) access to Enlighten Manager. You no longer get per panel view in My Enlighten. I believe there is an upcharge for it but it pays off in the long term. ...
I don't recall there being an additional charge, but they may have changed their sales model since we came on board. Since it's web-based, I just toggle between the two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Couple things...yes, you can claim the roof if you can prove it was for solar; otherwise, it is tricky. Also, I still recommend Enphase over String any day of the week. What most people fail to realize is there is always shade. It is called clouds. You would be amazed at how they affect panels. Most people would never know this though because they don't monitor panels individually ;) I would go with Enphase M250 for your setup. If you have a choice, go with them. The fee for utilities is confusing for me. I have never heard of such a fee, but I guess it exits where you are. What is the purpose?
I don't want to jeopardize anything by going after the roof. It's a small percentage of the total cost that it might not be worth it.

I will be sure to push for micro inverters.

The paper said "web based monitoring unit". And the guy said that was a new fee the utility imposed or something to that effect. I'm not sure of it's purpose yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
I don't want to jeopardize anything by going after the roof. It's a small percentage of the total cost that it might not be worth it.

I will be sure to push for micro inverters.

The paper said "web based monitoring unit". And the guy said that was a new fee the utility imposed or something to that effect. I'm not sure of it's purpose yet.
Good call :) I wish you the best of luck. Enphase might be slightly more expensive upfront, but well worth the long term cost. I installed my own system with Enphase. I looked at eveything and I still consider it the best. SolarWorld 285 with Enphase M250 will serve you extremely well as that is a great match up. If you have any questions, private message me. I installed my own system back in 2012 and added to it last year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
Can you opt out of net metering?

I rather just not get paid for excess production and omit the additional $50 a month fee.
 
1 - 20 of 95 Posts
Top