Author Topic: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!  (Read 726 times)

Roots&Wings

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Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« on: September 21, 2018, 06:40:09 AM »
YTD just passed $4k in bank bonuses (checking, savings, and credit cards). Thanks largely to this thread and kpd's.

This'll pay for a 2.5 kW solar PV system ($4,646 post-tax credit) to generate 100% of my annual electricity use (~3,800 kWh). It's being installed in a few weeks.

EnergySage was fantastic with getting affordable solar quotes (alas, couldn't DIY it...facepunch away). In my case, solar is about 10 year payback, and a lifelong dream to get close to net zero energy!

Plan to open a few more bank accounts in the coming months to hopefully cover 100% of the cost.

Kapiira

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2018, 03:05:30 PM »
That's awesome!  Nice work.

twig21

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 03:47:22 PM »
With solar I'm worried about them changing rates (the way bills are calculated).  They have already changed net metering in Hawaii and other places to make it less beneficial to have solar.

kpd905

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 05:16:44 PM »
Damn, that is so cool.  Glad my journal thread could help out.  Think that qualifies me for some type of carbon offsets?

It is cool to pay for such a large item with the bank bonus money.  I have thought about keeping all of my bonus money in a separate taxable account just to see what it could grow to over a few years.

Goldielocks

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 06:37:54 PM »
We just installed solar (PNW)... a much larger system than you because less sunshine, but exciting to watch the usage drop on sunny days.   

Roots&Wings

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 11:01:54 AM »
With solar I'm worried about them changing rates (the way bills are calculated).  They have already changed net metering in Hawaii and other places to make it less beneficial to have solar.

Yeah, definitely have to read the fine print of your utility's net metering contract, and there's no guarantee that solar buyback rates may change in future (electric rates will likely increase too).

The other type of system I considered was a plug-in solar panel system, which uses a normal outdoor power outlet, bypasses utility net metering and permitting process, but only offsets current power draw usage, i.e. meter won't spin backwards if there's excess generation.

Or potentially going off-grid in future with battery backup (about $8k) should the utility company become totally unreasonable and won't credit anything for solar.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 11:06:13 AM »
Damn, that is so cool.  Glad my journal thread could help out. Think that qualifies me for some type of carbon offsets?

It is cool to pay for such a large item with the bank bonus money.  I have thought about keeping all of my bonus money in a separate taxable account just to see what it could grow to over a few years.

For sure! ;)

This is peanuts compared to your bonus amounts, but yeah, it's amazing how much those side account funds can grow into.

If I could just come up with a legitimate side hustle and get the business account bonuses too, that'd be another couple thousand/yr easily. Thanks again for the inspiration!

twig21

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Re: Going Solar (net zero electricity) with Bank Account Bonuses!
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 04:33:54 PM »


Yeah, definitely have to read the fine print of your utility's net metering contract, and there's no guarantee that solar buyback rates may change in future (electric rates will likely increase too).


I would go further and not say they may change but that they will change.  Numerous utilities have already changed them.  Some utilities don't buy back anything and some give you a much smaller amount than the retail rate.  Also demand rates are becoming popular which really hurts solar pay back.

I've done some analysis on battery and to be fully sufficient and not have any time without power you would have to spend a lot on batteries.  For $8k you are probably looking at enough to get through a day without generation.  In my research you will likely experience close to a week of no/little generation (rainy/overcast week).  That significantly increases battery costs.