Author Topic: Oh! The anguish of standing on the sidelines and watching someone getting hosed!  (Read 5406 times)

ctuser1

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One of my acquaintances is having solar panels installed today.

He and I had previously discussed the panels I had installed via Tesla. He txted today that his panels are finally being installed today, so I decided to take some time out during lunch and drive over to him and see what they are up to!

He is using a local installer, 44 panels total = 10kW capacity. God knows why they are using the 220W panels when much higher capacity ones are available now.

His monthly payments are $230/month, for a 20Y loan for a 10kW array. For comparison my 12.24kW array through Tesla cost me $99/mo for first 18 months and then $134/month after that, for 20 years.

Straight $ vs $, his net outflow (without discounting) will be $55.2k, and mine will be $31.75k for a bigger capacity.

My wife tells me I have the worst poker face in the world. I sure hope I did a better job than usual today when I first heard those numbers!

kay02

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I had to sit in silence while one of my roommates told me about the "great deal" she got on her car. :(  She makes way less than me and paid so much with so much interest.  It makes me want to cry.

sailinlight

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Do you own your panels or are leasing them?

ctuser1

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Do you own your panels or are leasing them?

I purchased with a loan. The detailed economics that I posted in another thread are as follows:
Thanks for this thread.  We just ordered the Tesla panels for our home, and I'm wondering if yours is one solid square grid or if they work around things like skylights. I'm assuming they do. The $1.49kW price after federal rebates sold us on the installation.

That's phenomenal.  We were just a touch under $3/kw installed within the last year.
At that price we will see a return enough to justify the cost. Itís more for the energy sourcing vs the actual costs, since we only plan to be in this house 5 years or so. We figure it will help with the sale and not cost us too much extra.

If you have any state incentives, that cost will go lower than $1.49/W. (I'm assuming $1.49/kW was a typo)

e.g.

My final cost after CT Green Bank rebates is $19,728.00

I got the exact figure after the rebate application went through (and they dinged ~$800 from my rebate amount due to lower TSRF in the back), and the final loan application was processed with Spectrum CU (entirely arranged by Tesla - I just signed some papers).

I expect to get 26% tax credits on this amount (after state incentives) = $5,129.28

Final cost after all incentives = $14,598.72
System size = 12.24kW = 12240W.
= $1192.72 / kW,
or 1.19272 / W

My friends in MA tell me they have much bigger state incentives compared to us (in CT), so their installed cost was < $1/W.

The loan for $19,728.00 was financed with Spectrum Credit Union @4.49%. I plan to pay it off next year with a cash out mortgage refi @2.5% + the tax refund.
 

Syonyk

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*looks at his $1.50/W pre-tax rebate ground mount 15.9kW system*

Oh, right, I spent 2 years working on that and 6 months of weekends building it...

Solar salespeople range from "tolerable" to "scum of the earth," near as I can tell.  I've met better used car salesmen.  The whole game seems to be to convince you that you're going to pay SUPER OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF MONEY for power over the next 30 years, so that if you pay them just obscene amounts of money, why, look how much you'll "save."  And they never tell you what their actual calculations are, don't bother reflecting reality with it, and seem more interested in pricing based on how much they think you'll pay than anything actually sane.  I did my own system after getting quotes in the $3.50-$4.00/W range before incentives.  Sorry, $40k for a 9.8kW roof mount system just isn't interesting to me.  And that's before they just assume that, of course everyone can take the full federal tax credit in the first year and work their financing scams around that sort of thing.  Oh, you don't pay that much in federal taxes?  Well... your loss, pay up for the creative financing you paid a few grand up front to "buy" a 0% rate on.

Hopefully you don't have any problems with it, Tesla solar's post-install customer service frequently is quite poor.

ctuser1

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*looks at his $1.50/W pre-tax rebate ground mount 15.9kW system*

Oh, right, I spent 2 years working on that and 6 months of weekends building it...^^^^

Solar salespeople range from "tolerable" to "scum of the earth," near as I can tell.  I've met better used car salesmen.  The whole game seems to be to convince you that you're going to pay SUPER OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF MONEY for power over the next 30 years, so that if you pay them just obscene amounts of money, why, look how much you'll "save."  And they never tell you what their actual calculations are, don't bother reflecting reality with it, and seem more interested in pricing based on how much they think you'll pay than anything actually sane.  I did my own system after getting quotes in the $3.50-$4.00/W range before incentives.  Sorry, $40k for a 9.8kW roof mount system just isn't interesting to me.  And that's before they just assume that, of course everyone can take the full federal tax credit in the first year*** and work their financing scams around that sort of thing.  Oh, you don't pay that much in federal taxes?  Well... your loss, pay up for the creative financing you paid a few grand up front to "buy" a 0% rate on.

Hopefully you don't have any problems with it, Tesla solar's post-install customer service frequently is quite poor.****

*** Spot on. This acquaintance I cite are a retired couple, so I have no idea how they are going to actually realize the federal tax credit. But then, I didn't probe.

**** You're right! there are some horrible reviews online. They royally screwed over the customers from SolarCity acquisition who had any trouble at all. Hopefully they are turning a corner now, as most of my interactions have only been maddingly infuriating and not extremely so! I also have three colleagues with Tesla panels that had no trouble with it (so I am hoping I won't either), and apparently Tesla is now trying to build up their solar panel game after first making a royal mess with SolarCity. Fingers crossed!

^^^^In your DIY case, however, you gained a massive amount of skillset + the pride of building it yourself that I or anyone else taking the easy route won't have. So - IMO - your $1.49/W array of panels is nowhere near what my neighbors did. In fact, I am envious of you that you have the chutzpah to attempt AND carry through such a big DIY project.

Syonyk

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In fact, I am envious of you that you have the chutzpah to attempt AND carry through such a big DIY project.

I might use "stupdity" and "insanity."  It was radically more work than I expected, mostly because I don't know how to estimate thing I've never done.  How long does it take to conduit up the side of your house from inverters to disconnects and the panel?  How long does it take to cut and clean 150' of trench in my dirt?  Etc.  But at least it's done.  Now I need to write a guidebook for people in the area.

sailinlight

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Wow that is really cheap, we also just installed a 8.5kw system for about $3/w before rebates. I didn't even call Tesla because I assumed they would be more expensive based on their cars

Just Joe

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I had to sit in silence while one of my roommates told me about the "great deal" she got on her car. :(  She makes way less than me and paid so much with so much interest.  It makes me want to cry.

Car repairs people tell me about. Always so expensive compared to a little DIY education.

kay02

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I had to sit in silence while one of my roommates told me about the "great deal" she got on her car. :(  She makes way less than me and paid so much with so much interest.  It makes me want to cry.

Car repairs people tell me about. Always so expensive compared to a little DIY education.
I probably get killed on that front sadly.  But I've been pretty lucky overall with repairs on my grandma's old car. :)  Still beats a giant monthly payment.

joleran

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Car repairs people tell me about. Always so expensive compared to a little DIY education.

I can buy a jack, jack stand, brake pads, compressor, pneumatic impact wrench, and the special unnecessary tool to compress the caliper piston, then throw them all out when I'm done and still come out ahead of taking it to the dealer for a simple brake job.

oldladystache

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I got an email from ex husband last night. mentioned he got an email from an old friend saying friend was traveling and wasn't able to send a birthday gift to his niece, so would xh please do it for him. just get a gift card and send it off. So he did.

I immediately told him he'd been scammed. He was positive he hadn't been. Had emailed the friend to ask if it really was him, and the friend said it was.

I told him I was skeptical. Said I had gotten a similar email once and I was prepared with a question only my friend could answer. Turned out my friend answered the phone and said it wasn't him.

So he sent his friend another email, i guess with several questions only the friend knew the answer to. Surprise, the friend didn't reply. So this morning he called the friend's house and friend's daughter told him there was something wrong with his computer, and many people on his contact list had called about the scam.

Then he admitted he had sent 3 $100 gift cards already and was intending to send 3 more today.

RetiredAt63

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I got an email from ex husband last night. mentioned he got an email from an old friend saying friend was traveling and wasn't able to send a birthday gift to his niece, so would xh please do it for him. just get a gift card and send it off. So he did.

I immediately told him he'd been scammed. He was positive he hadn't been. Had emailed the friend to ask if it really was him, and the friend said it was.

I told him I was skeptical. Said I had gotten a similar email once and I was prepared with a question only my friend could answer. Turned out my friend answered the phone and said it wasn't him.

So he sent his friend another email, i guess with several questions only the friend knew the answer to. Surprise, the friend didn't reply. So this morning he called the friend's house and friend's daughter told him there was something wrong with his computer, and many people on his contact list had called about the scam.

Then he admitted he had sent 3 $100 gift cards already and was intending to send 3 more today.

I had the exact same email a few months ago.  I thought it was a bit off and phoned the next day, yup a scam.  My friend said at least one of her friends fell for it.  And she had lost access to her email.  It is a very well set up scam.

TheGrimSqueaker

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One of my best friends just had a breakup, and a contributing factor was the fact that her long-term boyfriend had fallen for a scam and lost thousands. She'd tried to talk him out of the "investment" opportunity-- one of the bogus Bitcoin schemes-- and he'd angrily insisted on doing it anyway. As a result he lost most of his savings.

There was more than one factor in this dumpster fire that had to have hurt. My friend was very upset about the lost money because she was the household breadwinner and had been supporting both of them. She'd even given him work in her business, even though he didn't really get along with the rest of the staff. She wasn't happy about the way he treated her when he asserted his right to "invest". He didn't apologize when he lost everything. Overall, my response was: "I don't care if it's solid platinum and sparks shoot out the end, no piece of sausage is worth that. You're young, you're smart, and you're a successful business owner. He's easily replaced."

Dicey

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Tangent: A Realtor, who fancies himself a developer, bought a house down the road a ways. It was a shithole. The investors he sold it to wisely backed out and he bought it from them. He began extensive renovations without permits, and it just got worse from there. Someone is going to buy this very expensive piece of shit and be in for a world of problems and there's not a damn thing I or any one of my neighbors can do about it. The Building Department says the Building Code only sets minimum standards, and they have done what they can to enforce them, but someone is going to get hurt. Alas, it's not the shyster who did the shitty work. Breaks my heart. The price tag? Its a "secret". He's keeping it as a pocket listing to avoid MLS and to try to find his own buyer to avoid sharing comissions. Substantially over a million dollars is our educated guess.

What a timely topic.

Just Joe

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One of my best friends just had a breakup, and a contributing factor was the fact that her long-term boyfriend had fallen for a scam and lost thousands. She'd tried to talk him out of the "investment" opportunity-- one of the bogus Bitcoin schemes-- and he'd angrily insisted on doing it anyway. As a result he lost most of his savings.

There was more than one factor in this dumpster fire that had to have hurt. My friend was very upset about the lost money because she was the household breadwinner and had been supporting both of them. She'd even given him work in her business, even though he didn't really get along with the rest of the staff. She wasn't happy about the way he treated her when he asserted his right to "invest". He didn't apologize when he lost everything. Overall, my response was: "I don't care if it's solid platinum and sparks shoot out the end, no piece of sausage is worth that. You're young, you're smart, and you're a successful business owner. He's easily replaced."

That's some heavy duty denial by the BF. To me it sounds very much like the same psych that so many have that helps them believe all the rumors of 2020.

CBS News (I think) interviewed an ICU nurse...

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nurse+has+dying+patients+who+still+think+covid+is+fake

TheGrimSqueaker

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One of my best friends just had a breakup, and a contributing factor was the fact that her long-term boyfriend had fallen for a scam and lost thousands. She'd tried to talk him out of the "investment" opportunity-- one of the bogus Bitcoin schemes-- and he'd angrily insisted on doing it anyway. As a result he lost most of his savings.

There was more than one factor in this dumpster fire that had to have hurt. My friend was very upset about the lost money because she was the household breadwinner and had been supporting both of them. She'd even given him work in her business, even though he didn't really get along with the rest of the staff. She wasn't happy about the way he treated her when he asserted his right to "invest". He didn't apologize when he lost everything. Overall, my response was: "I don't care if it's solid platinum and sparks shoot out the end, no piece of sausage is worth that. You're young, you're smart, and you're a successful business owner. He's easily replaced."

That's some heavy duty denial by the BF. To me it sounds very much like the same psych that so many have that helps them believe all the rumors of 2020.

CBS News (I think) interviewed an ICU nurse...

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nurse+has+dying+patients+who+still+think+covid+is+fake

The BF was a total himbo. I never liked him and thought he had the intellectual capacity of cottage cheese, but he made my friend happy.

I have no moral objection to keeping someone around who basically earns their keep in bed, and I don't deny having enjoyed an occasional toy myself from time to time. But I personally drew the line at having one live with me or work for a business I own. I think my friend's mistake was to try to make a toy into a live-in boyfriend.

Syonyk

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I can buy a jack, jack stand, brake pads, compressor, pneumatic impact wrench, and the special unnecessary tool to compress the caliper piston, then throw them all out when I'm done and still come out ahead of taking it to the dealer for a simple brake job.

Pretty much.  Even when I was broke, I never concerned myself too much with the cost of buying tools, under the logic that even if it was a single purpose tool, I'd probably use it multiple times (I tried to standardize on cars to keep tool compatibility and knowledge crossover), and I was still saving money.

Then would go do work for other people to pay for said tools.  Worked out well.  I could undercut a shop massively, and still feed myself for a month on the profits of a brake job for someone.

Just Joe

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Yep! I have tools that have been useful to three generations of my family now. 

AMandM

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I got an email from ex husband last night. mentioned he got an email from an old friend saying friend was traveling and wasn't able to send a birthday gift to his niece, so would xh please do it for him. just get a gift card and send it off. So he did.

I immediately told him he'd been scammed. He was positive he hadn't been. Had emailed the friend to ask if it really was him, and the friend said it was.

I told him I was skeptical. Said I had gotten a similar email once and I was prepared with a question only my friend could answer. Turned out my friend answered the phone and said it wasn't him.

So he sent his friend another email, i guess with several questions only the friend knew the answer to. Surprise, the friend didn't reply. So this morning he called the friend's house and friend's daughter told him there was something wrong with his computer, and many people on his contact list had called about the scam.

Then he admitted he had sent 3 $100 gift cards already and was intending to send 3 more today.

Who sends $600 to a niece for a birthday??

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Car repairs people tell me about. Always so expensive compared to a little DIY education.

I can buy a jack, jack stand, brake pads, compressor, pneumatic impact wrench, and the special unnecessary tool to compress the caliper piston, then throw them all out when I'm done and still come out ahead of taking it to the dealer for a simple brake job.

Depends on how much you value your time and mental effort in learning the DIY aspect, I suppose.

Also depends on the opportunity cost of that time and how much you enjoy DIY work generally.

sherr

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I got an email from ex husband last night. mentioned he got an email from an old friend saying friend was traveling and wasn't able to send a birthday gift to his niece, so would xh please do it for him. just get a gift card and send it off. So he did.

I immediately told him he'd been scammed. He was positive he hadn't been. Had emailed the friend to ask if it really was him, and the friend said it was.

I told him I was skeptical. Said I had gotten a similar email once and I was prepared with a question only my friend could answer. Turned out my friend answered the phone and said it wasn't him.

So he sent his friend another email, i guess with several questions only the friend knew the answer to. Surprise, the friend didn't reply. So this morning he called the friend's house and friend's daughter told him there was something wrong with his computer, and many people on his contact list had called about the scam.

Then he admitted he had sent 3 $100 gift cards already and was intending to send 3 more today.

Who sends $600 to a niece for a birthday??

It's not even his (the guy sending the gift cards) niece. He's sending these gift cards to "an old friends's nice" in order to help out the old friend. $600. Must have been good friends.

oldladystache

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I got an email from ex husband last night. mentioned he got an email from an old friend saying friend was traveling and wasn't able to send a birthday gift to his niece, so would xh please do it for him. just get a gift card and send it off. So he did.

I immediately told him he'd been scammed. He was positive he hadn't been. Had emailed the friend to ask if it really was him, and the friend said it was.

I told him I was skeptical. Said I had gotten a similar email once and I was prepared with a question only my friend could answer. Turned out my friend answered the phone and said it wasn't him.

So he sent his friend another email, i guess with several questions only the friend knew the answer to. Surprise, the friend didn't reply. So this morning he called the friend's house and friend's daughter told him there was something wrong with his computer, and many people on his contact list had called about the scam.

Then he admitted he had sent 3 $100 gift cards already and was intending to send 3 more today.

Who sends $600 to a niece for a birthday??

It's not even his (the guy sending the gift cards) niece. He's sending these gift cards to "an old friends's nice" in order to help out the old friend. $600. Must have been good friends.
The friend did promise to pay him back.

Syonyk

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Depends on how much you value your time and mental effort in learning the DIY aspect, I suppose.

Also depends on the opportunity cost of that time and how much you enjoy DIY work generally.

Or if you can afford a shop in the first place.  I won't claim I enjoyed doing all my own maintenance, but I enjoyed being able to keep a car operational, as it was better than walking and somewhat required for one of my jobs...  plus biking across Iowa in the winter, while I did it plenty, wasn't always much fun.

It's quite hard to get lower transportation costs than with a cheap car and doing the work yourself.  I had less than $1000 in an awful lot of my vehicles, counting purchase cost and all parts for years of operation.

Just Joe

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We still drive a couple of those cheap cars with something nicer on standby in the garage. Love not worrying about them. Also fun being "incognito Mustache".


Tempname23

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Or worse yet are people that turn the hose on themselves.
 My wife has a nephew that in his late 30s finally got away from working for dad and grama. Has no SS paid to date, all cash. My wife got him a decent job and he's progressing. But as soon as he had a little money he had to by a $20k+ truck to make payments on. The wife does nails at a shop, and she sends some money back home and also buys high end clothes and under garments from overseas. My wife has gotten bags of these because she didn't like them or they didn't fit. My wife takes them to a consignment store. Recently, the nephews wife, ask to borrow a $1,000 to buy a Budda statue! Ya, a Budda statue from overseas. My wife told her no, and to save the money if that's what she wants. The reply, "but they might sell them all" Her husband is not aware of this request.
 Firehose turned on self.

Sugaree

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Wow that is really cheap, we also just installed a 8.5kw system for about $3/w before rebates. I didn't even call Tesla because I assumed they would be more expensive based on their cars


***Laughs in Alabama***


Unless we're completely off-grid, the power company is allowed to charge us $5/kw/month for having solar.


partgypsy

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I like the idea of having solar, but at least on current house when I ran the numbers it didn't make financial sense.

ctuser1

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It gets better and better!

I recently learned (thank to couponvan in the other thread) that the solar array needs to start producing electricity before the end of the year 2020 in order to qualify for the 26% tax rebate.

I happened to come by this acquaintance today and dutifully informed her that she needs to make sure that the installer gets the permit to operate from the utility before Dec 31 (which is a very tight deadline), else she will get less in tax rebates.

It is then that she informed me that she is not going to get any of those rebates, but the local installer would. So, she does not care!

In summary:
1. She has a 10kW system.
2. She will get none of the tax credits.
3. And she will pay $230/month for the system for 20 years in some sort of lease/PPA.

For comparison, I am paying $99/mo for 18 months and $134/mo for rest of the 20Y term for a larger system AND I will get the tax credits. They also had these exact details available when they were ordering their solar (I had given them a copy of my agreement with Tesla).

Wow!


Syonyk

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Well, they've gotten hosed by a solar installer in the predictable way.

Good job solar installer!  Screw people over and make a ton of money!

Dicey

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Well, they've gotten hosed by a solar installer in the predictable way.

Good job solar installer!  Screw people over and make a ton of money!
And good luck to her If they decide they want to move. Crazy, indeed!

AMandM

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Who sends $600 to a niece for a birthday??

It's not even his (the guy sending the gift cards) niece. He's sending these gift cards to "an old friends's nice" in order to help out the old friend. $600. Must have been good friends.

Right?  If I got that email, I'd know it was a scam because nobody I'm friends with would be looking for $600 for a niece's birthday!

Syonyk

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And good luck to her If they decide they want to move. Crazy, indeed!

Mmhmm.  The nightmares of trying to sell with a non-responsive PPA having a lien are well documented.

Right?  If I got that email, I'd know it was a scam because nobody I'm friends with would be looking for $600 for a niece's birthday!

Yeah, but, see, he was going to pay back the $600, plus a nice amount for his time, and... maybe, you know, you could read the gift card code and use it, and... etc.  There's a whole art of the con in where you make the sucker feel like they've got the upper hand and can, with a bit of luck, scam the scammer - who is, of course, in full control, the entire time.

The Big Con (1940s book) is an utterly fascinating read on how con men ply their trade.  It's mostly focused around older cons we don't see anymore, but all the elements are absolutely there in modern cons and scams, and the psychology of humans hasn't changed a bit.  If anything, it's easier, because you can cast a wide net and never have the risk of meeting your marks in person.