Author Topic: Solar Panels - worth the investment?  (Read 15344 times)

gluskap

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Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« on: February 17, 2015, 02:36:53 PM »
So we've been looking into ways to cut our electric bill and was thinking about getting some quotes for solar panels.  We can get a 30% rebate on the cost of purchasing as a tax credit.  Has anyone done this?  Is it worth it?  How much did it end up costing and how long do you think it took before you recouped your cost?

MoneyCat

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 03:21:46 PM »
We just installed solar panels and it is definitely a good investment if you get good tax incentives for it.  We live in New Jersey, so in addition to the 30% deduction on our federal income taxes, we also get the solar panels exempt from our property tax assessment, pay no sales tax on the installation, and get 15 years worth of SRECs to sell to the utility companies.  The system will pay for itself after eight years, not counting the SRECs.  It also increases the value of your home if you are planning to sell in the future.

nereo

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 03:48:53 PM »
Have you taken the time to look at solar insolation maps?  You say you are in LA, which is very good overall for solar irradiance, but even a few miles can have big differences on how big a system you'll need.  Also worth knowing is what your current electricity usage is (and whether that can first be cut down by making your home more energy efficient).  Then you can price out various systems (with rebates) and determine where your ROI will be.  In SoCA it seems to vary anywhere from 2 to 8 years.

Emg03063

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 04:47:39 PM »
I did it a few years ago, but I had a 65% combined state & federal tax credit, and $2500 rebate from the utility as a kicker.  Still looking at a 5-6 year payback.  There are plenty of faster returning investments to be made in efficiency first, but once you've exhausted them, if the financials make sense for you, then go for it.

jmusic

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 05:03:48 PM »
It also increases the value of your home if you are planning to sell in the future.

I don't have any experience with this but I've heard that this is a MYTH that Solar Sellers would like people to believe...

waltworks

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 05:28:54 PM »
Depends on your state and tax situation, as others have already said. Without significant incentives, no, it's not. In most cases there are some significant incentives.

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mulescent

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 06:02:36 PM »
It also increases the value of your home if you are planning to sell in the future.

I don't have any experience with this but I've heard that this is a MYTH that Solar Sellers would like people to believe...
I have no skin in the game (e.g. I don't own a solar array), but I don't understand why this would be a myth.  Solar offers a very straightforward advantage: reducing energy costs.  If I were buying a house, I would certainly take the monthly cost reduction of solar into a calculation about the worth of the house...

mustachianteacher

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2015, 06:24:58 PM »
It sounds like you've made up your mind to purchase panels, but in the event that you haven't entirely decided, have you considered a solar lease? We looked at both options and ended up deciding in favor of the lease program with Solar City. Two years later, I'm still 100% happy with that decision. The major benefit was not having to cough up the cash to buy them outright at the start -- we didn't pay a cent to have them installed -- but there have been ongoing benefits as well:
* Solar City takes care of any maintenance issues (none so far)
* They had several payment options. We could have paid $8800 all at once and been payment-free for the next 20 years --- that is by far the option that gives you the most bang for your buck -- but we opted to have a fixed monthly payment for 20 years. We were aggressively paying down debt at the time and were rather cash-strapped.
* After 20 years, you have 3 options: Quit solar, and you get to keep the panels. Keep going in 5-year increments, or upgrade the panels and start over with a new contract.
* If you sell the house, the new owners can either take over the contract or have the panels removed and return to conventional electricity.

I won't blather on because I don't know if this even interests you, but I spent about 6 months researching buying vs. leasing before we made the switch, and I've been quite pleased. The best benefit is saying goodbye to those monster summer AC bills. We live in the valley, and a $600 DWP bill is now, mercifully, a thing of the past!

Catbert

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2015, 07:02:38 PM »
I'm in San Diego and got solar installed 5+ years ago.  Including state and federal rebates/incentives I figured it would take ~10 years to break even on this system.  Not necessarily a great investment, but I've been happy with the decision.  It has ecological as well as financial benefits.

Make sure that you understand what California PUC may allow electric providers to charge just to be connected to the internet.  Currently I pay something like 17 cents a day to be connected to SDG&E.   SDG&E proposed to drop per kw charges for everyone, but charge $30 for the privilege of being connected to their grid.  For an average non-solar customer it would be a wash.  But for solar customers it would make solar nonsensical.  PUC has held them off for the moment.  IIRC they will allow month charges to go from  ~$5 (.17 per day) to ~$10.  But we know where its headed.

I would not do a lease for the same reason I wouldn't lease a car.  Your getting screwed even if you can't figure out exactly how.    If you sell your house, the buyer can take over your lease.  But what if they don't want to? 

sol

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 08:48:40 AM »
We just installed solar panels and it is definitely a good investment if you get good tax incentives for it.

Tax incentives make all the difference.  Washington State is currently reviewing bills to change the state subsidy program from a max $0.54/kWh until 2020 to a lower subsidy for a 10 year fixed term.  The solar leasing companies are fighting it because any solar subsidy programs compete with their business model.

Details: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2025702417_solarbillsxml.html

It sounds like you've made up your mind to purchase panels, but in the event that you haven't entirely decided, have you considered a solar lease? We looked at both options and ended up deciding in favor of the lease program with Solar City. Two years later, I'm still 100% happy with that decision. The major benefit was not having to cough up the cash to buy them outright at the start

I think solar leases are kind of like car leases.  They might make financial sense in some limited set of circumstances, but generally speaking you're better off owning than leasing.  Lease companies are in the business of making money, and they wouldn't be seeking you as a customer if they weren't skimming off some profit from your lease.

Quote
* If you sell the house, the new owners can either take over the contract or have the panels removed and return to conventional electricity.

Funny, this is one of the reasons why some people I know have decided against solar leases.  They're worried about selling a home that comes with an existing contractual obligation. 

I think soar leases are great if you're too poor to front the cost, and I think that having more acquisition options will only increase the rate of installations.  Despite that, Washington State's incentive program currently excludes leases by making it so profitable for homeowners to install their own system, and I'm okay with that too.

mandy_2002

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2015, 09:41:14 AM »
There's also another option called PowerHouse Solar Shingles.  Instead of sitting on top of your house, they are actually your roofing material.  I don't have a home, but I did solar research as a part of my degree, and these seemed like a pretty interesting option, especially if you are in need of a new roof.

FabricStache

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2015, 10:45:23 AM »
We're in Ventura county and use Edison.  We've looked at a couple of solar purchase and lease options.  The payout depends on your current usage.  How much is in tier 3 and tier 4.  It didn't make sense to try to wipe out your tier 1 and tier 2 usage as these are a lot cheaper and it'll take longer to pay back on the cost of the system installation.  I hope this makes sense.  The panels are the cost of the panels.  Whether you save $0.34 kwh or $0.15 kwh.  Rates are different in the summer vs winter.  If you have a good history of kwh usage you can try doing the math for your situation.  We've only lived in our house for a year and we've been making a lot of energy improvements so we don't have a clear history.  But we think the payout was in the neighborhood of 12 years.

No one has mentioned the wear and tear on your roof.  We know of several people having roof leaks due to bad installations.  We have concrete roof tiles so they'll have to cut into the tiles.  Finding matching replacements tiles is already difficult.  If they remove the system will they really be able to put your roof back to it's original state?

On the leasing option.  Some companies will charge you and outrageous fee (I've heard $2k) to break the lease if you want to sell your house and the new owners don't want to keep the system.  At the end of 20 years of whatever the lease term is you will want to have 20 year old solar equipment.  I'm not sure how fast solar technology had been improving but you could end up with the equivalent of a car phone when everyone has cell phones.  Watch out that some companies will way oversize your system and they get the benefit of the extra electricity you generate.  I guess the solar purchase companies could oversize your system also so they can make more $.  People love seeing a $0 bill but again the tier 1 cost is very inexpensive vs the cost of the panel.

Get some quotes to get the equipment and costs.  Ignore their "math" they're usually using averages.  Break out the Excel sheet and do your own calculations.

MoneyCat

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 06:43:21 PM »
It also increases the value of your home if you are planning to sell in the future.

I don't have any experience with this but I've heard that this is a MYTH that Solar Sellers would like people to believe...
I have no skin in the game (e.g. I don't own a solar array), but I don't understand why this would be a myth.  Solar offers a very straightforward advantage: reducing energy costs.  If I were buying a house, I would certainly take the monthly cost reduction of solar into a calculation about the worth of the house...

From what I've heard solar panels are kind of like the new "granite countertops".  It's becoming standard practice for builders to include solar panels in their designs for new construction because it's such a popular option.  People are definitely more interested in purchasing a house that can produce its own electricity.

gluskap

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 09:41:00 PM »
So I ended up getting a quote and it came out to $17k for 16 panels totaling 4kW. With the 30% tax credit we would get about $5k back for a cost of $12k. Our highest bill in the summer was $180 and lowest bill now is around $60. They said we would break even around 7-8 years but that's assuming price for electricity will go up every year.

For me leasing doesn't seem to make sense because you don't get the tax credit. But not sure if we want to put down all that cash. They gave us some financing options that might make sense. It would be like what we pay every month anyways for electricity but after it was paid off we would have practically free electricity. They said there is this company Hero financing that would make the yearly payments as part of our property taxes so we could write that off. Has anyone heard of that? But it might not make sense to finance since we would just be wasting money paying interest even if that was tax deductible?

Does anyone know of any other incentives for California? That would make the decision easier.

MoneyCat

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2015, 07:36:33 AM »
So I ended up getting a quote and it came out to $17k for 16 panels totaling 4kW. With the 30% tax credit we would get about $5k back for a cost of $12k. Our highest bill in the summer was $180 and lowest bill now is around $60. They said we would break even around 7-8 years but that's assuming price for electricity will go up every year.

For me leasing doesn't seem to make sense because you don't get the tax credit. But not sure if we want to put down all that cash. They gave us some financing options that might make sense. It would be like what we pay every month anyways for electricity but after it was paid off we would have practically free electricity. They said there is this company Hero financing that would make the yearly payments as part of our property taxes so we could write that off. Has anyone heard of that? But it might not make sense to finance since we would just be wasting money paying interest even if that was tax deductible?

Does anyone know of any other incentives for California? That would make the decision easier.

California has a lot of solar capacity so the incentives aren't as good as some other places like my home state of New Jersey.  You might want to check with your utility company if they offer a rebate.  I know some utility companies have phased out rebates in CA, but it's worth looking into.  If you can reduce your electric use, you can earn some extra money through net metering, which will reduce your return time for the panels.  Also, I think CA doesn't assess solar panels as part of your home's value for property tax purposes, so it's essentially a discount on your taxes.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 09:50:47 AM by MoneyCat »

justajane

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2015, 08:56:33 AM »
We paid 5K out of pocket for a 3kWh system in the Midwest. 60% paid for by incentives. Company said break even at 6-7 years but it looks like it will be closer to 10-12 years based on the performance of the past 6 months. We are disappointed. Break even will be sooner if and when they raise our cheap rates (which they are blaming on the subsidies). Also the city might tear down the lovely 50+ year oak tree that shades the panels in the late afternoon. Boo, but this will increase our performance. Lemonade, right?

geoffp

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2015, 09:48:00 AM »
Don't forget to contact your particular utility company early on. You never know what special programs they may have.

I believe NIPSCO in northern Indiana offered, and still might offer if the capacity hasn't been filled, a special feed in tariff rate for small scale solar (<10KWH) that started out paying $0.30/KWH generated. I don't know how that would be taxed, but on a pre-tax basis $0.30/KWH looks good compared to the regular residential rate 611 of $11.00/month plus $0.116X/KWH used. In a net metering rate you would offset your usage at the rate you are paying, but with the feed in tariff you could theoretically generate roughly 1/3 of your usage with solar and accomplish the same net bill of zero for the month, neglecting taxes. Generate what you use and it looks like the company writes you a check if it exceeds your usage and interconnection fee. (I couldn't find a good summary of charges for residential usage and tried to add up all the adjustments myself in addition to the set distribution charge and came up with $0.116X/KWH). Rate 665 is their feed in tariff rate. It looks like they agree to an escalating rate, starting at the $0.30/KWH for fifteen years.   
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 09:51:12 AM by geoffp »

sol

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2015, 09:56:54 AM »
The way it works here is that I get paid the per kWh incentive rate when they write me a check once per year.  On top of that, in months when I produce more than I use, they apply the retail rate of 8.5 cents per kWh to the excess and that amount offsets our user fee or water bill.

MoneyCat

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2015, 10:21:29 AM »
I would keep in mind that the value of established solar electric systems is probably going to increase quite a bit after 2016, because Congress is unlikely to renew the 30% federal tax deduction incentive for them, which will deincentivize the establishment of new systems.  If you are on the fence about it, this is probably the time to do it if you are going to do it at all.

Calvawt

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2015, 06:53:21 PM »
I agree with Sol.  Solar leases and PPAs can save you money, but have some drawbacks.  In limited situations, one of those two will work, but are generally not as beneficial as purchasing in my opinion.

Purchasing has the highest return, but you need the capital (or a decent loan lined up).  California doesn't have the state incentives that other areas do, and in my area they are all used up.  Despite that, my system has a payback period under 6 years and a return of over 14%.  My old power bill was $2,100 a year which has been eliminated (installed last July and power production has been as expected). 

Based on the purchase price (after federal rebate), my system gives me the equivalent of a 14% dividend in year 1 from my investment.  That will grow with the 4-6% increases from the power company each year.  I don't have any expected costs outside of cleaning for at least 10 years.

DeltaBond

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2015, 07:39:55 AM »
So I ended up getting a quote and it came out to $17k for 16 panels totaling 4kW. With the 30% tax credit we would get about $5k back for a cost of $12k. Our highest bill in the summer was $180 and lowest bill now is around $60. They said we would break even around 7-8 years but that's assuming price for electricity will go up every year.

The key factor here is the "break even" point, and you're saying 7-8 years.  The question then will be how long the solar panels even last, because I hear from a few people who have owned them that they only last about 4-5 years.  Is that still the case, or are they making them more durable now??  I'll be honest, I could do the solar panel thing, but I'm choosing not to because I feel its kind of a scam right now.

sol

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2015, 07:56:55 AM »
.  The question then will be how long the solar panels even last, because I hear from a few people who have owned them that they only last about 4-5 years.  Is that still the case, or are they making them more durable now?? 

Where are you getting this bogus information?  New panels are typically warrantied for 25 years and most of the panels from the 70s are still around.  Unless you physically break them, they don't really wear out. No moving parts.

DeltaBond

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2015, 08:36:38 AM »
Bogus?  I just stated that I know a hand full of people personally who have owned them, AND I asked if this was typically the case.  Careful not to get too testy with this type of topic.  I've noticed that anything "environment/climate" related, and people get really weird about it, lol  We're all trying to compare information/data/facts, just like people comparing cars.  Solar panels are just a LOT of money up front, so its reasonable for someone to try and investigate before spending that kind of money.

I'd simply encourage someone to do all they can to insulate their home first, then look at costs.  If you've done that, and feel like getting solar panels are within your budget, go for it, but watch the numbers closely, and if they do have warranties, read the fine print.

There is also levellized billing that one can possibly do, once you've lived in a place for a year - each month's electric bill is an average of the previous 12 months.  Its a little easier to stomach than the high bills in those extreme weather months.

sol

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2015, 09:34:13 AM »
Bogus? Careful not to get too testy with this type of topic.

Sorry, for a minute there I thought you were the same person who said solar panels lose 10% of their rated output per year, which is almost as outlandish as saying they only last 4 years.

Modern solar panels are typically warrantied to produce at least 80% of their factory rating after 25 years.  Typical ratings are about half a percent loss per year.  They last a long time unless they get physically damaged. 

Quote
I'd simply encourage someone to do all they can to insulate their home first, then look at costs.

I think residential solar is in that weird intermediate space where it doesn't quite pencil out in most places without tax incentives, and the tax incentives in most places are starting to expire.  If you live in a place that still subsidizes solar production (I do) then they're usually economical.  I expect there to be many fewer such places in another two years.

My breakdown suggests a 5 year payback schedule followed by free power for what I'm hoping is another two decades after that (47% payback in year one due to federal tax break, then 17%/yr payback per year for another five years due to state incentive, then free power worth about 2.5% per year after that unless power rates rise).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 10:01:36 AM by sol »

justajane

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2015, 09:43:30 AM »
At least the way it was explained to me is that a large portion of the original cost is the installation and not the panels themselves. Thus, even if your panels have to be replaced so quickly (which I've never heard of but I guess could be possible), it's not like you would have to pay the entire amount again. You would just have to pay for new panels.

I believe we have a 10 year material and 30 year performance warranty on our panels. The installer made a big deal about how they were American made.

DeltaBond

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2015, 01:17:28 PM »
Did they mention what you'd do with them if you moved?  Would the company move them with you, or would you have to add to the asking price of your house, and how is the warranty if you move them? 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 01:40:58 PM by DeltaBond »

justajane

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2015, 02:31:18 PM »
Did they mention what you'd do with them if you moved?  Would the company move them with you, or would you have to add to the asking price of your house, and how is the warranty if you move them?

We never plan to move. I guess you could take them with you, but better might be to sell them with the house, depending on your market. Any solar company will move your panels....for a price. Our company would charge $500 to take them off and put them back on, in the event of a new roof on our current home. But a new house would require new permits, designs, etc.

Like most things, I imagine the warranty is tied to the original owner, but I could be wrong on that.

Another Reader

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2015, 03:11:10 PM »
In the Phoenix area, the solar leases detract from value and make it difficult to sell.  Buyers have to qualify for the leases as well as the mortgage and balk.  In several cases I have seen, sellers have bought out the leases to incentivize buyers. 

A lot of builders out there are offering various solar options. mostly leased panels.  At least one offered the solar roof material as an option several years back.  There were few if any takers.  The foam insulation upgrade was a much easier sell.   Lower cost and a tangible benefit requiring no contract or maintenance.

waltworks

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2015, 05:16:54 PM »
BS. A 10 second google search would have kept you from looking dumb, fwiw.

It is *possible* that you talked to people who had terrible DIY solar hot water systems from the 70s or something. Solar PV lasts a LONG time.

-W

Bogus?  I just stated that I know a hand full of people personally who have owned them, AND I asked if this was typically the case.  Careful not to get too testy with this type of topic.  I've noticed that anything "environment/climate" related, and people get really weird about it, lol 

maisymouser

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2021, 07:53:38 PM »
Reviving this post. I've recently added "power at least part of my home/life via solar energy" to my bucket list. While our roof isn't looking *that* great for solar panels- there is a moderate amount of shade from some trees- I'm going to go ahead and see what some quotes come up with. My idea of some Monday night fun, I guess.

As I was reading about solar for the first time in many moons, I learned that the ITC is going to phase out in 2022.

Quote
The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
- https://www.energysage.com/solar/cost-benefit/solar-investment-tax-credit/

What does the Mustachian community think about solar these days? What has your experience been with solar panels, if applicable?

nereo

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2021, 07:07:34 AM »
Reviving this post. I've recently added "power at least part of my home/life via solar energy" to my bucket list. While our roof isn't looking *that* great for solar panels- there is a moderate amount of shade from some trees- I'm going to go ahead and see what some quotes come up with. My idea of some Monday night fun, I guess.

As I was reading about solar for the first time in many moons, I learned that the ITC is going to phase out in 2022.

Quote
The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
- https://www.energysage.com/solar/cost-benefit/solar-investment-tax-credit/

What does the Mustachian community think about solar these days? What has your experience been with solar panels, if applicable?

Nice to see this thread pop back up

Regarding the solar investment Tax Credit (ITC) - it was originally schedu;ed to sunset over the next two years has been extended.
Now if constructions starts in 2021 or 2022 you will receive up to 26%.  In 2023 residential systems will drop to 22%, and then 0% if nothing is changed.

FWIW continued expansion of wind and solar is a key plank of newly confirmed Sec of Energy Jennifer Granholm - it will be interesting to see if there are future extensions of either the ITC or perhaps a direct rebate (which would benefit more lower and middle=class families who do not qualify for the full ITC due to their taxable burden).

REgarding solar an selling a house... I unfortunately have just done this!  After investing a net $10k in our PV array in 2020, the pandemic forced us to move. The housing market here is going bonkers but we priced our home adding the full value of the installed system and it got multiple bids within opening weekend.  There's a whole data-portal for people who have toured the house, and among the "what did you like about the house" the solar array was frequently mentioned.

Of course it's impossible to separate a dollar amount from the total home price, but we certainly feel like we are getting most of our upfront investment back\.  Mind you, this is in a GOP-leaning small town in northern New England.

jrhampt

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2021, 07:31:01 AM »
We had solar panels for a few years on a house we sold last year; after tax credits the installation was about $11k and we had 0% financing for a year until we paid it off.  We had no problem selling the house - it was under contract within 7 days and there were multiple bids.  We loved them; our electric bill was $0 the majority of the time we had them and never exceeded $20.  We loved them so much that we are considering getting them again on our other house which also has a good solar score (meaning that part of the roof is south facing and gets a lot of sun).  Tesla has recently expanded to cover our state and they have a low quote for the installation.  Worst case scenario we move before the payback period and we leave behind us a series of solar panels and free electricity for future buyers.

nereo

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2021, 07:40:37 AM »
We had solar panels for a few years on a house we sold last year; after tax credits the installation was about $11k and we had 0% financing for a year until we paid it off.  We had no problem selling the house - it was under contract within 7 days and there were multiple bids.  We loved them; our electric bill was $0 the majority of the time we had them and never exceeded $20.  We loved them so much that we are considering getting them again on our other house which also has a good solar score (meaning that part of the roof is south facing and gets a lot of sun).  Tesla has recently expanded to cover our state and they have a low quote for the installation. Worst case scenario we move before the payback period and we leave behind us a series of solar panels and free electricity for future buyers.

This is what we keep telling ourselves.  We are thrilled to recoup all the money we poured into improving out home (PVs and extensive insulation and air-sealing), but have been sad to lose the benefit of 'free power' going forward.  At least those panels will continue offsetting someone else's power usage, and in a year or three (hopefully less, to reap the ITC) we'll put solar on our next home.
Around here the ROI is in the 8-10 year range, so it's as much about living our values as it is saving money in the long term.

waltworks

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Re: Solar Panels - worth the investment?
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2021, 08:21:29 AM »
We put solar on our previous house, and it was a disaster. When we sold, it turned out the roof had some problems (which the solar company didn't figure out or maybe didn't bother telling us to make the sale) which required pulling the whole array off and then reinstalling it to the tune of $2500 or so. It did save us $50 a month in power, though, so over the 4 years we had the solar, it almost paid for it's own removal/reinstall.

At our new house (a bit more efficient) our power bills are ~$30 a month if you exclude the grid connection/base fee. Payback would be many decades (and the roof will need to be replaced in 10-15 years, too), so we're not doing solar on this place unless it gets much cheaper.

-W