Author Topic: We went solar today!  (Read 7887 times)

pdxcyn

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We went solar today!
« on: June 10, 2014, 06:15:51 PM »
Had a 12 x 275 watt panel system installed on south facing roof of our house today. Just waiting for inspection and go ahead from electric company to turn it on. Oregon has amazing incentives for solar, it practically makes no sense not to. Here are the details:

Cost of system/install (made in USA modules and inverter):  $11,880
Energy Trust of Oregon incentive (taken off contractor's bill):  -$3300
                                                                Out of pocket cost:  $8580
Minus Federal Tax Credit (30% of net cost)                            -$2574
Minus State Tax Credit (taken over 4 years)                           -$5940

Total "cost" of system (not including permit fee of $772)       $66

And this was not even the best incentive program out there. There is another one that we applied for that is awarded on a lottery basis that unfortunately we did not get.

2527

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 06:18:09 PM »
Wow, that is really good!  Tell us how it works after a few months!

Exflyboy

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 06:31:14 PM »
makes me wish I had a south facing roof.

It will be interesting how well this works year round.. Are you East or West of the Cascades.. On the East side I assume they would have more year round effectiveness.

Frank

In Corvallis

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 06:50:36 PM »
Hi Frank,

We are on the west side, in Portland. I think we will generate enough to cover all our usage in the summer only. Will let everyone know how it works out.

Grid

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 07:27:44 PM »
So cool.  Are you eligible for a credit on your electric bill if your usage is under the output of your new system?

Nords

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 12:18:05 AM »
Energy Trust of Oregon incentive (taken off contractor's bill):  -$3300

Minus State Tax Credit (taken over 4 years)                           -$5940

Total "cost" of system (not including permit fee of $772)       $66
Very impressive!  Those are some big honkin' incentives, especially considering that you're probably paying under 15 cents/KWHr for electricity from the utility. 

Norioch

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 10:09:33 AM »
Very cool! If I ever own a house with a roof, I'll definitely look into this.

Are your solar panels covered be your home owner's insurance, and if so, did it raise your premiums?

Exflyboy

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 11:03:12 AM »
We get a lot of power here from Cheap Hydro.. And a LOT of water (duh, its Oregon!).

Thats partly why a number of wafer fab companies have settled here.. Power and water are cheap.

In Corvallis I am paying about 8c per KWhr.

Frank

Emg03063

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 03:00:24 PM »
Awesome!

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 04:17:55 PM »
Quote
Are your solar panels covered be your home owner's insurance, and if so, did it raise your premiums?

I almost forgot to call and tell them, thanks for the reminder. They said my home owner's insurance will increase by about $25, but my earthquake insurance will increase by around $50 (annually).

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 04:39:10 PM »
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Are you eligible for a credit on your electric bill if your usage is under the output of your new system?

Yes, it is a net metering system.

Mrs3F

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 08:20:51 PM »
That's awesome!!

I keep pricing out solar in my area (NJ) and the price is just not right for me yet..... but keeps edging closer.  Can't wait to make the jump.

GuitarStv

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 07:25:22 AM »
Wow, those are some great incentives!  We put some solar panels up on the roof last year, and so far they've worked out really well for us as a steady source of income.  Congrats!

TomTX

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 08:57:54 PM »
Hm, the Federal tax credit apparently won't result in Uncle Sam cutting you a check, but you can carry over the credit (probably) through 2016.

I've been toying with the idea of solar for awhile now.

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2014, 12:40:14 PM »
Quote
Hm, the Federal tax credit apparently won't result in Uncle Sam cutting you a check, but you can carry over the credit (probably) through 2016.

Yes, that is correct. It is a "non-refundable" credit, but it can be carried over. The Oregon credit is also non-refundable. In anticipation we changed our withholding allowances earlier in the year to "2" each, but we are not big wage earners so I'm not sure if we will owe enough. I plan to run the numbers as we get nearer the end of the year. My idea is to do some Roth conversions if necessary to make up the difference. If anyone else has a better suggestion for increasing our tax burden, let me know!

hybrid

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2014, 11:36:17 AM »
I'm green with envy. No wait, you're green, I'm just stuck with the envy. C'mon Virginia, get on board....

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 07:58:31 PM »
Quote
What brand did you end up purchasing?

The panels were manufactured nearby in Hillsboro, OR by Solarworld.

TomTX

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 08:01:17 PM »
Quote
Hm, the Federal tax credit apparently won't result in Uncle Sam cutting you a check, but you can carry over the credit (probably) through 2016.

Yes, that is correct. It is a "non-refundable" credit, but it can be carried over. The Oregon credit is also non-refundable. In anticipation we changed our withholding allowances earlier in the year to "2" each, but we are not big wage earners so I'm not sure if we will owe enough. I plan to run the numbers as we get nearer the end of the year. My idea is to do some Roth conversions if necessary to make up the difference. If anyone else has a better suggestion for increasing our tax burden, let me know!

Yeah, Roth conversion was the best I could come up with as well.

b4u2

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2014, 06:45:28 AM »
Iowa needs some good incentives. The best ones here seem to be for wind but I live in town so that isn't feasible. I did build one panel myself but haven't invested more time or money into making more of them.

pdxcyn

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2014, 07:52:03 PM »
I just received my first electric bill with some electrical usage, so I figured it was a good time for an update. The system, with rolled over credits, kept us from needing to purchase any electricity until now (service period 11/12~12/15). I have been keeping a running total of our savings, and so far we have saved about $143 on our electricity bills from the time the system was turned on, July 3, 2014.

Also did a test run on our taxes, looks like it will be no problem getting our full solar credits applied per the original post. I had some misunderstanding about how the non-refundable credits work. It doesn't really matter how much was withheld from our checks, as long as the amount of tax we owe is greater than the amount of the credit, we can use the full credit.

From Investopedia "DEFINITION of 'Non-Refundable Tax Credit': A tax credit that can't reduce the amount of tax owed to less than zero."

Nords

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2014, 09:35:11 PM »
Also did a test run on our taxes, looks like it will be no problem getting our full solar credits applied per the original post. I had some misunderstanding about how the non-refundable credits work. It doesn't really matter how much was withheld from our checks, as long as the amount of tax we owe is greater than the amount of the credit, we can use the full credit.
From Investopedia "DEFINITION of 'Non-Refundable Tax Credit': A tax credit that can't reduce the amount of tax owed to less than zero."
If for some reason you don't use the full amount of the credit, you might be able to roll forward the unused portion to next year. 

But that system varies by the way the federal/state/local incentive laws are written.

CALL 911

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Re: We went solar today!
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2014, 06:39:39 AM »
I live in the wrong place.

My system should go live tomorrow. Cost=$3.85/watt

Rebates - Federal/state = 55% of installation costs

Total outlay - 1.73/watt
At $0.11 per watt from the utility, it'll take years to pay off.

It'll take you days to pay off. The world is so unfair.