Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner
 

Archived Thread

NFT: Google's new tool - 80% of roofs viable for solar panels

Ira : 3/19/2017 12:18 pm
Quote:
In a new expansion of its Project Sunroof, the company has built 3-D models of rooftops in all 50 states, looked at the trees around peopleís homes, considered the local weather, and figured out how much energy each house or building can generate if its owners plunk down for some panels.


Quote:
Sunroof lets you search for your house, suggests how large a solar array you might consider putting on your roof, and estimates how much energy it will generateóas well as how much it would cost to lease or buy the panels.

Itís a handy tool, and comes at a good time. Solar has been growing quickly in the U.S., with installations nearly doubling over the course of 2016. But most of that is on the utility scaleóresidential installations grew just 19 percent last year, mostly because demand is drying up in big state markets like California.

Link - ( New Window )
Pages: 1 2 <<Prev | Show All |
My neighbor leases them  
Keith : 3/19/2017 4:10 pm : link
and then gets a check from the power company for the power he didn't use.
RE: The Problem With Solar...  
steve in ky : 3/19/2017 4:37 pm : link
In comment 13398964 Jim in Tampa said:
Quote:
It takes a LONG time to cover the investment and start saving money.

The website linked estimated 18 years for my house just to break even.


Yeah I checked mine and it was nineteen years to break even and a saving of one thousand after twenty years and that's assuming not maintenance/replacement cost within that period of time.

To net a thousand dollar "savings" after 20 years and then have an old system probably in need of being updated is a horrible return on a 25k "investment"
RE: I don't know much about solar power, hence this dumb question:  
Jim in Fairfax : 3/19/2017 5:03 pm : link
In comment 13399110 Marty in Albany said:
Quote:
If I can generate cheaper electricity than Con Ed by using my own solar panels, then why doesn't Con Ed also use solar panels to generate cheaper electricity?

A few reasons:
1) People want power when the sun isn't shining.
2) Power demand fluctuates and thus a power source that can be ramped up and down on demand is required. Sunshine isn't controllable.
3) Your costs don't include costs that a utility must bear, in particular maintaining s large distribution system. The price your utility charges includes a lot more than the cost to generate power.

That said, as noted above many utilities are installing large scale solar arrays. It won't be the bulk of their power source, but it can be a nice slice of the pie.
What about the new Tesla roofs?  
SHO'NUFF : 3/19/2017 5:13 pm : link
You guys know anything about them? I'm waiting on those to come out.
Definitely not worth it with a 18 year payback  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:13 pm : link
but in NY city, you can have under a 5 year payback with the property tax abatement. Solar in the city is a no brainer. Solar in a place like Kentucky with super low rate and only the Fed ITC makes no sense. So lots of variables.
Here's an example in the city (I'm in the industry)  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:22 pm : link
5kw system
Costs 3.80 per watt for example
5000w * 3.80 =$19000
Fed ITC - $5700
State Tax Credit - $4750
NYC Prop Tax Abatement - $3800
Net Cost = $5050

This system will produce approximately 6000kwhs
Current NYC Coned rates are $.25/kwh
So you'd save $1500/year.

Insane payback. With systems that can last 30+ years you'd be crazy not to do it.

No upfront cash means you can still finance it, the best part? The loan payment is still less than your utility bill! If you qualify for solar and you live in NYC, the time is now. Fed ITC is stepping down. The Property tax abatement goes away in 2019.

You still get the state and tax abatement with leased systems too.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Different story in NJ, but still excellent.  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:24 pm : link
NJ uses SRECS which can be sold. Every 1000kwhs you create is an SREC. Right now trading for $200 each. You'd create 6 a year with a 5kw system. Thats $1200 of cash each year your system would pay you.

SRECS can be volatile, but you can contract for 5 year blocks.
Now compare NYC with a place like Kentucky just to understand payback  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:32 pm : link
That same 5kw system (likely cheaper to build in KY due to permit and labor costs)

5kw system @ $3.40/w
5000w * $3.40 = $17000
Fed ITc - $5100
Net Cost = $11900

Kentucky's kwh rate is likely around $.10/kwh
6000kwhs * .10 = $600/year savings
Thats a 19.8 year payback - makes no sense.
Wish it was easier to get into these things  
trueblueinpw : 3/19/2017 5:38 pm : link
Was just talking to my brother about this, his house would have cost about 20k to outfit with solar. Like posted above, the 18 years (or more) to payout is just too high. Plus, what if you move?
Jim  
steve in ky : 3/19/2017 5:42 pm : link
Thanks for the education. I guess no off the grid for me LOL
The site tells me 4%  
Svengali : 3/19/2017 5:44 pm : link
After 20 years I would save no money as it stands according to that website. Depressing.
What's the odds  
steve in ky : 3/19/2017 5:47 pm : link
that all of us who checked out address in the above link get a sales call about solar in the not to distant future? LOL
if I need to replace my roof anyways  
spike : 3/19/2017 5:50 pm : link
would it be worth while to just switch to solar?

RE: The Problem With Solar...  
EricJ : 3/19/2017 5:50 pm : link
In comment 13398964 Jim in Tampa said:
Quote:
It takes a LONG time to cover the investment and start saving money.

The website linked estimated 18 years for my house just to break even.


Exactly... surprised yours is an 18yr payback because on average it is 7 which is still too long. The government provides some subsidies but the solar companies inflate the costs even with the subsidies so that the payback is 7 years.

As far as I am concerned, the gov't has not taken solar seriously yet. All you need to do is look at florida. No solar allowed.... in the fucking sunshine state because the utility companies are in the pockets of the politicians.
And just to clarify, you dont go off grid with solar,  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:51 pm : link
you just swap meters for a net meter, which allows excess energy you create to go back into the grid. At times when there is no sun, you receive that energy back at a 1:1 kwh ratio.

Off grid is really for people in the woods that don't have a power cable getting to them.

There is battery tech coming out, but its still too expensive for most. Especially if you are talking about powering your entire home and not just emergency loads.
I was just joking around  
steve in ky : 3/19/2017 5:53 pm : link
.
RE: if I need to replace my roof anyways  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 5:55 pm : link
In comment 13399216 spike said:
Quote:
would it be worth while to just switch to solar?


If you are thinking of replacing your roof and you live in NYC, then yes its worth it. Other areas, depends.
The first thing they ask for i.e. Your email address.  
Giant John : 3/19/2017 7:22 pm : link
Just what I need more unwanted emails. No thanks.
RE: Here's an example in the city (I'm in the industry)  
jcn56 : 3/19/2017 7:58 pm : link
In comment 13399187 Jim in Forest Hills said:
Quote:
5kw system
Costs 3.80 per watt for example
5000w * 3.80 =$19000
Fed ITC - $5700
State Tax Credit - $4750
NYC Prop Tax Abatement - $3800
Net Cost = $5050

This system will produce approximately 6000kwhs
Current NYC Coned rates are $.25/kwh
So you'd save $1500/year.

Insane payback. With systems that can last 30+ years you'd be crazy not to do it.

No upfront cash means you can still finance it, the best part? The loan payment is still less than your utility bill! If you qualify for solar and you live in NYC, the time is now. Fed ITC is stepping down. The Property tax abatement goes away in 2019.

You still get the state and tax abatement with leased systems too.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Jim - for NYC, any idea what the best way to go about engaging a company is? I would rather buy than lease. Do I work through Con Ed, call Solar City, is there some other way that makes more sense?
You can also save  
oghwga : 3/19/2017 8:24 pm : link
a ton of money on your electricity bill by using less electricity. It sounds snarky, but we buy gas efficient vehicles when it is our poorly built homes that pollute more than the cars do.

Insulate, weatherstrip, switch to high efficiency lights, turn the heat down, etc etc can all bring immediate, yet incremental savings.

That being said, the government has done a spectacular job of making solar energy so crazy and convoluted that it takes a genius to figure out if it's a good or bad investment.

Too much greed and too many bad actors in the industry right now. It is a shame.
jcn  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/19/2017 8:42 pm : link
If you have a spam email you use, post it here, we can get into contact. I'm not with Solarcity, I'm with a different company, feel free to comparison shop. My company is affiliated with Costco.
How is Solar panel different from solar tiles?  
spike : 3/19/2017 9:55 pm : link
Solar tiles look so much better imo. But what is the difference in cost?
Jim-  
spike : 3/19/2017 9:56 pm : link
is it worthwhile to do it in southern westchester as well?
spike, yes Westchester still adds the NYS tax credit but doesn't have  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 7:59 am : link
the property tax abatement. For purchase looking at around a 8 year payback.
My boss is in westchester  
UConn4523 : 3/20/2017 8:06 am : link
check with your insurance about it before you do anything. Certain towns won't put out roof fires which causes your premiums to go up substantially.
RE: My boss is in westchester  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 8:11 am : link
In comment 13399545 UConn4523 said:
Quote:
check with your insurance about it before you do anything. Certain towns won't put out roof fires which causes your premiums to go up substantially.


This has been eliminated with the adoption of universal fire setbacks put into place in 2016 in NY state.
Very funny  
Ron Johnson 30 : 3/20/2017 8:25 am : link
Linking to a former Exxon lobbyist to point out solar isn't economical. What's next? Wayne Tracker emails?
RE: Solar City guarantees approval for new buyer.  
HomerJones45 : 3/20/2017 8:40 am : link
In comment 13399065 drkenneth said:
Quote:
Or they can install on new house. I'm not moving so not a concern for me.
i am sure they do but that is not the point. The buyer now has a new payment obligation that must be figured into their ratios to qualify for their Mortgage.

And think twice about paying lease pAyyments in advance. I saw one deal tank because the seller wanted to be reimbursed for thousands in lease payments to Solar City they had made in advance and the buyer felt they had paid for the system in the purchase price.
RE: Very funny  
pjcas18 : 3/20/2017 8:51 am : link
In comment 13399555 Ron Johnson 30 said:
Quote:
Linking to a former Exxon lobbyist to point out solar isn't economical. What's next? Wayne Tracker emails?


While the conflict was obvious (to me - though no one else noticed or looked up the author), but I could find zero inaccuracies with his statement, which I mentioned was op-ed. And 100% consistent with my experience. There is a big solar push here in MA, you can't walk in to Lowe's or HD without being hit up by a couple aggressive solar sales reps and they literally walk the streets knocking on doors (which is illegal in my town) and cold call people. So, I've been down the solar road a couple times. Same story at the end.

It's just not a good investment and isn't even that "green" yet.

I do like the Tesla solar tiles, those are bad ass, and I believe once those hit the market for the masses we might see something more consumer based.
pjcas  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 8:55 am : link
Im not well versed in the MA market, but there are SRECs there as well. Check out a purchase option for yourself there, not a lease, since with a lease, the solar company claims the SRECs.

If I lived in MA, I;d go with a loan to purchase solar since theoretically the SRECs would offset a huge % of the loan payments every year making you cash flow positive right away.

Eventually the loan paymenst stop but the SRECs do not. Nor will the savings. Again, Im not an expert in MA, but anywhere with SRECs in their market should look at the math on a loan.
And just as a heads up, Im not here to sell anyone on solar  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 8:58 am : link
I dont speak about work here, I come to BBI for the Giants, but if anyone has questions about solar, I'll give you the best answer I can.
RE: RE: My boss is in westchester  
UConn4523 : 3/20/2017 9:01 am : link
In comment 13399546 Jim in Forest Hills said:
Quote:
In comment 13399545 UConn4523 said:


Quote:


check with your insurance about it before you do anything. Certain towns won't put out roof fires which causes your premiums to go up substantially.



This has been eliminated with the adoption of universal fire setbacks put into place in 2016 in NY state.


Good to know. I think he built his house in 2015 so I guess it was still an issue then.

For me in CT I'm around $2,000 per year in electricity so getting my money back in anything more than 5 years makes it hard to get serious about going through everything. I'd have to look into the CT rebates again but there aren't as aggressive the last time I checked. Am I wrong about that?
CT is a weaker market  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 9:10 am : link
there are SRECs available but they were trading for around $20 each last time I checked. Not very appetizing for purchase.

The only product that would interest me is a 0 escalator lease in CT. Meaning if they fixed your rate for 10 years and it never moved. It would be low savings now, but would hedge against price increases over 20 years (well your price would never rise).
Sorry fixed your rate for 20 years, not 10.  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 9:13 am : link
But yes you are correct, until SREc prices rise, purchases are not a great idea in CT.
Pj  
Ron Johnson 30 : 3/20/2017 9:13 am : link
I'm familiar with him. I make an effort to be "green" but I don't use solar. I don't want it on my house. My focus is on energy conservation.
RE: How is Solar panel different from solar tiles?  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 9:20 am : link
In comment 13399418 spike said:
Quote:
Solar tiles look so much better imo. But what is the difference in cost?


Solar Tiles aka Tesla tiles are new, so questions abound. It looks better, but we've only heard estimations on cost and efficiency. Will they be via string inverter? What will manage the power?

Right now the only answer is that it will cost roughly the same amount as a tile or slate roof which is 3X more than comp shingle (which is 90% of non flat roofs).

My personal opinion - it was rolled out to increase buzz, so that the merger could hapen. SC is not in great financial shape, so that was the shiny news before merging.

I think its a year or two away from being viable for non spanish tile/slate roofs.

And remember, for homeowners who already own spanish tile or slate roofs, those roofs last forever with just spot repair.
RE: Pj  
EricJ : 3/20/2017 9:22 am : link
In comment 13399601 Ron Johnson 30 said:
Quote:
I'm familiar with him. I make an effort to be "green" but I don't use solar. I don't want it on my house. My focus is on energy conservation.


IMO, creating an envelope around your living space with closed cell spray foam may be the way to go.
RE: RE: Solar City guarantees approval for new buyer.  
Brown Recluse : 3/20/2017 9:22 am : link
In comment 13399559 HomerJones45 said:
Quote:
In comment 13399065 drkenneth said:


Quote:


Or they can install on new house. I'm not moving so not a concern for me.

i am sure they do but that is not the point. The buyer now has a new payment obligation that must be figured into their ratios to qualify for their Mortgage.

And think twice about paying lease pAyyments in advance. I saw one deal tank because the seller wanted to be reimbursed for thousands in lease payments to Solar City they had made in advance and the buyer felt they had paid for the system in the purchase price.


I have a realtor friend that told me she is having a difficult time selling houses with solar panels. Apparently they are not good for resale value. Too many people don't want to buy a house with those on the roof.
RE: RE: Pj  
UConn4523 : 3/20/2017 9:25 am : link
In comment 13399607 EricJ said:
Quote:
In comment 13399601 Ron Johnson 30 said:


Quote:


I'm familiar with him. I make an effort to be "green" but I don't use solar. I don't want it on my house. My focus is on energy conservation.



IMO, creating an envelope around your living space with closed cell spray foam may be the way to go.


I was looking into that as well, but seems like a real pain in the ass to open up every wall in the house (and expensive). Have you done it before?
RE: RE: RE: Solar City guarantees approval for new buyer.  
EricJ : 3/20/2017 9:27 am : link
In comment 13399609 Brown Recluse said:
Quote:

I have a realtor friend that told me she is having a difficult time selling houses with solar panels. Apparently they are not good for resale value. Too many people don't want to buy a house with those on the roof.


I am sure there are a lot of factors. If the panels are on the front of the house vs the rear it may be an eye sore. If this is a wealthy community where the potential buyers would rather not look at panels and pay the extra $$ for their electric bill. I would think that in other areas where the dollar is harder to come by, the idea of having panels to significantly reduce monthly costs would be a good thing.
RE: RE: RE: Pj  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 9:28 am : link
In comment 13399611 UConn4523 said:
Quote:
In comment 13399607 EricJ said:


Quote:


In comment 13399601 Ron Johnson 30 said:


Quote:


I'm familiar with him. I make an effort to be "green" but I don't use solar. I don't want it on my house. My focus is on energy conservation.



IMO, creating an envelope around your living space with closed cell spray foam may be the way to go.



I was looking into that as well, but seems like a real pain in the ass to open up every wall in the house (and expensive). Have you done it before?


Im interested in this as well, I need insulation, especially in the front of my home. But I don't want to take all my walls down or punch holes, is there a less intrusive way?
I had the spray foam  
pjcas18 : 3/20/2017 9:40 am : link
insulation done in my attic for free as part of the Mass Save energy program in Massachusetts.

Literally no cost to mass residents, they come to your house - replace all your bulbs with high efficiency LED bulbs - no cost for the bulbs and if you qualify will spray foam insulate your attic. They'll also give you rebates and discounts on furnace/boiler replacements after they come to your house and do an assessment.

I haven't looked into getting the foam sprayed anywhere else, they only recommend it in the attic with this program (if it's the same stuff)
my attic isn't really accessible  
UConn4523 : 3/20/2017 9:53 am : link
so that's out as far as spray goes. The insulation in my house in general is horrible, just one of the many things that doesn't come up on an inspection. Lesson learned though, won't be buying any old construction ever again.
Jim  
Ron Johnson 30 : 3/20/2017 12:13 pm : link
There are foam methods with small exterior holes. It's very hard to see the plugged holes. The issue today, energy is relatively cheap so the ROI isn't great.
RE: Jim  
UConn4523 : 3/20/2017 12:23 pm : link
In comment 13399868 Ron Johnson 30 said:
Quote:
There are foam methods with small exterior holes. It's very hard to see the plugged holes. The issue today, energy is relatively cheap so the ROI isn't great.


What about the existing insulation, is it just sprayed over it or is it removed?
Page, Brin and Zuckerman should pay for universal installation  
Torrag : 3/20/2017 12:28 pm : link
1% cocksuckers.
The Targets and Walmarts of the world  
BigBlueDownTheShore : 3/20/2017 12:37 pm : link
have started to put solar farms on-top of their shopping center. Pretty ingenious way to power their facilities.
Green Street Solar  
spike : 3/20/2017 3:56 pm : link
Is coming in for a visit next month

Ever heard of them, Jim?
Yes, they are a small company.  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/20/2017 4:17 pm : link
Send me the details if you want and I will tell you of you are getting a fair price and what to look for.
RE: Yes, they are a small company.  
spike : 3/20/2017 6:42 pm : link
In comment 13400421 Jim in Forest Hills said:
Quote:
Send me the details if you want and I will tell you of you are getting a fair price and what to look for.


Ok. They are comjng by in a couple of weeks. I ll keep you posted. Honestly Im interested in replacing my roof before installing any solar equipments. So solar tiles interest me
Pages: 1 2 <<Prev | Show All |
Back to the Corner