I am researching solar and I was wondering is community solar worth it. Nexamp says they can save 10% off my utility bill a month. However, they require 90 days cancellation notice. So I wasn’t sure if anyone else used nexamp or a different community solar to see if its worth it.
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You need to be more specific… Links? about Community Solar…. Cost? Benefit? Why you are interested?
Are you talking about selling Electric back to the Utility?
I think I saw something about this and reports of Minimum Billing charges for the use of the grid.
It just hit me… this whole solar decision is a very complex rent-or-buy decision.
What you have to do is really compare the cash flows that accrue from either accepting the terms of the solar company versus what cash flow could you expect if you bought (and financed - even if you pay out of pocket you still have a cost of money) ALL of the hardware, bits and pieces, on-going maintenance, eventual removal and disposal.
You have to take those cash flows, and compute IRR (Internal Rate of Return), which is a function in Excel or Google Sheets. Then decide.
I think there are very, very few people who could cost out their own home solar installation and estimate an operating budget. My daughter, an EE, could do it. I’m not sure I could, I’d have a steep learning curve.
I’ve heard it said, without any ability to know first-hand, that solar companies make a ton off of people by basically handing them very bad terms which make it hard for them to make money. Lots of rosy projections, as in life insurance sales, but the guarantees in the fine print accrue to the solar company. There’s a huge difference between “we expect you will save $200 a month” versus we GUARANTEE you will save $200 a month". Is it a guarantee or an estimate?
I think it ends up the solar company ends up renting your roof for low cost, profiting off of the electrons they put into the grid, selling you the parts and pieces for a high interest rate, and you go away thinking you made money.
Sort of like buying a car at a dealership. Or buying cash value life insurance. OR using payday loans. Am I being too harsh? I think the tell is how aggressively solar is sold… and sold is the word. It’s not bought, it’s sold. It’s a commission-only kind of job, suited for the hard closers.
That said, if I ever own a large plot of treeless prairie property, I vow to investigate putting solar on it, but I will own the gear myself.
I put in high SEER air conditioning, SEER 16+, and I save so much money I cannot believe it and the house is very comfy even in this Texas heat wave. Maybe high SEER and insulation and window upgrades earn you more savings than solar?
Leased solar is a bad idea. If you want to sell your home, the solar company who owns the equipment must approve your purchasers, making it difficult to sell.
Owning solar can be a good choice if you live in an area with lots of sun. The efficiency of solar systems have improved dramatically in the last few years. Where the break even point falls depends on the cost of the system, how much it will save you over your current costs, and whether and how much you are able to sell back to the utility. I woild expect that the solar company would be able to provide any required maintenance, just as your hvac company can provide work on your hvac system, appliance companies can provide repair on appliances, etc.
r/realestate over in Reddit has plenty of threads about solar panels on houses. I found this recent one:
If you want to put solar on your roof, I strongly suggest you first get a new roof.
I’ve thought about building a “carport” in front of the garage to hold solar panels, and to provide shade.
A number of businesses, including ASU, have covered parking that is topped by solar panels.
But solar on roofs is very common here.
Tee hee. I got a new roof and be darned if I am going to let some solar installation and maintenance monkeys come mess it up.
Humble opinion: The only way solar makes sense is if you are 1) Off the grid and 2) Back it up with good size battery storage and 3) Back it all up with a propane fired generator.
Heh, a two edged sword. Get solar installed first, then realize your roof needs repair/new so the solar has to be removed then reinstalled. Screwed both ways.