Skip to main content

View Diary: Total Surface Area Required to Fuel the World With Solar (138 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You must have had a REALLY BAD dealer (5+ / 0-)

    My break even date was 7 years when they were installed, it's 5 now that the utility company has raised the rates.

    And my panels came with a 25 year warranty.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:47:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I actually worked through the informational (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wayoutinthestix

      material distributed by my state's department of energy and did independent internet research.

      A lot depends on how much utility electricity costs, but at the rates they're charging in my area right now it doesn't make financial sense for me to do it.

      I'm glad you got a 25-year warranty.  Nobody around me is offering anything close to that.

      Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

      by litho on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:50:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, litho

        Local rates DO matter in how long before you break even.

        I forgot something, though. In my case, any power I didn't use was being given to the power company under the old law. The legislature recently passed a new interpretation wherein I get reimbursed for all the power I produce. Added on top of that, I'm facing almost directly south, so my 7KW system is producing closer to 10.

        So I'll have to re-figure my break even point, but it's obvious that it's less than 5 years, now. And even though my local power company likes to raise the rates every couple of years I don't have to figure that into retirement savings any more.

        I'll never regret this rather expensive decision.

        "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

        by Timbuk3 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:54:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just out of curiosity (0+ / 0-)

          are you in the southwest?

          Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

          by litho on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 05:57:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Delaware (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, RustyCannon

            I had the panels installed a year ago, February. Last year my total energy bill (I have gas heat) not including payments on the panels or gas in my car was -$1200.

            But the way they do it here is strange. Rather than "net metering" we buy ALL of our power from the power company at the "dirty" rate, they buy all of the power we USE at the "green" rate. Anything we produce extra goes to the grid, gratis.

            The law has been changed and we no longer give any power away. A good choice, since we were actually DE-incentivised (is that a word) to conserve, before.

            As my appliances (water heater, furnace, etc) wear out I'll replace them with electric. I really like the point of use water heaters. Almost bought one, anyway, even though the break even point was years away.

            "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

            by Timbuk3 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:02:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  One more thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RustyCannon

            I left out a really important thing. At the time I bought my panels the state paid half the cost. Of course, that cut my break-even time in half.

            So your 15 year estimate may not have been that far off.

            The tax break was 2 grand the year I bought mine, and now it's 30% of the cost, so the math has changed quite a bit, but it's clear that the laws favor the wealthy more now than they did when I went for it.

            The 15 year life of the panels seems low, though. I don't have to worry about mine for 25 years. I figure by the time I replace them I'll be able to paint them on.

            "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

            by Timbuk3 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:10:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's a tax break here in MA (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timbuk3

              which makes it almost affordable to do it, but there's no big subsidy like you seem to have gotten.

              If I had been in better financial shape I probably would have pursued it more aggressively.  Still, I figure the cost of solar is going to keep going down so maybe in three to five years -- when I'm no longer underwater on my house -- it might actually be affordable.

              Paint on solar looks too good to be true.  I'd love to replace my roof shingles with solar paint, and power my electric car from that...

              Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

              by litho on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:21:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  That's odd. Most of the panels I'd looked at (0+ / 0-)

        in the past came with a 25 yr manufacturer's warranty.

        Or are you wanting an installer to warranty your whole system?

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:38:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site