Going solar?


Call me. 716-548-0610


Might be in the market again as I just moved to a long term house.


20 years @ 7% when interest rates are at historic lows? Seems like you could find a better deal in the financing department.


I am on the Industrial/Commercial construction side of things but I know everyone in Solar and I can get you a good quote. We even do the financing side as well. Feel free to call or text if you want to have someone give you a quote and a review to make sure it will work at your home.


Since this thread was bumped.

I decided to bounce out for a few reasons.

I own a duplex (up and down) unit:

  • I was urged to eliminated the upper electric meter to have everything go through one meter which I was against since I want to keep utilities between units seperate.
  • I was getting charged for two separate jobs on my residence which didn’t make sense to me since the whole construction was going be performed at the same time which seemed to increase the overall job dramatically


I’ve been looking into this a lot myself.

I’m going to try to DYI. Its not really that hard.

You can get the 345w pannels and make a ~11K grid tied system for $11K.

I’m not in NYS so I don’t get all those bonuses, but I’m going to add that $11K with $2500 extra just in case. So lets say all in $12,500 installed my myself. I’ll get 30% from the Feds, so my all in will be ~ $9,000.

My bill is about ~$150 a month, so this should nock off $100-120 a month depending on the sunlight. Worse case is 90 month payout or 7.5 years. Seems like a no brainer.



I’ll want a battery pack installed in my system so I know that’ll cost me some additional money, but it’ll be nice to have. If I can store 2-6 hours worth of energy, that’ll help with most minor power outages.

Wind mills also get the federal 30% discount, so depending on how the solar goes I might add a small mill to help keep the power consistent through the winter.

I’ll have to keep a generator in case of a long power outage, but I might not ever have to use it depending on how many batteries I get for the system.


Has anyone gone through with or fully researched residential wind turbines? I called a local company and it would cost $40-50k after federal and state credits for a system to cover 90-95% of electrical needs.
There was a 20 yr lease/loan on the turbine which ended up being more than what I pay in monthly electric. Does wind only make sense for larger corporations or was the 40-50k estimate just massively overstated?


You’ll have a real hard time getting a lot of power out of a single wind mill for a reasonable price.

a 4000 watt mill can be had for ~$2000, plus install and a stand. Figure a nice tower is going to be ~$500-$1000 used. I was figuring I could have a 4000 up and running for ~$5,000 total. This coupled to a 10K solar panel system would allow me to be pretty much off the grid for $18-20K before 30% fed tax credit.


I’m 95% sure we’ll be getting solar installed. Amherst started the “Solarize Amherst” program just recently and basically got a group rate RFP from Solar Liberty, Frey and CIR while the town is waving any permit fees. Frey was the first to come in with quote and it looked really good. Solar Liberty came over Wednesday last week and theirs was even better. CIR is coming by at noon today.

The Solar Liberty proposal will cover 100% of my electric usage on the year (108% actually based on their conservative production estimates). It’s a $25k system generating just over 10kW and after all the credits I’m paying $8100 out of pocket. They work with a bank that will do 0% for 1 year and I’ll be able to pay off the $8100 in that first year. Factoring in basically paying cash my break even point is just over 5 years on panels with a 25 year production warranty. At the end of 25 years I’m sitting at a little over $50k return on my $8k investment.


I’m in Amherst and just called my installer, SolarLiberty. They were able to give me 10 cents off a Watt for my install.

I’m excited. My installation date is slated for June 16th! Getting REALLY close now…

CIR and SolarLiberty quoted me the exact same system for the exact same price. I am also going for the one year 0% and 0 payment plan, to get my Tax Credit and then will be left with about $8,000 of payoff as well. I plan to put my tax return into that and I’ll end up having to finance a whopping $3,500 or so. I may as well just save $3,500 cash and pay the whole thing off next year…

Feel free to ask me any questions. I’m pretty far into the process.

What did SolarLiberty equipment come out to? # of panels, type, inveter size? (curious)

I had limited roof space, but they quoted me 28 panels at 320W each, to get the most kW out of my system, since I have an electric car. My panels are a little bit more expensive than a basic panel…


Well, CIR beat Solar Liberty’s quote. $7100 out of pocket instead of $8100. Solar Liberty was going with a 285w panel vs the 320w panel CIR is going to use. Because of the increased output CIR is able to keep the system entirely on the back side of my house roof vs Solar Liberty having to use entire back roof, a small part of the house front roof and a small array on the front of my garage roof. CIR is a 27 panel system vs 32 for Solar Liberty, both with an annual production of around 9633 kWh based on the sun tables, roof pitch, zip code and all the other factors.

So the numbers:
Total System Cost: $21600
NYSERDA incentive: $3456
Federal tax credit: $6480
State tax credit: $4536

Total I need to pay at installation: $18144
Total out of pocket for me after tax credits: $7128

That’s a system that conservatively will generate 105% of my electrical need. I’ll be under contract with the electric company for 20 years where they aren’t allowed to change to peak hour billing (something that’s probably coming in the near future and will make grid tied solar less attractive to homeowners). My electric bill will be $17 which is the meter fee. CIR bumps the 12 year warranty on the inverter out to 25 years so it matches the production warranty on the panels as well.

I’m going to take their 1 year interest free loan for the $18k system cost. My fed/state tax liability is high enough that I can claim the full credit for each in a single year so I’ll just toss that money toward the $18k loan. I’ll make payments of $500/month and at the end of the 12 months interest free I can just write a check for the remaining $1100 and pay off the system in full.


JayS, what is your cost per Watt?

Did they go with LG 320W panels? What size/type of inveter? I am getting 28 LG 320W panels, using SolarEdge SE 10,000A Inverter.

I’m curious if I need to go back to SolarLiberty and re-negotiate again. I called them this morning and they dropped my pricing down 10 cents/Watt… from $2.85, to $2.75/W.

Looking at your numbers, I’m wondering if you’re getting a different panel/inverter for your price.


$2.50/per watt. CIR said this was the lowest they’ve ever done per watt and they did it to make sure they got most of the Solarize Amherst deals. He said they went back their supplier and said they had this town backed program and needed a better price on the 320w panels to get it done.

Panels are 320w by Seraphim, SRP-320-E01B. 27 modules.
Inverter is by SolarEdge, SE7600A-US.

Now I’m curious why they’re going with a 10000a inverter for your 28 320w panels and a 7600a inverter for my 27 320w panels.

Some reading on inverter sizing.

Is your roof N-S facing or E-W facing? I’m E-W with the panels going entirely on the west side. Ideal facing is south, with west being the 2nd best option so that could account for some of the inverter sizing. I’m never going to get max output since my panels won’t be south facing. Also, what’s the predicted annual system production? I’m at 9633 kWh. Maybe your LG panels just make more power and need a bigger inverter.

EDIT: HA… looking for LG vs Seraphim I found your post explaining why they want a 10k inverter.


ah, yep… now it makes sense… they did the same for me with the first quote. Seraphim panels. I couldn’t find anything on them, so I asked for LG panels instead. I did a week of searching and there’s really nothing on them, which scared me. For us, the extra LG cost is peace of mind.

“Cost per watt for LG 320 is $3/watt and Seraphim 315 is $2.60/watt” - CIR initial quote

We ended up negotiating the LG down to $2.85/W initially and now they took ten cents off, down to $2.75/W, for Solarize Amherst. All I had to do was call and it was immediate.

For my inverter, I did the web design analysis for 7600 vs 10,000, to see what losses I’d get on the low end, if any (pvwatts website) and it was nil. So, I asked them to do the 10,000 because later I want to add six more panels to my lower roof, once the Emrald Ash Borer kills the tree in front of it. It’s cuter planning.

the 7,600 is the correct size for your system.

Edit: The reason I went with Solar Liberty over CIR is that the saleswoman wasn’t willing to fight for my roof variance. My brother is an architect and even helped come up with it, for the building permit. My brother said,“no problem. This follows the new fire codes.” and CIR refused to plan my roof with my panel layout. She kept talking for her design team and saying “No” and not even wanting to try. It was odd.

Then, SolarLiberty come in and said “You bet! We will fight for that plan!” They went out of their way to tell me about the 10,000 system and my lower roof and even got me down to $2.85. CIR matched, but the damage was done, so I went with SolarLiberty.

Today, im glad i made that decision. SolarLiberty showed their true colors and lowered me down to $2.75, altering our signed deal! The whole process has been super smooth, so far.

cant wait for June 16th, to see if I’ll still be happy or want to hurt someone. Ha


Yeah, I don’t have my Solar Liberty quote with me here at work, going to look and see what panel manufacturer it was using.

Funny story, my neighbor across the street and a couple houses down works for Solar Liberty, pretty high up as a sales manager. He just called me. “Jen (his wife) sent me a picture of a CIR truck in front of your house, what’s up with that man?” he goes. Lol… busted. I told him the Solarize Amherst thing was 3 quotes but that the CIR quote looks a little better right now. So I’m going over to his house tonight with both quotes and he said he’ll see what he can do to “sweeten the pot”.

I’m with you though, I think I’d rather go with the LG panel over the Seraphin panel. Seraphin is ranked as a tier 1 provider but they’ve only been around since 2009. On something where you’re buying into a 25 year warranty I’d like a company that has been around a bit longer.


How come no discussion of the Tesla panels? Aren’t they being manufactured in Buffalo? (sorry if my questions are totally off base, I’m not in the solar panel market)


Those Tesla roof tiles aren’t in the same price league. They compare to the cost of a slate roof. Under bucks. Still pretty cool though, but being such a new product, not feasible yet…

      • Updated - - -

Haha, nice. Busted is right…

i guess you can see he what he can do… $2.75/W for premium LG panels seems like an awesome deal. At least you know they can match my price, since we have essentially the same system…

Let me know what you end up with. I am not afraid to call and talk a price down on such a huge purchase. Especially if I know what someone else paid. :wink:


Amherst residents


I approve this post!


If you want to do Solarize Amherst go straight to the source.