Going solar?


I built my “dream home”… sort of.

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If I move again it will be out of NY, that is for sure.


100k line of credit. The state is so slow to process paperwork or was a year and a half ago the fastest turnaround i could have on project funding is 2 months. Even if i only did 1 job per week that ties up a tremendous amount of money

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Structure upgrades required to install a reliable solar install will be included into your cost of solar, and will be eledgible for state and fed tax credit. You are correct in saying that i cannot replace my entire house roof amd bill that. The roof that would be eledgible would only be the portion required for solar. It would be a very bad idea to install a system ontop of a roof in poor condition. New York (NYSERDA) is working extremely hard to make sure the solar industry does not get a bad rep because they are pushing solar really hard right now


We have no plans to move, but we didn’t buy a starter home either. We rented a house for a year and that really helped us figure out what we wanted when it came time to buy. I can picture moving out more in the country when I retire but that’s a long ways off. Instead of buying a “nicer” house we’re just making this one nicer. Home theater downstairs, next will be remodeling the upstairs with a new kitchen and open concept.


I financed my solar through the on bill recovery program. My bill is 67 per month including utility fees. And will be for quite a few years. I was able to use all of my tax credits up in the first 2 years. So i replaced the aging roof on my garage, installed solar, fixed my electric bill rate for a ling time, and got around 6 grand back in taxes in the first 2 years. Now in a couple years when i sell my house the next owners will be paying on that loan since it follows the property not me (if properly negotiated into the sale of the house).

Cliffs, so in short i got paid more to install solar then what i will ever end up paying in the time i live here. Everybody flipping homes should be doing this.


Albiet a bad idea to install a solar system on top of worn shingles, it is not a requirement. That is considered normal wear and tear and the IRS sees it as a personal choice to get solar panels. You’d be expected to cover the maintenance of your shingles and that’s why you can’t write it off.

HOWEVER, you mentioned Structural upgrades. If during the solar panel installation process, the structural engineer required that you update the actual roof structure because it couldn’t sustain the extra load, then you’re getting into “allowable” territory.

So, again, you cannot write off the shingle replacement. The IRS doesn’t care about a maintenance item and it isn’t a solar producing product covered under the 30% tax credit, as it’s just a normal item that’s on every other home already…

Following? Sorry if you were planning to write it off on next years taxes…


National Grid swapped out the meter this morning. I didn’t even know except I when I went home for lunch I noticed the power failure warning on the oven. Went outside and saw the new meter so I threw the solar switches and after the boot up we were live.


WOOT! Did you get your Solar Edge logon yet, to monitor through the App?


Yep, sitting here watching it make power via the web portal right now. :lol:


I just had solar liberty out to quote me. They quoted SunPower brand panels. 6.2KW system for a little more than $20K before rebates. That seems a bit high


I don’t know what the pricing is like when you’re not getting it through the Solarize Amherst program like I did so I can’t really say.


That’s actually not a bad price for SunPower. Did you have limited space on your roof? That’s one of the main reasons I can think that they’d want you to use SunPower…

SunPower are the most expensive, but also the best efficiency panels. At $3.22/W for SunPower though, that’s not horrible at all.

I had brought them up during my quote as well, but I ended up going with the LG 320W panel at $2.85/W installed (Ended up being $2.75/W because I’m in Amherst). They did give me the option for the SunPower, but at $3.50/W the gains weren’t worth it. I was also quoted for 320W Seraphim panels at $2.60/W ($2.50/W in Amherst) and decided against them, because I trust LG will be around. Seraphim was cheaper and at the same efficiency, but a more unknown name…

My roof was able to fit 28 panels. I was able to fit 8.96 kW up there. I’m still only at around 80% of my yearly kWh usage.

For your SunPower quote at only 6.2 kW, I’m guessing they wanted to put the smallest panel that produces the most up there, to get you a return on your usage.

If you’d like to PM me your address and the XML Usage report from your National Grid, I can put it into my Solar Design Tool and take a look… perhaps that will help us both understand why they decided SunPower was the route to go for your house…


After making 31.42 kWh yesterday when I only turned the system on around 11:30am I was excited to see what today would bring. Of course the clouds rolled in and massive storms rolled through. Sitting at 11.68 kWh as of 2:45pm.


Looking into SunPower, my guess is they quoted you for 18 X 345W SunPower, to total at about 6.2 kW. Estimated yearly production in 14221 of 7,587 kWh.

Using LG, with only having room for 18 panels, you’ll be at 18 X 320W = 5.76 kW. Estimated yearly production in 14221 of 6,886 kWh.

At $2.85/W for LG, it’d be $16,416 before rebates.
NYSERDA immediate discount: $2,304
State Tax Credit in 2018: $4,104
Fed Tax Credit in 2018: $4,924.8
Out Of Pocket / Loan: 14,212
Loan Remaining after Tax Credits (Out of Pocket TOTAL): $5,183.2

At $3.25/W for SunPower, it’d be $20,182.5
NYSERDA immediate discount: $2,484
State Tax Credit in 2018: $5,000
Fed Tax Credit in 2018: $6054.75
Out Of Pocket / Loan: 17,698.5
Loan Remaining after Tax Credits (Out of Pocket TOTAL): $6,643.75

So, with Tax Credits on SunPower, it’s not that much of a difference in cost. Your system will gain almost 800 more kWh per year vs an LG 320W.

It’s all about the numbers. SunPower is the right choice for your house if you can only fit 18.

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On my 8.96 kW for the last few days… I hear ya! 28 X 320 LG on a SolarEdge 10,000 Inverter with Optimizers.

Today… 12.06 kWh so far. Stupid rain and clouds.


What’s your roof orientation?

My roof is east/west with 24 panels in landscape on the west and 6 panels in portrait on the east. My 6 panels on the east did better today because the sun was out this morning.


All 28 of mine are facing directly south on a 20 degree tilt roof. I have a tree that blocks sun for 2 hours a day, but the losses I see there aren’t worth not having solar and/or taking the tree down. I also like my tree. I spent $350 to inject it this year, to save it from the stupid Emerald Ash Borer bugs. Jerks.

At 5:00 and I hit 17.96 kWh. After the rain went away, it’s not pulling in much, but it’s adding a little bit…

The graph today is depressing though. At no point today did it go over 3.5 kW. Piddly numbers. I’m guessing this is what we’ll see all winter, with less sun and snow. SO, I hope the rest of this summer is blazing hot, to help us build up our Credits! We’re gonna need 'em… ha


5:15 I’m up to 18.93. :slight_smile:


There are no issues with roof space. They quoted 19 327W panels. I only use 6200 KW per year so that is why they sized it to that. The quoted showed my out of pocket would be around $7500 but it would only save me $60 per month (my budget bill is $75/mo and I would still have to pay $17/mo to be connected to the grid). According to the sales rep national grid does not give rebate checks for unused credits- they just keep building up credits so over producing is now pointless.


You use a lot less electricity than either of us so your ROI will be longer. Without accounting for inflation or increased value on your home it’s about 10 years. Of course you need to account for the increased value on your home with any capital improvement and I guarantee electric rates are not going to stay flat over the next 25 years either.

Pretty sure they could bring that cost down by switching to a 300w panel and installing just a few more of them as well.


I’m not happy with that quote or panel choice, if there’s plenty of room for cheaper panels and you don’t use that much energy. Just like what Jay said, they should have offered the cheaper panel for a quicker ROI! ROI and savings is the name of the solar game, where the sales guy went for the best panel for no reason. Please tell me it wasn’t Ryan… he was awesome when we did my meeting…

If you have plenty of extra room, they should be putting in the $2.60/W Seraphim 320W panel instead. Or hell, even my LG 320W panel at $2.85/W would be good! Going over $3.20/W when not even necessary is that sales guy being greedy for a smaller system.

Do you anticipate using more than 6,200 kW in the future? I mean, technology is only getting more and more prevalent. If you go with a cheaper panel, you could put on a slightly larger system to accommodate for changes into the next decade. Credits or not, that’s not a good sales pitch to meet only last years numbers.

When National Grid was paying back, it was $0.02/kW for credits. Not a lot at all. HOWEVER, if you build up a bunch of credits slowly over time… time to buy that hot tub! haha


I’m not a big fan of the Seraphim panels just because the company hasn’t been around long enough. We ended up going with 30 of the 300w Hanwha qcells.

There’s no buyback on extra energy produced as of March 2017. They do however allow you to carry over your unused credits not only month to month but year to year over the 20 year contract with the electric company. That should work out great for me since we sized mine to conservatively produce 103% of my need and it should do more than that. The panels are guaranteed to produce 85% of the electricity they do today 25 years from now so hopefully my over-generation and credits will allow me to cover the system degradation over the later years.