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I'm thinking of going to solar to offset high PG&E cost. We went to home show and talked to a few solar contractors . But I would like to hear from people that actually have solar. I just know the basic and the amount of panels they can install has a lot to do with your savings.
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I'm thinking of going to solar to offset high PG&E cost. We went to home show and talked to a few solar contractors . But I would like to hear from people that actually have solar. I just know the basic and the amount of panels they can install has a lot to do with your savings.
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Check here for some information
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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wrote:

and talked to a few solar contractors . But I would like to hear from people that actually have solar. I just know the basic and the amount of panels they can install has a lot to do with your savings.
You won't make any money with solar electric but it might make you feel good to have some power when PG&E is out.
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I'm thinking of going to solar to offset high PG&E cost. We went to home show and talked to a few solar contractors . But I would like to hear from people that actually have solar. I just know the basic and the amount of panels they can install has a lot to do with your savings.
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Are you talking solar electric or solar thermal?
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I'm talking about eclectic. Our monthly bill is $600. (bill is based on yearly cost) so if we can save it would help . But it's a balancing act, power bill compared to financing solar. One of the local solar Co. is offering a home tour of customers wear they answer the questions that might be interesting. I'm in Sacramento Ca. PG&E (pacific gas & electric) is extremely high. A comparable house with Rossville power or Smud would pay about $200. Also my house has light switches that are child proof children 18 and under can not turn them off.
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How do you spend 600 a month, why do you have light switches kids can turn off. I pay less than 1/10th what you pay, you need to learn where you are wasting it and put your money there first to reduse you costs, to cut 400 a month might cost you 50- 80000 in solar equipment. The first thing anybody wanting to convert has to do is to lower your bill as much as possible through upgrades.
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How do you spend 600 a month, why do you have light switches kids can turn off. I pay less than 1/10th what you pay, you need to learn where you are wasting it and put your money there first to reduse you costs, to cut 400 a month might cost you 50- 80000 in solar equipment. The first thing anybody wanting to convert has to do is to lower your bill as much as possible through upgrades.
I have a large house 2800 sq ft 3 levels summer in Sacramento is HOT AC is a must then throw in a pool. full wood shop in the garage. I pay about what my neighbors do.
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If you have the money to consider solar then first consider Loewen and Alpen window glass, they are up to R7 with designs to reflect a major portion of solar radiation and give low SHG. A 19.5 Seer VSDC, AC and modern up to date insulation would be a next step. Pools and HW can be at least partialy heated cheaply [compared to Photovoltaic] with solar water panels. alt.energy.hompower is where you will find off grid folks. You realy need a complete energy audit first, your usage is excessive to go solar cells.
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Only an energy audit will tell you if the neighborhood is wasting energy, unless everything is up to modern standards, codes are minimums
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I do not believe that anywhere in the US it is possible to get a payback of less than maybe 20 years with incentives, its more like 30 years, the panels life. Thats why few do it. This guy spends 600 a month, it was near 90 hear this summer, I have a much larger house and only spent 180 on electric and now will spend near 40 month, he wastes electricity.
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ransley wrote:
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show and talked to a few solar contractors . But I would like to hear from people that actually have solar. I just know the basic and the amount of panels they can install has a lot to do with your savings.

does) installing solar electric may not be cost effective. You want to get a payback within a few years. Keep in mind that you will only get a benefit during daylight hours unless you add batteries which can increase the cost tremendously.

make money. You will need to consider the long term benefits and the maintenance. What happens when a panel dies? Who will replace it after five years? How long have the installers and manufacturers been in business? Ask about the life expectancy of the system.

Someone putting solar in here said payback was about 30 years. I'd be leary myself as I've never had a home appliance last that long without replacement.
My house is also large and electric cost much less but out in the land of the fruits and the nuts, I believe energy cost is much higher, so maybe payback is worth it.
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I do not believe that anywhere in the US it is possible to get a payback of less than maybe 20 years with incentives, its more like 30 years, the panels life. Thats why few do it. This guy spends 600 a month, it was near 90 hear this summer, I have a much larger house and only spent 180 on electric and now will spend near 40 month, he wastes electricity.
All power Co. do not charge the same PG&E is extremely high. I don't waste electricity. were do you live ? who supply's your power? Ho many kids do you have living at home? Do you run a pool pump 8 hours a day? Like I said I'm getting screwed by PG&E 5 miles away with a deferent power CO. I'd pay $250 on a bad month.
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wrote:

Who says there has to be a cash ROI? What's the ROI on a hot tub? A vacation in Vegas? A membership at a nice club?
Some people simply like doing what they think is their small part to maintain the place.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

The OP: "I'm thinking of going to solar to offset high PG&E cost."
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It is tough to make solar pay. From what you have said, I suspect that you are not going to make it pay. If the current cost per unit if energy is very high, then it might. I would suggest that you should ask any potential installer provide you with their calculations that show it would be a good investment. You want to see the total cost of the install, and the expected reduction in units of energy purchased as a result of the install and the cost of those saved units of energy. Demand real numbers and if you don't really understand them, find someone who does and who will be able to show you why the contractor may be fudging the numbers.
There are cases where it is a good economic choice, but those are few in number.
You should factor in two additional considerations. Maintenance, repair and replacement of the solar system and the value to you knowing you could have a smaller carbon footprint. Right now it seems you have very large feet.
I would guess that if I would to trade homes with you, my energy use at your current home will drop more than you might save with the solar system.
Good Luck
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snipped-for-privacy@columbus.rr.com wrote:

...
California (PG&E) has a progressive electric rate schedule: the more you use the higher your marginal rates are. There are five "tiers". The lowest rates are about 11 cents / KwH. The highest (tier five) is about 36 cents / KwH. If he is paying $600 / month, he is clearly well into tier five. At that marginal rate, solar panels can be economical until they reduce your net consumption into a lower tier, particularly in Sacramento, where there is a lot of sun.
However, I agree with the other posters: first find out why you are using such an extraordinary amount of power. Fixing that would have a much greater and faster pay back than solar panels.
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Sac Dave wrote:

I am not in California and don't have solar, but judging from the experience of one of my friends who bought a house with a pre-existing solar system in northern California, going solar is at best a wash.
He mentioned that the cost to replace some of his panels was so high that he decided to go back to the grid.
Unless the house is built with energy efficiency in mind solar won't be much help, IMO.
As others suggested you could be better off finding out where you use too much energy and taking action. I have a smaller place, about 2000 sqft in SO Texas and have lowered my electric bill from $350 to $220 per month with a few targeted and inexpensive changes, and there is still room for improvement.
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That's why I'm looking into solar as one option to consider. Also thinking of upgrading AC unite (1991) My wife works for major AC & chiller CO. or price cost & cash to the installer. My window are Dual pain, Walls are just R-11. atic guessing R-30. My old house we did a PG&E energy audtit, Pretty much common scence. I do see a lot of Solar Panels being installed The price is going down lot of competition. Right there building a large Solar panel plant in Sac.
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91 is 10 seer, you can save 70%+++ on 19.5 seer. New friges are 70% more efficent than maybe 80s units. Dual pane doesnt mean squat, its all in solar heat gain SHG, R and U values, and more, a dual pane may be R2 with high SHG , look at the window companies I pointed out R 7 and low SHG, if you have a few hundred thousand to do solar do what is important first. Your attic, well I have R 100. I figure you could cut 70% off your electric if you tried. You do use CFLs right.
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Sac Dave wrote:

Solar ->electric-> point of use, probably won't be cost-effective any time soon. The big moneymaker is passive solar, designed into the house. South-facing window wall, Correctly-sized overhangs and plantings for the part of the year when you want shade, heat mass storage, planned airflow that can be altered to suit the season, yada yada yada. That plus modern insulation and energy-efficient appliances and lighting (including as much natural light as possible), can reduce the energy requirements a lot cheaper than providing more grid or solar electricity would cost.
-- aem sends...
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