Cost effective to add to rooftop solar array?


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Old 12-26-15, 04:04 PM
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Cost effective to add to rooftop solar array?

We currently have a 5 year old rooftop solar array, and I am trying to determine if it is beneficial to add more capacity. I am having a hard time getting any local (Sacramento, California) vendors to talk to me about adding on; I assume there is much more/easier money in selling new systems. Even the original vendor, after sending me a bid, has gone silent. Have any of you added on to an existing installation, and how did you determine if it was worth the cost? I would appreciate it if you would share your thoughts. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 04:51 PM
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If the existing solar system is used for heating, I'm sure that they would be happy to do the extension, in the off season.

How much did the original guy bid before he went silent? How much did you save the first time around?
 
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Old 12-26-15, 08:50 PM
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You posted in the electrical section..... is this photovoltaic electrical panels you want to increase ?
 
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Old 12-27-15, 09:44 AM
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Nobody here is going to be able to give you a valid answer to your question. The only way to answer the question is to look at how much the add-on will cost and how much it will save you! Those are the only 2 things that come into play and you provided absolutely no information regarding either of those pieces of information.
 
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Old 12-27-15, 04:31 PM
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PJmax, yes, it's photovoltaic I'm talking about. I searched for rooftop solar, and this forum came up. Am I in the wrong place?

Pulpo, the original vendor bid a net of $9100 after rebates and federal tax credits, which about doubles my capacity.

Also, msradell, I'm asking a "how" question, as in how do I determine if it's a worthwhile investment. How do I accurately predict how much energy I will use in the next 10 years, and it's cost? Or is there another way to look at it?

Our local utility, SMUD, is changing their rate structure in 2018 to time of use.
9 pm to 9 am, 8.6 cents per kWh.
9 am to 9 pm, 14 cents per kWh.
During June to September, 4 pm to 7 pm, it will be 31 cents per kWh.

This makes it hard to guesstimate future costs, since they don't bill by time of use now thus there's no baseline for comparison. This is like planning for retirement, when they first ask how much money you will need each year starting 20 years from now. See my problem?
 
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Old 12-27-15, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. I moved your thread to the solar forums.

It's not going to be an easy question to answer.

You want to know if you will recoup 9100.00 in 10 years.
Off the top of my head..... probably not.
As a base....what is a current monthly summer and winter bill amount ?

What does your system net you now ? Summer and winter ?
 
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Old 12-27-15, 06:25 PM
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If the price is $9,100 after rebates & credits, you'll be laying out over $10,000. Not only would you not recoup that money, you might have to leave Calipornia before 10 years. The water problem there is only going to get worse. I wouldn't take the chance.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 09:21 AM
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Simple math is that $9,100 over 10 years is more that $75/month. I don't know what you're paying but that's about my entire electric bill every month.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 10:21 AM
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My feeling is that as long as government has to subsidize solar power it isn't all that appealing. What happens if the subsidies are eliminated?

I just went on the "equal payment budget program" at my local utility. My monthly bill is now $37. and I waste a fair amount of power.
 
 

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