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  1. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    The annual energy output is so low that the money wasted on solar panels could be better spent on efficiency upgrades.

    Getting rid of a natural draft furnace and air sealing/insulating could save more energy in 2 years than a 1kw solar system in the northeast could produce in it's lifetime, at a fraction of the capital cost. Spending money on solar diverts funds which are badly needed for efficiency upgrades.
    That's a lot of generalization. Not everywhere even uses a significant amount of energy for heating, and not everywhere is the northeast. I have no doubts that over the expected life, the 1MW array we have installed is going to pay for itself.

  2. #119
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    Jul 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    Nothing is free. Everythign still requires maintenance and at some point it will wear out and fail. I don;t know what hte service life of all hte components are, but I doubt it's much beyond 20 years. After that, you'll be upgrading because it's it's compeltely obsolete.
    Yeah, and...?
    Panels are warrantied for 25 years. In 25 years there probably WILL be technology that completely justifies replacement. In the meantime you paid 10 years plus maybe a little maintenance for 25 years worth of energy, and helped shed/distribute load on the grid.


    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    The annual energy output is so low that the money wasted on solar panels could be better spent on efficiency upgrades.

    Getting rid of a natural draft furnace and air sealing/insulating could save more energy in 2 years than a 1kw solar system in the northeast could produce in it's lifetime, at a fraction of the capital cost. Spending money on solar diverts funds which are badly needed for efficiency upgrades.
    I agree, taking a comprehensive look rather than one product look is the wiser and more financially astute way to assess opportunity. But on the other hand I look at this from the average investor's perspective as say "prove it". I'm not writing a check based upon COULD or MAYBE, ARE YOU? (If you are, I'll send you my address. Please send me $10,000. I promise you could see 10% roi.)

    When it comes to living up to comprehensive approach savings, you have any proof those 2 years savings ever show up? Solar panels have dedicated meters. Tracking realization is not only simple, it's actually being DONE.

    Furthermore, in true socialist state air sealing John Doe's house and replacing his crappy furnace would take precedence over installing Fuzzy's solar because it has greatest benefit. But since Fuzzy is worried about Fuzzy's situation, maybe he already took care of his highest opportunity, he's on to solar. Or maybe he'd prefer a lower return with higher confidence than one with a lot of maybe's and little proof.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  3. #120
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    Sep 2002
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    Excuse my use of metric units - I have no idea how much energy a cubic foot of gas has.

    In ontario, canada has a newer (late 90s, early 90s) relatively well build 2000 sq house with a natural draft furnace (spark ignition @ 68% afue) may use 2000 m3 of gas per year excluding water heating.

    Upgrading to a 95% afue unit should save around 29% or 580 m3 per year.

    1 m3 of gas has 36000 BTUs in it; one kwh has around 3400 btu/hr...

    Furnace upgrade savings: 6141 kwh per year.

    Energy produced by 1kw of pv per year: 1100 kwh (http://pv.nrcan.gc.ca/pvmapper.php?L...llement&lang=e)

    So in one year a high eff furnace can save as much energy as a 1kw pv system can produce in 5.6 years. (I exaggerated in my previous post)

    Now, late 80s/early 90s homes aren't energy pigs. In old homes energy efficiency upgrades can cut consumption by 50%+ as you know (getting rid of ancient < 60% afue oversized furnace, air sealing, blowing insulation into framed walls/attic), at a similar cost to a 1.5-2kw pv system.

    ----------------------------
    As for determining the roi of efficiency upgrades, it's as simple as analyzing utility bills.

    Software which can simulate the impact of efficiency upgrades is also available - for example, hot 2000.

  4. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    Excuse my use of metric units - I have no idea how much energy a cubic foot of gas has.

    In ontario, canada has a newer (late 90s, early 90s) relatively well build 2000 sq house with a natural draft furnace (spark ignition @ 68% afue) may use 2000 m3 of gas per year excluding water heating.

    Upgrading to a 95% afue unit should save around 29% or 580 m3 per year.

    1 m3 of gas has 36000 BTUs in it; one kwh has around 3400 btu/hr...

    Furnace upgrade savings: 6141 kwh per year.

    Energy produced by 1kw of pv per year: 1100 kwh (http://pv.nrcan.gc.ca/pvmapper.php?L...llement&lang=e)

    So in one year a high eff furnace can save as much energy as a 1kw pv system can produce in 5.6 years. (I exaggerated in my previous post)

    Now, late 80s/early 90s homes aren't energy pigs. In old homes energy efficiency upgrades can cut consumption by 50%+ as you know (getting rid of ancient < 60% afue oversized furnace, air sealing, blowing insulation into framed walls/attic), at a similar cost to a 1.5-2kw pv system.

    ----------------------------
    As for determining the roi of efficiency upgrades, it's as simple as analyzing utility bills.

    Software which can simulate the impact of efficiency upgrades is also available - for example, hot 2000.
    My point was that not all homes can save money as easily as a 'furnace upgrade'... I, for instance, have only run my furnace a total of about 20 days in the last 7 years I've lived in this home.

    I'm also not sure that I've even seen a home with only a 1kW solar system. Usually, where I live, the systems are at least 2kW, if not upwards of 4 or 5 kW. A 1kW array would only take something like 75 sq ft. of roof space. I don't think anyone is arguing that reducing actual energy consumption is a bad thing - but that doesn't mean self generation is a bad thing either. You also have to realize that your numbers are based on Ontario, which likely has just a little over half the annual insolation of the southwest US. In drastically different markets, there will always need to be drastically different answers. While a solar array may have a payoff of 10-12 years in ontario, that payoff for the same array in the southwest us would be closer to 6-7 years.

  5. #122
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    Sep 2009
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    Arnold mo
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    My local Electric provider is paying $2.00 per watt installed, up to $50,000.00. They will also be renewing their purchasing of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in January. These rebates are payed after the install, so the homeowner is having to pay the total cost of the system plus installation up front, so they get to claim the 30% Federal Tax Credit for all of it, but when they get the rebates, the rebates are taxable income. How that affects a persons taxes would be based on their individual tax situation.
    I actually have a homeowner that would be eligible to install a 25K solar panel system, but I have not had estimates on the labor. It would be a ground mount system, and lets just place the labor at 15K, and the system price at 50K. After paying 65K total for this system being installed, within 6 months they would receive a 50K rebate check from the Utility Co. That same year, they could claim their 30% tax credit of 19.5K. This is a 4.5K profit from day one, but whether or not that covers their taxes for the utility rebate-I don't know. Let's assume it does, for the sake of argument. We now have a homeowner with a 25K solar panel system essentially for free. Now lets take the approx. electrical savings produced by this system over the next ten years at 20K; that is a 20K ROI over ten years, but wait, there is more. Now lets factor in the increase to their homes equity as a result of the solar system, which is roughly valued at for every 1 buck in energy produced, there is a 20 dollar increase to the homes appraised value. We now have the homeowner realizing a 30K to 50K increase of equity in their home.
    I don't see how going solar, in my area, is nothing but a fantastic investment.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
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  6. #123
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    ^The only problem is that if even 10% of the property owners in your area sign on, the subsidies will get cancelled to control costs.

  7. #124
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    Rochester NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    As for determining the roi of efficiency upgrades, it's as simple as analyzing utility bills.

    Software which can simulate the impact of efficiency upgrades is also available - for example, hot 2000.
    At what level of confidence, certainly not investment grade levels. The challenge is accountability. If there is no M&V, then there is no accountability. When there is no accountability, is there any surprise promises don't deliver?

    The most recent report I could find has our program realization at .38, which rumor has it is about on par with most other state programs. If someone promised you $1000 a year and delivered $380, would you be ok with that? How about making that promise, you ok with delivering that performance to your clients?

    There is also little learning about what does or doesn't save if you never get the results. Much of what I learned occurred a year after the work, trying to understand how and why certain savings occurred.

    When you don't track savings, things "that save" like "setback" becomes spewing unsubstantiated prescriptive dogma.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  8. #125
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto
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    1,253
    A 25kw system could produce an average of 30,000kwh annually where i am in Ontario and at $.10/kwh is $3000 annually. I suspect you would be within 10% of that production figure so it is win win.

    What are the credits based on.....metered production or installed capacity?

  9. #126
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    Aug 2009
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    Jurupa Valley, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    My local Electric provider is paying $2.00 per watt installed, up to $50,000.00. They will also be renewing their purchasing of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in January. These rebates are payed after the install, so the homeowner is having to pay the total cost of the system plus installation up front, so they get to claim the 30% Federal Tax Credit for all of it, but when they get the rebates, the rebates are taxable income. How that affects a persons taxes would be based on their individual tax situation.
    I actually have a homeowner that would be eligible to install a 25K solar panel system, but I have not had estimates on the labor. It would be a ground mount system, and lets just place the labor at 15K, and the system price at 50K. After paying 65K total for this system being installed, within 6 months they would receive a 50K rebate check from the Utility Co. That same year, they could claim their 30% tax credit of 19.5K. This is a 4.5K profit from day one, but whether or not that covers their taxes for the utility rebate-I don't know. Let's assume it does, for the sake of argument. We now have a homeowner with a 25K solar panel system essentially for free. Now lets take the approx. electrical savings produced by this system over the next ten years at 20K; that is a 20K ROI over ten years, but wait, there is more. Now lets factor in the increase to their homes equity as a result of the solar system, which is roughly valued at for every 1 buck in energy produced, there is a 20 dollar increase to the homes appraised value. We now have the homeowner realizing a 30K to 50K increase of equity in their home.
    I don't see how going solar, in my area, is nothing but a fantastic investment.
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    ^The only problem is that if even 10% of the property owners in your area sign on, the subsidies will get cancelled to control costs.
    To validate a tech like this on a large scale, you HAVE to do it ignoring the government and utility subsidies - that system is not free, it is free to them. Their fellow ratepayers and taxpayers are who purchased it for them. That, as amd mentions, only works to a certain percentage of market penetration before it simply is not feasible anymore. It does have it's merits as a program, as it DOES get the systems out there, via the early adopters, and by doing so, increase the sales rate, which increases the R&D payoffs, while ultimately, makes solar a cheaper alternative.

    Example non-rebates payoffs in southern California:
    Example off-the-shelf solar 'kit' - 2.4kW (about 175sq.ft.) - about $6,000 delivered
    annual average daily full sun hours: 6
    2.4kW*6*365 = 5,256kWh/year
    5,000 kWh/year * $0.35/kWh = $1,750/year electrical reduction
    $1,750*10 years = $17,500-$6,000 = $11,500 ROI over 10 years... panels hold 25 year output guarantee (declining by no more than 0.7%/year - likely less than the energy rate increases over that time)

  10. #127
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    Arnold mo
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    Nameplate installed; even if installed on the east.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  11. #128
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    Nothing is free.

    You and I (or the rate payers) are paying for it.


    Probably both the rate payers AND you and me.

    But we can feel good about ourselves.....
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  12. #129
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    Sep 2009
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    Solar is evil? I imagine that will be the next OWS movement; go get those rich suckers who made us pay for their solar. The rich get richer and the dumb get dumber. I'm glad I'm getting older.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  13. #130
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    At what level of confidence, certainly not investment grade levels. The challenge is accountability. If there is no M&V, then there is no accountability. When there is no accountability, is there any surprise promises don't deliver?

    The most recent report I could find has our program realization at .38, which rumor has it is about on par with most other state programs. If someone promised you $1000 a year and delivered $380, would you be ok with that? How about making that promise, you ok with delivering that performance to your clients?
    Define "investment grade"

    Seems to me as if ALL "soft asset" financial investments don't have a guaranteed rate of return, and many of them are most likely scams. Why should energy related hard investments be held to a higher standard?

    In commercial/industrial applications, energy efficiency upgrades are treated like investments to the point at which larger projects can be financed by the savings directly. IE - customer gets billed the difference between actual consumption and the pre-retrofit (weather adjusted) usage.

    A simple analysis of utility bills with weather/seasonal adjustments can accurately determine the actual roi; heck, software is even available to analyze utility bills.

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