Lease question

rgcostargcosta Registered Users Posts: 4
Hello. Totally new to this, so please bear with me.

We have a proposal for a 20 year lease system. No cost to us and claiming to take $30/month off our $200/month bill.

Here is my question. The estimate determined the $30 estimate was based on our total bill. But it dawned on me most of our electric consumption would be at night when our lights are on and during the summer with air conditioning. During those peak times of day, wouldn't I be drawing power from our utility and not the panels?

Thanks in advance for your time.

Comments

  • HX_GuyHX_Guy Solar Expert Posts: 296 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Saw you question on the other forum...are you in the Phoenix area or elsewhere in AZ?
  • rgcostargcosta Registered Users Posts: 4
    No, I am from NY. Being totally new, I posted to two forums that were rated highly. I realize this forum might have its focus on the southwest, but since my question was not specific to location, I thought it would be ok.
  • HX_GuyHX_Guy Solar Expert Posts: 296 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Not a problem, was just wondering since Im familiar with how it works out here and not so much in NY. :)

    Typically what happens is you use the power the solar is making during the day and any excess is fed back into the grid and you get a credit on your account (net metering).
  • verdigoverdigo Solar Expert Posts: 428 ✭✭
    $30.00 sounds like pretty cheap rent to park a bunch of panels on your roof. They also get any tax credits and rebates that apply, or so I read.
  • rgcostargcosta Registered Users Posts: 4
    I agree. They say it is a conservative estimate. The solar costs are spelled out for the next 20 years. The wildcard is that the utilities rates will continue to go up, which here on Long Island is the safest bet anyone could make. Yes, they do get the tax credits and rebates. They have said though we get a $5,000 tax deception as the solar power is being used.

    I would be interested in anyone's opinion on this, but it seems there is no downside for us, although I am not sure the savings is worth the effort. Thoughts from those who have experience in this?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    You have to read the contract closely... Some seemed to have utility cost increases rolled in (unclear if really tied to actual or fixed x% increase).

    Personally, I would prefer to own (I own mine). However, the lease industry has certainly taken over the market.

    The company owns the risks... With personally owned, I have the risk (replaced full array after ~6 years, on my third GT inverter--Most costs paid for by warranties--So far).

    You have to talk with your utility/installer about customer owned equipment and the Net Metering contract... GT solar is generally make/break on how the utility billing plan works. Over the coming decades, GT subsidies by utilities/customers/government are going to "go away"... In California, they are looking at a 20 year grandfathering for current rates from when system is installed. My system is ~12 years old....

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AguarancherAguarancher Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    One potential downfall I see would be on the resale of the property. I wouldn’t want to have a 20 yr. lease contract at that time.
  • HX_GuyHX_Guy Solar Expert Posts: 296 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    The home sale with a solar lease is a bit of a wildcard as you don't know how the new owner will feel about it, many people aren't familiar with it but if explained, it really shouldn't be a deterrent. The new owner is buying a fixed electric bill per se vs a regular electric bill.

    Some things to be careful with is a built in escalator. Is the lease payment fixed or will it go up every year?
  • KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
    Not sure how net metering works in NY. Here in CT I can offset upto 100% of my usage in a one year period. So some months I am buying most of my power from the utility, some I buy most from Solar City who installed my system and I lease from. If in any month I produce more than consumed it will be banked to offset future months.


    I chose to lease as I felt iy it was less risk. If a storm rips a panel off or a tree branch lands on the panels Solar City is on the hook to fix it. If / when an inverter wears out Solar City will replace it.

    Downside is the built-in increase of something like 2% per year. But that is still less than our historical utility rates.
  • rgcostargcosta Registered Users Posts: 4
    Ken thanks for your response. Solar city is the company I am dealing with as well. Have you been happy with them?
    There is a part of this I am not understanding, so these forums and responses are very helpful. Since we are in the same part of the country, how is it that you buy some months more from one and some more than the other? Thanks.
  • HX_GuyHX_Guy Solar Expert Posts: 296 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    rgcosta wrote: »
    Ken thanks for your response. Solar city is the company I am dealing with as well. Have you been happy with them?
    There is a part of this I am not understanding, so these forums and responses are very helpful. Since we are in the same part of the country, how is it that you buy some months more from one and some more than the other? Thanks.

    The system produce more than you use some months and not enough other months.

    For example here in AZ, in the spring the system ends up producing more than is used because the AC isn't used that much...but then in the summer, the AC is on all the time so the solar can't keep up and you used those banked credits from the spring.
  • KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
    Very happy with Solar City.

    I've only had my system since August but very happy with it. In fact, just last week they finished putting another 11 panels on my roof.

    The Net Meter thing, from another viewpoint, yyesterday between 10 am and 2 my panels produced twice the power I used. So half the production went to the grid. Then after the sun went down we still had another couple loads of laundry to wash & dry so we used up that excess and more.

    Since our utility has a flat rate plan there is no difference. We are billed for the net or difference between what we produce vs what we buy.

    Only downside is we can no longer use the utility interest free budget plan. That means summer electric bills with AC will be large, while winter bills will be small.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Leases are for people that can't afford solar on their own and also can't use the tax credits. In the long run, you will be way, way ahead if you can afford to do a purchase yourself. Shop around the several leasing companies at least. SolarCity quality is not that great from what I've seen around here. Conduit run all over the roof etc.
  • KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
    I only see two conduit lines from the ground. One to each inverter. Maybe I don't know better, ignorance is bliss, quiet happy with Solar City.
Sign In or Register to comment.