residential leasing

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  • JburgessJburgess Solar Expert Posts: 130 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    I'll grant you the windows isn't something I hadn't considered and replacing them first is worth looking into. Our water heater is gas so the hybrids wouldn't work for us.

    When I replaced my windows, I got the expected results, the air conditioner runs less and the house is more comfortable. On days when the temp is over 110 the air conditioner only runs 90% of time instead of 100%.

    I also got a couple other results. The house is much quieter from the outside noises and the cats don't like the light through the double pane windows. The now use the light from the skylight instead.

    I didn't do all the conservation things before I got solar electric, but after I did it was a good motivator to do them to reduce my usage to fit production during peak hours. I hope you will share your results with us after it’s up and running.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    And how on earth am I being coy on selling the house? If we pay the $5,900 up front we'll never have to pay another cent even if we sell the house. If we go with the down payment plan, the most we'll pay off the lease is $6,240, but that's only if we were to sell the house right after we had the system installed.
    stay in our house for a long, long time.

    My misunderstanding of what you wrote, you had mentioned to sell the home you will be required to buy-out the PV system and had mentioned an 18K figure for what it would cost you to install a similar system, I hadn't given thought that the lease would offer a buyout for less than this as you are required to keep it running for 20 years gridtie and the new owner might just strip it off the roof.
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. We simply have to buy out the lease, not buy the system itself. We can then transfer the lease to the new owner or SolarCity will remove it for free if the new owner does not want it.

    I'm looking to replacing the windows vs. doing solar. Beside the ef benefits, we live on a corner with a fairly busy street on one side, so the possibility of blocking out street noise is very appealing.

    We're not too concerned about the effect on the value of the house because we intend to stay here for so long. But I also know I'd be a fool to dismiss it completely. It has to be factored into the decision.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    we live on a corner with a fairly busy street on one side, so the possibility of blocking out street noise is very appealing.

    I changed out old wood windows for dual glazed, and it cut street noise to about 25% of what it used to be. Loose frames and single glazed really let in a lot of noise.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing

    I don't see how solar city can make money long term on this, and thinking it through I realized that even with your 6K investment, the equipment is in solar citys name, meaning they can use it as collateral to get other investments, loans ect.

    So in essence, your giving your name on a contract, your money up front on a 20 year deal that the lessor can then do as they wish for ... sounds familiar? it should, its exactly what the sub-prime mortgage meltdown was all about.

    I'm a firm believer in if you can't see how they will make the money fulfilling the contract, then at some point it will more than likely fail, possible in some way you hadn't considered and your out in the cold ( like a home foreclosure, the lease will be nullified by the courts )
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    I’ll admit I’ve never gotten much of an answer to how they make money on these deals. But as I’ve said in a previous post, I’ve done a crazy amount of research on SC. From just about everything I found they appear to be a strong, well-run, well-funded company with a solid reputation. (I know, I know that’s what they said about Enron and Lehman Brothers). But I’ve done enough research to ease my fears -- maybe not do away with them completely but more than enough to move ahead.

    My wife and I went over the contract with a fine-toothed comb and had a couple of people smarter than us go over it too. Everyone agreed it looked fair and on the up and up. That’s not to say the kind of things you suggest couldn’t happen and if it did or if the company went out of business it would be a nightmare and we would likely lose our money.

    But let’s keep things in perspective. We could lose $5,900 or a little more or less with the down payment plan depending on when the crab hit the fan. That’s not chump change and I’d feel sick if we lost it. It would take us a couple of years (or more) to recover. But in the end, we’ll be ok. It’s not the hundreds of thousands or even tens of thousands that individuals lost in the sub-prime mess. Shoot, I think people who feel the need to replace their cars at the first signs of trouble instead of fixing them and driving them into the ground waste much more than that over time. At this point, I think our chances of losing anything are slim.

    Frankly, I think comparing a solar lease to a sub-prime mortgage and suggesting that a lease could cause the value of house to piss in the wind are overblown. I think, Solar Guppy, you may take skepticism (or is it cynicism?) to new heights.

    That said, I appreciate your thoughts and insights. You’re giving me what I’m looking for: a hardcore devil’s advocate. I know you probably I’m a naïve fool who's talked myself into something. But that’s ok. I really do appreciate your comments.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing

    I don't think your a fool, on the contrary, you have show your doing due diligence as best you can. I can see that my thought are on the negative side, but lets be honest, in the last decade, more than not its been everything for a profit at any cost.

    I hope your lease works out exactly has you plan and enjoy your PV system!
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    EXACTLY! If the events of the last decade have taught us anything, it's that we need to do extensive research and due diligence AND have someone play devil's advocate like you and so many others have done on this site before entering into any long-term relationship with any company.

    It's sad, but it's almost like you have to assume companies are guilty until proven innocent. Or at least mostly innocent.

    We still have a few weeks to back out of the contract. So, we're going to take the time to see if windows aren't the way to go instead. If we do go ahead with solar and it turns out to be a fiasco, I'll be back on this site admitting my mistake and warning people against the evils of leasing. I'm confident confident that day will never come. But it's going to suck if it does -- on so many levels.
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing

    Here is an article on their business model.
    “If we continue on current growth trajectory, an IPO would be one of several options.”
    Those investment bankers got to do due dilligent on them.
    To me, it sounds more like those internet provider companies that go IPOs during the dotcom era. The founders and investment bankers are benefited from the IPOs, they wouldn't care if afterwards the companies go bankrupt (due to un-sound business model or economic condition changes that would not support their business model anymore). Just like those ISPes during the dotcom, the investment bankers might not care whether business model is sound or not, the IPO potential is really what they are interested in. In case things go south, public investors are the one loosing money, the assets would be sold off to pay the creditors, home owners would loose their down payments.
    Just my 2 cents,
    GP
  • JuramJuram Solar Expert Posts: 36
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    Greetings,

    I'm afraid maybe posting a question that's been addressed ad nausea. I did a search and found some, but not a lot of information of this subject. Please feel free to let me know if I missed something...or to move this to a different thread...

    We've got two companies, Sungevity and SolarCity coming to our city. We've gotten quotes from each for a 20 year lease. We're looking at prepay plans so we would pay one price up front and then we're done. The costs would basically be in the $4K to $6K range. One system would meet about 75% of our usage. Another would meet nearly 100%. Maintenance, repairs and insurance are included in both plans.

    I've always avoid leases like the plague, but in this case I honestly don't see the downside. But maybe I'm missing something. At this point, the cost of purchasing a similar system makes it a no-go. And frankly with these plans, purchasing doesn't make financial sense for looooong time anyway.



    Thanks.




    Not necessarily. These companies are making a great deal of money off of you by essentially renting your roofspace. They get all utility rebates, all tax incentives, all renewable energy credits and in many cases make a claim against any future FIT(feed-in-tariff) derived returns based upon your system.


    If you have decent credit and actual equity in your home, you can finance a solar system for less than what they're leasing for, in some cases spread it out over 20-30 years and pay less then what your current electric bills are with no anticipated increases in that cost.


    Owning brings the highest ROI by far, which is essentially why these companies are willing to put panels on your roof, reap the rewards of some of the most generous benefits of solar, past and future, and then charge you for it.

    On top of that there's a "buyback" after x amount of years and by the time that arrives, you can be sure that the leasing company has made many times that amount off of you when all the incentives and other benefits are included. From what I've seen, what SolarCity charges for a system, initially and with the buyback, the actual cost of owning a system with all incentives and credits is actually far cheaper.


    PACE financing is the best option of all, yet currently and unfortunately unavailable in Arizona. But with the Corporations Commission seriously discussing enacting a true feed-in-tariff, I would take a long hard look at buying and financing a system, keeping all the incentives and benefits to yourself.





    This is basically how solar leasing works.



    Company A overcharges for panels over the lifetime of the lease, in some cases I've seen effective lease rates at over $10 p/watt(while the average cost of an installed solar system is $6.00 or less per watt currently). This allows them to maximize the hell out of the tax credits(ITC) and enhanced depreciation(MACRS).

    They compound their gains by using lower-wattage panels, sometimes respectable manufacturers but the lower end of their actual offerings, meaning huge profit margins over what the panels actually cost to purchase and install.


    On an average system, ITC's might account for $2-3 p/watt, on a higher priced solar system, these leasing companies can get back $5-6 p/watt, essentially what the cost of a brand new system currently is.

    The leasing company makes a PHENOMENAL return(10% is considered the minimum for several leasing companies) on their investment by overpricing a system and then stringing the cost out over 10-20 years, and taxpayers get stuck with the overpriced returns due to higher ITC and depreciation levels.



    So once again, the best way to go? Get a loan. You need a score of 700+ to qualify for solar leasing anyways and when you count what the effective interest rate is on an overpriced system, if you crunch the numbers, owning makes even more sense, even if you're financing the system out.
  • JuramJuram Solar Expert Posts: 36
    Re: residential leasing

    Here's an example of a solar leasing contract breakdown from California.

    Customer was paying $210 per month to PG&E
    3.3kW kyocera/fronius system
    Total system price = $43,000 (yikes $13 per watt).
    New monthly PGE bill year 1 = $90
    Monthly Solar lease payment year 1 = $98, grows to $152 by year 6.
    Total lease payments over 15 years = 23,452.
    Optional buyout at end of lease = $17,243.
    Customer gets an additional annual true-up from PG&E. This year it was a bill for $600. NOT a credit.


    Now take a 3.3kw system at average AZ pricing and you're looking at around $18,000 or less before ANY incentives or federal credits are considered. Also consider that Kyocera is a generally cheaper panel and can easily be had at under $5 a watt and now you're talking real money. $14,600 for an average Kyocera system is realistic before ANY credits or incentives. Throw those in and you're looking at less than $5000 total investment before any finance costs are added in.


    This $5000 amount doesn't take into consideration any future net-metering or feed-in-tariff incentives, REC's...etc, all stuff that the leasing company would normally get in a lease situation.
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    I appreciate the comments, but as I've said before: We've compared the cost of a lease to the cost of owning several times and in several different ways and leasing always comes out substantially cheaper in our case. I know it's completely counter intuitive and it's taken me a long time to believe it.

    Again, here's the basic in-a-nutshell breakdown:
    4.2 kWh system that will produce about 7,000kWh a year, at least to start. (Would that be considered good?)

    We'll pay either $5,900 up front and then not a penny more for the 20-year life of the lease. No repair costs. No maintenance costs. Nothing. Nada. That's 4.7 cents a kWh over the life of the lease.

    Or we'll pay $2,900 up front and $25 a month for the 20-year life of the lease. That's $8,900 or about 7cents a kWh over the life of the lease. Again, no repairs, no maintenance costs. Nothing.

    Our electric bill should average around $11/month. (I don't remember off the top of my head if that's before or after the net-metering is included).

    The estimates we gotten for purchasing a similar system were around $18,000 after all incentives and tax credits. So, we would pay twice to buy -- not including financing costs. Not including any repairs.

    In our situation, how is purchasing a better deal? I know, I know it's counter intuitive. As I've said before, I've always viewed leases like a plague. But I've looked at this so many ways, I've asked questions ad nausea on this forum and from other people smarter than me and it always comes out the same: we'll save a bundle with leasing.

    I honestly don't know what more I can do to look at this any more skeptically. I don't know any other way to crunch the numbers. I don't know any other angles to look at this from.

    And frankly, if the deal is fair for me, why should I care if they're making a bundle of money? But at $5,900 or even $8,900 for the complete system, I'm actually more worried that they're not making any or nearly enough money.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,041 admin
    Re: residential leasing

    I think that this got into the politics behind the laws/accounting/policies that made the deal worthwhile for you...

    Probably beyond the scope of your thread--You researched the options+terms and found them favorable for you. What more can somebody do.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    That's what it comes down to. I don't what other questions to ask or what else I can do. I'm anal about spending money, and I've never scrutinized a financial transaction, including buying houses and cars, as much as I have this one. I've been looking into this on and off for months. No matter how I look at it, it looks good every time -- at least for us and our situation. So, we're going for it. If we get screwed, it won't be for lack of research, scrutiny and skepticism.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    If we get screwed, it won't be for lack of research, scrutiny and skepticism.

    and likely in a way nobody has thought of yet. Who warranties all the holes in your roof when the rain starts ? R&R the array for roof replacement in 15 years ( how old are your shingles now)
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing

    "...and likely in a way nobody has thought of yet"

    I guess we'll find out.

    And what does the condition of the roof have to do with leasing? Lease or buy, having to replace shingles would be the same potential issue for both, no? FWIW, SolarCity warranties any holes or other damage they cause to the roof.
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing

    I think Mike is trying to make you aware of the fact if you only have 5-10 years left on the expected life of your roof that it will cost several thousand $$$ to have the solar system removed for a reroof under that area then reinstalled. That would be your cost not the leasing company. Just food for thought.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • lesyllesyl Solar Expert Posts: 40
    Re: residential leasing
    SkiDoo55 wrote: »
    I think Mike is trying to make you aware of the fact if you only have 5-10 years left on the expected life of your roof that it will cost several thousand $$$ to have the solar system removed for a reroof under that area then reinstalled. That would be your cost not the leasing company. Just food for thought.


    Sure. I understand that and appreciate it. I hope I didn't come across as a jerk. I interpreted his comment concerning the cost of re-roofing as a disadvantage of leasing. I just meant that it would be the same expense and hassle whether we bought or leased. Maybe I misinterpreted. At any rate, our roof is only a few years old so it won't be an issue for a while.
  • JuramJuram Solar Expert Posts: 36
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »



    Again, here's the basic in-a-nutshell breakdown:
    4.2 kWh system that will produce about 7,000kWh a year, at least to start. (Would that be considered good?)

    So they're expecting the system to generate about 1650 kwh for every single kilowatt and CONTINUE doing that after the system starts dropping in efficiency? Depending on the panels, how heat tolerant they are, what their 90% guaranteed warranty is, you could be at well under 90% efficiency by that point. You have to account for that in your system calculations, keeping in mind that various panels could produce different annual kWh amounts. \

    What panel will they be installing for you?



    The estimates we gotten for purchasing a similar system were around $18,000 after all incentives and tax credits. So, we would pay twice to buy -- not including financing costs. Not including any repairs.


    Bad quotes. You must have been getting quoted on dem dere SunPower systems. You can get a decent system installed for $22k before any incentives/credits. Under $10k after all incentives and credits, before any additional future benefits/property value are thrown in.

    In our situation, how is purchasing a better deal? I know, I know it's counter intuitive. As I've said before, I've always viewed leases like a plague. But I've looked at this so many ways, I've asked questions ad nausea on this forum and from other people smarter than me and it always comes out the same: we'll save a bundle with leasing.


    When a FIT comes in and TEP is paying SolarCity all that extra dough for the power the system on your roof is producing, believe me its going to really start to become clear to you.

    And frankly, if the deal is fair for me, why should I care if they're making a bundle of money? But at $5,900 or even $8,900 for the complete system, I'm actually more worried that they're not making any or nearly enough money.


    They're making plenty of money on the deal. I think if you had posted a copy of the actual contract, there are folks here who could have picked it apart. When these companies are telling investors to expect a 9...10% gain in THIS economic climate, they're making serious bankroll. Some of the folks lining up to back these enterprises are huge players expecting to make a lot of money.
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    ... 4.2 kWh system that will produce about 7,000kWh a year, at least to start. (Would that be considered good?)

    We'll pay ... $5,900 up front ... for the 20-year life of the lease. ... That's 4.7 cents a kWh over the life of the lease.

    Or we'll pay $2,900 up front and $25 a month for the 20-year life of the lease. That's $8,900 or about 7 cents a kWh over the life of the lease.

    ... The estimates we got ... for purchasing a similar system were around $18,000 after all incentives and tax credits.

    Looking at PVWatts, and assuming your installation is at the default 0.77 point (combination of quality of inverter and panels, wiring layout, roof orientation and tilt, cloud pattern, and seasonal heat), my guess is your 4.1 kW DC system will actuall produce about 5750 kWh/yr, not 7000.

    That's 5.1 ¢/kWh at $5900. It's 7.7 ¢/kWh at $8900.

    Here in the Dallas area, a high quality grid-tie 4.1 kW DC installation (one central high quality inverter, high quality panels and good design) will cost about $12,300, net of all rebates, incentives, and tax credits (and assuming utility rebate can currently be obtained).

    I too believe leasing is 'the real deal.' But, I'm leasing from a different company, with different terms, in a different location. In my case, after all savings, exports, and leasing payments so far, after 6.5 months, I'm $23/mo cash flow positive. Not a lot, but being cash flow positive for the life of the lease (perpetual for me) was important to me. In your case, you start out $5.9K or $8.9K 'in the hole,' which would give me signficant 'pause.'

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    a0128958 wrote: »
    Looking at PVWatts, and assuming your installation is at the default 0.77 point (combination of quality of inverter and panels, wiring layout, roof orientation and tilt, cloud pattern, and seasonal heat), my guess is your 4.1 kW DC system will actuall produce about 5750 kWh/yr, not 7000.

    That's 5.1 ¢/kWh at $5900. It's 7.7 ¢/kWh at $8900.

    Here in the Dallas area, a high quality grid-tie 4.1 kW DC installation (one central high quality inverter, high quality panels and good design) will cost about $12,300, net of all rebates, incentives, and tax credits (and assuming utility rebate can currently be obtained).
    I too believe leasing is 'the real deal.' But, I'm leasing from a different company, with different terms, in a different location. In my case, after all savings, exports, and leasing payments so far, after 6.5 months, I'm $23/mo cash flow positive. Not a lot, but being cash flow positive for the life of the lease (perpetual for me) was important to me. In your case, you start out $5.9K or $8.9K 'in the hole,' which would give me signficant 'pause.'

    Best regards,

    Bill

    Bill,

    I'm wondering about all the amounts of money credits you listed. I've read and heard that there are few Texas electric companies that offer any type of money, and TXU/OnCor is out of offset/rebate money, again. Is your power supplier a regular electric company or an electric Co-Op?

    For a 4Kw system, could you list what pulled down the final cost?

    What happens to your monthly income/bill if the system is down/off grid due to weather, damage, failure, etc.? In the 6 months, how does the monthly power production in early spring months compare to the summer ones and can you use the high summer production to offset low production months?

    What does the electric company charge for their monthly "fees" and pay for your surplus KWHours?

    Lots of questions, but it would help me see a clearer picture,
    Thanks,
    Bill
    Bill
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    ... TXU/OnCor is out of offset/rebate money, again. Is your power supplier a regular electric company or an electric Co-Op?

    For a 4Kw system, could you list what pulled down the final cost?

    What happens to your monthly income/bill if the system is down/off grid due to weather, damage, failure, etc.?

    In the 6 months, how does the monthly power production in early spring months compare to the summer ones ...

    can you use the high summer production to offset low production months?

    What does the electric company charge for their monthly "fees" and pay for your surplus KWHours? ...

    Yes, my utility is ONCOR. Yes, this year's ONCOR funds at the moment have been spoken for, but, many 'reservations' will expire due to solar PV projects not being done in a timely fashion. I.e., the money's not gone, yet, but, it's a 'waiting game.'

    I got the rebate via last year's funding.

    At the moment the 'going cost' for a solar PV installation in the Dallas area before any incentives, rebates or credits is at about $6/Watt. In my last note above I judged this down to about $3/Watt to reflect incentives, rebates, and tax credits currently available in the Dallas market. $3/Watt * 4.1 KW = $12.3K I quoted earlier.

    If my solar PV system is not functioning, due to weather or mechanical failure for any given month, I pay less for that month to the leasing firm. I.e., my actual monthly lease payments are a function of output - the more output, the more payment; the less output, the less payment. This is a key difference in terms from that of Lesyl.

    Actual energy production since Mar.:
    Mar. = 881 kWh
    Apr. = 941 kWh
    May = 1011 kWh
    Jun = 1019 kWh
    Jul = 1037 kWh
    Thus, my mid-summer production is about 18% higher than my early spring production.

    No, I can't 'bank' solar production, as I'm not utilizing a net metering agreement. I.e., high summer production is not available to me to offset lower production months.

    I don't pay any fees to export power to the utility. I do receive 7.5 ¢/kWh from my utility for all power I export to the grid.

    I'm currently paying a retail rate of 10 ¢/kWh. Thus, all PV generated kWh *that I can use* is a savings of 10 ¢/kWh.

    For any PV generated kWh that I can't use I receive 7.5 ¢/kWh for it.

    My monthly lease payment is always calcualted as Retail Rate * 70% * PV Harvest. Thus, for example, in the month of Aug., where I've so far produced 985 kWh from my PV system, my lease payment for the month will approximately be 10¢/kWh * 70% * 985 kWh = $69 (it will actually be a little higher since there's 2 more days left in the month).

    Hope this helps. Accounting details of the lease are at the summary page of my energy monitoring system, noted in my signature.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • JuramJuram Solar Expert Posts: 36
    Re: residential leasing
    a0128958 wrote: »
    Looking at PVWatts, and assuming your installation is at the default 0.77 point (combination of quality of inverter and panels, wiring layout, roof orientation and tilt, cloud pattern, and seasonal heat), my guess is your 4.1 kW DC system will actuall produce about 5750 kWh/yr, not 7000.


    Best regards,

    Bill



    I've found that PVWatts can be less than accurate at times. Especially here in AZ, they seem to really hammer us, maybe for the excessive heat but most systems I've seen seem to outperform their expected PVWatts amount considerably.


    My own system is a 6.4K Sanyo system and it produced around 10,800kWh in the past year while PVWatts expected production was less than 9,800kWh per year.
    Its a good tool to draw a baseline but it doesn't take into account the varying quality of different panels, temperature coefficients and other such factors that can affect overall panel production.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,041 admin
    Re: residential leasing

    If you look at the "Redbook" Data for Arizona (the PDF files show the ~20 year scatter of data month by month), it appears that many places have highly variable solar irradiation from year to year (monsoon variability, clouds?)...

    http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/PDFs/AZ.PDF

    Perhaps that accounts for the lower average ratings from PV Watts vs your actual power measurements...

    At this the "Derating Help" does not list average panel temperature as a consideration for losses (or gains in cold climates).

    The software just appears to use a 12% generic derating for all calculations:
    Caution: For correct results, the DC rating input must be the nameplate DC power rating described above. It cannot be based on other rating conditions, such as PVUSA test conditions (PTC). PTC are defined as 1,000 W/m2 plane-of-array irradiance, 20°C ambient temperature, and 1 m/s wind speed. If a user incorrectly uses a DC rating based on PTC power ratings, the energy production calculated by the PVWatts calculator will be reduced by about 12%.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    a0128958 wrote: »
    ,,,,,,,

    Hope this helps. Accounting details of the lease are at the summary page of my energy monitoring system, noted in my signature.

    Best regards,

    Bill

    Thanks for some of the details.... I have three electric utilities in the easement behind me and Oncor is one. I'm on a Co-Op who did nothing when their newly updated power lines were energized and the surge burned out over $800 worth of my electronics and stand-by emergency lighting...but that's another story...

    In looking at your summary page, it seems that there are two sizes of A/C systems, maybe solar hot water??, and a draw for the pool filter. In the last few weeks, the temps have been up to 108-110 degrees. How has the 4Kw system kept up with all your needs and your monthly power cost?

    I hope you'll keep your experiences posted here and I'll check with your summary page, too.

    Thanks again,
    Bill
    Bill
  • nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    How has the 4Kw system kept up with all your needs and your monthly power cost?

    I hope you'll keep your experiences posted here and I'll check with your summary page, too.

    Thanks again,
    Bill

    I was wondering the same myself with the 4KW system, but I do think hes running a 8.1.
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    ... In looking at your summary page, it seems that there are two sizes of A/C systems

    ... and a draw for the pool filter.

    In the last few weeks, the temps have been up to 108-110 degrees.

    How has the 4Kw system kept up with all your needs and your monthly power cost?

    Yes, I have 5 and 3 ton geothermal heating & cooling units. And yes, I have pool pumps.

    Yes, it's been very hot in Dallas until just last week. With the geothermal HVAC though, my monthly heating/cooling cost is about $62 on a 12 month rolling avg basis.

    I have an 8.1 kW (DC) solar PV grid-tie only system. Perpetual lease, no upfront investment, monthly payments based on harvest, and no ownership of the equipment. I'm doing something good for the environment and it's simultaneously saving me a modest $20 per month net of utility savings, utility exports, and lease payments.

    You can see from my summary page that YTD, I've been able to use about 83% of what I've generated so far. The remaining 17% I've had to export / sell to the utility (I don't have a net metering agreement).

    For the 83% portion of what I've generated that I can use, it has resulted in about a 35% reduction of my utility bill. With no net metering agreement, I'm not sure I'd want a much larger system. (Instead, I'll continue to focus on consumption reduction).

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • phred01phred01 Solar Expert Posts: 35
    Re: residential leasing
    lesyl wrote: »
    I'm actually more worried that they're not making any or nearly enough money.

    In future with the way the incentives are going to pan out, the leasing Co is betting on a significant increase in feed-in tariff. In some cases the feed-in tariff can be 3 times normal power costs. Here power costs have gone from 10c/kwh up to 19.5c/kwh + tax, as an incentive feed-in tariff 66c/kwh is being offered. The gov't has flagged an increase of the 300% in the nxt 5yrs. So try & c what power utilities projections are. This could open your eyes
  • BilljustBillBilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    phred01 wrote: »
    In future with the way the incentives are going to pan out, the leasing Co is betting on a significant increase in feed-in tariff. In some cases the feed-in tariff can be 3 times normal power costs. Here power costs have gone from 10c/kwh up to 19.5c/kwh + tax, as an incentive feed-in tariff 66c/kwh is being offered. The gov't has flagged an increase of the 300% in the nxt 5yrs. So try & c what power utilities projections are. This could open your eyes

    Phred 01,

    Would you explain what a "Feed-in tariff" is and what it is meant to do to electric providers, grid tie solar homes, and homeowners' costs?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    Bill
  • dreesdrees Solar Expert Posts: 481 ✭✭✭
    Re: residential leasing
    Would you explain what a "Feed-in tariff" is and what it is meant to do to electric providers, grid tie solar homes, and homeowners' costs?
    A feed-in tariff is simply a guaranteed payment for each kWh you generate and feed in to the grid.
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