Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

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  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Wow! For an investment of 47,000$ they reduced the power bill!

    Of course everyone around helps by subsidizing 18,000$ for them.

    No one minds helping out but there are more deserving parties than this - The family of five lives in a newer 4,000-square-foot, ocean-view home in Pismo Beach full of modern conveniences, including two refrigerators, a hot tub and lots of lights and electrical appliances.

    Most important of all, 'She doesn’t have to worry if their 11-year-old daughter or twin 4-year-old boys accidentally leave the lights on or play video games'
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    How much is it per unit etc in that part of the world ? $415 per month bill to be covered by 7.5 kw of panels ?
    Tim
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,392 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    How much is it per unit etc in that part of the world ? $415 per month bill to be covered by 7.5 kw of panels ?
    Tim

    I think PG&E has some of the highest rates around.

    Can't say as I blame the guy for using every bit of rebate, tax incentive that he can. Yes you subsidize it, but you subsidize lots of other things that others might say as earmarks and of little value. How much do you subsidize the nuclear power industry? That is more a problem with politics and government in general.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,642 admin
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    How much do we subsidize the Nuclear vs Wind energy providers?

    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/...lete-disaster/
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollar per MWh basis, the U.S. government subsidizes wind at $23.34 — compared to reliable energy sources: natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59, leading to what some U.S. commentators call “a huge corporate welfare feeding frenzy.” The Wall Street Journal advises that “wind generation is the prime example of what can go wrong when the government decides to pick winners.”/QUOTE]

    Depending on their power plans--I would not be surprised (PG&E E-1 flat rate residential PDF) if they are paying $0.40 per kWH for any usage over ~1,000 kWH per month (may be higher--baseline kWH numbers vary by area of state and gas vs all electric homes).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • tonystewarttonystewart Solar Expert Posts: 54 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    I wish those subsidies/opportunities existed in Florida.
    My conservation has resulted in a November usage cost per watt of $0.101, so I am glad I'm not a PG&E customer.
    The Ying & Yang of power & location
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    $47,000 - $18,000 subsidy = $29,000.

    If they took out a 2nd mortage at 5%, that comes out to $1450 interest, or about $120 per month. But that is figuring with simple interest only, and that is not how mortages or home loans work.

    But if you think subsidies are out of line in the US, you should see some of the European ones (before it started falling apart due to the economics):
    Initially, solar power producers could sell their energy at a feed-in tariff rate set at €440 (US$ 565) per MWh, although after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 this was lowered for any new projects to €259 (US$ 329) per MWh. Payments are again guaranteed for the lifetime of the systems, with slight reductions to the tariffs being made after a longer period than wind, 25 years. According to the IEA, feed-in tariffs are adjusted every quarter for new systems.
    http://www.globalsubsidies.org/subsidy-watch/analysis/fiscal-deficit-forces-spain-slash-renewable-energy-subsidies
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,392 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    Windsun wrote: »
    $47,000 - $18,000 subsidy = $29,000.

    If they took out a 2nd mortage at 5%, that comes out to $1450 interest, or about $120 per month. But that is figuring with simple interest only, and that is not how mortages or home loans work.

    But if you think subsidies are out of line in the US, you should see some of the European ones (before it started falling apart due to the economics):
    http://www.globalsubsidies.org/subsidy-watch/analysis/fiscal-deficit-forces-spain-slash-renewable-energy-subsidies

    $29K @ 5% for 15 years = $229 a month, that is fixed rate money however. Assuming they have a mortgage already about $120 a month or $1440 a year would add on to their tax deduction initially.

    Still quite a savings off the $400+ a month.
  • monolocomonoloco Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    BB. wrote: »
    How much do we subsidize the Nuclear vs Wind energy providers?

    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/...lete-disaster/
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollar per MWh basis, the U.S. government subsidizes wind at $23.34 — compared to reliable energy sources: natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59, leading to what some U.S. commentators call “a huge corporate welfare feeding frenzy.” The Wall Street Journal advises that “wind generation is the prime example of what can go wrong when the government decides to pick winners.”

    Depending on their power plans--I would not be surprised (PG&E E-1 flat rate residential PDF) if they are paying $0.40 per kWH for any usage over ~1,000 kWH per month (may be higher--baseline kWH numbers vary by area of state and gas vs all electric homes).

    -Bill
    I believe that is just direct subsidies. What are the subsidies that society pays for the containment of nuclear waste for 100,000 years, or massive amounts of greenhouse gases that are poured into the atmosphere?
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Euro/Spain subsidies, cut and paste from link,
    spoke to Juan Laso, president of the Asociación Empresarial Fotovoltaica (the Photovoltaic Industry Association), who said that the reason that billions of euros had been invested in solar parks throughout the country was because Spain had guaranteed the fixed feed-in tariffs to solar-power producers for 25 years. He argued that the proposed cuts would render existing investments unprofitable and, given that most of the costs associated with solar-power production are paid up-front, could lead to many solar-power companies going bankrupt and defaulting on investment loans.

    Read between the lines a little and gets even more amusing, What they are doing ( at the latest review) is cutting roof mounted by 5 %, floor by 35%, What is not that clear is this applies to ALL systems, Not just new install, existing sites also !!!
    A few years ago when it first came out you could virtually walk into the bank and they would loan you the money to build a farm if you wanted, Why wouldn`t they? payback in 8 > 10 years, government guaranteed 25 year rate/FIT oop`s the guarantee does not stand:blush:

    Tim

    ps As an Brit ex pat, The UK`s numbers don`t seem to add up either ? anyone comment ?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Don't be too surprised. Even the "experts" in the industry don't really know what's going on, much less what will happen.

    BC Hydro exported really cheap power (less than ten cents per kW hour) for years. Now, "suddenly", we have to import it and jack up rates. They allow grid-tie (if you can jump through the hoops) but don't pay any subsidizing rates, there are no rebates/tax credits, and the cost of buy solar power systems here is staggering.

    Good planning, eh?

    Maybe it will all get better when they get those smart meters shoved down our throats. :roll:
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    K Ryder wrote: »
    Solar energy doesn't have to be expensive, with a "Do it Yourself" kit you can create a solar system for under $200. Check out bit.ly/stuff deleted to find out how and for more articles on solar energy and other green topics visit morestuff.com/blog/

    No. Real solar energy. As in a system that actually works and provides enough power to be of use.
    It's expensive. On average, grid-tie solar costs about $0.50 per kW hour over the life of the equipment. Off-grid is about twice that. That is reality, re-confirmed over and over by the members of this forum.

    The sites you link to should be categorized as "scam".
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    [QUOTE=Windsun; clip-clip
    But if you think subsidies are out of line in the US, you should see some of the European ones (before it started falling apart due to the economics)[/QUOTE]


    With many states wondering how they are going to pay their payrolls,
    (and fat pensions), aren't we already in the process of falling apart?
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Below cut from one of the UK`s biggest double glazing companies that is also jumping on the solar bandwagon, (Anglian)
    Electricity from Photovoltaic Solar Panels

    Convert the suns rays into electricity you can use in your home. Solar electricity generation is dependent on light intensity, not on heat or direct sunlight - so it works even on overcast days.

    I like the wording "So it works on even on overcast day`s " (Which UK has a lot) There is a fair distance between works and produces worthwhile power :grr

    Tim
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    No. Real solar energy. As in a system that actually works and provides enough power to be of use.
    It's expensive. On average, grid-tie solar costs about $0.50 per kW hour over the life of the equipment. Off-grid is about twice that. That is reality, re-confirmed over and over by the members of this forum.

    The sites you link to should be categorized as "scam".

    Thanks for this reality check. I wish I had known it before I started to buy panels, inverters, batteries, cables... more inverters, etc., etc., etc, ad infinitum...
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    JESSICA wrote: »
    Thanks for this reality check. I wish I had known it before I started to buy panels, inverters, batteries, cables... more inverters, etc., etc., etc, ad infinitum...

    I've got the same problem. I see an empty space and I start a collection
    of expensive stuff to fill up that space..

    Solar PVing has becoming another one of my many hobbies.. :blush:
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    Thanks for this reality check. I wish I had known it before I started to buy panels, inverters, batteries, cables... more inverters, etc., etc., etc, ad infinitum...
    PV solar can't compete at current costs with utility power, that is a given. But at .50 to 1.00 a watt it become priceless when utility power is down for 3 weeks at a time when you have an all electric house. Yes you can cover short interruptions for a few days with a gas generator, but during the last big power outage, my neighbor with LP gas generator burned nearly $700 dollars worth of propane during the 3 weeks of no power and that was only running it during daytime and he had gas and wood heat.
    Mike
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    mikeo wrote: »
    PV solar can't compete at current costs with utility power, that is a given. But at .50 to 1.00 a watt it become priceless when utility power is down for 3 weeks at a time when you have an all electric house. Yes you can cover short interruptions for a few days with a gas generator, but during the last big power outage, my neighbor with LP gas generator burned nearly $700 dollars worth of propane during the 3 weeks of no power and that was only running it during daytime and he had gas and wood heat.
    Mike

    Wow, that's a lot of propane! About 20 miles north of here in NH, many
    folks went a month without power. (After a big ice storm).
    A lot of them were using gas generators to keep their oil heat systems on.
    Many generators were going 24-7 for the entire time.

    I was thinking about that ice storm and the two 10 gallon gas cans in the garage,
    when I decided to build a small solar-PV backup rig.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    I just want to point out that my post (#12) was in response to a spam post which has since been deleted. It was linked to the usual exaggerated claims of running your whole house off a 40 Watt panel kind-of-thing.

    The relative costs of generating electric via solar still stand, unfortunately. :cry:
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    Wow, that's a lot of propane!
    Part of the problem was this was about 3 years ago when gas was $4.00 a gallon and propane wasn't much cheaper.
    Mike
  • SteveKSteveK Solar Expert Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    XRinger wrote: »
    Wow, that's a lot of propane! About 20 miles north of here in NH, many
    folks went a month without power. (After a big ice storm).
    A lot of them were using gas generators to keep their oil heat systems on.
    Many generators were going 24-7 for the entire time.

    I was thinking about that ice storm and the two 10 gallon gas cans in the garage,
    when I decided to build a small solar-PV backup rig.

    Me too. I had several customers attempting to heat a portion of their homes with LP grills that year. It was an amazing storm here, we didn't lose power but much of my area did...for a week or more.

    Added solar for the essentials and never looked back.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    SteveK wrote: »
    Me too. I had several customers attempting to heat a portion of their homes with LP grills that year. It was an amazing storm here, we didn't lose power but much of my area did...for a week or more.

    Added solar for the essentials and never looked back.

    Yeah, it's always good to have Plan-B ready to roll out.
  • jagecjagec Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    SunnyBoy wrote: »
    I spend 5 months creating a comprehensive Off-Grid PV installation training video course - only to find that there is a Pan-Internet Instructional video scam empire which claims "You can almost eliminate your electric bill by building your own solar panels from $200 of parts from a hardware store...and you can do it with your grand-daughter on a Saturday afternoon" $49.95. His Adwords are on US government energy sites. He has crying kids and dancing blondes... "Help us save the planet". He has a huge MLM built around it promising instant wealth. The product is a 10 page PDF download that looks like it took 3 hours to cut and paste from google searches. If you Google his site plus the word "Scam", the first 6 pages of hits are bogus sites claiming to be independent review sites - all extolling the virtues of - you guessed it - his own product. His marketing is cancerous.

    I tried to rely on integrity, and one sociopath scammer has eaten my sushi.

    Bob - :cool:

    www.greenpowervideos.com

    Wow, I just checked out the scam site, and he has pre-filled-out IRS tax rebate forms. That's right, for a non-certified, non-code compliant product. Hey, building your own solar cells might be a fun hobby, but taking the tax credit on homebuilt panels is a felony.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Yea this guy is not even find-able. Rumors are he is Australian. His published name is bogus. This type of marketing damages the integrity of Solar Energy and the Internet itself. 60 Minutes should really do a segment on this..."How the internet creates new opportunities for fraud". I'm not going to mention the site or his name . He has added some videos to the PDF download but it is still a textbook example of amoral marketing practices. He should really do a video named "Internet Marketing for Sociopaths". There is no better example of deceptive sales practices on the internet.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    mikeo wrote: »
    Part of the problem was this was about 3 years ago when gas was $4.00 a gallon and propane wasn't much cheaper.
    Mike
    Those days will return, and pretty soon now. Gasoline around here has gone from around $2.30/gal to nearly $3/gal over the last year to year and a half, with a $.25/gal jump just in the last month or so. The last time that happened it was front page news, but this time there's been barely a whisper about it.

    Part of the reason for all this is that when the credit market crashed, as a result so did speculation in the oil market, so prices dropped. When the fed dumped all that cash into the credit market, it started up again. Speculators borrow money, invest in the oil spot market, sell when the price goes up (which they are causing to go up with all this activity), pay off the loan, and pocket the difference without adding any value to the system.

    I'll get off my soap box in a minute, but I'll just add that IMO a great deal of the economic difficulties we are going through in these days and times is a result of far too many people "earning" money this way instead of actually producing something of value.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Gasoline in the GVRD: $1.22 per litre. That's about $4.64 per US gallon for regular. A significant amount of that price is taxes, including the much-touted carbon tax.

    In re the original post, one wonders why there should be any electric bill after a solar install. In fact, it should be possible to create a negative bill every month. They just don't know how to hype claims properly these days! :p
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,642 admin
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    A few years ago, off the east coast, my brother would see large numbers of oil tankers just anchored off short waiting for prices to increase before off-loading (articles at the time were talking about a ship's contents being bought and sold by speculators several times during the trip) even while they were having shortages.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • arcturusk1arcturusk1 Solar Expert Posts: 26
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    So going back to the OP, I'd just like to ask: How in the hell are they pulling off 110% power generation with the kind of loads they're running? We have a residential customer for whom we're installing an 11kW multi-pole-mounted array. Ideal unshaded output would be 11.7MWh/year, but due to the location, it will be about 8MWh/year. Looking at their electricity bill (that's sitting in front of me), their average monthly usage is 726kWh/month. That's 8.7MWh/year. And this older couple has no kids and doesn't use AC.

    I fully understand that they're in CA and we're in OH, so their solar resource is going to be better. However, they have 4000sq-ft home, a hot tub, two fridges, and all the other stuff they reference. So again, I ask: How is a 7.5kW system going to provide enough power for their energy-hog home when a comparable system elsewhere would barely power a smaller home with practically none of the comparable energy-hog devices and comforts? :confused::confused:

    ggunn wrote: »
    Part of the reason for all this is that when the credit market crashed, as a result so did speculation in the oil market, so prices dropped. When the fed dumped all that cash into the credit market, it started up again. Speculators borrow money, invest in the oil spot market, sell when the price goes up (which they are causing to go up with all this activity), pay off the loan, and pocket the difference without adding any value to the system.

    I'll get off my soap box in a minute, but I'll just add that IMO a great deal of the economic difficulties we are going through in these days and times is a result of far too many people "earning" money this way instead of actually producing something of value.
    What you address is what enrages me. :grr I generally refer to people and jobs like that as "parasitic", and that's me putting it kindly (I have much stronger words that I will not say here). Those folks can't be stupid, so they clearly must understand the effects of their actions. If they understand the effects, then every day they're willingly violating our nation, our economy, and our citizens in order to make their hundreds of thousands per year to live their ridiculous lifestyles. It saddens me. As much as human greed can be a force for good that pushes us to keep achieving, I see everyday how it ultimately just corrodes and destroys jobs, families, relationships...

    And people wonder why I'm pessimistic at times. :roll:
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    arcturusk1 wrote: »
    What you address is what enrages me. :grr I generally refer to people and jobs like that as "parasitic", and that's me putting it kindly (I have much stronger words that I will not say here). Those folks can't be stupid, so they clearly must understand the effects of their actions. If they understand the effects, then every day they're willingly violating our nation, our economy, and our citizens in order to make their hundreds of thousands per year to live their ridiculous lifestyles. It saddens me. As much as human greed can be a force for good that pushes us to keep achieving, I see everyday how it ultimately just corrodes and destroys jobs, families, relationships...

    And people wonder why I'm pessimistic at times. :roll:

    I can tell that if you and I ever get in a room together, everyone else will leave. ;^)

    Greed rules the world. Of course they know the effects of what they are doing, but as my mom frequently says, "No drop of water ever blames itself for the flood." I heard a statistic on the radio the other day that nearly made me wreck my car. Some huge portion of the US GNP (I don't remember the exact number, but it was around half) is a result of "finance". FINANCE???!!! That's just people moving other people's money around and keeping some of it for themselves. How can that be remotely considered as "product"? And don't even get me started on Reaganomics. Trickle down, my Aunt Fanny!

    Capitalism run amok is every bit as destructive as socialism.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels

    Whoa. Chill-out time, guys. This thread is going "critical political". While we appreciate the sentiment, there's nothing much we can do about it here. So let's not get the ol' BP raised to the point where the stroke comes on, okay? :cool:
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Family sees electricity bill go from $400 a month to $5 with solar panels
    Whoa. Chill-out time, guys. This thread is going "critical political". While we appreciate the sentiment, there's nothing much we can do about it here. So let's not get the ol' BP raised to the point where the stroke comes on, okay? :cool:
    It's not political; I hate the Depublicans and Remocrats equally.

    But, OK. Deep breath.

    Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....................
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