Need Solar system installed

I built my home in New Mexico and had solar panels installed and we moved to Mesa AZ I brought the system with me.  Now I understand that most companies do not like to install other systems.  I have 19 panels and everything needed to install a system.  Is there someone anyone would recommend that would install the panels.  I am ok in buying another invertor so they know it will work.  I also understand that there is an issue trying to install a solar system if you have SRP as your electric provider.  They charge you so many fees that its supposibly not worth having them.  So what about going off the grid system and by pass them?

Can anyone help me?  I don't want to pay $400 a month in electric bills this summer



  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,638 admin
    Grid Tied solar is beginning to "fall out of favor" (for example, almost all GT solar installs have stopped in Nevada when the the PUC/Utilities changed the "rules".

    From what I have heard (here), Arizona power companies are trying to go down that road.

    Off grid solar--It is not unusual for Off Grid power to cost the home owner ~5-10x as much as utility connected power ($1-$2+ per kWatt hour, sometimes as low as $0.50 per kWH can be possible). So for most people, Off Grid Battery (and Hybrid) power systems are not going to save money for the home owners (unless they are 1/2 a mile or more from power lines).

    In general, for most folks, are better to go with "extreme" conservation first--It is not unusual for older homes/folks that have not worked on conservation before, to save upwards of 50% on their electric bill (insulation, energy star appliances, turning off unused stuff, LED lighting, weather stripping, more insulation in the attic, etc.).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • qcgridironqcgridiron Registered Users Posts: 2
    Thanks BB

    So are you telling me that my 30,000 dollar system is worthless now?

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,638 admin
    No (I am not in the business, I am not qualified to make a statement like that)--I am saying that you are not alone--And it depends on your location and specific utility (and their PUC/Company rules) as to what you can do.

    We do have some Arizona folks here, and NAWS (Northern Arizona Wind & Sun, our host, is in Flagstaff)--Perhaps calling them directly can get some pointers (I do not work for NAWS--Just a volunteer here).

    My system in California is ~15 years old now--And they would only guarantee rates for ~10 Years--And now they are starting to change rates to remove subsidies for GT Solar Customers...

    The basic way of doing this (appears to be) raising connection fees (mine started at $4 and now are $10, and some folks have seen >$48 per month connection fees). And higher rate fees ( >$0.34-%0.56 per kWH summer peak and <$0.15 to $0.36 per kWH off peak)...

    Some folks are now "banking" ~$0.05 per kWH (or less) from utilities instead of the "retail rates" (like above) that they used to get.

    Arizona has been (historically) a bit more difficult for GT solar--And appears to be getting more difficult. Perhaps some Arizona folks can talk about what is happening now.

    In any case--I would highly recommend conservation first (and high efficiency A/C / heat pump systems for air and water--if no natural gas/propane). And other conservation measures. And in the background, try to figure out the GT system possibilities (self install, hiring your own contractor to install, etc.).

    I do tell folks (in my humble opinion) that GT solar systems are not "investments"--But pre-payment of utility bills (and can reduce costs), and at the pleasure of political/corporate entities... And at any time now, GT solar could fall out of favor--And that is happening now in some (many?) areas.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,366 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2016 #5
    Well I have no experience with SRP but APS is on the war path with a new rate hike again for solar users. 

    APS seeks $11 monthly rate hike, demand charges -

    I just got a letter confirming that existing solar users are grandfathered on the "old" plan for 20 years.  However that is not the original "old" plan.  Since my install they have cut the annual true up for $0.06 to about $0.02.

    There are a couple of SRP guys around here that keep up with their changes.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,229 ✭✭✭✭✭
    One way to do this is for you to take out the permit to install the system as homeowner.
    It is not difficult to find someone with good handyman skills to do the work if someone can supervise.
    It is easier and safer if you can not use the roof and install a ground mount for the solar.
    This is the basis for 90% of my business in helping owners live offgrid in really nice homes/places.
    It still can be a royal pain for you to deal with the county and utility.

    It sounds like you have solar panels that have been installed in the sun and moved to a new location.
    The 30K was for the original install years ago right?
    The reason I ask is I just did a 6KW grid-tie and the cost for system on the ground was 8K not including labor/fee's

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,638 admin
    One of the critical jobs for GT Solar install is the roof mounting (my roofer was spending a lot of time removing panels, fixing roof penetrations, and re-installing the panels and electrical--So many, he was thinking of getting into the GT Solar business). You might find a roofer to do the hot/dangerous stuff (roof install), and then yourself/electrician to do the wiring/final inspection.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,229 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All grid-tie solar is not always mounted on a roof.  It is a dangerous place as reflected in the insurance rates, probably the worst.
    For offgrid it is a crazy place to install solar panels in my opinion.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

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