Solar Panels on house

#1
I am curious about anyone's installation of solar panel on their house in Frisco. I attended the Allen city council meeting last night and solar panels were discussed. In a comparative analysis it stated that Frisco had few restrictions on solar panels.

To belay any concerns HOAs are RESTRICTED from prohibiting solar panels by state and federal law.

Anyone have solar panel installed?? Experience??

They also talked about backyard chickens - which was interesting and made me hungry.
 
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Geck

Platinum Member
#2
i would be interested in this as well. We looked at this idea abot ten years ago when we moved to our new house. The HOA was okay with the panels as long as they were in the back of the house and didn't really stand out from on the roof line. No worries i was going to put them on the garage roof towards the back. The problem at that time was the cost. It would have run about $17k and the monthly savings would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20% which on our house translated to about $50 a month at most. The breakeven was about 28 years. Hopefully the cost has come down to a more reasonable price over the last 10 years.
 

Bull_07

Platinum Member
#3
I've looked into them as well, been a few years and roi was about the time they'd need to be replaced. I'd want a system to where I'm not consistently paying them off or paying off the repair/replacement. Also Geck, your hoa can stuff it. An hoa has no right to prevent you from putting the solar panels where they are most effective/efficient. If that is determined to be street facing, then the hoa has to suck it up.
 
#4
One word of caution. The solar companies have turned into financing companies.

There are 4 ways to acquire a system:

1. Cash
2. Self financing through loan/second/refi
3. Typical lease you have to maintain (Puts a lien on the house)
4. PPA where lease + they maintain (Puts a lien on the house)

I would strongly urge anyone considering a solar system to run the numbers on CASH PURCHASE. If it does not make sense on a cash basis, it will not make sense on anything else. I would also caution anyone to examine the leases/PPAs VERY carefully. There are websites dedicated to issues associated with the leases and PPAs. Be an informed consumer.

1. What happens on the sale of your house
2. How do you refi with a lien?
3. What happens in a hail storm/tornado
4. How will affect a damage claim from my HO insurance?
5. What happens if the system has problems
6. Are you committed to buying ALL the power produced by the system? (you could be billed for power you do not use)
7. How does temperature affect the system? System efficiency is rated @ 77 degrees. Know any rooftops at 77 degrees in July??
8. How will my roof angle affect the efficiency?

N. Texas is considered to have a medium level of solar production capability, just because the sun is shining does not mean you are producing a lot of power.

 
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Geck

Platinum Member
#5
I've looked into them as well, been a few years and roi was about the time they'd need to be replaced. I'd want a system to where I'm not consistently paying them off or paying off the repair/replacement. Also Geck, your hoa can stuff it. An hoa has no right to prevent you from putting the solar panels where they are most effective/efficient. If that is determined to be street facing, then the hoa has to suck it up.
I agree bull. At the time this was all new so i'm sure they didn't have too many people asking about solar. Another concern we had was the impact resistance to the panels. I would have hate to install them and then need to replace them after the first hail storm. Our electric bills have been "reasonable" so it wasn't a priority for us it was more of a "nice to have" so we didn't really pursue it
 
#6
There are some current incentives in Texas making the Solar companies get more aggressive marketing systems here. This opens up the area to not only opportunity but also some shady business practices.

If Allen passes some modifications to their ordinances, I am considering using solar panels as a shade structure in my back yard covering the pool.
 
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bard

Gold Member
#7
My inquiry in 2013 was along the same lines as others here. The break even point was ~equal to the expected lifetime of the system with the assumption of an annual increase in cost of electricity. Seeing as how I'm now paying 2-3 cents less per kwh, that break even point would be pushed out even further. If you want to save money, focus on your consumption and your kwh rates.
 

Opus

Silver Member
#8
I have a coworker that has them. It is built into her per Kw charge. She showed me her last few bills and she has been getting a credit since they are using less than they produce so the company buys the electricity from them. She says the company is responsible for all repairs and their is no lien. She deals with contracts at work so I assume she knows what she is doing.
 
#11
I am curious about anyone's installation of solar panel on their house in Frisco. I attended the Allen city council meeting last night and solar panels were discussed. In a comparative analysis it stated that Frisco had few restrictions on solar panels.

To belay any concerns HOAs are RESTRICTED from prohibiting solar panels by state and federal law.

Anyone have solar panel installed?? Experience??

They also talked about backyard chickens - which was interesting and made me hungry.
I have a 5kW system on my house. I get nearly 25-30 kWh per good sunny day.
Saves nearly 25% on my bill.

Depending on your electric provider, they have rebates. CoServ had a $1000 subsidy when I put mine in.
The pool of money goes fast, so you should have things lined up by the end of the year, so it can be submitted first thing the new year.

New Net meter was installed that measures usage and delivered for billing.

Also, you might still be able to get a Federal Energy Credit of 30% on your taxes.
One picture is how they are arranged on the roof.
Second picture shows the inverter, production meter, service disconnect and Net Electric meter.

Solar production can be viewed online.

Finally, Texas law prevents an HOA from restricting solar panels. Only if the neighborhood is under construction can they be restricted until the buildout is complete.

If anyone needs the name of the company I used, Send me a PM.

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#12
I am curious about the lifetime production. When did your system go live??

Based on your systems estimates and the current install price of $3.50/watt that puts the system cost at $17,500 installed. I am estimating your cost savings at about $60 per month. Meaning the break even is about 291 months before incentives.

That seems like a very long payback especially given electricity is going lower not higher in the future.
 
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DLPisGreat

Bronze Member
#14
I am curious about the lifetime production. When did your system go live??

Based on your systems estimates and the current install price of $3.50/watt that puts the system cost at $17,500 installed. I am estimating your cost savings at about $60 per month. Meaning the break even is about 291 months before incentives.

That seems like a very long payback especially given electricity is going lower not higher in the future.
I went live in Feb 27, 2014.
As of 7/3/2016, I have made 18.89 MWh since then.
 
#17
I know this is an older thread, but if any of you are still interested in going solar, I would love to help you out. I used to work for the Frisco Chamber of Commerce (was there for 7 years until March of last year) but I am now working for 1 Solar Solution (http://www.1solarsolution.com).

The maximum rebate for CoServ this year is $2,625. Oncor is giving a .65 credit across the board, regardless of what line of degree the panels are placed at on your roof. So on a 10kW system, the rebate would be $6,500.

We have worked with dozens of HOA's and they have not been an issue.

If you live in Allen, then panels can't be on the front of the house - this is now a requirement that was passed by their city council.

The Federal Tax Credit is 30% again this year.

All I need from you to create a free and no obligation proposal for your property is your electric bill, showing the past 12 months of your electricity usage. Once I have that information, I can present the proposal to you the next day. Again, this is a free and no obligation custom proposal for your home or business (you have to own the building and you have to own your home - can't be a building or property you are renting).

We take care of everything for you from start to finish, including any and all permits and the installation of the system as well.

Thanks in advance, and I hope to hear from some of you very soon!
 
#19
I went live in Feb 27, 2014.
As of 7/3/2016, I have made 18.89 MWh since then.
So...lets do the math. You have had the system for 3 years. 18.89 MWh x 1000 = 18,890 kWh. At $.10/kWh, you have saved $1,889 from the electric company (~$52/month).

Not sure what the cost of the system was, but the payback is a loooong way off. Keep in mind solar systems lose efficiency over time
(15-20% loss over 25 years), and need to be cleaned periodically for effectiveness. Also, what happens if net metering goes away (which could happen). *For those of you wondering what 'net metering' is: If you make energy via solar but are not home to use it, the grid uses the energy elsewhere, and gives you a credit that you can use when you do need it (effectively 'netting' you out). If net metering goes away, the electric provider could potentially buy it back for pennies on the dollar leaving you in a negative situation...energy through solar isn't always produced when you need it.

If you are buying solar for economic reasons, given our low cost of Energy in TX, it is NOT economical at this time. California pays ~$.18+ per kWh and Hawaii over $.25 which is why solar is significantly more economical in those states.

If you are buying it because you want to be 'green', why not partner with your energy provider? Coserv, as an example, has a solar farm and you can elect your home's energy to be produced by solar...you get the environmental benefits, but don't have to look at panels on your house.

Lots to think about. My dad once said, "Son, there are things that are bought, and there are things that are sold...be careful of those that are sold." If solar were that great of an idea economically, everyone would be seeking it out.